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With so much talent for basketball, LeBron James is the king of the NBA and the next Michael Jordan. Follow his career, news, pictures, interviews and latest results here.

11.01.2006

LeBron James Bio

LeBron James is the king in Cleveland and in the United States Professional Basketball. Indeed, he is the star guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA. James was born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio. His mother, Gloria James, was only 16 at the time. His biological father, Anthony McClelland, was an ex-con uninterested in being a parent for the little child. Gloria raised LeBron on her own, and to this day he goes by her last name.

It's fair to say that life was often a struggle for LeBron and his mother. Gloria battled personal difficulties during much of his childhood. Some of those were brought on by the death of her mother, who passed away when LeBron was an infant. Bouncing between retail and accounting jobs, James' mom was never able to land steady work, and she and LeBron moved from apartment to apartment. The pair got to know all the seedier neighborhoods of Akron, a city of more than 200,000 located less than a hour south of Cleveland.

However, Gloria worked hard to be a loving mother and shield LeBron from the poverty and violence of the streets. This was no easy chore, and at times made her choice of boyfriends seem puzzling. When LeBron was two years old, she started dating Eddie Jackson. In and out of trouble with the law, he went to prison in 1990 for aggravated cocaine trafficking. (In 2002, he pled guilty to mortgage fraud and mail fraud.) Nevertheless LeBron formed a bond with Jackson, and Gloria liked having a guy around who was willing to serve as a father figure. Her brothers, Terry and Curt, also helped out.

As a player, LeBron James showed his talent for basketball at an early age, being the star performer at his catholic high school, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School's basketball club. The young athlete was dubbed Ohio's "Mr. Basketball", was nicknamed King James, and was on the cover of the popular Sports Illustrated publication with the headline being "The Chosen One".

In fact, the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise were the first to sign the young LeBron up to play with them, while he was also signing the lucrative $90 million dollar, 7 year contract with the global corporation Nike. He became the NBA's Rookie of the Year and was credited with getting his team to the NBA playoffs, even though the previous year the Cleveland Cavaliers were one of the worst performers without him.

Like in a movie, LeBron became one of the NBA's most popular and marketable players. In 2006 the Cavaliers made their first playoff appearance since 1998, and LeBron James got a new contract extension worth $60 million that would keep him with the Cavaliers through the 2009-10 season. James played on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team in Athens, and on the U.S. national squad at the 2006 World Championship in Japan.

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