The life and times of superstar, basketball legend in the making, and one of the most successful players of the NBA, LeBron James.
LeBron James might not be the first name that comes to your mind when you think of modest people, but with skills like his, few people can stand up to him in the basketball court. Controversy's child, James has always been in the limelight, and not always for the good reasons. He has been instrumental in scripting America's success and dominance in basketball, leading the team to Olympic glory in 2008 at Beijing and repeating the feat in 2012 at London. Once America's favorite player, his image has over the year been tarnished, more so after he changed his loyalties with the team that led him to all the fame and success that he has come to achieve. Be as it may,
James has always silenced his critics with his game (and sometimes with a barrage of words!). So, cliched as it may sound, the fact remains that you may love him or you may hate him, but there's absolutely no ignoring this otherwise ordinary guy, with some extraordinary basketball skills. Here's a look at the journey of LeBron 'King' James.
Personal LifeCareer PathI don't need too much. Glamour and all that stuff don't excite me. I am just glad I have the game of basketball in my life.Cleveland CavaliersMiami Heat
Name - LeBron Raymone James
Date of Birth - December 30, '84
Place of Birth - Ohio, USA
Nationality - American
Height - 6 ft 8 in
Weight - 250 lb
Team - Miami HeatNet Worth - $110 Million
Position - Small/Power forward
Games Played - 689
Points/Game - 27.6
Steals/Game - 1.7
Assists/Game - 6.8
Blocks/Game - 1.0
(P)* R - Regular Season / P - Playoffs
LeBron Raymone James, the man who arguably is amongst the greatest basketball players of all time, if not the best ever, had a very humble start to his career. Born on December 30, 1984 in 'Rubber City' Akron, Ohio, to a teenage mother, Gloria Marie James and an ex-con father, Anthony McClelland, James did not have a great family life. His father left him and his mother to fend for themselves when James was born. Although his mother did not abandon him, the men in her life did little to improve James' torn and tattered childhood. All this majorly affected James, and he would often just keep to himself through most of his early years.
The Rebuilding Phase
To fill this emotional void and vent out his frustration, James took up sports, mainly football and basketball. It was during this time that he got acquainted with Frankie Walker, his football coach, who would turn out to be the biggest influence in his life and change James' life for good. Frankie took up the role of being both James' coach and godfather. He even let James into his home, to help get his life back on track. The Walker household had a very positive influence on James, and he got back to attending school regularly. It was during this time, that he became friends with Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III and Willie McGee. The four of them, along with Romeo Travis, who joined in later, soon became the talk of the town for their exceptional basketball skills. Together they went on to win the 1999 AAU National Championship Tournament, and were christened the 'Akron Fab Five'.
The Early Years
James was actively involved in both football and basketball, right up till senior year. His football career came to an abrupt end, when he broke his wrist during a basketball game. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as he could now concentrate on basketball. He showed incredible prowess at handling the ball and had an extremely impressive scorecard to show for it. For a record three years in a row, he was named Ohio's Mr. Basketball and was selected to the All-USA First Team. By the end of high school, his numbers reflected his incredible talent (2,657 points, 892 rebounds, and 523 assists).
The Big League
James had already caught the eye of the selectors with his showing at the AAU Championships all through high school. He was readily snapped up by Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2003 NBA season. Records came tumbling down at his feet, and from the very onset, James showed his class and became one of the most sought after players of the NBA. Fame and fortune soon followed, and time and again he was on the covers of Sports Illustrated and other sports magazines.Top
James' mom gifted him a Hummer H2 for his 18th birthday!James had a very successful run with the 'Cavs', and was the key factor that got them the Eastern Conference Championship in 2007. Right through his career, he has been surrounded with controversy, both on and off the court, and his comments always seemed to add fuel to all the LeBron bashing. His contract with the Cavaliers expired in 2010.
In his debut game at the NBA, James broke the record for the most points by a NBA draftee (25 points). He was far from done though, as he went on to script history, becoming the youngest player ever to score 40 points or more in a single game (19 yrs old - 41 points against the New Jersey Nets). He finished the season with averages of 20.9 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game. It was little surprise that he was named the 2003-04 NBA Rookie of the Year. James had surely announced his arrival in style.
In his second season at the big games, James took on the the role of being the leader for the Cavs. He once again showed his class, bettering his averages from the previous season (27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game). He also went on to score a career-high of 56 points against the Toronto Raptors. By the end of the season he was also named in the All-NBA Second Team, thus making him the youngest ever (at age 20) to make it to this elite list. His rise to fame did not however change the fortunes of his team, as the Cavs once again failed to make it to the playoffs.
