The Orlando Magic is an American professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. The Magic compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division; the franchise was established in 1989 as an expansion franchise, such notable NBA stars as Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway, Patrick Ewing, Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady, Steve Francis, Dwight Howard, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, Dominique Wilkins, Hedo Türkoğlu have played for the club throughout its young history. As of 2017, the franchise has played in the NBA playoffs for half of its existence, twice went to the NBA Finals, in 1995 and 2009. Orlando has been the second most successful of the four expansion teams brought into the league in 1988 and 1989 in terms of winning percentage, only after the Miami Heat. In September 1985, Orlando businessman Jim L. Hewitt approached Philadelphia 76ers general manager Pat Williams as they met in Texas on his idea of bringing an NBA team to Orlando.
Intrigued by the project, Williams signed on as the front man of the investment group one year as he left the 76ers. On June 19, 1986, the two held a news conference to announce their intention of seeking an NBA franchise. At the same time Hewitt and Williams decided to hold a contest in the Orlando Sentinel newspaper to get names for their new franchise. Out of a total of 4,296 submitted entries, the names were subsequently narrowed to four, "Heat", "Tropics", "Juice", "Magic"; the last one, submitted by 11 people, was picked after Williams brought his 7-year-old daughter Karyn to visit in Orlando. On July 27, 1986, it was announced that the committee chose the Magic to be the new name of the Orlando franchise in the NBA; the name "Magic" alludes to the area's biggest tourist attraction and economic engine Walt Disney World, along with its Magic Kingdom. Hewitt added that "You look at all the aspects of Central Florida, you find it is an exciting place, a magical place."Many, including Williams himself at first, thought that Miami or Tampa were better locations in Florida for a franchise, given Orlando was a small town lacking a major airport and a suitable arena.
Hewitt brought investors such as real estate developer William DuPont, Orlando Renegades owner Don Dizney, Southern Fruit Citrus owners Jim and Steve Caruso, talked the Orlando city officials into approving an arena project. Meanwhile, Williams gave presentations to NBA commissioner David Stern and the owners of the other teams of the league that the town was viable; the Magic were one of the four new expansion franchises awarded by the NBA in 1987 along with the Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat and Minnesota Timberwolves. The NBA was planning to expand by three teams, with one franchise going to Florida; the Magic became the first major-league professional sports franchise in the Orlando area, following an expansion fee of $32.5 million. The Magic hired Matt Guokas as the team's first coach, who helped the Magic select 12 players in the NBA Expansion Draft on June 15, 1989. On June 27, 1989, the Magic chose Nick Anderson with the 11th pick in the first round, who became the first draft pick of the franchise.
The first game played was an exhibition game on October 13, 1989 against the reigning champions Detroit Pistons, which the Magic won. Anderson was quoted as saying the atmosphere and the people watching the game was "like Game 7 of the NBA Finals". On November 4, 1989, the Magic played their first season game at the Orlando Arena against the visiting New Jersey Nets, who won 111–106 in a hard-fought game; the Magic's first victory came two days as the Magic defeated the New York Knicks 118–110. The inaugural team compiled a record of 18–64 with players including Reggie Theus, Scott Skiles, Terry Catledge, Sam Vincent, Otis Smith, Jerry Reynolds. In the 1990 NBA draft, the Orlando Magic selected Dennis Scott with the fourth overall pick. On December 30, 1990, Scott Skiles racked up 30 assists in the 155–116 victory over the Denver Nuggets, breaking Kevin Porter's NBA single-game assists record. Skiles was named the NBA's Most Improved Player at the end of the season, as the Magic heralded the NBA's most improved record that season.
Forward Dennis Scott set a team mark with 125 three-point field goals for the season, the best long-distance production by a rookie in NBA history. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Despite a 31–51 record, there were 40 sellouts out of 41 home games. On September 19, 1991, the DeVos family, founders of Amway, purchased the franchise for $85 million. Family patriarch Richard DeVos became the owner of the franchise; the 1991–92 season was disappointing for the Magic as various players missed games with injuries. Dennis Scott played only 18 games, Nick Anderson missed 22 games, Stanley Roberts, Jerry Reynolds, Brian Williams, Sam Vincent and Otis Smith all missed at least 27 games each. With a shortage of healthy players the team struggled through a 17-game losing streak and finished with a 21–61 record; the Magic still managed to have all 41 home games sold out. The Magic history was changed on May 17, 1992, when the franchise won the first pick in the 1992 NBA draft Lottery; the Magic selected big-man Shaquille O'Neal from Louisiana State University, the biggest prize in the draft since the Knicks won Patrick Ewing.
