When did lebron james start playing basketball? LeBron James is undoubtedly one of the best players in NBA history. The LA Lakers star has sparked comparisons to Michael Jordan, leaving fans in an unending debate on who the greatest basketball player is.
To be included in a conversation surrounding the legendary MJ means you are doing something right. LeBron James has continually made strides in the global basketball scene through sheer brilliance and an innate understanding of the game.
But how did he start playing in the NBA? What was the turning point in LeBron James’ career?
Key moments in LeBron James’ NBA journey
LeBron James was born in Akron, Ohio on December 30, 1984, and played high school ball at St. Vincent-St. Mary, Ohio. In 2003, he was selected as the No.1 overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Draft.
James’ announcement to the NBA was as loud as anyone could imagine. He set the record for points scored by a high school draftee in a debut performance after dropping 25 past the Sacramento Kings. By the end of the season, LeBron James was awarded the NBA Rookie of the Year title.
After numerous All-Star appearances and All-NBA selections, he won his first NBA MVP award in 2009, the first of many in his illustrious career. LeBron James averaged 28.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.2 blocks in the 2008-09 season
Despite reaching the playoffs for five consecutive seasons with no success, LeBron James decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, the manner with which he announced his departure did not sit well with Cavaliers fans, who saw James as their hope of winning a maiden NBA Championship.
LeBron James announced that he was taking his talents to the Miami Heat through a program titled “The Decision.” He made it clear that he was interested in competing for a championship and believed Miami was the place to achieve that. That decision led to the start of player empowerment in the NBA as he was instrumental in forming a superteam that included Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Although he became the most-hated athlete at the time, his partnership with Wade and Bosh bore fruits as they won back-to-back championships in 2012 & 2013. LeBron James opted out of his contract with the Heat in 2014 to return to Cleveland.
The news of his return was well-received as he promised to bring the NBA Championships to the city. He directed the signing of Kevin Love and other veterans to build a team that could compete for the championship. In 2016, he led the Cavaliers to an inspiring Game 7 victory against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, despite falling 3-1 earlier in the series.
LeBron James has won championships with every team he has played for, and the LA Lakers were no different. He signed with the franchise in 2018 and won the NBA Championship a year later despite missing the playoffs entirely in his first stint wearing Purple and Gold.
The LA Lakers were favorites to win the 2021 NBA Finals and record a back-to-back. However, injuries derailed their season as LeBron James and the Lakers were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round. The Suns are currently playing for the NBA Championship against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks from the East.
Lebron James: Early Life
Born on December 30th, 1984, in Akron, Ohio, American basketball player LeBron Raymone James Sr. started playing basketball when he was nine.
He later joined the Northeast Ohio Basketball Association Shooting Stars, in the Amateur Athletic Union.
The athlete attended St. Vincent–St. Mary High School and stood out as a major member of the school’s varsity basketball team.
His talent on the court accumulated him the title of Ohio Mr. Basketball. Soon after which he stood tall at the spot in the USA Today’s All-USA First Team.
In 2001, while still in high school the basketball player LeBron was featured in an article for the basketball magazine on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
James was a shooting star in his high school years and was widely seen as a future NBA star.
Lebron James: Career And Fame Throughout The Years
In 2003, American athlete James was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers, which was a team from his home state.
King James has been breaking NBA records since his first game.
He received the NBA Rookie of the Year Award at the end of his first season and by 2005, he was playing his first NBA All-Star Game.
He earned the All-NBA Team honor, continuously beating the records, and was soon regarded as one of the league’s best players.
In 2006, James was titled the NBA All-Star Game MVP and was twice awarded with the NBA MVP honor in 2009 and 2010.
Lebron James: Struggles, Ups, And Downs
After the 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 finally joined the Miami Heat basketball team in a widely publicized television broadcast titled the decision.
James was under a lot of criticism and scrutiny following his free-agent decision, and his reputation plummeted.
Till 2014 LeBron stayed with the Miami Heats and while at it he won two back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013 after a poor start and a less-than-warm-welcome following his decision.
The 29-year-old, became the youngest NBA player to score 20,000 career points, in 2013.
He also earned the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
Though in 2014 after failing to secure a third championship for the Heat, LeBron ended his contract with the team and returned to the Cavaliers.
He led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first professional sports title after a 52-year drought.
The Cavaliers had to face defeat in the 2018 series 2016,
Despite James having some of the most memorable performances of his career following a hand injury that 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 with 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.
Lebron James: Back in the game
Between 2019-2029 the team, with LeBron’s leadership, won the season by defeating the Miami Heat, his former team.
James was chosen to be a part of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team In 2021.
In 2022, he became the first NBA player in history and made a record of at least 30,000 career points, 10,000 career rebounds, and 9,000 career assists.
In the same year, LeBron renewed his contract with the L.A. Lakers for a millionaire sum which made him the highest-paid athlete in the history of the association.
James has appeared in film and television, most notably hosting Saturday Night Live, The LeBron, and starring in the sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) too apart from his sports career.
LeBron James became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. The basketball player surpassed the record held by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
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