American basketball player LeBron Raymone James Sr. was born on December 30th, 1984, in Akron, Ohio. LeBron started playing basketball when he was nine, joining the Northeast Ohio Basketball Association Shooting Stars, in the Amateur Athletic Union. He later attended St. Vincent–St. Mary High School, where he stood out as a player in the school’s varsity basketball team. James’ talent on the court earned him the title of Ohio Mr. Basketball, as well as a spot in the USA Today’s All-USA First Team. Still in high school, LeBron was featured in an article for basketball magazine Slam in 2001, and was seen on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Widely seen as a future NBA star, James attracted a lot of attention and enjoyed a considerable amount of popularity during his high school years.
In the 2003 NBA draft, James was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team from his home state, to play for them. Breaking NBA records since his first game, LeBron received the NBA Rookie of the Year Award at the end of his first season with the team. In 2005, he played his first NBA All-Star Game. Continuing to beat records and earning the All-NBA Team honor, James was soon regarded as one of the league’s best players. In 2006, James was named the NBA All-Star Game MVP. LeBron was twice awarded with the NBA MVP honor in 2009 and 2010. Following a lost championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron left the team and was scouted by several other teams wishing to sign him to their teams. He eventually joined the Miami Heat basketball team in a widely publicized television broadcast: a live ESPN special titled The Decision. James was under a lot of criticism and scrutiny following his free-agent decision, and his reputation plummeted.
LeBron stayed with the Miami Heats until 2014. During his run with the team, he won two back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013 after a poor start and a less-than-warm-welcome following his decision. In 2013, at 29 years old, he became the youngest NBA player to score 20,000 career points, and was also earned
the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. After failing to secure a third championship for the Heat in 2014, LeBron ended his contract with the team and returned to the Cavaliers. This news was very well received, in contrast to his prior 2010 announcement. In 2016, he led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first professional sports title after a 52-year drought. Despite James having some of the most memorable performances of his career, the Cavaliers lost the series in 2018 and, following a hand injury which affected his game, LeBron decided to opt-out of his contract with them.
In July 2018, it was announced through an interview with Sports Illustrated that James had signed on to the Los Angeles Lakers. While the team had a rough season that year, they started to turn around by the end of 2018, however, it wasn’t enough to get to the playoffs for that season. It was the first LeBron had ever missed since 2005. The team, with LeBron’s leadership, won the 2019-2020 season by defeating the Miami Heat, his former team. In 2021, James was chosen to be a part of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team. In 2022, he became the first NBA player in history to record at least 30,000 career points, 10,000 career rebounds, and 9,000 career assists. That same year, LeBron renewed his contract with the L.A. Lakers for a millionaire sum, making him the highest-paid athlete in the history of the association. Aside from his sports career, James has appeared in film and television, most notably hosting Saturday Night Live, The LeBrons and starring in sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021).