The Legacy of LeBron James

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Erik Drost - Flickr - CC BY 2.0

When LeBron James entered the NBA as the most hyped up player on the surface of the planet, expectations were tremendously high, and he managed to meet and exceed those expectations. Not only have we witnessed a plethora of breathtaking basketball, but we have also seen LeBron change the league forever before our very eyes. Here’s how.

Starting with athleticism, James is 6’8 and 250 pounds of pure muscle. Think of world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua, to put that in perspective. Ok, James is between 15 and 20 pounds heavier and three inches taller. According to Phil Handy, assistant coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James is a “freak athlete” and has a basketball IQ that rivals the intellect the NBA greats had. James was an excellent football player as well, apart from basketball. James’ high school football stats for the junior season were also solid. Before leaving football behind to focus solely on basketball, he caught 57 passes for 1,160 yards and 16 TDs.In fact, only one Hall of Fame player might think of his high school football coach to compare James to that man’s hall of fame wide receiver, Randy Moss. James also takes care of his body, and some outlets have also revealed that LeBron James spends $1.5 million a year to keep his body fit. This covers all the expenses including his gym, coaches, and styles of equipment of personal use.

With James’ athleticism established, let’s move on to his accolades. One of the most impressive resumes in professional basketball history has been put together by James. As most of his doubters point out, he may have a losing record in the Finals, but he also has more individual awards and awards than the majority of active players combined. In reality, his longevity and durability have been one of the most impressive things about James’ career. I mean, over 17 seasons, he’s managed to stay important and dominant. He’s already an MVP nominee to this day, an All-Star, and unanimously considered to be one of the league’s best players. This year, he is about to turn 36. So, let’s take a look at James’ 17-year journey, walking through every single accolade he’s won since being drafted 1st overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

2003-2010 (Cleveland Cavaliers) *

  • Rookie of the Year
  • 2x MVP 
  •  6 All-Star games 
  •  2x All-Star MVP
  • Olympic Bronze and Gold Medal
  • NBA Scoring champion

2010-2014 (Miami Heat)

  • 2x NBA Champion
  • 2x Finals MVP
  • 4 All-Star games
  • 2x MVP
  • Olympic Gold Medal

2014-18 (Cleveland Cavaliers) 

  • NBA Champion
  • Finals MVP
  • 4 All-Star games
  • All-Star MVP

2018-Current

  • 2 All-Star games
  • NBA Champion
  • Finals MVP

The proof of James’s leadership style is both on and off the basketball court in his findings, While all of his individual accomplishments are outstanding, it is the team accomplishments that are so remarkable. 

In his 14-year career, not only were his teams in the NBA Finals nine times, but he won three NBA Championships. 

Off the field, a public elementary school built in collaboration with the LeBron James Family Foundation to help struggling students stay in school in his home town of Akron, Ohio, is just as consistent in building the “I Promise School.”  

And his game overall speaks for itself. Let ‘s start off with his new season. LeBron appeared in all 82 games in 2017-18, at 33 years of age, and averaged a mind-boggling 27.5 points, 9.1 assists, 8.6 rebounds, 1.8 3-pointers and 1.4 steals, while shooting 54.2 percent from the court. In a full season, he became the first player ever to average more than 27 points, nine assists and eight rebounds while still shooting better than 52%. 

To help put these statistics in perspective, Michael Jordan never scored more than 8.0 assists, or scored more than 8.0 rebounds, or shot above 54 percent from the field in any season in his entire career. 

Although some diehard old-school fans have never even given him the benefit of the doubt, LeBron James has everything to become the greatest player on earth.

* All statistics are courtesy of Basketball-reference.com