Just a kid from Akron

Misty Olawunmi, Staff Writer

In a culmination of his storied career, LeBron James embodied greatness when he hit a fadeaway jumper to cement his status as the NBA’s all-time scoring leader. 

The record, previously held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, was once considered unbreakable. On Feb. 7, James proved this sentiment wrong as he amazed spectators and 3.7 million viewers at home. 

Moments like these can be found anywhere in James’ 20-year career. From overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals to “Lebronto,” James defies logic. At 38, he continues to perform at an elevated level, thanks to his diet and strict regimen. James’ ceiling is limitless, and he knows it, showing it off for the world to see every night. His feats can make it hard to imagine how far he has come.

A highly-touted basketball prospect in high school, James was electric on the court, drawing national attention. By age 17, the Akron, Ohio native was dubbed “The Chosen One” by Sports Illustrated. This nickname brought a lot of expectations for the young teen with comparisons to greats like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Drafted first overall, James was expected to carry the weight of the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Man I’m just a kid from Akron Ohio! [I] can’t believe a lot of the things that happen to me. My own…,” James said in a 2014 tweet about his collaboration with Sprite. As a result of his talent and court vision, James has earned countless opportunities and endorsements, leading to him becoming a billionaire. Even with these accomplishments, nothing can replace Akron.

“People always say, ‘You’re going back home.’ But I tell people all the time, ‘I’m not from Cleveland,’” James told The Los Angeles Times

Even though he helped Cleveland win a Larry O’Brien trophy, nothing can ever replace Akron in his heart. In 2018, James opened I Promise School, an elementary school targeted toward at-risk youth in Akron. James is devoted to assisting the community he came from because he was once in their shoes. For him, helping those kids is an extension of his vision for his hometown.

 “There’s no disrespect to Cleveland. But, when you’re from Akron, you’re not from Cleveland. This is where I’m from.”

James is one of a kind, displaying grace on the court while dominating opponents. His level of achievement in basketball makes him what he is: a legend. To truly acknowledge his greatness, one must remember his journey to becoming the man he is today. Feb. 7 will forever be engraved in NBA lore, but James will always be the kid from Akron.