50 Interesting Facts About LeBron James

Last updated on May 12th, 2021

LeBron James is one of the most talented, versatile, and dedicated players in NBA history. Since his professional debut in 2003, he has captivated audiences with his power, grace, and tenacity.

Look at the NBA record book, and find the names of players who ever accomplished something on the basketball pitch. The name ‘LeBron James’ appears so much in this book that it can as well be renamed the ‘King James’ book.

LeBron James and Michael Jordan are two of the standout players of their era. Their accomplishments, milestones, and legacies are often debated and discussed.

James is commonly labeled “the greatest basketball player of all-time.” This has led him to be compared to Michael Jordan. In a 2016 Sports Illustrated interview, James said that his ultimate goal is surpassing Jordan as the greatest.

Polls suggest that Jordan is ahead with James coming in second place. In most polls, older voters are choosing Jordan while younger ones are selecting James. According to Sam Quinn of CBS Sports, LeBron James is the best challenger to Jordan’s status as the greatest NBA player of all time.

LeBron James during a game
LeBron James during a game against Washington Wizards. Interesting facts about LeBron James. Image credit – Alexandra Walt

50 Interesting facts about LeBron James.

Childhood

1. His First Basketball Moves Were Practiced Under a Milk-Crate Hoop

While still a toddler, older boys taught LeBron James his first basketball moves under a hoop made of a milk crate fastened to a telephone pole using nails. This was the first hoop that James encountered. The nails that fastened this hoop still exist.

2. A Football Coach Noticed LeBron’s Sportsmanship When He Was Only 9 Years

Without Brian Kelker, a coach of a football youth team, James couldn’t have been the person he is today. Kelker was searching for youth footballers and when he encountered LeBron and his friends, he asked them to participate in a footrace. LeBron won by 15 yards and was recruited to join the East Dragons youth football team at only 9 years.

3. LeBron James Ran a Long Touchdown of 80 Yards During His First Handoff for the East Dragons

After this touchdown, the pieces of his chaotic life began to coagulate. Kelker became the most important mentor in LeBron’s youth. It is Kelker who made it possible for James to discover his basketball talent.

4. Most People Thought LeBron Was Too Big To Be 9 Years

During subsequent games for East Dragons, most parents started complaining that James was too fast and too big to be 9 years. They insisted on seeing his birth certificate.

5. LeBron James Spent Two-Thirds of His Childhood Without a Permanent Home

From 3 years up until he was in high school, LeBron James spent almost two-thirds of his life without a permanent home. They used to move every few months with his mother from one friend’s apartment to the next. They relied on friends and relatives for accommodation and LeBron used to sleep on the couch.

6. In Fourth Grade, James Missed Almost 100 Days of School

During fourth grade, LeBron and his mother moved houses around 6 times. James was worn out by the constant movement between houses which made him miss around 100 school days. LeBron had a difficult childhood. His family was poor and his father was in jail.

LeBron James
LeBron James. Image credit – Erik Drost

High School

7. LeBron Made The Cover of Sports Illustrated in February 2002 As a High School Junior

The Sports Illustrated cover story of February 2002 anointed LeBron James as “The Chosen One.” LeBron went on to tattoo “CHOSEN 1” across his back. By then, he was just a high school junior.

8. While Still in High School, ESPN Called LeBron, “NEXT”

LeBron’s talent started shinning in high school. After a breakout performance at a basketball showcase camp, ESPN called him “NEXT.”

9. The “King James” Nickname Started in High School

During his high school days, LeBron James was crowned “King James” by a local newspaper. Since then, “King James” has been LeBron’s nickname.

10. A Broken Wrist in High School Sealed His Basketball Fate

James played both basketball and football in high school. Some have speculated that he could have easily gone pro with football. Earlier in his senior year, he broke his wrist during a game. Because of the two-month recovery time, he decided to forego the football season to be fully healed for the senior basketball season.

11. LeBron Was Compared to Michael Jordan While in High School

Since he was a kid, he was always compared to Michael Jordan. The opening scene of the February 2002 Sports Illustrated issue drew comparisons between LeBron James and Michael Jordan. During his professional career, he is still being compared to MJ.

