LeBron James facts for kids
James with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022
|No. 6 – Los Angeles Lakers|
|Small forward / Power forward|
December 30, 1984 |
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
|High school||St. Vincent–St. Mary (Akron, Ohio)|
|Listed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Listed weight||250 lb (113 kg)|
|NBA Draft||2003 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers|
|2018–present||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Career highlights and awards|
LeBron Raymone James Sr. (//; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed "King James," he is considered one of the greatest players ever and is often compared to Michael Jordan in debates over the greatest basketball player of all time. James has won many awards and honors. In 2022, LeBron became the first and only player in NBA history to accumulate over 10,000 career points, rebounds, and assists.
Other projects off the court have made LeBron even more wealthy and famous. He has been paid for his many endorsements. (To endorse something is to recommend or speak highly of that product). He has been shown in books, documentaries, and television commercials.
- Early life
- High school career
- Professional career
- National team career
- Player profile
- Off the court
- Media figure and business interests
- LeBron James quotes
- Interesting facts about LeBron James
- NBA career statistics
- Awards and honors
- See also
James was born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio, to Gloria Marie James, who was 16 at the time of his birth. His father, Anthony McClelland, has a long criminal record and was not involved in his life. Gloria was left to raise her son by herself and had a hard time finding work. James moved in with the family of Frank Walker, a local youth football coach who introduced James to basketball, when he was nine years old.
James began playing organized basketball in the fifth grade. He later played Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball for the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars. James played basketball and football at St. Vincent–St. Mary High School.
High school career
As a 6-foot-2-inch (1.88 m) tall freshman, James averaged 21 points and 6 rebounds per game for the St. Vincent–St. Mary varsity basketball team. The Fighting Irish finished the season undefeated. By the time LeBron was a sophomore, college and NBA scouts came to his games to see him play.
In 2001, during the summer before his junior year, writer for Slam magazine Ryan Jones said that 16-year-old James, who had grown to 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m), was "[possibly] the best high school basketball player in America right now." During the season, James also appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, becoming the first high school basketball underclassman (a student who is not a senior) to do so.
Throughout his senior year, James and the Fighting Irish traveled around the country to play several nationally ranked teams. He participated in three year-end high school basketball all-star games, and networks were already looking to make money from televising his games.
Also during his senior year, James was the centerpiece of several controversies such as accepting a Hummer H2 and accepting two throwback jerseys worth $845 from an urban clothing store in exchange for posing for pictures. He appealed his punishments for breaking the rules of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) and won his case, making him able to continue playing basketball.
As an underclassman, James played wide receiver for St. Vincent–St. Mary's football team. He was recruited by some Division I programs, including Notre Dame. James did not play football his senior year because he had injured his wrist in a basketball game.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2003–2010)
James continued to perform well, rising to superstardom and leading his team to victories in games. At the end of the 2003-04 NBA season, he became the first Cavalier to receive the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
In the 2006–07 NBA season, James's averages declined. Some analysts said that his passing skills and shot selection lessened because he had a lack of effort and focus: He was relying on his past success and not working as hard as he used to work. LeBron began working harder again, and in February of the 2007–08 season, James was named All-Star Game MVP for the second time.
During the years 2008–2010, James continued to play well. He led his team to the 2009 NBA playoffs. 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, which was an act that many viewed as unsportsmanlike. In February of the 2009–10 season, James was forced to play point guard after a series of injuries to players in the Cavaliers' backcourt. The team still did quite well, ending the season with the best record in the league.
Miami Heat (2010–2014)
James became an unrestricted free agent at 12:01 am EDT on July 1, 2010. During this time, many teams contacted him to ask if he would play for their team. On July 8, he announced on a live ESPN special titled The Decision that he would sign with the Miami Heat. The day before the special, fellow free agents Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade also announced that they would sign with Miami. James officially signed with the Heat on July 10, 2010. That evening, the Heat threw a welcome party for their new "big three."
When he left the Cavaliers, James received intense criticism from sports analysts, executives, fans, and current and former players. 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.
From 2011–2013, the Heat enjoyed taking part in back-to-back championships. The 2011–12 season was delayed by a lockout, and during that longer summer, James worked with Hakeem Olajuwon in order to improve his post up game (moving to the low post – near the basket – for an easy layup, dunk, or jump shot). After losing to the Mavericks in the previous year's finals, James decided to leave behind the villain role. This helped him regain a sense of joy on the court.
During the 2013–2014 season, James did well, leading his team to the finals. The Heat, however, did not win the NBA finals (what would have been called a "three-peat") that year. It was LeBron's final year with the Miami Heat.
