LeBron Raymone James Sr. (; born December 30, 1984) 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 best players in NBA history, James is frequently compared to Michael Jordan in debates over the greatest basketball player ever. The only player to have won NBA championships with three franchises (the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Miami Heat, and the Lakers) as NBA Finals MVP, James has competed in ten NBA Finals, eight of them consecutively with the Heat and the Cavaliers from 2011–2018. His accomplishments include four NBA championships, four NBA MVP awards, four NBA Finals MVP awards, and two Olympic gold medals. During his 17-year career, James holds the record for all-time playoffs points, is third in all-time points, and eighth in career assists. James has been selected to the All-NBA Team a record 17 times (with a record of 13 First Team selections and 11 consecutive First Team selections, the latter of which is shared with Jordan and Karl Malone), made the NBA All-Defensive First Team five times, and has been named an All-Star 17 times, including three All-Star MVP selections.
James played basketball for St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, where he was heavily touted by the national media as a future NBA superstar. A prep-to-pro, he was selected by Cleveland with the first overall pick of the 2003 NBA draft. Named the 2003–04 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 to sign as a free agent with Miami. This move was announced in an ESPN special titled The Decision, and is one of 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 league MVP and Finals MVP. 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 NBA Finals by coming back from a 3–1 deficit, delivering the franchise's first championship and ending Cleveland's 52-year professional sports title drought. In 2018, James exercised his contract option to leave the Cavaliers and signed with the Lakers, where he won the 2020 championship and was awarded his fourth Finals MVP. In 2021, James became 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 hosted the ESPY Awards and Saturday Night Live, and won 19 ESPY Awards himself. He also appeared in films such as Trainwreck and Space Jam: A New Legacy. James has been a part-owner of Liverpool F.C. since 2011, with the club winning the 2018–2019 UEFA Champions League and 2019–2020 Premier League. Having become more involved in philanthropic and activist pursuits later in his career, James's charitable organization, the LeBron James Family Foundation, helped open an elementary school, housing complex, and community center/retail plaza in his hometown of Akron.