2003 to 2020 – Lebron James’ Career Over the Course of Our Lives

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Connor Jackson, Staff Writer, Photographer

Since June 26th, 2003, Lebron James has been one of the best players in the NBA. For the past 17-18 years, since most of us students were in diapers eating baby food, Lebron has been competing for titles and setting all time records. 

In 2004, while lebron was finishing his rookie season and entering his sophomore, no class of 2021/2022 student was a day over 2, and while we were developing into walking and talking infants, he was growing from a wide-eyed 18-year old to a playoff-contending superstar. It was during Lebron’s first season that he averaged 25+ points per game for the first time, as well as earning his first career All-Star team selection. Moving on, from 2005-2008, incredible growth would come for both our generation and for Lebron’s career, going into our preschool years, as we began learning to count and spell, Lebron bulldozed his way through the slightly weaker eastern conference to finally start making a name for himself in the playoffs. It was also during this time that Lebron reached his first of many finals appearances. In 2007, during which he would lose to the San Antonio Spurs, a longtime rival team of his. 

Following this era, as we would all begin grade school and move our way into some actual learning and development, Lebron James would move his way into league-wide, as well as worldwide superstardom. This era included Lebron winning his first scoring title, starting on multiple All Star teams, and even getting his first minutes at the Point Guard position, which as we have learned from his play in 2020, is a great fit for him. However, despite all the personal accomplishments, the Cavaliers were struggling to make it deep into the playoffs following their 2007 Finals loss. Then, in 2010 when his contract expired, while most of us were going into the 1st or 2nd grade, Lebron announced on a one hour tv special called “The Decision” that he would be signing with the Miami Heat to form a playoff contending team with fellow superstars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. 

Soon after came the era in which Lebron finally took his career and legacy to the next level. From 2010 to 2014, Lebron and the Heat would see the finals every year, and despite some embarrassing losses in 2010 and 2014, they would come out of them with a 2/2 record, and two Larry O’Brien trophies to show for it. Also, it was during this era that Lebron was considered to have been in the “physical prime of his career”, which can be seen in the many powerful posterizing dunk clips of Lebron wearing his #6 Heat jersey. 

Around this time, many of us were busy turning 10-11, getting ready to start middle school, and possibly watching Lebron’s career go on. But following 2014, riding high off of his new found rings and playoff success, the King made the tough decision to make things right with the fans following his departure from his hometown, and move back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, bringing with him the promise of a championship. It wouldn’t be easy though, as during the 2014-2015 season, one of the greatest superteams of all time would be developing across America, ready to give Lebron the greatest challenge of his basketball career. 

Barely one season after his departure from Miami, following an astounding regular season in 2015, Lebron James and the Cavaliers, now with Duke draftee Kyrie Irving and recent trade Kevin Love, the Cavs were looking far better than any team in the east. In the west however, Golden State, and specifically point guard Stephen Curry, were having a season for the to remember with Curry’s 402 made 3-point shots in a regular season, breaking his own record of 286 the year before. This would be a very tough challenge for Lebron, as over the next 4 years he would meet Golden State in the finals, and he would lose all except one. In 2016, This was the year the Warriors’ historic 73-9 season came to an end when Lebron would will the Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit to win the finals for the city of Cleveland. This would break a championship drought that plagued the city for over 50 years. And following this era in Cleveland, Lebron moved to his current team, the Los Angeles Lakers, where he just made his 10th, and won his 4th title. As we get closer to graduating high school, Lebron is still at the top of the League at 35 years old, and hopefully will be for more years to come.