Return to the Cavaliers (2014–2018)
James opted out of his contract with the Heat during the summer of 2014 and announced that he planned to return to the Cavaliers. A month after James's signing, the Cavaliers added Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving to the team.
In January of the 2014–15 season, James missed two weeks due to left knee and lower back strains, which at the time represented the longest stretch of missed games in his career. In 2015, LeBron led his team to the Conference Finals, and in 2016, he led his team to win the the Finals.
Injuries and unexpected losses happened to the Cavaliers during the 2016–17 season. Despite these setbacks, LeBron led his team to the the Finals, but the team was defeated in five games.
Before the start of the 2017–18 season, the Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving to the Celtics. Irving requested a trade partly because he no longer wanted to play with James. Once again, James led his team to the Finals, but the team was defeated in four games.
Los Angeles Lakers (2018–present)
During the summer of 2018, James opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers and became an unrestricted free agent. He signed a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers expected James to immediately lead them to the playoffs, as he had done with the Heat and the Cavaliers. However, James suffered a groin injury, the first major injury of his career. He was unable to play for 17 games and the team did not make it to the 2019 playoffs.
During the offseason, the Lakers hired Frank Vogel as their new head coach and traded players for Anthony Davis. James moved to point guard and made more effort on defense. Behind James's leadership, the Lakers did well for the season. James did begin to treat others better and was allowed to play. The team advanced to the 2020 NBA Finals, where they played James's former team, the Heat. The Lakers defeated the Heat in six games.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020–21 season was shortened to 72 games. Despite injuries on the team, the Lakers made the 2021 NBA playoffs but lost.
During the 2021–22 season, James became the second player in NBA history (after Michael Jordan) to post 40 points and zero turnovers at age 35 or older. He also became the oldest player to average 25+ points per game and set many other records. The Lakers did not make it to the playoffs that year.
On August 18, 2022, James re-signed with the Los Angeles Lakers on a two-year, $97.1M deal. The contract extension made James the highest-paid athlete in NBA history.
National team career
James first played the United States national team at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. The team did not win a gold medal that year.
At the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, James helped his team win a bronze medal. James's teammate Bruce Bowen confronted James during tryouts because he did not like the way James treated staff members.
Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski told James that before he would be allowed to play on the 2008 Olympic team, he had to improve his attitude. Team USA progressed and won the gold in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.
James did not play at the 2010 FIBA World Championship but rejoined Team USA for the 2012 Olympics in London, England. Team USA went on to win their second straight gold medal, again defeating Spain in the final game.
Standing 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m) tall and weighing 250 pounds (113 kg), James has played most of his career at the small forward and power forward positions. He has also played other positions when necessary. Throughout the 2010s, he was usually ranked as the best player in the NBA each season by ESPN and Sports Illustrated.
As an 18-year-old rookie, James led the Cavaliers in scoring. He holds numerous "youngest to" honors in the area of offense. His combination of speed, quickness, and size often created matchup problems for opposing teams because he could rush past larger defenders and overpower smaller ones.
In Miami, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra changed James's role to a more uncommon one. James spent more time in the post and improved his shot selection and accuracy on jump shots. Because of these improvements, James made more shots he took.
For most of his career, James has controlled the offense as the primary ball handler on his team. Some of his best skills are playmaking and passing.
At the beginning of James's NBA career, he was considered a poor defensive player, but he improved steadily through the years. In Miami, he developed into a better defensive player. He became good enough to guard all five positions of the opposing teams.
Beginning in 2014, some analysts reported that James was not doing well defensively. They believed it came from a lack of effort and his aging. After missed drives on offense, he often dawdled back on defense while complaining to the referees. He eventually developed a reputation for playing better defense in the playoffs, which some analysts referred to as "Playoff LeBron."
James left high school as one of the most hyped prospects in NBA history. Upon entering the NBA, he made an immediate impact and was voted Rookie of the Year in his first season. As of June 2022, he has been named to 18 All-NBA Teams, including 13 times to the First Team, which are both NBA records. He has won four MVP awards and four Finals MVP Awards. He earned All-Defensive honors every season from 2009 to 2014. He has appeared in 10 NBA Finals.
James has been included in the rankings of the best basketball players in history, and he was named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Decade for the 2010s. He has frequently been compared to Michael Jordan. LeBron has voiced his desire to play basketball into his forties, possibly alongside or against his sons Bronny and Bryce.