LeBron James on Fire. facts about Lebron James
Interesting facts about LeBron James. LeBron James on Fire, photoshop. Image credit – Shea Huening

Basketball Career

12. LeBron James won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013

His four MVP awards are only matched by Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Michael Jordan. LeBron James and Bill Russell are the only NBA players to win four MVP awards in a span of five years.

NBA Most Valuable Player Winners

SeasonPlayer name
2019-20Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee
2018-19Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee
2017-18James Harden, Houston
2016-17Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City
2015-16Stephen Curry, Golden State
2014-15Stephen Curry, Golden State
2013-14Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
2012-13LeBron James, Miami
2011-12LeBron James, Miami
2010-11Derrick Rose, Chicago
2009-10LeBron James, Miami
2008-09LeBron James, Miami
2007-08Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
2006-07Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
2005-06Steve Nash, Phoenix
2004-05Steve Nash, Phoenix
2003-04Kevin Garnett, Minnesota
2002-03Tim Duncan, San Antonio
2001-02Tim Duncan, San Antonio
2000-01Allen Iverson, Philadelphia

13. LeBron Has Been Selected 19 Times and Has Played in 18 All-Star Games

LeBron holds the record for the most All-Star selections among active NBA players. He also holds the record for most consecutive All-Star games played.

14. In 2019, He Was Selected As the Associated Press Male Athlete of The Decade

This adds his name to a list that includes Arnold Palmer, Wayne Gretzky, and Tiger Woods. He was chosen by a panel that was made up of Associated Press writers and sports editors.

15. James is One of The NBA All-Time Point Leaders

As of 2020, the active NBA player with the most career points is LeBron James. He holds third place on the all-time list after Kareem-Abdul Jabbar and Karl Malone.

RankPlayersPoints
1.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar38,387
2.Karl Malone36,928
3.LeBron James34,263
4.Kobe Bryant33,643
5.Michael Jordan32,292
6.Dirk Nowitzki31,560
7.Wilt Chamberlain31,419
8.Shaquille O'Neal28,596
9.Moses Malone27,409
10.Elvin Hayes27,313
11.Hakeem Olajuwon26,946
12.Oscar Robertson26,710
13.Dominique Wilkins26,668
14.Tim Duncan26,496
15.Carmelo Anthony26,446
16.Paul Pierce26,397
17.John Havlicek26,395
18.Kevin Garnett26,071
19.Vince Carter25,728
20.Alex English25,613
21.Reggie Miller25,279
22.Jerry West25,192
23.Patrick Ewing24,815
24.Ray Allen24,505
25.Allen Iverson24,368

16. LeBron Has Played in Eight Straight Finals

This is a feat that only a handful of players have ever accomplished. From 2010 to 2018, James played in every final. In that span, James has won three championships, in 2012, 2013 and 2016. 

17. James Holds Two Olympic Gold Medals

James was part of the 2008 and 2010 Team USA Basketball Team, where they won the Olympic gold medal.

18. In 2013, James Became the Youngest Player in NBA History to Score 20,000 Career Points

The shot that lifted LeBron to the 20,000 career point mark was a floater in the second quarter of a game between Miami Heats and Golden State Warriors.

19. LeBron Was One of The Most Anticipated First Overall Draft Picks In NBA History

LeBron was the second high school draftee to be chosen as a first overall pick. The first was Kwame Brown in 2001.

20. LeBron is one of the Greatest Hometown Stars Ever

James has played a majority of his professional career for his hometown team (Cavaliers.) That makes him a rare NBA star.

21. James Won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in the 2003-2004 NBA Season

He became the first cavalier to receive this award. He also became the third player in NBA history to average at least 5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 20 points per game as a rookie.

LeBron James shooting. LeBron James interesting facts
Interesting facts about LeBron James. Image credit – Erik Drost

Business and Marketing Career

22. LeBron’s Liverpool Investment

According to Business Insider, LeBron’s $6.5 million investment in Liverpool FC has grown over six times the original value. LeBron received a 2% stake for his investment. As of 2019, his stake is estimated to be worth around $43 million.

