LeBron Raymone James Sr. (; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Often considered the best player in the world and regarded by many as one of the greatest players of all time, James has won three NBA titles, and four NBA Most Valuable Player awards. He has also won three NBA Finals Most Valuable Player awards, amassed fourteen NBA All-Star selections, and six NBA All-Defensive Team designations. He has also won two Olympic gold medals and a NBA scoring title.
Born and raised in the small city of Akron, Ohio, James played high school basketball for St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in his hometown. He was heavily touted in the media as a future NBA superstar, after helping the school win several divisional championships. He began his senior career at age 18, after being selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003 NBA Draft. A prep-to-pro, James quickly emerged as a league star and concluded his first season by winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. By age 19, he had received NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award nominations, at age 24, he won his first MVP award. However, after an inability to secure a league championship, James was the subject of a highly controversial free agency decision in 2010, when he moved from the Cavaliers to the Miami Heat in a television special titled The Decision.
In Miami, James won his first NBA championship in 2012. He followed that with another title a year later, and was named league MVP and NBA Finals MVP in both championship years. In 2014, James opted out of his contract with Miami, and he rejoined the Cavaliers. During his four year return, he led Cleveland to their first NBA championship in 2016, whereby he became the first player in NBA history to lead all players in a playoff series in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. The victory also ended Cleveland's 52-year professional sports title drought. A year later, James broke several franchise records in Cleveland, before he again departed, signing with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018.
A U.S. international, James made his senior debut for the United States in 2004 at age 18, and has since had 24 appearances, including appearing in three major tournaments. He won a bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics, and won the same prize at the 2006 FIBA World Championship. James then featured heavily as he led the team to secure gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics, before repeating the accomplishment at the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he joined Michael Jordan, his perceived career rival, as the only players to win an NBA MVP award, NBA championship, NBA Finals MVP, and Olympic gold medal in the same year. He also holds the record for most assists for the national team. One of the world's most marketable athletes, James is consistently ranked among the world's highest-paid and most famous people.