O'Neal, a 7' 1" center, made an immediate impact on the Magic. The Magic again became the NBA's most improved franchise. O'Neal was the first rookie to be voted an All-Star starter since
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is a men's professional basketball league in North America. It is considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world; the NBA is an active member of USA Basketball, recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player; the league was founded in New York City on June 1946, as the Basketball Association of America. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League; the league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in New Jersey; the Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada.
On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now refers to as the first game played in NBA history. The first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, the 1948 NBL champion Minneapolis Lakers won the 1949 BAA title. Prior to the 1948–49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional.
On August 3, 1949, the remaining NBL teams–Syracuse, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan and Waterloo–merged into the BAA. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed to the present National Basketball Association though the merged league retained the BAA's governing body, including Podoloff. To this day, the NBA claims the BAA's history as its own, it now reckons the arrival of the NBL teams as an expansion, not a merger, does not recognize NBL records and statistics. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Syracuse Nationals, all of which remain in the league today.
The process of contraction saw. The Hawks shifted from the Tri-Cities to Milwaukee in 1951, to St. Louis in 1955; the Rochester Royals moved from Rochester, New York, to Cincinnati in 1957 and the Pistons relocated from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Detroit in 1957. Japanese-American Wataru Misaka broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks, he remained the only non-white player in league history prior to the first African-American, Harold Hunter, signing with the Washington Capitols in 1950. Hunter was cut from the team during training camp, but several African-American players did play in the league that year, including Chuck Cooper with the Celtics, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton with the Knicks, Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships and established themselves as the league's first dynasty. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954.
If a team does not attempt to score a field goal within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent. In 1957, rookie center Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics, which featured guard Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, went on to lead the club to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center Wilt Chamberlain entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became a dominant individual star of the 1960s, setting new single game records in scoring and rebounding. Russell's rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of American team sports; the 1960s were dominated by the Celtics. Led by Russell, Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966; this championship streak is the longest in NBA history. They did not win the title in 1966–67, but regained it in the 1967–68 season and repeated in 1969; the domination totaled nine of the ten championship banners of the 1960s.
Through this period, the NBA continued to evolve with the shift of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, the Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia to become the Philadelphia 76ers, the St. Louis Hawks moving to Atlanta, as well as the addition of its first expansion franchises; the Chicago Packers (now Wa
Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. is an American former professional basketball player. Wade spent the majority of his 16-year career playing for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association. After a successful college basketball career with the Marquette Golden Eagles, Wade was drafted fifth overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Heat. In his third season, Wade led the Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history and was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States men's basketball team known as the "Redeem Team", in scoring, helped them capture the gold medal. In the 2008 -- 09 season, Wade earned his first NBA scoring title. With LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Wade helped guide Miami to four consecutive NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014, winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. After playing for the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade was traded back to Miami in February 2018. A 13-time NBA All-Star, Wade is Miami's all-time leader in points, games and steals, shots made and shots taken.
Dwyane Wade was born on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, to JoLinda and Dwyane Wade Sr, whose name's unusual spelling was decided by his own mother. In 1977, JoLinda, at the age of 18 had two children. Wade has described his upbringing in Chicago as being difficult. Wade stated that " mom was on drugs and family was in the gang environment, so it was a rough childhood." At a young age, Wade witnessed police raids and found dead bodies several times in a nearby garbage can. When he was only 4 months old, his parents separated – and would divorce. JoLinda was given custody of the two children, she moved to her mother's house with them; the family struggled financially, it was around that time when JoLinda started dealing drugs. His mom was addicted to several substances including cigarettes, alcohol and cocaine. JoLinda would get high with friends at her home in the presence of her children. In an interview with ESPN, Wade said "I've seen the needles laying around the house. I've seen my mother shoot up before.
