LeBron James is continuing his legacy

LeBron James is a household name. He’s done it all and continues to do so. His most recent achievement was passing Hall of Famer and former Utah Jazz player Karl “The Mailman” Malone to become the NBA’s second all-time leading scorer. 

James has scored 36,947 points on the all-time scoring list, second only to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The former Lakers great holds the record with 38,387 points.

Despite the Los Angeles Lakers’ lackluster season, James’ losses have no bearing on the reputation he has established and will continue to develop. At 37 years old, James has racked up more accolades and accomplishments than most NBA players have ever had or will ever have.

He was drafted straight out of high school in the 2003 NBA Draft. Given his stellar reputation, he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick. James created history when he became the first member of the Cavaliers franchise to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in the 2003-04 season. He was also the youngest player to achieve this distinction at the time at just 20 years old.

After spending seven years with the Cavaliers and putting the team back in the spotlight, James left in 2010 as a free agent to join the Miami Heat. After this move, he earned his first two NBA Championships in 2012 and 2013 and was named MVP of the league and Finals MVP for those two years. 

James decided to re-sign with the Cavaliers after his fourth season with the Heat in 2014. In 2016, he guided the Cavaliers to a 3–1 comeback against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, giving the team its first championship. In 2018, James chose to leave the Cavaliers and join the Los Angeles Lakers, where he won the 2020 NBA championship and was named Finals MVP for the fourth time. 

Off the court, James has established a name by advocating for social justice. However, while it may appear like athletes are pretty active in politics today, athletes and social justice did not have a good relationship even a decade ago.

James has set the stage for modern activism in sports and the basketball world, following in the footsteps of athletes such as Jesse Owens, Tommie Smith and John Carlos. While the LeBron strategy has received criticism, it emphasizes the necessity of athletes speaking out against social injustice: in this case, police brutality and publicizing Black Lives Matter.

In addition to campaigning for social justice, James formed The LeBron James Family Foundation at the start of his NBA career. He later established I Promise, furthering a partnership with the University of Akron to provide free college education to kids. The I Promise foundation is still fully funded, and it has opened schools throughout the Akron district to educate, house and assist low-income families.

Whatever you want to say about LeBron James, he’s heard it all, but his accomplishments are on display to demonstrate how his physical abilities and off-court life have both been outstanding.