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15 Shocking Facts About LeBron James

Shocking LeBron James facts

LeBron James: 4x NBA Champion, 4x MVP, 4x Finals MVP, 17x All-Star and so on. These are not exactly shocking LeBron James facts, but we’re about to get there.

The accolades just go on and on and on. The current Los Angeles Laker is a Hall-of-Fame lock and is arguably the greatest player of all time. With this, throughout his glittering career, King James has amassed countless achievements and has produced many iconic moments to boot. From game-winning buzzer-beaters against in random regular season games to completing the greatest comeback in NBA Finals history, Bron’s scrapbook of memorable NBA moments is as vast as any other player.

In this piece, however, we take a look and discuss 15 things about LeBron James that aren’t as well-known. These can be moments, achievements, facts, or any other piece of knowledge about LeBron that you may or may not have known yet.

Get ready, some of these shocking LeBron James facts may surprise you.

Shocking LeBron James Facts

That’s a bad man

LeBron James has always had a lot of moxy, even as a young man. In fact, as a 16-year old, he attended an Adidas-sponsored ABCD camp wearing Nikes. He then proceeded to attend Nike’s All-American camp, this time wearing Adidas shoes.

This was all in the interest to give himself more sponsorship options before stepping foot in the NBA. Specifically, he was doing this to give Reebok more time to give him an offer. In the end, all of these raised Bron’s value so much that he was able to pen a record 6-year, US$ 90M deal with Nike.

The media came to me and asked if I was offended by what [LeBron] did…offended? No. I applauded him…because he understands who he is.” – ABCD camp founder Sonny Vaccaro on LeBron James’ sneaker antics. 

The King Never Walks Alone

Basketball Royalty meets Football Royalty.

We’ve seen basketball and football entities unite throughout the years; the most recent example is Michael Jordan’s Jordan Brand being one of the sponsors of Ligue 1 powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain. Due to this, MJ got his Jumpman logo on the likes of Kylian Mbappe and the great Lionel Messi.

Meanwhile, LeBron James is also associated with another current football powerhouse in the form of 2019/20 English Premier League Champions Liverpool F.C.

This relationship was established by way of LeBron acquiring a 2% stake in the Merseyside club way back in 2011, to the tune of £4.7m (US$ 6.5m). This was done through a business relationship between James and Fenway Sports Group, the owners of Liverpool F.C.

2% may not seem like that much, but the King’s stake in the ball club is now worth more than £37m (US$ 49.6), an increase of more than 900%. Liverpool has since gone on to be a consistent contender in the English top-flight league, winning it in dominant fashion back in 2020. They have also gone on to make the UEFA Champions League Final twice consecutively in 2018 and 2019, winning it all the second time ’round.

It’s safe to say that this piece of business from LeBron was a shrewd one, with both parties faring rather well after the transaction.

LeBron James… NFL great?

Yes, the (cough) shocking LeBron James fact that he used to play football is not some unknown trivia. Many have said that he could have gone pro in the NFL instead of the NBA, and Football would have had one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen instead of Basketball. In fact, he was compared to one Randy Moss during his early playing days.

Of course, Bron did end up going to the NBA, but why?

There are actually two reasons revealed as to why this is. One is that his friends simply convinced him not to pursue it, which James actually says in an Instagram post. The other reason is that his wrist injury in his HS senior year forced him off the sport to protect his looming NBA career.

King James

As a once-in-a-generation player, it comes with the territory for Bron to acquire multiple monikers throughout the years. He has been referred to as Bron, LBJ, L-Train, the Hammer of Akron, and the Chosen One. However, his most iconic and well-known nickname has to be King James, or simply the King.

This nickname is rather straightforward, unique, and befitting of James. Curiously, no one really knows its true origin.

The L-Train moniker, for example, came from Cleveland Cavaliers legend Austin Carr in his days as a play-by-play announcer for the team. Meanwhile, the Chosen One famously came from James’ Sports Illustrated cover appearance; he has this particularly flattering nickname tattooed on his back.

For the case of “King James”, there are two prevailing stories as to where it originated. One hypothesizes that James came up with it himself way back in his St. Vincent-St. Mary days as he already believed that he was already a cut above the rest at the time. The other says that a local Ohio paper was the one that came up with the nickname, dubbing LeBron as King James back when he was a high school sophomore.

Nevertheless, Bron has justified the nickname many times over. The nickname is indeed accurate for LBJ, whether or not he is indeed a self-proclaimed King.

LeBron in School

LBJ’s high school basketball career is rather well-known and well-documented. However, one may ask: how did he do in his academics? School should be about, well, school, with athletics only being a mere extracurricular activity. Players like LaMelo Ball have spoken negatively about going to school, while Ben Simmons famously did not attend his classes while in Louisiana State. Was LeBron in the same mold?

Not really, as it turns out. He was a hardworking student, consistently working in the library early before school and after classes before basketball practice.

