Credit: Sports Kingdom

LeBron James has always been a polarizing figure. Ever since he made it to the league, some people claimed that he had everything to become the greatest player on earth, while some diehard old-school fans never even gave him the benefit of the doubt.

James has put together one of the most impressive resumes in professional basketball history. He may have a losing record in the Finals like most of his doubters point out but he also has more individual awards and accolades than most active players combined.

In fact, one of the most impressive things about James’ career has been his longevity and durability. I mean, he’s managed to stay relevant and dominant throughout 17 seasons. Up to this day, he’s still an MVP candidate, an All-Star, and unanimously considered one of the best players in the league. He’s about to turn 36 this year.

So, let’s take a look at James’ 17-year journey, walking through every single accolade he’s won since being drafted 1st overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

2003-2010

LeBron James was the chosen one. He was bound to take the league by storm and jumped to the NBA straight out of St. Vincent-St. Mary high school as the first overall pick and the most NBA-ready prospect the league had seen in ages.

Needless to say, he didn’t disappoint. He brought back hope to the Cleveland Cavaliers and piled up accolades since day one, winning the Rookie of the Year award with 6 All-Star Game appearances, 2 All-Star Game MVPs, and one scoring title.

James also put his name on the map by winning a couple of MVP awards during his first tenure with the Cavaliers, and even though he lost the two times he made it to the NBA Finals, he led Team USA to a bronze and gold medal in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. He had already put together a Hall of Fame-worthy resume in just 7 seasons in the league.

Awards and accolades:

– Rookie of the Year
– 2x MVP 
– 6 All-Star games
– 2x All-Star MVP
– Olympic Bronze and Gold Medal
– NBA Scoring champion

2010-2014

Frustrated by his lack of success in the playoffs and the subpar supporting cast he had through most of his career, James decided to take his talents to South Beach. The infamous decision made him a villain in Cleveland but he took over as the undisputed best player in the world.

James finally put an end to his detractors by doing what he hadn’t been able to do: winning in the ultimate stage. Next to Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, he led the Heat to 4 trips to the Finals and won his first two rings and Finals MVPs.

James continued to be a perennial presence in the All-Star Game, making the cut all four years he was playing under Erik Spoelstra. Moreover, he continued to represent Team USA and led them to back-to-back gold medals, this time in the 2012 Olympics.

Awards and accolades:

– 2x NBA Champion
– 2x Finals MVP
– 4 All-Star games
– 2x MVP
Olympic Gold Medal

2014-18

Via Getty

James had already won a couple of rings so now he had to fulfill his lifelong promise and bring a championship back to ‘The Land’. He came back to the Cavaliers and redeemed himself to form a deadly Big 3 with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love.

James had it quite tough during his second stint with the Cavaliers, as he had to face off against the Golden State Warriors in the Finals four times. However, he can brag about beating their legendary 73-9 team and leading the biggest comeback in NBA Finals series.

Needless to say, he was named Finals MVP for his heroics during that series and made it to four All-Star Games in four years with 1 All-Star Game MVP. He took a step back in the 2016 Olympics and used the summer to heal while his compatriots got the job done.

Awards and accolades:

– NBA Champion
– Finals MVP
– 4 All-Star games
– All-Star MVP

 

2018-NOW

LeBron James is now facing the toughest challenge of his career. He took his talents to the Western Conference at that stage of his career to take the Los Angeles Lakers back to where they’ve always belonged. And thus far, it seems like he’s succeeded.

He had them at the top of the West last year before suffering the groin injury that killed all their hopes but finally put an end to their 7-year playoff drought this season. Now, he’ll have to finish the job and win an NBA Championship with a third franchise.

James has fallen off in the MVP ladder the past couple of years. One because of injury and one because of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s incredible numbers. Even so, he’s led the Western Conference in All-Star voting twice, which is a lot to say at this point in his career.

Awards and accolades:

– 2 All-Star games

Next

All-Time Greatest NBA Teams For Each Continent

Ranking The Top 15 Best Players In The NBA Right Now

Who Was Surrounded By The Most Talent: Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James

Top 10 NBA Players With The Most Finals And Regular Season MVPs Combined

NBA Rumors: The 7 Best Targets For The Brooklyn Nets This Offseason