1999-2003 LeBron James (High School)
LeBron James attended St. Vincent-St. Mary High School with his AAU teammates Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, and Willie McGee. While in high school, James played basketball and football and excelled in both. James averaged 21 points and 6 boards per game his freshmen year, leading the Fighting Irish to a 27-0 record and a state title. The next year was even more impressive, as James averaged 25.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 3.8 steals per game, as well as another state championship. James was also the first sophomore to be named to the USA Today All-USA first time. He only continued to get better, as he averaged 29 points, 8.3 boards, 5.7 assists and 3.3 steals per game. James was named Ohio’s MR. Basketball and made it on USA Today’s First Team again, as well as becoming the first junior to win Gatorade’s National Player of the Year. After his junior season, James contemplated entering the NBA draft by petitioning the league’s draft eligibility rules but was unsuccessful. James’ senior year was impressive as well, improving upon all of his stats and being named to the USA Today All-USA basketball team, as well as being named Ohio’s Mr. Basketball and the Gatorade National Player of the Year. James completed the season by playing in the EA Sports Roundball Classic, the Jordan Capital Classic, and the McDonald’s All-American Game and entered the 2003 NBA Draft.
2003-2004 LeBron James (Rookie)
The Cleveland Cavaliers selected LeBron James with the Number 1 overall pick. James was one of the best NBA rookies in history, scoring the most points in a debut (25), becoming the youngest player in the league to have a 40 point game, and being one of only four players to average 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in his rookie year. All of these accomplishments earned him the NBA Rookie of the Year award. The Cavs finished 35-47 and did not make the playoffs.
2004-2005 LeBron James
In his second NBA season James became the youngest player to record a triple double, as well as be named to the all NBA Team. He averaged 27.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game. He also played in his first All Star Game, where he provided the Eastern Conference with 13 points, eight rebounds, and 6 assists. The Cavs failed to make the playoffs, despite a 42-40 record.
2005-2006 LeBron James
In his third NBA season James averaged 31.4 points, seven rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game. James became the youngest player in league history to average 30 points per game. James also played in his second All-Star game and became the youngest player to be named the MVP of the event. James finished second in MVP voting in the NBA behind Steve Nash. The Cavs would go on to make the playoffs for the first time since 1998, but lost in the second round to the Pistons. James went on to sign a three year, $60 million with a player option for the fourth season.
2006-2007 LeBron James
The 2006-07 season ended with a playoff berth for the Cavs, who went 50-32 under Mike Brown. James boasted a nice stat line, averaging 27.3 points per game, 6.7 rebounds per game, and six assists per game. In Game 5 of the Conference Finals, James scored 25 straight Cavalier points as well as 29 of the last 30 points, and finished with 48 points to his name. ESPN has since ranked this performance as the fourth greatest in modern NBA playoff history. The Cavs would go on to the NBA Finals for first time in franchise history, but would be swept by the San Antonio Spurs in disappointing fashion.
2007-2008 LeBron James
The 2007-2008 season was also big for James as he passed many milestones. James passed Brad Daugherty as the Cavaliers all-time leading scorer, as well as setting a team record for most triple-double in a season with seven. James also earned the league scoring title averaging 30 points per game, going along with 7.9 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game. The Cavs finished the season with a 45-37 record and went into the playoffs as a number 4 seed, but were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the second round.
2008-2009 LeBron James
James really started stepping up his play in the third season of his contract, the 2008-2009 season. James made his first All-Defensive team and finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year award. He had a career high 93 blocks, and led the Cavs in all five major statistical categories. He led the Cavs to a franchise record of 66-16 and into the playoffs and in the process, earned his first MVP award. The Cavs swept the Pistons and the Hawks but ended up losing to the Magic in six games in the Conference Finals.
2009-2010 LeBron James
In the 2009-2010 season, James played a lot at the point guard position due to injuries and it showed in his stats, as James averaged a career high 8.6 assists per game. Add that to his 29.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, and it isn’t a surprise that James earned his second consecutive MVP award. The Cavs also finished the season with the NBA’s best record of 61-21. The Cavs beat the Bulls in the first round but went on to lose to the Celtics in the second round again.
