LeBron James
NBA Basketball player
LeBron James
LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. A 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) small forward, he is an NBA champion, NBA Finals MVP, three-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Player of the Year (ESPY's), and NBA Rookie of the Year. One of Miami's co-captains along with Dwyane Wade, he is an eight-time NBA All-Star and has earned eight All-NBA honors and four All-Defensive honors.
Biography
LeBron James's personal information overview.
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News
News abour LeBron James from around the web
NBA: Cavaliers struggle against Bulls without ill LeBron James
LATimes - 1 day
Jimmy Butler had a triple-double, leading the visiting Chicago Bulls to a 117-99 victory Saturday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, as LeBron James sat out with strep throat.  Cleveland struggled as it often does when the four-time MVP doesn’t play. The Cavaliers are 4-19 without James since...
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LATimes article
L.A., here's your chance to watch some high school players who could be destined for NBA stardom
LATimes - 4 days
Not since LeBron James came to town as a high school senior and sold out Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 4, 2003, has there been as much excitement for high school basketball in Los Angeles as the lure of Friday night’s Southern Section Open Division semifinals at USC’s Galen Center. The matchups feature...
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LATimes article
TV This Week, Feb. 19-25: NBC’s 90th anniversary and more
LATimes - 10 days
  SUNDAY The best of basketball’s best, including Steph Curry and LeBron James, will be in the Big Easy for the “2017 NBA All-Star Game.” 5:20 p.m. TBS, TNT “The Good Wife’s” Christine Baranski spins off into the new legal drama “The Good Fight,” which bows on broadcast and streaming, with subsequent...
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LATimes article
James helps carry Cavs, Butler shines in return
Yahoo News - 12 days
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving each scored 25 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers withstood a huge night from Andrew Wiggins to record a 116-108 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Canada's Wiggins finished with a game-high 41 points for the Timberwolves, equalling his second-highest point total this NBA season. James also had 14 assists for Cleveland, who sealed their 38th win of the season with 1:39 remaining when ex-Timberwolves player Derrick Williams finished off a fast break layup.
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Yahoo News article
Here's What Young Athletes Really Need
Huffington Post - 13 days
I come to this article from two directions. First, as a sport psychologist who has worked athletes and their parents for decades. There is no doubt that my experiences in helping athletes to achieve their goals and assisting parents in best supporting their children has informed my ideas here. At the same time, perhaps more importantly, I come to this article as the father of two burgeoning athletes (ages 11 and 9) with whom I am sharing their journey. These experiences, which are much more personal, immediate, and visceral, inform this article in a much deeper and more meaningful way. Let me preface my thoughts by sharing an emotion with you: humility. As many of you know by now, I’m a fairly opinionated fellow who is all too happy to share what I believe is right and wrong, good and bad. However, in my advanced age and growing experience as a father, I have adopted a degree of humility in the face of the massive responsibilities we have as parents. Though I don’t always voice ...
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Huffington Post article
New Nike Ad With LeBron James, Serena Williams Makes Forceful Call For Equality
Huffington Post - 14 days
A new Nike ad makes a powerful call to end discrimination, ending with a simple message: “Equality has no boundaries.” “Opportunity should not discriminate,” says actor Michael B. Jordan, who narrates the ad released Sunday. “The ball should bounce the same for everyone.” The black-and-white spot features some of the best athletes in the world ―  including LeBron James, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant, Megan Rapinoe, Dalilah Muhammad, Gabby Douglas and Victor Cruz ― and Alicia Keys singing Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.” Two-time Grammy Award winner Melina Matsoukas directed it.  “Is this the land history promised?” Jordan asks in his voiceover. Jordan has starred in films including “Creed” and “Fruitvale Station,” which is based on the story of Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man fatally shot by a white San Francisco transit police officer in 2009. “Worth should outshine color. If we can be equals here...” Jordan says later, as a group plays basketba ...
