Masters Of The Game: Lebron James
He came into the world in Akron, Ohio, where he grew up cheering on the Chicago Bulls.
James was born the same year that Michael Jordan entered the NBA.
He played high school basketball at the St.
Vincent - St.
Mary High School in Akron.
Unlike Michael Jordan who did not make the varsity team until his junior year, James became a starter as a freshman.
He averaged 21 points a game during his freshman year.
This average increased to over 25 points a game as a sophomore, to 29 points per game as a junior and finally to over 31 points per game as a senior.
James was the very first sophomore ever named to the USA today All-USA First Team.
His high school career was not without controversy when as a senior his mother purchased a Hummer H2 for his 18th birthday.
When making the loan for the vehicle, the bank took into consideration his future earning potential, but the purchase still resulted in an investigation by Ohio High School Athletic Association.
While investigating James, it was discovered the he had accepted two throwback jerseys valued at $845.
This result in the loss of his eligibility to play high school basketball.
James was successful in his appeal, reducing the penalty to a two game suspension.
This suspension resulted in his team forfeiting one of their games, this game was their only loss for the entire season.
In spite of the many distractions, he was still able to lead his team to their third state championship title.
He entered the NBA in 2003 with the Cleveland Cavaliers and he played with them until the 2010 season when he left to join the Miami Heat.
His decision to leave the Cavaliers was criticized not simply by the fans in Cleveland but also by some of the greats of the game, including Michael Jordan.
Jordan stated that he would have never gotten on the phone with the other high caliber players of his time to coordinate a move to a team to play together.
Jordan's competitive spirit lead him to want to beat Bird and Johnson not simply play on a team with them.
Given the fact that Jordan lead the Bulls to a total of 6 NBA championships, this is not surprising.
James was never able to bring a championship to Cleveland and is searching for his first championship ring in Miami.
During the course of his career, James was voted as the NBA's Most Valuable player twice in both 2009 and 2010.
He was the 2004 NBA Rookie of the Year and he won the league's Scoring Championship in 2008.
James is clearly a very gifted athlete with many years of basketball ahead of him.