Learn the intriguing untold story of how LeBron James earns the title ‘King James’ and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
When the media use words like iconic, game-changer, and superstar, most of us raise an eyebrow and brush off such terms because they are way overused. However, it is a different story when the media uses these terms to write about the superstar legend that is LeBron James.
Undeniably, James is the king of basketball. He is a three-time NBA finals MVP, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and four-time NBA champion.
Even so, people referred to James as King long before these impressive accomplishments, when he had yet to prove his full potential. Instead of letting us down, LeBron James proved that his nickname was important and foretold his future greatness.
How LeBron James Earns The Title ‘King James’:
King James: Three Versions of Origin
When legends are born, the stories of their early days also turn legendary, with people having their take on what happened. It is no wonder that there are three nickname versions of Lebron James.
The consensus is that James got his nickname in high school. In one version, the story goes that a local sportswriter gave him the nickname King James when he saw him play. James was already a superstar in high school, showing great promise thanks to his exceptional skills and potential.
The writer had even compared him to basketball legends Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.
In another version, the story goes that James started calling himself by that nickname. During an ESPN radio station interview, he says, “I’ve always called myself that, but I started calling myself that sometime during my sophomore or junior year at a Christian-themed high school.”
The third version, on the nickname’s origin, is told by Randy Mims, a childhood friend of LeBron James. Mims explains how the nickname came when James and his friend Maverick Carter won the state championship together. At the hotel, the kids began referring to the basketball player as King James.
No matter who got the idea to refer to LeBron James as King James, the important thing is that the basketball player has lived up to his nickname. This man has not disappointed in proving how talent, skills, potential, and consistent hard work translate into undeniable success.
James has another nickname that amasses the same kind of pressure as much as King James does — The Chosen One. James even got a tattoo on his back of The Chosen One, which was the headline for his Sports Illustrated cover in 2002.
How LeBron James Lives Up To His Nicknames
Great basketball players have come and gone, but many things make James a stand-out athlete. King James has an innate ability to focus on the game when it is time to play, getting into a zone that not all athletes can tap into. In one unforgettable season in 2007, the basketball player averaged 56 points per game, which is impressive.
James’ list of accomplishments is impressive, too. This basketball player has won two back-to-back Olympic gold medals. He is the NBA’s all-time top-scoring leader. James holds the record for most consecutive double-digit scoring games at 1096 games, most 20-point games in the history of the NBA, and most all-NBA First Team selections.
King James is also the only player in NBA history to record at least 30,000 points, 10,000 assists, and 10,000 rebounds.
His stats outside the court are as impressive. James is the first basketball player to reach billion-dollar status. Thanks to solid investments in brands and real estate, James has carved himself a place on the Forbes list of wealthiest athletes.
In 2020, James and Maverick Carter founded their entertainment and production company. James’ stake is estimated at $300 million as the largest single shareholder.
With such a list, it is hard to imagine that James was born in 1984 in Ohio and not in some other elusive galaxy where talent and skill drape the humans inhabiting it. The basketball player made a name for himself when he was still in high school. He was even named the best high school basketball player in the country.
As a sophomore, James was named first team on the USA team and Today’s All-USA team. James knew what he wanted to do with the rest of his life even when he was still so young; so he made a decision that would propel him into stardom.
Instead of going to college, James chose to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA after he was drafted, and he has never looked back. After years with the Cavettes, James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018; where he helped the team win its fourth NBA title.
Why LeBron James Deserves His Status As King
Talent, skill, and hard work have earned James his title, but his personality is another reason to call him King James. Despite his undeniable success, this basketball player has remained humble; praising his teammates and peers.
Moreover, his philanthropic work has helped communities as James has donated over 100 million dollars through his LeBron James Foundation.
Nowadays, talks about James’ retirement from basketball are a hot topic because the player is getting older. James admitted that after the Lakers lost in the Western Conference finals; he debated whether it was his time to retire.
However, fans worldwide heaved a sigh of relief when the basketball player announced his return for his 21st season in the NBA at the ESPYs; promising them another season to rejoice over his massive talent and presence on the court.