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LeBron James Advocates for Diversity, Slams Trump's Travel Ban
ABC News - 18 days
James denounced the ban in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
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ABC News article
LeBron James Blasts Donald Trump's Muslim Ban
Huffington Post - 19 days
LeBron James has made no secret of his distaste for President Donald Trump: He endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in October and mocked Trump in comments about NBA All-Star voting last month. Now, the NBA’s biggest superstar is speaking out against the executive order Trump signed to ban refugees and stop immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States. “Diversity is what makes this country so great,” James said while accepting the NAACP’s Jackie Robinson Sports Award this month, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I stand with the many, many Americans who believe this does not represent what the United States is all about.” “I am not in favor of this policy or any policy that divides and excludes people,” James said. “I stand with the many, many Americans who believe this does not represent what the United States is all about. And we should continue to speak out about it.” The NAACP gives the Jackie Robinson Sports Aw ...
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Huffington Post article
Cavaliers 140, Wizards 135, Overtime: LeBron James Hits Stunning 3 to Force Overtime in Cavaliers’ Win
NYTimes - 20 days
James’s turnaround 3-pointer tied the score with 0.3 seconds left in regulation, and the Cavaliers went on to beat the Wizards in the extra period.
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NYTimes article
Julian Edelman Had One Of The Most Mind-Bending Catches In Super Bowl History
Huffington Post - 21 days
The New England Patriots’ Julian Edelman pulled off one of the most remarkable catches in Super Bowl history on Sunday when he bobbled a 23-yard pass multiple times with three defenders around him before securing the ball. OH MY GOD, JULIAN EDELMAN! #SB51 #Patriots https://t.co/YtvHwsaCbT — NFL (@NFL) February 6, 2017 The play came with just 2:22 left in the fourth quarter and the Patriots down 20-28. Later on the same drive, the team scored a touchdown and completed a two-point conversion, pushing the game to overtime, where they won on a game-winning drive.  But seriously, come on. This catch was freaking nuts.  It's the #Patriots' turn for a miracle catch. Julian Edelman. Unreal. #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/35HJ9T8A09 — Matthew Schwerha (@MSchwerha) February 6, 2017 It's the #Patriots' turn for a miracle catch. Julian Edelman. Unreal. #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/35HJ9T8A09 — Matthew Schwerha (@MSchwerha) February 6, 2017 ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of LeBron James
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    In 2016, CNBC will air an unscripted series hosted by James called Cleveland Hustles, where four up-and-coming Northern Ohio entrepreneurs will be financed on the condition of revitalizing a neighborhood in Cleveland.
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    In 2016, he re-signed with Cleveland on a three-year deal, becoming the highest-paid player in the league for the first time in his career.
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    Behind his leadership, Cleveland advanced to two consecutive Finals (fifth and sixth straight for James) against the Golden State Warriors, winning the championship in 2016.
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  • 2015
    In 2015, James announced a partnership with the University of Akron to provide scholarships for as many as 2,300 children beginning in 2021.
    More Details Hide Details In March 2008, James became the first black manand third man overall after Richard Gere and George Clooneyto appear on the cover of Vogue, posing with Gisele Bündchen. Some sports bloggers and columnists considered the cover offensive, describing the demeanor of James and his holding Bündchen as a reference to classic imagery of the movie monster King Kong, a dark savage capturing his light-skinned love interest. James has taken stances on controversial issues throughout his career, mentioning on several occasions a feeling of obligation to effect change using his status. Those include the War in Darfur, the Trayvon Martin case, NBA owner Donald Sterling's racist comments in 2014, the Michael Brown verdict, and the death of Eric Garner. In June 2008, James donated $20,000 to a committee to elect Barack Obama. Later that year, James gathered almost 20,000 people at the Quicken Loans Arena for a viewing of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's 30-minute American Stories, American Solutions television advertisement. It was shown on a large screen above the stage, where Jay-Z later held a free concert.
    In November 2015, James bought a 9,350 square-feet East Coast-style mansion in Brentwood, Los Angeles for about $21 million.
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    On February 13, 2015, James was elected the first Vice President of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).
    More Details Hide Details James has been ranked by Forbes as one of the world's most influential athletes throughout his career. During his first tenure with the Cavaliers, he was adored by local fans, with Sherwin-Williams displaying a giant Nike-produced banner of James on its world headquarters. Despite their affection for James, Cleveland fans and critics were frequently annoyed when he attended Cleveland Indians games against the New York Yankees dressed in a Yankees hat. Following his actions during the 2010 free agency period and, more specifically, The Decision, he was listed as one of the world's most disliked athletes. By 2013, his image had mostly recovered and he was reported by ESPN as the most popular player in the NBA for the second time in his career. In 2014, he was named the most popular male athlete in America by the Harris Poll. He has led the league in jersey sales six times.