2010-2011 LeBron James
LeBron decided to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh down in Miami with the Heat. Together, they were the most hated and critical team that NBA world had ever seen. Especially after their introduction event where LeBron stated that they’ll win “not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven…” NBA championships. Every misstep or roadblock only fueled the hateful enthusiasts. Miami made it through the tough season and to the playoffs, where they faced the Chicago Bulls and the new MVP Derrick Rose in the Conference Finals. The Heat overcame a 15-point fourth quarter deficit in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to the NBA Finals.
In the Finals against the surprising Dallas Mavericks, LeBron vastly underwhelmed, averaging just 17.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 6.8 assists on 48% shooting. James just seemed incredibly hesitant and lacking in confidence at times. The result was a six-game series that went in the Mavericks’ favor as they were crowned NBA Champions on Miami’s home floor.
2011-2012 LeBron James
After an incredibly hard look in the mirror, James’ career took off in the 2011-12 66-game, lockout shortened season as James led his Heat to a 46-20 season and looked like title favorites once again. LeBron won his third MVP award in four years and looked ready to lead the Heat. Miami defeated the Knicks and Pacers before facing off against the veteran Celtics for another chance at a title. LeBron had a huge Game 6 with 45 points and 15 rebounds to even the series at 3-3 before coming home and putting the Celtics away late in the fourth.
Miami would face off against Oklahoma City and their young Thunder squad. The Heat were able to key in on James Harden and Serge Ibaka, making them relatively quiet for most of the series. LeBron had a huge triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists and Miami captured the franchise’s second title and LeBron was able to get his first.
2012-2013 LeBron James
LeBron and the Heat played extremely well in the 2012-13 season, finishing at 66-16 on the year, including a 27-game winning streak and another MVP for James, his fourth in the last five years. Miami would blow by the Bucks and Bulls before meeting up with rival Indiana for what was a grueling seven-game series that could’ve gone either way. Miami outplayed Indiana in Game 7 and defeated them 99-76 to advance to their third consecutive NBA Finals.
In the 2013 NBA Finals, LeBron and the Heat overcame a 2-1 and 3-2 series deficit to defeat the San Antonio Spurs in a home Game 7. In Game 6, LeBron had the triple-double, Ray Allen would hit the biggest shot of his career, and Chris Bosh would get the big block to seal the victory and a chance at being a back-to-back champion. Miami would defeat the Spurs 95-88 in Game 7 on the backs of 37 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists to win a second straight title.
2013-2014 LeBron James
Miami was once again a solid team, but everyone was wondering about the impeding free agency in the upcoming summer. Indiana, determined to get the first seed in the East because they thought home-court advantage was key to defeating the Heat, earned their top spot and finishing two games ahead of the Heat in the standings. It wouldn’t matter however, as James led the Heat to a six-game series victory and head back to the Finals once again.
This NBA Finals appearance was outright embarrassing however, as the Spurs dismantled the Heat in five games after last year’s engaging seven-game series. The Spurs won by an average of 18 points, showcasing their incredible ball-movement which Miami just couldn’t figure out how to stop. Kawhi Leonard would win the Finals MVP award as the youngest to ever do it.
2014-2015 LeBron James
In the summer of 2014, LeBron James opted out of his deal with Miami and decided to come home, announcing it with a heartfelt letter to the fans of the Cavaliers, the city of Cleveland, and the state of Ohio. The fans took him back with open arms and despite a slow start to the season, General Manager David Griffin made some incredible moves to secure Cleveland as the title favorites for this season. As we all know, injuries got the best of the Cavs in the postseason, and they lost 4-2 in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors.
2015-16 LeBron James
LeBron James has come back more ready to win than ever, and he’s breaking records every single day, it seems. He’s already passed five NBA legends on the all time scoring list and four players on the all time assists list. His Cavs are off to a 21-9 start, most of the games coming without Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert, but the Cavs are now back at full strength and look to win an NBA Championship for the first time in franchise history.