He was sent like a gift from the basketball gods upon Michael Jordan's (second) retirement from the NBA, labeled "The Chosen One" on the cover of Sports Illustrated at the age of 17. Amazingly, LeBron James has more than lived up to the hype brought on by his otherworldly teenage skills. James combines Jordan's intensity and will to win with the court vision and charisma of Magic Johnson, somehow without ever appearing the prima donna. A born showman, he plays to the crowd with high-flying dunk displays in warm-ups, followed by elaborate dances with teammates that go well beyond the standard chest-bumping. While demonstrating early in his career to be very much like Mike (wearing Jordan's No. 23), James shows more promise than Jordan in performing off the court. The affable James enthusiastically showed off his creativity, acting instincts, and dance moves as a 2007 guest host of Saturday Night Live and as co-host (with Jimmy Kimmel) of ESPN's 2007 ESPY Awards. Perhaps "King James'" easiness on stage was forged during his high-profile prep career in Akron, OH, where Kristopher Belman's cameras followed James' every move as a senior while making More Than a Game (2008). The documentary details the heartwarming bond James shared with four longtime classmates as they played the most nationally televised high school season ever.
Biography by Roger Leister
- Has a tattoo of his mother's name, Gloria, on his arm.
- Was an all-state football player in high school.
- Received a $90 million endorsement contract from Nike before he ever played a pro game.
- Was chosen first overall in the 2003 NBA draft.
- In 2007, topped Forbes magazine's list of Top Earning Superstars under 25.
- In 2008, became only the third man to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine.
- Became a free agent in 2010 and, after widespread speculation on his choice of a new team, announced that he would join the Miami Heat on an ESPN program devoted exclusively to the announcement.
- Left the Heat after four seasons and rejoined the Cavaliers in 2014.
- Has won four MVP awards, two NBA Championships and two Olympic gold medals.
- Produces the Starz series Survivor's Remorse, which is loosely based on his life.
- Is nicknamed "King" James.