    In 2015, he played himself in the Judd Apatow film Trainwreck, receiving positive reviews for his performance.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, James' digital video company, Uninterrupted, raised $15.8 million from Warner Bros. Entertainment and Turner Sports to help expand the company's efforts to bring athlete-created content to fans. It is hosted on Bleacher Report and is used by several other athletes including New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Along with business partner Maverick Carter, James owns production company SpringHill Entertainment, whose first work was the Lions Gate documentary More Than a Game, released in 2009 and chronicling James' high school years. Series produced by SpringHill include the Disney XD sports documentaries Becoming, Starz sitcom Survivor's Remorse, and animated web series The LeBrons.
    In 2015, he was ranked the sixth highest earning sportsperson, and third highest in 2016 (after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi).
    More Details Hide Details James has stated that we would like to own an NBA team in the future, albeit in a hands-off capacity. James, with comedian Jimmy Kimmel, co-hosted the 2007 ESPY Awards. In other comedic pursuits, he hosted the 33rd season premiere of Saturday Night Live. He has also tried his hand at acting, appearing in a cameo role on the HBO series Entourage.
    In 2015, FiveThirtyEight wrote that he might be "the most clutch playoff shooter of his generation".
    More Details Hide Details At the beginning of James' career, he was considered a poor defensive player, but he improved steadily through the years. Near the end of his first tenure in Cleveland, he became proficient at the chase-down block; coming in from behind the opposition in transition to block their shot. In Miami, he developed into a more versatile defender, and the Heat relied on him to guard all five positions. Paired with teammates Shane Battier and Dwyane Wade, Miami used James in an ultra-aggressive defensive scheme, with James cheating off the ball to help out inside or get into rebounding position. Beginning in 2014, some analysts noted a regression in his defensive impact, stemming from a lack of effort and expected age-related declines.
    During the 2015–16 season, James was criticized for his role in several off court controversies, including the midseason firing of Cavaliers' head coach David Blatt.
    More Details Hide Details Despite these distractions, Cleveland finished the year with 57 wins and the best record in the East. James' final averages were 25.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game on 52 percent shooting. In the playoffs, the Cavaliers advanced comfortably to the Finals, losing only two games en route to a rematch with the Warriors, who were coming off a record-setting 73 win campaign. To begin the series, Cleveland fell behind 3–1, including two blowout losses. James responded by registering back-to-back 41 point games in Games 5 and 6, leading the Cavaliers to two consecutive wins to stave off elimination. In Game 7, he posted a triple-double and made a number of key plays, including a memorable chase-down block on Andre Iguodala in the final two minutes, as Cleveland emerged victorious, winning the city's first professional sports title in 52 years and becoming the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3–1 series deficit in the Finals. James became just the third player to record a triple-double in an NBA Finals Game 7, and behind series averages of 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 8.9 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 2.6 steals per game, he also became the first player in league history to lead both teams in all five statistical categories for a playoff round, culminating in a unanimous Finals MVP selection.
    He also hosted the ESPY Awards, Saturday Night Live, and appeared in the 2015 film Trainwreck.
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  • 2014
    In 2014, James realized a profit of more than $30 million as part of Apple's acquisition of Beats Electronics; he had originally struck a deal to get a small stake in the company at its inception in exchange for promoting its headphones.
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  • 2013
    In 2013, he surpassed Kobe Bryant as the highest paid basketball player in the world with earnings of $56.5 million.
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    His signature shoes have performed well for Nike, and in 2013 he led all NBA players in shoe sales.
    More Details Hide Details In 2011, Fenway Sports Group became the sole global marketer of his rights, and as part of the deal, he was granted a minority stake in the English Premier League football club Liverpool F.C., who he has claimed his support for. As a result of James' endorsement money and NBA salary, he has been listed as one of the world's highest-paid athletes.
  • 2012
    James left CAA for Paul in 2012.