I've seen a lot of things my mother didn't know I'd seen as a kid." At the age of 6, he recalls police – with guns drawn – raiding his home as they searched for his mother. When Wade turned 8 years old, his older sister, tricked him – by telling him they were going to the movies – into living with his father, a former Army sergeant, stepmother in a nearby neighborhood. Wade would still visit his mom. A year his father moved the family to Robbins, Illinois. After moving to Robbins, Wade did not see his mother for two years. During this time, JoLinda was able to access a free supply of drugs by volunteering to be a tester – i.e. someone who tests street drugs for impurities before the dealers try to sell them. JoLinda was hospitalized and nearly died after she mistakenly injected herself with LSD. In 1994, JoLinda was arrested for possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell and locked up in Cook County Jail. Wade, at the age of 10, reunited with his mom by talking with her at Cook County Jail through a glass panel over a telephone.
JoLinda served 23 months in prison for her crimes, but while serving her second sentence in 1997, she failed to report to prison while on work release. Wade turned to sports basketball and football, to avoid the temptations of participating in drug and gang-related activities. Wade's mom and dad would take him to the park to play basketball, he cites one of his older sisters, Tragil, as the individual most responsible for his childhood upbringing and for steering him in the proper direction. As a child growing up in the Chicago area, Wade idolized Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan, has said he patterns his game after him. Wade attended Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn. Wade found success as a wide receiver on the football team, but he needed to work hard to earn playing time on the varsity basketball team during his junior year. While he did not acquire much playing time during his second year, his stepbrother, Demetris McDaniel, was the star of the team. Wade grew four inches in the summer before his junior year and saw an increase in playing time, averaging 20.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
The following year, Wade averaged 27.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game while leading his team to a 24–5 record. It advanced to the title game of the Class AA Eisenhower Sectional. During this season he steals in a season. Wade has stated that his high school coach, Jack Fitzgerald, was one of the most positive influences in his life during this time. Wade was recruited by only three college basketball teams due to academic problems. During most of Wade's time at Marquette, his mother was either eluding the law or serving time in jail for selling crack cocaine. On October 14, 2001, JoLinda declared that she would change her life and get clean while attending a service at a Chicago church. Wade a sophomore at Marquette, went home for Christmas to be with his mom, who he believed was clean and sober for the first time in his life. However, JoLinda admitted to him that she was going back to prison. Wade told ESPN, "I was hurt because I felt like I was just getting my mom back, now she had to leave again."
On January 2, 2002, his mother went back to prison to serve her 14-month sentence. She says she has been clean since 2003. Wade chose to play college basketball for Tom Crean at Marquette University in Wisconsin. During Wade's freshman year at Marquette, he was ineligible to play with the men's team as he had fallen short of academic stan
The Miami Heat are an American professional basketball team based in Miami. The Heat compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division; the Heat play their home games at American Airlines Arena, have won three NBA championships. The franchise began play in 1988 as an expansion team, where after a period of mediocrity, the Heat would gain relevance during the 1990s following the appointment of former head coach Pat Riley in the role of team president. Riley would construct the high-profile trades of Alonzo Mourning in 1995, of Tim Hardaway in 1996, which propelled the team into playoff contention. Mourning and Hardaway would lead the Heat to four division titles, prior to their departures in 2001 and 2002, respectively; as a result, the team struggled, entered into a rebuild in time for the 2002–03 season. Led by Dwyane Wade, following a trade for former NBA Most Valuable Player Shaquille O'Neal, Miami made the NBA Finals in 2006, where they clinched their first championship, led by Riley as head coach.
After the departure of O'Neal two years the team entered into another period of decline for the remainder of the 2000s. This saw the resignation of Riley as head coach, who returned to his position as team president, was replaced by Erik Spoelstra. In 2010, after creating significant cap space, the Heat partnered Wade with former league MVP LeBron James, perennial NBA All-Star Chris Bosh, creating the "Big Three". During their four-year spell together, under the guise of Spoelstra, James and Bosh, they would lead the Heat to the NBA Finals in every season, won two back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013; the trio would all depart by 2016, the team entered another period of rebuilding. Wade was reacquired in 2018, albeit to retire with the franchise; the Heat hold the record for the NBA's third-longest streak, 27 straight games, set during the 2012–13 season. Four Hall of Famers have played for Miami, while James has won the NBA MVP Award while playing for the team. In 1987 the NBA granted one of its four new expansion teams to Miami and the team, known as the Heat began play in November 1988.