Off the court
James married his high school sweetheart and mother of his children Savannah James on September 14, 2013, in San Diego, California. They have three children: two sons — Bronny and Bryce — and daughter Zhuri. During his stint with the Heat, James resided in Coconut Grove, where he bought a $9 million three-story mansion overlooking Biscayne Bay. In November 2015, James bought a 9,350 square-foot (870 m2) East Coast-style mansion in Brentwood, Los Angeles for about $21 million. James owns another home in Brentwood, which he purchased for $23 million in December 2017.
James spends more money than most people on his health. He spends about $1.5 million a year to pay for personal chefs (people who plan and cook meals for him) and athletic trainers, as well as physical therapies for recovery. He has a strict exercise routine and eats differently than is considered normal for a top athlete. He eats dessert with every meal and drinks wine every night. During the COVID-19 pandemic, James received a COVID-19 vaccine.
By 2015, James was considered by many people, including his fellow NBA players, to be the "face of the NBA." Because he is such a good player, the people who make important league decisions listen to his opinions. On February 13, 2015, James was elected the first vice president of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).
Throughout his career, James has been ranked as one of the world's most influential athletes and one of the world's most influential people. People have lavished him with attention and money. Many people purchase sports memorabilia with his name on it.
James is a supporter of non-profit organizations, including After-School All-Stars, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Children's Defense Fund. He also has his own charity foundation, the LeBron James Family Foundation, which is based in Akron. In 2016, he donated $2.5 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture to support an exhibit on Muhammad Ali.
Throughout his career, James has taken stances on controversial issues. Even though he is among the wealthiest and most famous in America, he said that "being black in America is tough. We got a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African Americans until we feel equal in America."
LeBron has publicly supported Democratic presidential campaigns. In June 2022, James condemned the ruling of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, saying that the decision is about "power and control."
Public and charitable initiatives undertaken by James in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, under the LeBron James Family Foundation banner:
- I Promise School
- I Promise Institute at the University of Akron
- I Promise Village (housing complex)
- House Three-Thirty (community center/retail plaza)
- I Promise Health Quarters (medical center)
Media figure and business interests
James has signed many endorsement contracts with companies including Audemars Piguet, Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, Dunkin' Brands, McDonald's, Nike, and State Farm. When Apple purchased Beats Electronics in 2014, James profited more than $30 million. In 2011, James co-founded the designer retail store UNKNWN in Miami, Florida.
James has made various appearances on TV and in film. He and his business partner Maverick Carter own production company SpringHill Entertainment, whose first work was the Lions Gate documentary More Than a Game. The 2009 documentary told the story of James's high school years. Series produced by SpringHill include the NBC game show The Wall, the Disney XD sports documentary show Becoming, the Starz sitcom Survivor's Remorse, and the animated web series The LeBrons.
In June 2022, it was announced James is launching a media company in partnership with professional tennis player Naomi Osaka and Maverick Carter's SpringHill Company. The production and content creation company will be named Hana Kuma, which means "flower" and "bear" in Japanese.
In 2012, James, Carter, Paul Wachter invested in the Pasadena-based fast casual chain Blaze Pizza. James later became a spokesman for the company and began appearing in advertisements after ending his contract with McDonald's.
During the 2019 off-season, James tried to claim the term "Taco Tuesday" as his own for use in downloadable audio/visual works, podcasts, social media, online marketing, and entertainment services. The request was denied by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, stating that Taco Tuesday is "a commonplace term, message, or expression widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment."
LeBron James quotes
- “I like criticism. It makes you strong.”
- “You can’t be afraid to fail. It’s the only way you succeed. You’re not gonna succeed all the time and I know that.”
- "I treated it like every day was my last day with a basketball.”
- "Commitment is a big part of what I am and what I believe. How committed are you to winning?"
Interesting facts about LeBron James
- James is a huge cartoon lover. His favorite cartoon show is "Tom & Jerry," but also says "Spongebob Squarepants" is up there among his favorites.
- Earth Science was LeBron's favorite subject in school.
- LeBron's first in-game slam dunk was in 8th grade during a teachers vs. students basketball game.
- Michael Jordan noticed James before his junior year in high school and wanted him to play in basketball scrimmages in Chicago.
- LeBron's second son, Bryce Maximus, was born during his first trip to the NBA Finals in 2007 when he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
- LeBron James and Michael Jordan are the only players to win a regular season MVP, NBA Finals MVP, and an Olympic gold medal in the same year.
