LeBron Raymone James Sr. is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed "King James", he is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time and is often compared to Michael Jordan in debates over the greatest basketball player ever. James has won four NBA championships, four NBA MVP awards, four NBA Finals MVP awards, three All-Star MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals. James has scored the most points in the playoffs, the second most career points, and has the seventh most career assists. He has been selected an NBA All-Star 18 times, to the All-NBA Team a record 18 times, and to the NBA All-Defensive First Team five times. He has competed in ten NBA Finals, the third most all time, including eight consecutively between 2011 and 2018. In 2021, James was selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, and in 2022 became the first player in NBA history to accumulate 10,000 or more career points, rebounds, and assists.
James played basketball for St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and was heavily touted by the national media as a future NBA superstar. A prep-to-pro, he was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft. Named the 2004 NBA Rookie of the Year, he soon established himself as one of the league's premier players, winning the NBA MVP award in 2009 and 2010. After failing to win a championship with Cleveland, James left in 2010 as a free agent to join the Miami Heat; this was announced in the television special The Decision and is among the most controversial free-agent decisions in sports history.
James won his first two NBA championships while playing for the Heat in 2012 and 2013; in both of these years, he also earned the league's MVP and Finals MVP awards. After his fourth season with the Heat in 2014, James opted out of his contract to re-sign with the Cavaliers. In 2016, he led the Cavaliers to victory over the Golden State Warriors in the Finals by coming back from a 3–1 deficit, delivering the team's first championship and ending the Cleveland sports curse. In 2018, James exercised his contract option to leave the Cavaliers and signed with the Lakers, where he won the 2020 NBA championship and his fourth Finals MVP. James is also the first player in NBA history to accumulate $1 billion in earnings as an active player.
Off the court, James has accumulated more wealth and fame from numerous endorsement contracts. He has been featured in books, documentaries (including winning two Sports Emmy Awards as an executive producer), and television commercials. He has won 19 ESPY Awards, hosted Saturday Night Live, and starred in the sports film Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021). James has been a part-owner of Liverpool F.C. since 2011 and leads the LeBron James Family Foundation, which has opened an elementary school, housing complex, retail plaza/community center, and medical center in Akron.