LeBron James, nicknamed ‘King James’ is one of the most well recognised basketball players in the world, and considered by many as one of the greatest players of all time.
He has won 4 NBA Championships, 2 Olympic gold medals, 4 NBA MVP awards, and 4 NBA Finals MVP awards, among a plethora of other accolades in a glittering career that started in 2003.
James was born in Akron, Ohio on 30th December 1984, and even while at high school was touted as the next big NBA superstar. He entered the 2003 NBA draft straight out of high school, and the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped him up immediately as the first pick of the draft.
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James immediately made himself at home in the NBA getting named the 2004 Rookie of the Year and thereafter established himself as one of the elite players of the league. Having failed to win the NBA championship with the Cavaliers, he ultimately decided to seek fresh pastures and signed for the Miami Heat as a free agent in 2010.
The NBA championship arrived soon after just as he had aimed for, as he led the Heats all the way in 2012 and 2013, winning back-to-back NBA Championships. He was named the league MVP as well as the Finals MVP in both these seasons.
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With his thirst for the Championship satiated, he moved back to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 in order to taste success with his home team. He was once again successful as he dragged the Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals to win the Cavaliers their first ever NBA championship in history. Since 2018, he has been with the Los Angeles Lakers where, in 2020, he won his 4th NBA championship.
In the midst of all of this, the 6’9” star has enjoyed unprecedented success on the international stage as well. The US went unbeaten in the 2008 Olympics as James collected his first Olympics Gold, and in the 2012 London Olympics, he repeated the feat with his country, in the process becoming only the second player after the legendary Michael Jordan to win the NBA championship, NBA MVP award, NBA Finals MVP, and Olympic gold medal in the same year. He also became the all-time leading scorer in US men’s basketball history.
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The list of records that James has to his name would warrant its own little booklet, but there are some that truly stand out amongst the rest- some which might stay unbroken for generations to come. James has been the youngest player to reach 4-digits in the career scoring column, achieving the feat at the tender age of 19 years and 41 days. Two years later, he also became the youngest ever to hit the 5,000 mark, and a further two years later, the 10,000 mark. To put this into perspective, only 329 players in NBA history have reached 10,000 career points- something James achieved at the age of 23 years and 59 days!
He has continued on at a relentless pace- becoming the youngest to score 15,000, 20,000, and 25,000! He is now the all-time record holder for the most points scored in league history, regular season and playoffs combined- at a mammoth 44,152. In 2022, he also became the only player in NBA history to record at least 30,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 10,000 assists.
James has an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion according to Forbes- in fact, he became the first-ever NBA player to become a billionaire while still active. He is also a minority shareholder of England’s most successful football club- Liverpool FC, owning a 2 percent stake in the club.