- LeBron writes and eats left-handed but shoots with his right hand.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Awards and honors
- 4× NBA champion: 2012, 2013, 2016, 2020
- 4× NBA Finals Most Valuable Player: 2012, 2013, 2016, 2020
- 4× NBA Most Valuable Player: 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
- 19× NBA All-Star: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
- 3× NBA All-Star Game MVP: 2006, 2008, 2018
- 19× All-NBA selection:
- 13× First team: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020
- 3× Second team: 2005, 2007, 2021
- 3× Third team: 2019, 2022, 2023
- 6× NBA All-Defensive selection:
- 5× First Team: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
- Second Team: 2014
- NBA Rookie of the Year: 2004
- NBA All-Rookie First Team: 2004
- NBA scoring leader: 2008
- NBA assists leader: 2020
- 3× NBA minutes leader: 2007, 2017, 2018
- J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award: 2017
- NBA 75th Anniversary Team
- 2× Olympic Gold Medal winner: 2008, 2012
- 2004 Olympic Bronze Medal winner
- 2006 FIBA World Championship Bronze Medal winner
- 2007 FIBA Americas Championship Gold Medal winner
- 2012 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year
- Commemorative banner in Miami's American Airlines Arena (for his 2012 gold medal won as a member of the Miami Heat)
- 2003 National Champion
- 3× OHSAA Champion: 2000, 2001, 2003
- 2003 Naismith Prep Player of the Year
- 2× Mr. Basketball USA: 2002, 2003
- 2× Gatorade National Player of the Year 2002, 2003
- 2× USA Today High School Player of the Year 2002, 2003
- 3× Ohio Mr. Basketball: 2001, 2002, 2003
- 3× USA Today All-USA First Team: 2001, 2002, 2003
- 2× PARADE High School Player of the Year: 2002, 2003
- 2003 McDonald's National Player of the Year
- 2003 McDonald's High School All-American
- 2003 McDonald's All-American Game MVP
- 2003 EA Sports Roundball Classic MVP
- 2003 Jordan Brand Classic MVP
- No. 23 retired by St. Vincent–St. Mary
- St. Vincent–St. Mary Hall of Fame (class of 2011)
- St. Vincent–St. Mary home basketball court named The LeBron James Arena
- AP Athlete of the Decade (2010s)
- 4× AP Athlete of the Year (2013, 2016, 2018, 2020)
- 3× Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year (2012, 2016, 2020)
- 2012 Sporting News Athlete of the Year
- 3× Sporting News NBA MVP (2006, 2009, 2010)
- 2004 Sporting News Rookie of the Year
- Sports Illustrated NBA All-Decade First Team (2000s)
- 2× Hickok Belt winner: 2012, 2013
- 19× ESPY Award winner in various categories (15 individually, four as part of a team)
- 2020 Time Athlete of the Year
- 2017 Jackie Robinson Award
- 2021 President's Award
- 2020 Outstanding Long Sports Documentary (as executive producer of What's My Name? – Muhammed Ali Part 1)
- 2021 Outstanding Edited Sports Series (as executive producer of The Shop: Uninterrupted)
- 2023 Outstanding Long Documentary (as executive producer of The Redeem Team)
- 6× Cleveland Sports Awards Professional Athlete of the Year: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2015, 2016
- South Main Street in downtown Akron renamed King James Way
- Six-story commemorative banner in downtown Akron
- Featured on Space Jam inspired mural in Akron near his alma mater (St. Vincent St. Mary) and his I Promise school
- Featured on "Cleveland is the Reason" mural in downtown Cleveland (with other notable Cleveland area figures)
- Honorary lockers at Ohio State's football and basketball facilities
|2008||More than a Game||Himself|
|2009||Square Roots: The Story of SpongeBob SquarePants|
|2021||Space Jam: A New Legacy||Himself||Also producer|
|2022||Black Ice||N/A||Executive producer|
|2004||My Wife and Kids||Himself||Episode: "Outbreak Monkey"|
|2005||The Simpsons||Episode: "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass"|
|2007||Saturday Night Live||Episode: "LeBron James/Kanye West"|
|2009||Entourage||Episode: "Give a Little Bit"|
|SpongeBob SquarePants||Episode: "SpongeBob's Truth or Square"|
|2011||The Cleveland Show||Episode: "A Short Story and a Tall Tale"|
|2011–2014||The LeBrons||Lead role|
|2015||Survivor's Remorse||Episode: "Guts"|
|2016||Teen Titans Go!||Episode: "The Cruel Giggling Ghoul"|
|2017–present||The Wall||N/A||Executive producer|
|2020||Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020|
|2022||Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers||Himself||Documentary series|
In Spanish: LeBron James para niños
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