The '05-'06 Season saw the Cavs make it through to the playoffs for the first time since 1998. This was all thanks to their charismatic leader, James, who ended the season with stats that read 31.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game. As seemed to be a habit with James now, he once again created history by becoming the youngest player in the NBA to have an average score of 30 points or more per game.
In the playoffs as well, James came up with a stellar performance, registering 30.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game. He was awarded the All-Star MVP and also shared the MVP honors with South African, Steve Nash. He ended the year on yet another high, grabbing 5 NBA Player of the Week.
James' phenomenal run continued in the '06-'07 season as the Cavs once again powered through to the playoffs. In the fifth game of the Eastern Conference Finals, James brought the house down, scoring 48 points on 54.5 percent shooting. It was termed as one of the greatest performances in league history. The Cavs eventually lost to the Spurs in the finals, with James finishing with finals averages of 22.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game.
The '07-'08 Season, was one of triples-doubles. James ended the year with a career best of seven triple-doubles, and also became the youngest player in recent times to have posted 15 triple-doubles. In the process, James also became the youngest player to score 10,000 points (23 years and 59 days). Although his individual performance was on an all-time high, his team didn't fare as well. Although they had a decent run at playoffs, they were routed by eventual champions, the Celtics. James was awarded the All-Star MVP award for the second time, having scored 27 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals.
The '08-'09 Season saw James scale even greater heights, bagging the prestigious NBA MVP Award for the first time. He was voted part of the All-Defensive Team and came in at a close second for the title of Defensive Player of the Year. James, with a season total of 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks per game, inspired the Cavaliers to storm into the playoffs. At the playoffs, James was at his all-time best, even scoring 49 points with 66 percent shooting in one of the games. In spite of James' valiant effort, the Cavs crashed out of the games, losing to the Orlando Magic. During this game, James drew serious criticism from all quarters, as he walked out of the court, following his side's loss.
In what would eventually turn out to be his last season with the Cavaliers, James picked things up right from where he'd left them the previous season. He had an impressive showing at the games, which saw him becoming the first player in over four decades to have more than 40 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds in a game. He went on to become the youngest player to score 15,000 points (regular season). He was awarded the NBA MVP for the second time in a row for his performance. In the playoffs however, James and the Cavs seemed to have lost the plot completely, once again crashing out of the playoffs, in what was one of their poorest showings at home. James was booed off the court by his home crowd, after he failed to impress with a performance which could at best be described as below par.
Nike's latest LeBron X Sneakers retail at a whopping $315! A regular pair of basketball shoes from the same manufacturer costs about $109.After a brief free agency period, James signed a six year contract with the Miami Heats. Him parting ways with the Cavs, saw James draw flak from fans and critics alike. The year 2010 also took him from being one of America's heroes to being one of the most disliked athletes in America. While his popularity took a downward spiral, his performance on the court was unaffected, and he continues to be amongst the best players of the NBA.
James, who was always loved by his fans and the media alike, now was one of the most disliked players of America. He however, did not let it affect his game, as he carried on with his impressive form, finishing the regular season with 26.7 points per game. His form though, dipped thereon as the Heats were not greatly helped at the playoffs by James' poor show, managing just 23.6 points, 5.8 assists, 8.3 rebounds per game (postseason).
After the serious criticism that followed his poor show the previous season, James trained real hard for the new season. His hard work seemed to have paid off, as he was back to his winning ways, scoring 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.9 steals per game at the end of the regular season. Thanks to James' effort, the Heats entered the playoffs as one of the favorites for the title. James, or 'King James', as he liked to call himself, sure played in royal style, registering one of the best scores of his career in Game 4, with 40 points, 18 rebounds, and 9 assists. After having paved the way for his team to the finals, James was instrumental in the Heats winning their second ever NBA title. He was voted the undisputed NBA Finals MVP for his fine showing through the season.
James is engaged to childhood sweetheart, Savannah Brinson. Together, they have two sons, LeBron James Jr. (6 October, 2004) and Bryce Maximus James (14 June, 2007). They currently live in a three storey mansion in Coconut Groove, Miami.
James might not have a perfect game, but he more than makes up for it with his speed and uncanny ability to score from long range. If his recent performances are anything to go by, James is far from done. As long as he can concentrate on the game and let his skill with the ball do the talking, he has a long and prosperous career ahead of him. Needless to say, with skills like his, many more records are bound to fall at his feet.