    More Details Hide Details James, Paul, Maverick Carter, and Randy Mims—all childhood friends—formed agent and sports-marketing company LRMR after James left Goodwin. LRMR handles James' marketing, including the marketing of The Decision, for which it was criticized. Throughout his career, James has taken a unique approach to his playing contracts, usually opting to sign shorter term deals in order to maximize his earnings potential and flexibility. In 2006, he and the Cavaliers negotiated a three-year, $60 million contract extension instead of the four year maximum as it allotted him the option of seeking a new contract worth more money as an unrestricted free agent following the 2010 season. Although his sign-and-trade, six-year contract with the Heat would have allowed him to earn the maximum salary under the collective bargaining agreement, he took less money in order for Miami to be able to afford Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade as well as further roster support. In 2014, he rejoined Cleveland on a two-year contract worth $42.1 million with an option to become a free agent again in 2015. The next offseason, he opted out of the contract and re-signed with the Cavaliers on another two-year contract with a player option for the second year. At the time, analysts speculated that James was opting out and re-signing on new contracts after each season in order to take advantage of higher salaries resulting from the NBA's rising salary cap.
    James played four seasons for the Heat, reaching the Finals all four years and winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013.
    More Details Hide Details In 2013, he led Miami on a 27-game winning streak, the third longest in league history. Following his final season with the Heat, James opted out of his contract and re-joined the Cavaliers.
  • 2011
    James proposed to Savannah Brinson, his high school sweetheart, on December 31, 2011 at a party celebrating New Year's Eve and his 27th birthday. The two were married on September 14, 2013 in San Diego.
    More Details Hide Details Together, they have three children: LeBron James Jr. (born October 6, 2004), Bryce Maximus James (born June 14, 2007), and Zhuri Nova James (born October 22, 2014). During his tenure with the Heat, James resided in Coconut Grove, an affluent Miami neighborhood, where he bought a three-story mansion overlooking Biscayne Bay for $9 million.
    Later in James' career, his clutch play was viewed more favorably; for example, a 2011 article by Henry Abbott revealed that James had a better shooting percentage with the game on the line than such notables as Ray Allen and Kobe Bryant.
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    Early in James' career, he was criticized by the media for his play in pressure situations; specifically, for passing instead of shooting in the waning seconds of close games. In a 2011 interview, teammate Chris Bosh stated that he would rather have Dwyane Wade take a last-second shot than James.
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  • 2010
    James did not play at the 2010 FIBA World Championship but rejoined Team USA for the 2012 Olympics in London, England.
    More Details Hide Details He became the leader of the team with Kobe Bryant, who would soon be 34, stepping back. James facilitated the offense from the post and perimeter, called the defensive sets, and provided scoring when needed.
    Throughout the 2010–11 season, James embraced the villain role bestowed upon him by the media; he later admitted that he regretted this approach.
    More Details Hide Details On December 2, he returned to Cleveland for the first time since departing as a free agent, scoring 38 points and leading Miami to a win while being booed every time he touched the ball. He finished the season with averages of 26.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 7 assists per game on 51 percent shooting. Entering the playoffs as the East's second seed, Miami advanced to the Finals before stumbling against the Dallas Mavericks, losing in six games despite holding a 2–1 series lead going into Game 4. James received the brunt of the criticism for the loss, averaging only three points in fourth quarters in the series. His Finals scoring average of 17.8 points per game signified an 8.9-point drop from the regular season, the largest point drop-off in league history. Humbled by the Heat's loss to the Mavericks, James spent the offseason working with Hakeem Olajuwon on his post game. His work with Olajuwon paid off, fueling what Grantland's Kirk Goldsberry called "one of the greatest and most important transformations in recent sports history". Behind James' more post-oriented play, Miami matched their best start to a season in franchise history, and at the conclusion of the lockout-shortened 2011–12 campaign, he was named MVP for the third time, finishing with averages of 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.9 steals per game on 53 percent shooting.
    James officially became a member of the Heat on July 10, 2010.
    More Details Hide Details With the move, he became only the third reigning MVP to change teams and the first since Moses Malone in 1982. That evening, the Heat threw a welcome party for their new "big three" at the American Airlines Arena, an event that took on a rock concert atmosphere. During the gathering, James predicted a dynasty for the Heat and alluded to multiple championships. Outside of Miami, the spectacle was not well-received, furthering the negative public perception of James.
