After almost four decades, LeBron James set a new NBA record. Here are some of the things you need to know about one of the best players in history
LeBron James, in full LeBron Raymone James Sr., is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. With 38,390 points, the American professional basketball player is now named as the leading scorer in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA). King James is now part of a lineage of record holders as he surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s previous record of 38,387 points last February 7, 2023. His reputation as one of this generation’s most promising athletes was cemented by this feat.
Before he became the iconic player he is today, LeBron first showed his prowess in basketball in a small college preparatory school in Ohio. In 1999, the 14-year old freshman James caught the attention of many basketball enthusiasts. In fact, some of his games during his senior year were moved to the University of Akron just to accommodate the number of people lining up to watch him play.
During his four year stay at the St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, the young athlete won three state championships. He also received other awards like the Gatorade National Player of the Year, USA Today High School Player, and Mr. Basketball USA.
Being the most heralded high school player of his batch, LeBron James was the first pick in the star-studded NBA draft in 2003. With only 22.50% of probability, the odds worked in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ favor when they won the NBA draft lottery and had James join the team. The 18-year old basketball player made a remarkable start when he scored 25 points, six rebounds, and nine assists in his first career game. Because of this phenomenal performance, James was the first Cavalier to receive the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
NBA Career summary
In his first few years with the Cavaliers, James quickly established himself. He was easily chosen as one of the Eastern Conference All-Star forwards during his second season. In his third season, he led the team to its first playoff appearance in nine years. During the 2006 to 2007 season, he brought Cleveland to their first berth in the finals. Although they did not win the seven-game series in the Eastern Conference semifinals of 2007 to 2008, they were able to redeem themselves during the 2008 to 2009 season and led him to getting the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. In 2009 to 2010, James was named the Most Valuable Player once more.
After his memorable stint with the Cavaliers, James announced his decision to join the Miami Heat. The team advanced to the NBA finals in his first year with them. Although they did not get the championship, the Miami Heat undoubtedly gave the Dallas Mavericks a run for their money. During the 2011 to 2012 season, James won his third MVP Award and led Miami to its second consecutive NBA finals placement. The Heat won against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the championship game, and LeBron was named Finals MVP. His streak continued the following season, when he won his fourth league MVP award.
In the Eastern Conference of 2014 to 2015, he went back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Averaging 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game, James delivered one of the most outstanding individual performances in finals history. He brought the team its first two finals victories. James had a strong season in 2015 to 2016 and became the first person to lead all five statistical categories for players on both teams in the finals. He consequently earned the title of MVP for the finals game. However, just like every athlete out there, his career had its downs too. They had their two consecutive NBA Finals defeats to the Warriors in the 2016 to 2017 and 2017 to 2018 seasons.
The following season, James played for the Los Angeles Lakers. He performed impressively but he missed a lot of games because he suffered from a strained groin. The Lakers’ struggles were evident during his absence which also ended his personal playoff streak at 13 seasons. Then, COVID happened. After being on hold for a while, the games resumed in July 2020 with a shortened schedule. The LA Lakers defeated the Miami Heat and snatched the 17th NBA title. On top of that, LeBron also earned his fourth finals MVP award.
Aside from his NBA accomplishments, LeBron James was also a member of the United States men’s Olympic basketball teams. His team won a bronze medal at the 2004 Games, a gold medal at the 2008 Games, and a gold medal at the 2012 Games.
Notable achievements and accomplishments
Some of the awards received by James during his early years with Cleveland are the NBA Rookie Rookie of the Year, 6-time NBA All-Star, 2-time NBA All-Star Game MVP, and 2-time NBA Most Valuable Player. During his seasons with Miami Heat, he also received recognitions such as the NBA Finals MVP and NBA MVP, both for two consecutive years. When he came back to Cleveland, he was regarded as the NBA Finals MVP of 2016, 4-time NBA All-Star, and NBA All-Star Game MVP of 2018. Now that James is already with the LA Lakers, the recognitions still keep on coming. Some of his latest awards include the NBA Finals MVP of 2020, 5-time NBA All-Star, NBA assists leader of 2020, and of course, the NBA all-time scoring leader of 2023.
Other awards and recognitions
In 2012, the Miami Heat player back then received his first Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year award. He received his second in 2016 and the third in 2020. In 2013, James was named as the Athlete of the Year by The Associated Press for the first time. He got his second in 2016, third in 2018, and fourth in 2020. King James also leads the list of the NBA players who have the most Best NBA Player award from ESPY. He received the award in 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2018.