“He did his homework, always…he didn’t have late assignments and he didn’t have stuff missing. That was his work ethic in basketball and it was his work ethic in school. It carried over.” – Saint Vincent-Saint Mary librarian Barbara Wood on a young LeBron James in an interview for Cleveland.com.

While he was in high school at SV-SU, his favorite subject was apparently Earth Science. He also reportedly had an affinity for English back when he was in grade school.

It’s obvious that Bron recognizes the value of education, with him giving back to his hometown by way of building the I Promise School, a public school in Akron for at-risk youth.

Tune Squad

We know about little Bron’s favorite subjects in school. However, that’s barely all there is to it in childhood, of course. What’d he do in his spare time, besides basketball?

Well, like most children, young LeBron loved cartoons. He revealed several of his favorites, then and now, in the Road Trippin’ Podcast hosted by former teammates Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson.

As a kid, Bron mentioned that he loved the show Tom and Jerry most of all. He also ranks the likes of the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote highly, while also mentioning the likes of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. Who would have thought that he’d be co-starring with these very same characters in his own movie? Bron must have been starstruck while filming Space Jam 2.

Nowadays, The King is still a bit of a cartoon fan. His favorites currently are Spongebob Squarepants and Teen Titans.

Shocking LebBron James Facts Continued: Straight out of (not even) high school?

Bron is known as arguably the best player to have been drafted out of high school, certainly up there among the likes of Kevin Garnett and the late, great Kobe Bryant. The Cleveland Cavaliers certainly hit the jackpot when they landed the 1st overall pick in 2003, one of the most gifted draft classes in NBA history; even better for them was that Bron decided to declare for the NBA Draft that year, instead of going the traditional route of playing 1 year in college.

Apparently, however, things could have been different if The King had his way in his junior year in high school. It turns out that James actually wanted and petitioned to declare for the NBA Draft a year before graduating from St. Vincent-St. Mary.

The NBA, of course, didn’t allow this to happen, with them staying firm on their requirement that any player declaring for the Draft must at least be a high school graduate.

One can only think of what the NBA landscape would have looked like if Bron’s petition was granted. He might’ve been drafted by the Houston Rockets (in place of Yao Ming as the 1st overall pick). He would have had more time to break even more records, and so on.

One-and-Done Bron

Let’s take a look at the inverse situation of the last entry: what if LeBron James actually went to college?

Going to college first before going to the NBA is and has always been the most common path for young prospects, whether it be one-and-done or spending all four years of eligibility. However, more and more players went to the NBA straight out of high school in the late 1990s-2000s, before the one-and-done rule was imposed in 2005.

As was mentioned, Bron was drafted straight out of high school, but what would hav happened if he had gone to college? He might have become the best one-and-done college player in history, he might have broken collegiate basketball records, the possibilities are as endless as they are unsure.

What we’re sure of is which college Bron would have picked. He has stated numerous times that he would have gone to Ohio State to play for the Buckeyes. Naturally, he’d be more drawn to a college in his home state, but he has also mentioned in an interview with Larry King that the University of North Carolina was another viable choice for him.

If things went UNC’s way, the Tar Heels could have had both LeBron James and Michael Jordan in its recordbooks.

Big Point Guard

If not for a certain Magic Johnson, LeBron would be known as the greatest “big point guard” in NBA history. He takes particular pride in his all-time passing and playmaking ability. In fact, he has gone on record to say that dropping dimes is his favorite basketball stat.

“I’ve always loved the success of my teammates more than myself,” James said in Chris Fedor’s article for Cleveland.com. “I’ve always been like that since I was a kid. Even when I first started playing basketball, we had a kid named Sonny on our team that was younger than all of us and he couldn’t catch. So, in order for him to catch we used to roll the ball to him so he could pick it up and shoot it off the ground. And when he finally made one, it was like the greatest thing for all of us.”

This makes James even more remarkable as an all-around player, considering that despite this, he is poised to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time record in total points scored. Meanwhile, he is also 8th all-time in total assists, up there among the most elite PGs in league history.

Early Struggle and Hustle

A lot of past and current NBA players have dealt with unfavorable circumstances before going into the league. Jimmy Butler’s well-known story, for instance, is that he was rendered homeless back in high school before getting taken in by a teammate’s parents.

LeBron didn’t quite have it easy back in the day, either. The kid who’d eventually become the King was also rendered homeless for a time in his high school days, before living with his then-football coach. There was also a period of time wherein he missed 82 out of 160 days in fourth grade, the reason for which was that Bron was apparently “too ashamed” to attend school while his mother, Gloria, was convicted for 14 days due to petty crimes. James would make up for missing a whole NBA season’s worth of schooldays by having a perfect attendance record the next year.

