LeBron James is one of the best players in the world. He's a generational talent who people desire to play with: Chris Bosh left Toronto to go to Miami. Anthony Davis forced a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. All because they desired to win a championship with one of the best players of all-time. LeBron James is a great passer, so it is only natural that people like playing with someone who gives them easy shots.
Brendan Haywood teamed up with LeBron James during 2014-15. He didn't play much of a role in that contending roster, only appearing in 22 games in the regular season, and one game in the playoffs. It appears as if LeBron James tried to recruit Haywood before during Haywood's time with Dallas, while James was pondering going to the Miami Heat. During their talks, HoopsHype reported that Haywood noted one peculiarity about LeBron James during his recruiting speech.
“When I was in Dallas, LeBron was thinking about going to Miami,” Haywood told Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype. “Before he went to the Heat, he was recruiting guys to come to Cleveland. I get a text from a number that I don’t know. It’s LeBron. He says: ‘What’s up, this is King James.’ It was a little weird he called himself King James but I kept going. He told me he was trying to get guys to come to the Cavs. He said he knew that they could not give me what I was going to get in the market. But he wanted to know if I would be willing to take a pay cut to be a part of something special. I wouldn’t have taken a pay cut to play with the ’92 [Chicago] Bulls. Buddy, you’re making $100 million off the court! This is my last hurrah! I hadn’t made enough money in my career to take a pay cut and chase a championship. I’d played so many playoff series against him that I saw him as another player. If you play in the league, you look at guys a little differently. He was younger than I was. I looked at him like he was anybody else.”
Haywood notes LeBron James' way of referring to himself as "King" weird at the time. It's understandable: later in the article, Haywood mentions that he viewed LeBron James as if "he was anybody else" in the league. Haywood viewed him as just another player; however, LeBron James has proven he is far more than just any player.
LeBron James being viewed as a "King" may have been weird early on, but nowadays it is a common part of his brand. LeBron James has the accolades to match his nickname and it is now part of his social media image.