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LeBron James

Real name:
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Before his NBA debut, James signed an unprecedented US$90 million shoe contract with Nike. He has since set numerous youngest player records. In his first season, he received the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and in the following three seasons received All-NBA and All-Star honors. He led the Cavaliers to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2006 and 2007; the latter year the team advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1992 and the NBA Finals for the first time in Cleveland's history.

James is listed as a small forward, but can also play point guard and shooting guard. This versatility has led to his unofficial classification as a "point forward". James was a member of the United States men's national basketball team that won the bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, and he finished second in the league Most Valuable Player balloting in 2006.

James attended St. Vincent - St. Mary High School (SVSM) in Akron, Ohio and was named the starting point guard for the Fighting Irish. He averaged 18 points and 6.2 rebounds, and led the team to a 27–0 record, en route to the Division III state title.

As an avid football player, James was also named First-Team All-State as a wide receiver. However, injury concerns led James to concentrate solely on basketball.

Gloria James created a firestorm of controversy when she was allowed to use her son's future earning power as collateral to secure a bank loan to buy an $80,000 Hummer H2 for her son's 18th birthday. The event prompted an investigation by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA). Under the OHSAA guidelines, no amateur may accept any gift valued over $100 as a reward for athletic performance. When James later accepted two throwback basketball jerseys worth $845 from NEXT, an urban clothing store in Shaker Square, in exchange for his posing for pictures to be displayed on the store's walls, OHSAA stripped him of his eligibility. James appealed and a judge blocked the ruling, reducing the penalty to a two-game suspension and allowing him to play the remainder of the season. However, James's team was forced to forfeit one of their wins as a result. That forfeit loss was the team's only official loss that season.

At the end of the season, James negotiated a three year contract extension, with a player option for a fourth year. The contract is worth US$60 million and begins at the start of the 2007-08 NBA season. Although it is for fewer years and less money than the maximum he could sign, it allows him the option of seeking a new contract worth more money as an unrestricted free agent following the 2010 season.

In the first round of the playoffs, James led the Cavaliers to their first sweep in franchise history over the Washington Wizards in four games. It was also the first time the franchise has won consecutive road playoff games. For the series, James averaged 27.8 points, 7.5 assists, and 8.5 rebounds. In the second round of the playoffs, James led the Cavaliers to a 4–2 series victory over the New Jersey Nets. He averaged 25.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 8.6 assists in the series, as the Cavaliers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 15 years.

During the 2007 NBA Playoffs, James drew criticism when he declined to sign a petition started by his teammate, Ira Newble, regarding the Chinese government's involvement in the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan.


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