In 1984, NBA legend Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers lost the NBA Finals to Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics. Michael Jordan was just a rookie exploding on the NBA scene.
While those legends were paving the way for more to come, LeBron James was born in Akron, Ohio, on Dec. 30, 1984.
James showed early signs of basketball superstardom, but took the nation by storm as a high school prodigy. As a freshman on Vincent-St. Mary High School's basketball team, James averaged 18 points per game and helped the team to a Division III state title by scoring 25 points in the championship game.
By the time he was a high school sophomore, he was chosen for the USA Today All-USA First Team. When he was just 18 years old in 2003, he became the king of Nike, signing a $93 million contract before he was drafted into the NBA, earning more than any other basketball player in history.
During his senior year in high school, James declared himself eligible for the NBA draft. He was drafted in the first round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, and James became a household name. That same year, he became the youngest player to win Rookie of the Year.
James’ NBA career has been impeccable. He played on the 2004, 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic basketball teams — winning a team bronze medal and two team golds overall. James helped the Miami Heat win two consecutive NBA Championships in 2012 and 2013. He has broken numerous NBA records including becoming the youngest player to score 20,000 points at age 28 in January 2013.
James continues to be named and ranked among the best in NBA history as many critics predict that he will be the biggest name in the NBA of all time.
Follow Dominique Zonyéé on Twitter: @DominiqueZonyee.
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