The humble beginnings make what LeBron has achieved even more remarkable; we’re sure he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“I don’t know why the Man above gives me the hardest road, but the Man above doesn’t put you in situations you can’t handle.”  – LeBron James in the post-game interview following his Cleveland Cavaliers’ 3-1 comeback against the Golden State Warriors.

“He’s got kids!”

LeBron James has three children: LeBron Jr., Bryce, and Zhuri.

It’s Bryce who has the most interesting birth story among the three.

Bryce Maximus James was born on June 14, 2007. Remarkably, this was also the day that LeBron would conclude his very first NBA Finals appearance. Unfortunately, this conclusion came in the form of a Game 4 loss against the great San Antonio Spurs dynasty. For the series, Bron carried his Cleveland Cavaliers with averages of 22 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists.

Bonus shocking LeBron James fact: LeBron’s close friend Chris paul was actually in the hospital with him when Bryce was born, prompting born to make CP3 the godfather for his 2nd child.

Shocking LeBron James Facts With A Sprinkle Of Michael Jordan

Most would agree that LeBron James and Michael Jordan are the two players more compared to each other. Who’s more clutch, who’s the better teammate, the better scorer, the more athletic…the comparisons are endless, but every single comparison starts from the question of who the Basketball GOAT is between the two.

We’re not here to answer that polarizing question, lest an all-out war starts below in the comments. We’re here, instead, to show the most striking similarity between these two players.

LBJ and MJ share many, many things in common; both of them have the same amount of All-Star Game MVP awards (3 apiece), both have the same amount of Olympic Gold Medals (2 each), and both wore the number 23 in their careers, among others.

However, the most remarkable similarity between the two is that they are the only players in the history of the sport to have won an NBA Championship, Finals MVP award, regular season MVP award, and an Olympic Gold Medal ALL IN THE SAME YEAR.

Jordan completed this feat in Barcelona with the 1992 Dream Team, just months after winning his 2nd ring with the Chicago Bulls. Bron, meanwhile, achieved this after dominating the London Olympics at the back of winning his 1st chip with the Miami Heat.

Just a couple of Akron kids

Speaking of comparisons, another player with whom James has been compared is arguably his biggest rival in the 2010s: Wardell Stephen Curry.

They don’t have many similarities with regard to their play on the court, obviously, with LeBron’s all-around style having a stark contrast with Curry’s combo guard play.

Nevertheless, the two’s careers have been tied ever since Curry broke out all the way back in 2014. Steph Curry and his Golden State Warriors gave LeBron three of his six NBA Finals losses, a shocking LeBron James fact the haters never fail to bring up. James, meanwhile, is directly responsible for depriving Curry’s 73-9 Warriors of an NBA Championship, despite having three opportunities to finish the Cleveland Cavaliers off.

The two superstars actually go WAY, way back. The two were actually both born in the same hospital in Akron, Cleveland. While Curry maintains that his hometown is Charlotte, North Carolina, he was actually born in Akron City Hospital, during his father Dell Curry’s stint with the Cavs.

Early Rivalry

As the greatest player of his generation, LeBron would naturally have many players labeled as his rivals, whether justified or not. His greatest ones come in the form of the aforementioned Curry and Jordan, as well as the likes of Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, and even Jimmy Butler.

However, one of his earliest rivalries was with a player that isn’t even talked about in remotely the same breath as the guys above, a guy who has bounced around in the league so much that he actually got a record for it. We’re talking about none other than 3-and-D NBA journeyman Trevor Ariza.

It’s rather hard to fathom, but Ariza was actually one of The King’s earliest rivals, dating way back in their high school days. Back then, the career role player was actually looked at as someone as great as the prodigy that was young LeBron James. Ariza and his uncle actually fanned the flames of the library prior to the two’s matchup.

However, as James’ SV-SM took on Ariza’s Westchester, The King proceeded to prove why he was proclaimed as such. His team won in a 78-52 blowout, with James equalling Westchester’s points tally by himself with 52 markers. Safe to say that Bron put an end to that rivalry rather emphatically.

Leftie everywhere but on the court

Bron can finish at the rim with either hand as good as almost any NBA player, but it’s common knowledge that he does take jump shots and floaters with his right hand.

However, James actually uses his left hand for about every other purpose outside of the court. He writes, eats, and does everything outside of shooting jumpers and layups with his left.

What gives? Well, Bron actually revealed the reason why he’s been a right-handed basketball player all his life.

“I have no idea how I became a right-handed basketball player, I think maybe it was because of Michael Jordan, Penny Hardaway, guys that I looked up to growing up.” – LeBron James on his dominant arm in a May 2017 intreview, as per the NBA YouTube Channel.

Yet another reason to compare and contrast James and Jordan.

LeBron is just one of a select number of players in NBA history to be ambidextrous (to have two dominant hands). He is among the likes of Steve Nash and Larry Bird, the latter of whom actually played one game shooting with only his left hand. Nonetheless, were you at all stunned by any of these shocking LeBron James facts?