Olympic Athletes >> LeBron James
- Date of birth
Cleveland Cavaliers (2003-2010), Miami Heat (since 2011)
Olympic Games (2 medals - 1 gold, 1 bronze)
- 1st (2008), 3rd (2004)
World Championships (1 medal - 1 bronze)
- 3rd: (2006)
- NBA Championship: finalist (2007, 2011)
- MVP of the season (2009, 2010, 2012)
- 8 All-Star Game appearances (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
- MVP of the All Star Game (2006, 2008)
- NBA rookie of the year (2004)
King James now ruling in Miami
Lebron James was the first pick overall in the 2003 draft and has since gone on to win a hat-trick of Most Valuable Player awards as well as being named to the NBA All-Star team on eight occasions as he continues to enhance his reputation as arguably the best player in the game today.
While he was originall drafted by the Cleveland Cavalliers, a high-profile, yet controversial big money move to the Miami Heat in 2010 provoked an outrage of bitterness towards the man known as 'King James' as Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert accused him of "cowardly betrayal" and fans burned his jersey in protest.
He has yet to win the NBA crown, he craves despite leading the Cavalliers to the finals in 2007, the club's first appearance in the championship series before falling to the San Antonio Spurs.
He also reached the final series in 2011, only for Dirk Nowitzki's Dallas Mavericks to deprive the Heat in six games.
The 2.03m, 113kg giant was however crucial in leading the USA team to the 2008 Olympic gold medal where they beat Spain and he was the NBA top scorer during the same campaign for just a glimpse of his finest moments.
He has said he wants to become one of sport's rare billionaires and few would bet against him achieving this with millions of dollars from contracts and sponsors deals already tucked away in his bank account, including a salary alone of over 16 million dollars in 2012.
He was already a star long before his NBA debut and when the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted him number one in 2003 from St. Vincent-St. Mary high school, Nike were so sure he would go onto greatness, they offered him a 90 million dollar shoe contract before he had even played a professional game.
A player who can play at guard or forward, he became the youngest player to score 40 points when he poured in 41 against the New Jersey Nets in his rookie season at just 19.
Looking to defend Olympic title
At international level, he was on the USA team that picked up Olympic bronze in Athens in 2004 in what was widely slated as a disaster and two years later, the American's again lost in the semi-finals of the world championships once again returning with just the bronze.
Rewarded with a multi-million dollar contract with Cleveland, the Cavalliers were rewarded with a play-off spot in 2006 and one year later reached the conference finals for the first time in 15 years.
Game five of that series against Detroit will forever live in the memory after James scored 29 of the final 30 points scored by his team during an epic double overtime win that was described by some as one of the greatest play-off performances ever.
After leaving for Miami in 2010 and a place in a star-studded line-up that includes Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat came up just short against the Mavericks in the 2011 championship series.
At international level, James will again spearhead the USA charge at the London Olympics in 2012 where they will look to retain the crown the won in such style at Beijing where they outclassed the Spanish in the gold medal match.
Copyright 2012 Agence France-Presse.