    During the 2010–11 season, he said he "probably would do it a little bit different...
    More Details Hide Details But I'm happy with my decision." James relented about the special before the 2011–12 season: "... if the shoe was on the other foot and I was a fan, and I was very passionate about one player, and he decided to leave, I would be upset too about the way he handled it."
    As a result of his actions during the 2010 free agency period, he quickly gained a reputation as one of America's most disliked athletes, a radical change from years prior.
    More Details Hide Details The phrase "taking my talents to South Beach" became a punch line for critics. Immediately following The Decision, James claimed that there was nothing he would change about the handling of his free agency despite all the criticism. Since then, he has expressed regret over his actions.
    James became an unrestricted free agent at 12:01 am EDT on July 1, 2010.
    More Details Hide Details During his free agency, he was courted by several teams, including the Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets, and Cavaliers. On July 8, he announced on a live ESPN special titled The Decision that he would sign with the Heat. The telecast, broadcast from the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich, Connecticut, raised $2.5 million for the charity and an additional $3.5 million from advertisement revenue that was donated to other charities. The day before the special, fellow free agents Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade had also announced that they would sign with Miami; reports later arose that the trio had discussed their 2010 free agencies together in 2006. James decided to join with Bosh and Wade in part so that he could shoulder less of the load offensively, thinking that his improved teammates would give him a better chance of winning a championship than had he stayed in Cleveland. Heat president Pat Riley played a major role in selling James on the idea of playing with Bosh and Wade. Relieved of the burden of scoring, James thought he could be the first player to average a triple-double in a season since Oscar Robertson.
  • THIRTIES
  • 2009
    He has earned All-NBA honors every season since his sophomore year, All-Defensive honors every season from 2009 to 2014, and was named Rookie of the Year in his debut season.
    More Details Hide Details With four MVP awards, he is part of a select group of players who have won the award four times, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Bill Russell; only he and Russell have won four MVP awards in a five-year span. While James has never won the Defensive Player of the Year Award, he has finished second in the voting twice and lists it as one of his main goals. James has appeared in the Finals seven times and won three championships; some analysts have criticized him for not having a better Finals record, while others have defended him, arguing that his supporting casts were usually poor and he was defeated by superior competition despite performing well. James entered the NBA at an early age and made an immediate offensive impact; he holds numerous "youngest to" distinctions including being the youngest player to score 25,000 career points. During his first term with the Cavaliers, he was used as an on-ball point forward, and although his shooting tendencies were perimeter-oriented, he established himself as one of the best slashers and finishers in basketball, leading the NBA in three point plays in 2006. Around this time, he was frequently criticized for not having developed a reliable jump shot or post game, areas he improved in Miami, where Heat coach Erik Spoelstra changed James' role to a more unconventional one. James began spending more time in the post and shooting fewer three-pointers, attempting a career-low 149 in 2012.
    Midway through the 2009–10 season, the Cavaliers' guards experienced significant injuries, forcing James into a temporary point guard role.
    More Details Hide Details With increased minutes as the team's primary ball handler, he averaged a career-high 8.6 assists in addition to 29.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1 block per game on 50 percent shooting, culminating in a second consecutive MVP Award. Cleveland also finished the season with the league's best record for the second straight year. In the playoffs, the Cavaliers beat the Bulls in the first round but fell to the Celtics in the second round. James was heavily criticized for not playing well in Game 5 of the series, shooting only 20 percent on 14 shots and scoring 15 points. At the conclusion of the game, he walked off the court to a smattering of boos from Cleveland's home crowd, the team having just suffered their worst home playoff loss ever. The Cavaliers were officially eliminated from the postseason in Game 6, with James recording 27 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists, and nine turnovers in a losing effort.
  • 2008
    At the conclusion of the 2008–09 season, James finished second in NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting and made his first NBA All-Defensive Team, posting 23 chase-down blocks and a career-high 93 total blocks.
