The King: LeBron James

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Perhaps the best basketball player of all time, LeBron Raymone James, Sr. was born on December 30, 1984. He grew up in Akron, Ohio. James didn’t start playing basketball until he was in the fifth grade. He went on and played for the St. Vincent–St. Mary High School Fighting Irish. Just as a freshman, the King averaged 21 points and 6 rebounds per game. The Irish went 27-0 for the season and won the Division III state championship.

His sophomore year, he had outstanding numbers:  25.2 points and 7.2 rebounds with 5.8 assists and 3.8 steals per game. During this season, the team had to play at the University of Akron, just to get enough seats for people to watch the king in action. Just as a high school sophomore, he was awarded with Ohio’s Mr. Basketball and the USA Today’s All USA Team, the only sophomore to ever earn these awards.

During James’ junior year, he was on the cover of SLAM Magazine and Sports Illustrated. During that season he put up 29 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 3.3 steals per game. Once again he was named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball and made the USA Today’s All USA Team. That season James was also awarded with the Gatorade National Player of the Year.

In James’ senior year, he would put up an outstanding 31.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 3.4 steals per game. He would also be awarded with all three awards that he won the previous year. In his senior year he participated in three different all-star games:  EA Sports Roundball Classic,  Jordan Capital Classic, and  McDonald’s All-American Game. The Irish won state titles three of the four years with James. He also played football in high school and earned offers to  play Division I football, most notably from the University of Notre Dame.

King James would go on and enter the 2003 NBA Draft and be drafted by his home state team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. In James’s rookie year he put up 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. He went on to win Rookie of the Year. The next year he was able to go on and play in the NBA All-Star Game. He would then be able to go onto his first All-NBA team. In 2006, the king was able to score 29 points in the NBA All-Star Game and was crowned NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player. That same season he would average 31.4 points, 7 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game,  just falling short of being the NBA Most Valuable Player with a loss to Steve Nash. Cleveland would also go on to make the NBA Playoffs, something that had not happened since 1998.

The following season the Cavaliers would go on to face the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. It was a easily won match-up for the Spurs sweeping the Cavs four games to zero. After that season James worked hard to try and get his team back to the finals for another year, but would fall short. Although he did win All Star MVP for another season that year. That season James would also pass Brad Daugherty to be the Cavs all time leading scorer.

James went had an outstanding defensive performance through the 08-09 season. He would come second for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award and make the All-NBA Defensive Team. What made that season outstanding was the 93 blocks that the king had that year. He would win the NBA MVP Award, becoming the first ever Cavalier to do so. At the end of the 2010 NBA season James would become a free agent. It would be a tough decision, but he would choose to go play with the Miami Heat. The Heat already had two super stars on that team, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.  Adding the king to this team would put them above and beyond. In the 2011-12 season the Heat would go on to face the Oklahoma City Thunder lead by their own big of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden in the NBA Finals. This would be LeBron James’s first ever championship win and he would win the Bill Russell NBA Most Valuable Player. The next season they would face the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals and would become back to back champions. The 2013-14 season would be James’ last one on the Heat as he would become a free agent the next year.

On July 25, 2014 the king announced his return to his home state and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Upon arrival to Cleveland they were able to sign star forward Kevin Love and had future star guard Kyrie Irving in the making. In the 2015-16 season the Cavs would face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals and would repay the city of Cleveland with a NBA Championship title.

The next season James would pass Michael Jordan for the most points scored during the postseason. After Kyrie Irving left the team to go to the Boston Celtics, it would be a rough out going for James as he would decide his fate with going to another NBA team in 2018. James’s decision would be the Los Angeles Lakers.  Hopes are that this will bring back the “Showtime” Lakers and renew their rivalry with the Boston Celtics.

Listed below are all the awards that Lebron James has achieved prior to the 2018 NBA season:

3x NBA Finals Champion: 2012, 2013, 2016

3x NBA Finals Most Valuable Player: 2012, 2013, 2016

4x NBA Most Valuable Player: 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013

14x NBA All-Star Game Appearance: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

3x NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2006, 2008, 2018

14x All-NBA selection:

        12x First team: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,                  2014, 2015, 2016,2017, 2018

        2x Second team: 2005, 2007

6x NBA All-Defensive selection:

5x First team: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

1x Second team: 2014

1x NBA Rookie of the Year: 2004

1x NBA All-Rookie First Team: 2004

1x NBA Scoring Champion: 2008

3x NBA minutes leader: 2007, 2017, 2018

1x J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award: 2017

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