The accomplishments of young NBA phenomenon LeBron James could fill a biography book — several biographies, even.
Often compared to legends Michael Jordanand Kobe Bryant, James holds his own in the stat books and the honor rolls, and quickly became a popular athlete for children and adults alike during his 2003-04 rookie season.
Since then, he has racked up a large number of awards, joined very exclusive clubs in regards to statistics, and become one of the best-known faces of the NBA, and no one expects him to slow down any time soon.
Even in high school, LeBron James was famous. As a senior, he averaged over 30 points per game, as well as almost ten rebounds and five assists, and had already made appearances on Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine.
The Cleveland Cavaliers had the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, and snatched James up, watching him quickly blossom into the star they hoped he would be. He became the youngest person to score 40 points in one game on March 27, 2004, and the youngest player ever to win the Rookie of the Year Award.
This was no easy feat; James’s class of 2003 included the Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony, the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, and the Toronto Raptors’ Chris Bosh.
James’s rookie season honors were only the tip of the iceberg. In his next season, he was named to his first Eastern All-Star Team, starting alongside household names such as Allen Iverson, Vince Carter, Grant Hill, and Shaquille O’Neal.
This nomination made him the youngest player to be named to the All-Star teams. Since then, James has an unbroken streak of nominations to the All-Star teams. In both 2006, James took home the All-Star Game MVP award, making him — surprise! — the youngest player to take that honor. He also won the award in 2008.
LeBron James became the league’s Most Valuable Player for the 2008-09 season.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were thrilled, as he was the first player from their franchise to take home the honors, and because he earned the award by dropping 28.4 points, yanking 7.6 rebounds, and handing out 7.2 assists per game.
However, James has not been able to lead his team to a significant playoff victory, as the Cavaliers have made it to the NBA Finals, but lost to the San Antonio Spurs in 2007.
During the 2004-05 season, LeBron James added his name to the list of players ever to record a triple-double, becoming — you guessed it! — the youngest player to achieve that statistic. He and Oscar Robertson are the only two players in history to average 27 points, six rebounds, and six assists for three consecutive years.
As if that weren’t enough, James reached the 10,000 point mark on February 27, 2008, making him the youngest player to hit that mark by over a year. More recently, he passed 15,000 points in a 2010 game, still the youngest player to achieve that number.
LeBron James is respected in international basketball circles as well as his home country circuit. Joining a rather disappointing USA Basketball team in the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, James, fresh off his rookie season, only averaged 11.4 minutes of playing time and 5.4 points per game on the way to the medal stand.
However, the bronze medal finish lit a fire under the U.S. program, and James was named one of the captains, thanks to his experience with the frenzy of international basketball. Per game, he dropped almost 16 points, pulled down over five rebounds, and dished out almost four assists to lead USA Men’s Basketball to a gold-medal victory against Spain.