    More Details Hide Details He also became only the fourth postmerger player to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks in a single season. Behind his play, Cleveland went a franchise record 66–16 and fell one game short of matching the best home record in league history. With averages of 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game, he became the first Cavalier to win the MVP Award. In the playoffs, Cleveland swept the Pistons and the Atlanta Hawks to earn a match-up with the Orlando Magic in the Conference Finals. In Game 1 of the series, James scored 49 points on 66 percent shooting in a losing effort for the Cavaliers. In Game 2, he hit a game-winner to tie the series at 1–1. Cleveland would lose the series in six games, and following the loss in Game 6, James immediately left the floor without shaking hands with his opponents, an act many media members viewed as unsportsmanlike. For the series, he averaged 38.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 8 assists per game, finishing the postseason with a career playoff-high 35.3 points per game.
  • 2007
    At the FIBA Americas Championship 2007, he averaged 18.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game, including a 31-point performance against Argentina in the championship game, the most ever by an American in an Olympic qualifier.
    More Details Hide Details Team USA went 10–0, winning the gold medal and qualifying for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. James credited the team's attitude and experience for their improvement, saying: "I don't think we understood what it meant to put on a USA uniform and all the people that we were representing in 2004. We definitely know that now." At the Olympics, Team USA went unbeaten, winning their first gold medal since 2000. In the final game, James turned in 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists against Spain.
    In February of the 2007–08 season, James was named All-Star Game MVP for the second time behind a 27-point, 8-rebound, and 9-assist performance.
    More Details Hide Details On March 21, he moved past Brad Daugherty as the Cavaliers' all-time leading scorer in a game against the Raptors, doing so in over 100 less games than Daugherty. With seven triple-doubles to finish the year, James set a new personal and team record for triple-doubles in a season. His 30 points per game were also the highest in the league, representing his first scoring title. Despite his individual accomplishments, Cleveland's record fell from the year before to 45–37. Seeded fourth in the East entering the playoffs, the Cavaliers defeated the Wizards in the first round for the third consecutive season before being eliminated in seven games by the Boston Celtics in the next round. During the decisive seventh game in Boston, James scored 45 points and Paul Pierce scored 41 in a game the Associated Press described as a "shootout".
  • 2006
    At the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, James took on a greater role for Team USA, averaging 13.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game as co-captain.
    More Details Hide Details The team finished the tournament with an 8–1 record, winning another bronze medal. James' behavior was again questioned, this time by teammate Bruce Bowen, who confronted James during tryouts regarding his treatment of staff members. Before naming James to the 2008 Olympic team, Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski gave James an ultimatum to improve his attitude, and he heeded their advice.
    In 2006–07, James' averages declined to 27.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.
    More Details Hide Details Some analysts attributed the fall to a regression in his passing skills and shot selection, stemming from a lack of effort and focus. The Cavaliers finished the season with 50 wins for the second consecutive year and entered the playoffs as the East's second seed. In Game 5 of the Conference Finals, James notched 48 points with 9 rebounds and 7 assists, scoring 29 of Cleveland's last 30 points, including the game-winning lay-up with two seconds left, against the Pistons. After the game, play-by-play announcer Marv Albert called the performance "one of the greatest moments in postseason history" and color commentator Steve Kerr described it as "Jordan-esque". In 2012, ESPN ranked the performance the fourth greatest in modern NBA playoff history. The Cavaliers went on to win Game 6 and claim their first ever Eastern Conference championship. They advanced to the NBA Finals, where they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs. For the Finals, James averaged 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game.
    At the 2006 All-Star Game, James led the East to victory with 29 points and was named the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player.
    More Details Hide Details Behind final season averages of 31.4 points, 7 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game, he finished second in overall NBA Most Valuable Player Award voting to Steve Nash. Under James' leadership, the Cavaliers qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1998. In his postseason debut, he recorded a triple-double in a winning effort versus the Washington Wizards. In Game 3 of the series, he made the first game-winning shot of his career, making another in Game 5. Cleveland would go on to defeat the Wizards before being ousted by the Detroit Pistons in the second round.
  • 2004
    James made his debut for the United States national team at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.
