From the moment he burst onto the scene at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s high school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, LeBron James has been dubbed “The Chosen One”. Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the number one pick of the 2003 NBA Draft, James was taken to turn around his city’s franchise. The hype surrounding James was unheard of for his time, as the athlete was one of the first superstars to develop throughout the social media era of the world. Let’s take a look through the career of one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game.
First stint in Cleveland
The Rookie of the Year
LeBron got off to a hot start averaging 20.9 points, 5.9 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game. These numbers were not good enough to lead the Cavaliers to the playoffs, but James turned heads all year long taking home Rookie of the Year.
The emergence of a superstar
Even with great first and second seasons, you could consider this LeBron’s first year of sheer dominance. The King averaged a career-high 31.4 points per game to go along with seven rebounds and 6.6 assists. He carried the Cavaliers to the playoffs (lost to the Detroit Pistons in the second round) and finished second in the leagues’ Most Valuable Player voting. James has yet to miss the playoffs since 2006.
The 2007 NBA Playoffs beheld one of the ultimate LeBron James career moments. Facing the veteran Pistons for the second year in a row, this time the stage was the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cavs went down 2-0 to start the series but took care of business at home tying the series 2-2. In a crucial Game 5 on the road, LeBron exploded for 48 points, nine rebounds and seven assists securing the win for Cleveland and altering the momentum of the series. The Cavs won the next two games and James made his first NBA Finals appearance. Matched up with an experienced San Antonio Spurs team with the likes of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, they swept the Cavaliers in four games.
In the 2007-08 season, LeBron responded to The Finals loss with the first scoring title of his career averaging 30 points per game. The Cavaliers advanced to the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs but were eliminated by the Boston Celtics’ new ‘Big 3’ of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. The Celtics would go on to win The Finals that year.
The league’s back-to-back Most Valuable Player
In 2008-09, he led the Cavs in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals and was rewarded with his first Most Valuable Player award. James also finished second for the Defensive Player of the Year award and earned his first of five All-Defensive Team honors.
The 2009 playoffs were textbook in LeBron carrying his t