James in 2014
|No. 23 â€“ Cleveland Cavaliers|
December 30, 1984 |
|Listed height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight||250 lb (113 kg)|
|High school||St. Vincentâ€“St. Mary
|NBA draft||2003 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Career highlights and awards|
3Ã— NBA champion (2012, 2013, 2016)
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Where I grew up – I grew up on the north side of Akron, lived in the projects. So those scared and lonely nights – that's every night. You hear a lot of police sirens, you hear a lot of gunfire. Things that you don't want your kids to hear growing up.
I love watching track and field – the 4×100 relay, the 100-(meter) dash, the 200-(meter) dash. To see what they're able to do, I love watching that.
When I was 5, some financial things happened, and I moved seven times in a year. We moved from apartment to apartment, sometimes living with friends. My mom would always say, 'Don't get comfortable, because we may not be here long.'
I like to get out and get up the court, using my speed and aggressiveness toward the hoop.
When did I know I had talent? I think it started when I first started playing sports, organized sports.
You know, I'm just 6'9" and 260. And just so happen to be very good at playing the game of basketball.
I've always been an unselfish guy, and that's the only way I know how to play on the court and I try to play to the maximum of my ability – not only for myself but for my teammates.
You know, God gave me a gift to do other things besides play the game of basketball.
As a kid, we would drive up and down 77 North – that's our highway – there would be office buildings on the side of the highway and I'd be like, that's what my house is going to look like when I get older. I'm going to start making my house look like this.
My father wasn't around when I was a kid, and I used to always say, 'Why me? Why don't I have a father? Why isn't he around? Why did he leave my mother?' But as I got older I looked deeper and thought, 'I don't know what my father was going through, but if he was around all the time, would I be who I am today?'
I was so used to going out and winning state championships and playing in the postseason.
I won at every level – all the way since I started playing the game of basketball at nine. I've won at every level, won championships at every level. And, you know, it won't be fulfilled until I win at the highest level.
I think, team first. It allows me to succeed, it allows my team to succeed.
Well, I mean, to me, I think my ultimate – my ultimate goal is winning championships and – and I understand that me going down as one of the greats will not happen until I, you know, win a championship.
Akron, Ohio, is my home. I will always be here. I'm still working out at my old high school.
As a professional athlete a lot is going to be said about you – but I just try to move forward and try to achieve my goals.
But now, being a parent, I go home and see my son and I forget about any mistake I ever made or the reason I'm upset. I get home and my son is smiling or he comes running to me. It has just made me grow as an individual and grow as a man.
Akron, Ohio, is my home. It will always be remembered. Akron, Ohio, is my life.
Once you get on the playing field it's not about whether you're liked or not liked. All that matters is to play at a high level and do whatever it takes to help your team win. That's what it's about.
You can't be afraid to fail. It's the only way you succeed – you're not gonna succeed all the time, and I know that.
I hate letting my teammates down. I know I'm not going to make every shot. Sometimes I try to make the right play, and if it results in a loss, I feel awful. I don't feel awful because I have to answer questions about it. I feel awful in that locker room because I could have done something more to help my teammates win.
But sports carried me away from being in a gang, or being associated with drugs. Sports was my way out.
I don't know how tall I am or how much I weigh. Because I don't want anybody to know my identity. I'm like a superhero. Call me Basketball Man.
You know, my family and friends have never been yes-men: 'Yes, you're doing the right thing, you're always right.' No, they tell me when I'm wrong, and that's why I've been able to stay who I am and stay humble.
When you have that respect from your teammates, it makes it a lot more comfortable.
My mom and I have always been there for each other. We had some tough times, but she was always there for me.
Being the only man in the household with my mom definitely helped me grow up fast.
To all the positions, I just bring the determination to win. Me being an unselfish player, I think that can carry on to my teammates. When you have one of the best players on the court being unselfish, I think that transfers to the other players.
I played football for a team called the East Dragons on the east side of town. We only had six regular season games. And six games I played tail back and I had 18 touchdowns in six games. That's when I knew I had some athletic ability.
I'm going to use all my tools, my God-given ability, and make the best life I can with it.
I'm a pretty funny guy, and I would love to do a comedy with a bunch of funny guys – movie-star guys, where they could help me through it.
I mean, when you grow up in the inner city and you grow up in a single-parent household, that's – those are humbling times, you know?
Every night on the court I give my all, and if I'm not giving 100 percent, I criticize myself.
Warren Buffet told me once and he said always follow your gut. When you have that gut feeling, you have to go with don't go back on it.
I hear my friends and my mom tell me I'm special, but honestly, I still don't get it.
You know, when I have a bad game, it continues to humble me and know that, you know, you still have work to do and you still have a lot of people to impress.
I need music. It's like my heartbeat, so to speak. It keeps me going no matter what's going on – bad games, press, whatever!
I'm not going to fight because I mean too much to our team, and I can't afford to be suspended for a game or do something stupid to get me kicked out of a playoff game.
There are some teams and logos you see, no matter where you are in the world, and you know exactly who they are and what they mean.
When you have that respect from your teammates, it makes it a lot more comfortable.
I always say, decisions I make, I live with them. There's always ways you can correct them or ways you can do them better. At the end of the day, I live with them.
For me, already being part of a single parent household and knowing it was just me and my mom, you'd would wake up times and hope that the next day you'd be able to be alongside your mother because she was out trying to make sure that I was taken care of. But all I cared about was her being home.
Your teammates give you the confidence. They give me the confidence all year, all postseason.
Basketball is my passion, I love it. But my family and friends mean everything to me. That's what's important. I need my phone so I can keep in contact with them at all times.
If a great opportunity opens itself up, I would love to be involved… or star in a movie.
There are always people always asking you for something. But I feel like I have a foundation. I have a supporting cast where it doesn't bother me too much.
Volleyball, I could be pretty good. After a few practices I could be that striker, or whatever they call it.
There is a lot of pressure put on me, but I don't put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel if I play my game, it will take care of itself.
I love showcasing my talents – not only to my hometown fans and my own team but to the world.
When you work out or you're doing anything active, it's more fun as a group. You may lose track of the time, and the next thing you know, you're working out for two hours because you're having fun.
Sometimes in the past when I played something might make me lose focus, or I would go home after a game where I thought I could have played better and I would let it hang over my head for a long time when it shouldn't.
I have short goals – to get better every day, to help my teammates every day – but my only ultimate goal is to win an NBA championship. It's all that matters. I dream about it. I dream about it all the time, how it would look, how it would feel. It would be so amazing.
My game is really played above time. I don't say that like I'm saying I'm ahead of my time. I'm saying, like, if I'm on the court and I throw a pass, the ball that I've thrown will lead my teammate right where he needs to go, before he even knows that that's the right place to go to.