    More Details Hide Details He spent the Games mostly on the bench, averaging 14.6 minutes per game with 5.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in eight games. Team USA finished the competition with a bronze medal, becoming the first U.S. basketball team to return home without a gold medal since adding professionals to their line-up. James felt his limited playing time was a "lowlight" and believed he was not given "a fair opportunity to play". His attitude during the Olympics was described as "disrespectful" and "distasteful" by columnists Adrian Wojnarowski and Peter Vecsey, respectively.
    James earned his first NBA All-Star Game selection in 2004–05, contributing 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists in a winning effort for the Eastern Conference.
    More Details Hide Details On March 20, he scored 56 points against the Toronto Raptors, setting Cleveland's new single game points record. With final averages of 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 2.2 steals per game, he was named to his first All-NBA Team at season's end. Despite a 30–20 record to start the year, the Cavaliers again failed to make the playoffs, finishing the season at 42–40.
  • 2003
    James was selected with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
    More Details Hide Details In his first professional game, he recorded 25 points against the Sacramento Kings, setting an NBA record for most points scored by a prep-to-pro player in his debut outing. At the conclusion of the season, he was named the NBA Rookie of the Year, finishing with averages of 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. He became the first Cavalier to receive the honor and just the third player in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game in his rookie year. The Cavaliers finished the season 35–47, failing to make the playoffs despite an 18-game improvement over the previous year.
    He participated in three year-end high school basketball all-star games—the EA Sports Roundball Classic, the Jordan Capital Classic, and the 2003 McDonald's All-American Game—losing his NCAA eligibility and making it official he would enter the 2003 NBA draft.
    More Details Hide Details According to writer Ryan Jones, James left high school as "the most hyped basketball player ever". During his senior year, James was the centerpiece of several controversies. For his 18th birthday, he accepted a Hummer H2 from his mother, who secured a loan for the vehicle utilizing LeBron's future earning power as a professional athlete. This prompted an investigation by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) as its guidelines state that no amateur may accept any gift valued over $100 as a reward for athletic performance. Later in the season, James accepted two throwback jerseys worth $845 from an urban clothing store in exchange for posing for pictures, officially violating OHSAA rules and resulting in his being stripped of his high school sports eligibility. James appealed the ruling and his penalty was eventually dropped to a two-game suspension, allowing him to play the remainder of the year. The Irish were also forced to forfeit one of their wins, their only official loss that season. In his first game back after the suspension, James scored a career-high 52 points.
    James played high school basketball at St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, where he was highly promoted in the national media as a future NBA superstar. After graduating, he was selected with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
    More Details Hide Details James led Cleveland to the franchise's first Finals appearance in 2007, losing to the San Antonio Spurs. In 2010, he left the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in a highly publicized ESPN special titled The Decision.
  • 2002
    Following the loss, James seriously considered declaring for the 2002 NBA draft, unsuccessfully petitioning for an adjustment to the NBA's draft eligibility rules which required prospective players to have at least graduated from high school.
    More Details Hide Details During this time, James used marijuana to help cope with stress resulting from the constant media attention he was receiving. During his senior year, James and the Fighting Irish traveled around the country to play a number of nationally ranked teams, including a game against Oak Hill Academy that was nationally televised on ESPN2. Time Warner Cable, looking to capitalize on James' popularity, offered St. Vincent-St. Mary's games to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis throughout the season. For the year, James averaged 31.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 3.4 steals per game, was named Ohio's Mr. Basketball and USA Today All-USA First Team for an unprecedented third consecutive year, and was named Gatorade National Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1984
    James was born on December 30, 1984 in Akron, Ohio, to a 16-year-old mother, Gloria Marie James, who raised him on her own.
    More Details Hide Details Growing up, life was often a struggle for the family, as they moved from apartment to apartment in the seedier neighborhoods of Akron while Gloria struggled to find steady work. Realizing that he would be better off in a more stable family environment, Gloria allowed James to move in with the family of Frank Walker, a local youth football coach, who introduced James to basketball when he was nine years old. As a youth, James played Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball for the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars. The team enjoyed success on a local and national level, led by James and his friends Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, and Willie McGee. Inseparable, they dubbed themselves the "Fab Four" and promised each other that they would attend high school together. In a move that stirred local controversy, they chose to attend St. Vincent–St. Mary High School, a largely white private Catholic school.
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