Can you believe that LeBron James has been in the league for 12 years already? It seems like just yesterday he was coming out of high school and was just a young Cavalier. Fast-forward a dozen years later and he’s a two-time champion and unstoppable force in the NBA.
James is the best basketball player in the world, and on December 30 (his 29th birthday), we celebrate that. Similar to Kobe, he ridded himself of his demons by just going out there and doing the only thing you can do when you have haters — win.
Do you hear anyone even say anything about his hairline anymore? I didn’t think so! But while the man is like a big brother to us (in our heads) just from seeing him play for so long, there’s still plenty that you didn’t even know about the King.
He’s been through a lot during his 29 years, but it’s his determination and strive for greatness that makes him one of the best of all time. These are 29 things you didn’t know about LeBron James for his 29th birthday.
1. LeBron admitted to smoking weed in high school but says he doesn’t do it anymore.
2. His mother Gloria had him when she was 16.
3. He had perfect attendance in 5th grade.
4. He writes left-handed but shoots with his right.
5. LeBron was six-feet tall and in the 8th grade when he dunked for the first time.
6. Michael Jordan tried to run a private scrimmage with him in Chicago when he was just a sophomore.
7. He was suspended for a game as a teenager after accepting throwback jerseys as gifts from fans.
8. He originally wore number 32 in high school in honor of Dr. J.
9. He switched his number from 23 to 6 because his first son was born on October 6.
10. He grew up a Yankees, Bulls and Cowboys fan.
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11. He also tried to declare for the NBA draft after his junior year in high school.
12. His high school coach made him do 10 push ups every time he cursed.
13. Tickets for his high school senior year games were sold for around $100-$200.
14. LeBron says he refused to know his own height after surpassing 6’6″.
15. He once got switched up with another student in his year book.
16. His first LeBron Nike shoes were inspired by the H2 Hummer he drove in high school.
17. After leaving Cleveland, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert (who owns Fatheads) cut the price to LeBron’s Fathead to $17.41 — the birth year of Benedict Arnold, the most famous traitor of all time.
18. His televised “Decision” to join the Heat raised $2.5 million for the Boys & Girls Club. Kanye West was also in attendance.
19. He also became friends with Jay Z the same time that Kanye did.
20. Jay remixed the Too Short song “Blow the Whistle” to defend LeBron when DeShawn Stevenson called him overrated.
21. LeBron donated $20,000 to Barack Obama‘s campaign back in 2008.
22. During his second game back playing in Cleveland, he missed the intros because he was taking a piss.
23. LeBron had to cover his tattoos in high school because he went to a private Catholic school.
24. LeBron owns part of Liverpool FC, a professional soccer club in the UK.
25. His shoes match his whip
26. He was an All-State wide-receiver in high school who got scholarships to USC, Ohio State and Notre Dame.
27. LeBron once ran up a $171,000 tab at Tao in Las Vegas where he ordered 33 bottles of Cristal.
28. He’s the only player to win the MVP, NBA Finals MVP and Olympic Gold in the same year besides Michael Jordan.
29. He still ain’t worried about nothin’.
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