23. LeBron James Nike Deal

At the end of 2015, James signed a lifetime deal with Nike. This deal is estimated to be worth over $1 billion. His first deal with Nike, which he signed after coming out of high school, was worth $90 million.

24. LeBron Made $30 Million in Beats Acquisition

James received a small stake in Beats by Dr. Dre in exchange for promoting its high-end headphones. When the company was purchased by Apple, James realized a profit of over $30 million in cash and stock.

25. LeBron Is a Part Owner of Spring Hill Entertainment

James and his long-time business partner, Maverick Carter, formed Spring Hill Entertainment in 2007. This company has produced several top-rated documentaries and scripted series.

26. LeBron Has a Stake in Blaze Pizza Chain

According to an ESPN article, LeBron and his business partners initially invested $1 million in Blaze Pizza Chain. As of 2017, LeBron’s stake was worth at least $35 million.

27. LeBron’s Memorabilia

Memorabilia associated with James is highly demanded. Two of his rookie cards are ranked among the most expensive basketball cards ever auctioned. One of these cards sold for $1.8 million at auction. LeBron’s jersey for the 2020 NBA All-Star game sold for $630,000.

LeBron James during a game.
LeBron James during a game. Interesting facts about LeBron James. Image credit – Erik Drost

Personal Life

28. LeBron Had An Absent Father Who Inspired Him To be a Better Father

LeBron was born to a 16-year-old sophomore and his father was never present in his life, he was serving a prison sentence. In an interview with Drake, James said that growing up without a father pushed him to be a better dad to his three kids.

29. LeBron’s Mother

LeBron’s mother, Gloria James, has stood by his son’s side throughout his NBA journey. They remain very close to this day.

30. LeBron’s Siblings

LeBron has one half-brother, Aaron McClelland Gamble. However, they don’t have a close relationship.

LeBron James with his family
Interesting facts about LeBron James. LeBron James, Family at the “Small Foot” Premiere at the Village Theater on September 22, 2018 in Westwood, CA. Image credit – Kathy Hutchins

31. LeBron’s Wife

James met his future wife, Savannah Brinson, in high school. They married in 2013 and they have been blessed with three children.

32. LeBron’s Friends

LeBron James is very close to his friends from Akron. The families of some of these friends used to house LeBron and his mother when they were homeless. He has been spotted many times hanging out with these friends. Brandon is one of James’s closest friends. He was his teammate when he was studying at St. Mary High School in Akron.

33. He Once Rescued A Fellow Basketball Player

James revealed to Dave McMenamin of ESPN that he once rescued a fellow basketball player, Anthony McClelland, from drowning during a vacation in the Bahamas.

34. Healthy Lifestyle

James has heavily invested in his health. His dietary habits and exercise regimen are typical of a top athlete.

35. LeBron Never Forgot Where He Came From

LeBron has always cherished his roots. He played for his hometown team, Cavaliers, for eleven seasons. In a Sports Illustrated interview, James said that his relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. He was raised by many people in Akron, Ohio. Every few years, LeBron usually visits his childhood neighborhood in Akron, although the house where four generations of his family lived in no longer stands.

Philanthropy

36. Non Profit Organizations

LeBron James is an active supporter of non-profit organizations including Children’s Defense Fund and Boys & Girls Club of America.

37. LeBron James Family Foundation

This foundation was founded in 2006 and is based in Akron, Ohio. An annual bike-a-thon is usually organized by LeBron’s foundation to raise money for various causes.

38. Scholarships

LeBron has partnered with the University of Akron to offer scholarships to needy children beginning in 2021.

39. I Promise School

In 2019, LeBron James opened a new school in Akron: I Promise School. This school is aimed at at-risk children.

40. LeBron’s Housing Complex

LeBron is currently constructing a 50-unit housing complex in his hometown of Akron to help tackle homelessness. This housing complex will have dining, retail, and event spaces.

. . . continue reading on the next page