LeBron Raymone James (born December 30, 1984) is an NBA small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Considered to be the face of the league since at least the start of the 2010s, LeBron is the holder of three NBA championships and four NBA MVP awards. With numerous other awards such as three NBA Finals MVP awards, an NBA scoring title, selection to the NBA All-Star game in all but one of his fifteen years in the league, a Rookie of the Year award, and two Olympic Gold Medals, he is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player since Michael Jordan (and some will argue that he's superior to Jordan).
Tropes associated with LeBron James:
- The Ace: Considered to be one for the Cavaliers, especially in the 2017-2018 season where the Cavs had issues due to roster changes. Took it to another level when the media and the fans seriously started to consider that he might be better than Michael Jordan, who is by far the consensus best player in NBA history. He mostly earned this distinction by winning his conference eight years in a row, with two different teams (Miami and Cleveland); only one other player has accomplished such a feat while also being a league MVP (Bill Russell did so 10 times from 1957-66, all with the same Boston Celtics team).
- Always Someone Better: Michael Jordan is this to him. While it's debatable who is the better player, Jordan has the accolades to back him up, winning as many Finals as LeBron has lost. LeBron himself has stated that his main motivation is to catch "the ghost [who] played in Chicago".
- Arch-Enemy: Stephen Curry. The rivalry practically writes itself. As if it's not enough that James' Cavaliers and Curry's Warriors are the only two teams in NBA history to meet in four consecutive Finals series (no other pair of teams has done it more than twice), James and Curry are almost the complete antithesis of one another as players. Curry is a masterful shooter who, by NBA standards, is nothing special physically and relies on scoring from the outside. LeBron is arguably the most physically gifted NBA player of all time who scores primarily at the rim.
- Bash Brothers: When he was on the Heat, LeBron was this with Dwyane Wadenote , one of his best friends off the court. One of their signature moves was an alley-oop pass to one another.
- Chew Toy: The Toronto Raptors are this to him. From 2016-2018, the Raptors have gone up against LeBron and the Cavaliers in the playoffs, losing three straight times. While the 2016 contest was a hard fought one in the Conference Finals, the 2017-2018 second-round series were utter bloodbaths in which the Cavs would sweep the Raptors in 4 straight games each, with LeBron being a major factor in each sweep, and despite the Raptors being favoured in both series. It got so bad that people were poking fun at Toronto, calling it LeBronto, a spin on how badly LeBron has essentially manhandled the Raptors.
- The Dreaded: Even to this day, a lot of teams treat LeBron this way due to his bottomless skillset. This also applies to any team's fanbase, but especially that of the Raptors in which the team was swept in the second round two years in a row. You could imagine the Raptors fanbase heaving a huge sigh of relief when LeBron left for the Lakers, and an even bigger one when the Lakers missed the playoffs.
- Easily Forgiven: When LeBron left his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat in the summer of 2010, just about the entire city felt betrayed and LeBron became an instant villain, as well as arguably the most hated sports figure in Cleveland's history (his only competition being Art Modell). Fans burned his memorabilia in protest and anguish, his murals in Cleveland were either removed, defaced, or both, and his presence at the Cavaliers' home arena elicited "Roman Reigns the day after he retired The Undertaker" levels of boos and fan vitriol, plus the need for increased security personnel.
When he became a free agent in 2014, however, and declared that he was "coming home", he was welcomed with open arms, and remains beloved in his home town, especially after bringing an NBA championship to the title-deprived Clevelandnote in 2016.
In 2018 when he once again became a free agent and then signed with the Los Angeles Lakers fans were left sad but not angered, thanking him for leading the Cavaliers to four consecutive Finals appearances and one championship, Cleveland's first in over 50 years.
- Fandom Rivalry: Fans of LeBron James and fans of Michael Jordan will probably never settle the debate on which player is greater. Supporters of Jordan will point to the fact that Jordan has more rings and has a perfect record in the Finals, and also that Jordan was more clutch. Fans of LeBron will say that he is the more versatile and better athlete, and that he led nine teams to the NBA Finals, where he was inauspiciously matched up against historically great teams like the Golden State Warriors.
His fandom clashed with Kobe Bryant's in the late 2000s/early 2010s, particularly before LeBron started to win championships and established himself as one of the best players to ever touch a basketball.
- Genius Bruiser: It gets overlooked a lot compared to his athletic gifts, but LeBron James has arguably the highest basketball IQ in the league thanks to his Photographic Memory, allowing him to remember every play he's seen, and use tem to his advantage to set up plays for his teammates.
- Lightning Bruiser: LeBron moves his 6'8, 260-pound body like a tank with turbo boosters. Of the ten players on the floor at a given moment, there's always a chance that LeBron is both the strongest and the fastest player on the court at the same time.
- Self-Deprecation: He will even take jabs at himself for his absolutely dismal performance in the 2011 NBA finals. Most notable is his suggestion to use those finals to put a crying baby to sleep.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Almost every article, analysis or discussion even remotely related to the Cleveland Cavaliers during LeBron's time playing with them had LeBron as the main subject (Like: "How will the Celtics beat LeBron?").
- Took a Level in Badass: During the 2011 NBA finals with the Heat taking on the Dallas Mavericks, LeBron had an absolutely dismal performance in Game 4, as the Heat ultimately lost the finals to the Mavs. Given that he had bragged about winning multiple championships with the Heat after he signed on, fans took this game and piled on the criticism on James. James took this loss pretty hard and used the summer as a period of self-reflection, before redeeming himself in 2012 and 2013, winning Finals MVP both times.