The Miami Heat began their early years with much mediocrity, only making the playoffs two times in their first eight years and falling in the first round both times. Upon the purchasing of the franchise by Carnival Cruise Lines chairman Micky Arison in 1995, Pat Riley was brought in as the team president and head coach. Riley acquired center Alonzo Mourning and point guard Tim Hardaway to serve as the centerpieces for the team, transforming Miami into a championship contender throughout the late 1990s. With them they brought in a new team trainer, Cody Posselt, to work on shooting; the Heat underwent a dramatic turnaround in the 1996–97 season, improving to a 61–21 record – a franchise record at the time, second-best in team history. That same year, Miami earned the moniker of "Road Warriors" for its remarkable 32–9 record on the road. On the backs of Hardaway and Mourning, the Heat achieved their first two series victories in the playoffs, making it to the Conference Finals against the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls before losing in five games.
Their biggest rivals of the time were the New York Knicks, Riley's former team, who would eliminate the Heat in the playoffs from 1998 through 2000. A period of mediocrity followed after, highlighted by missing the playoffs in 2002 and 2003. In the 2003 NBA draft, with the fifth overall pick, Miami selected shooting guard Dwyane Wade out of Marquette. Free-agent swing-man Lamar Odom was signed from the Los Angeles Clippers. Just prior to the start of the 2003–04 season, Riley stepped down as head coach to focus on rebuilding the Heat, promoting Stan Van Gundy to the position of head coach. Behind Van Gundy's leadership, Wade's stellar rookie year and Odom's break out season, the Heat made the 2004 NBA Playoffs, beating the New Orleans Hornets 4–3 in the 1st round and losing to the Indiana Pacers 4–2 in the 2nd round. In the offseason, Riley engineered a summer blockbuster trade for Shaquille O'Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers. Alonzo Mourning returned to the Heat in the same season. Returning as championship contenders, Miami finished with a 59–23 record garnering the first overall seed in the Eastern Conference.
Sweeping through the first round and the semifinals, Miami went back to the Conference Finals for the first time in eight years, where it met the defending champion Detroit Pistons. Despite taking a 3–2 lead, Miami lost Wade to injury for Game 6; the Heat would go on to lose Game 7 at home despite Wade's return. In the summer of 2005, Riley brought in veteran free agent Gary Payton from the Boston Celtics, brought in James Posey, Jason Williams and Antoine Walker via trades. After a disappointing 11–10 start to the 2005–06 season, Riley relieved Van Gundy of his duties and took back the head coaching job; the Heat made it to the Conference Finals in 2006 and in a re-match, defeated the Pistons, winning the series 4–2. Making its first NBA Finals appearance, they played the Dallas Mavericks, who won the first two games in Dallas in routs; the Heat won the next four games, capturing its first championship. Wade won the Finals MVP award; the Heat experienced four-years of post-title struggles from 2007 through 2010, including a 4–0 sweep by the Chicago Bulls in the 1st round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
In the 2007–08 season, Wade was plagued by injuries and the Heat had a league worst 15–67 record. O'Neal was traded to Phoenix midway through the season. Riley resigned as head coach following the season but retained his positio
Patrick Aloysius Ewing is a Jamaican-American retired Hall of Fame basketball player and current head coach of the Georgetown University men's basketball team. He played most of his career as the starting center of the NBA's New York Knicks and played with the Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic. Ewing played center for Georgetown for four years—where he played in the NCAA Championship Game three times—and was named as the 16th greatest college player of all time by ESPN, he had an eighteen-year NBA career, predominantly playing for the New York Knicks, where he was an eleven-time all-star and named to seven All-NBA teams. The Knicks appeared in the NBA Finals twice during his tenure, he won Olympic gold medals as a member of the 1984 and 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball teams. In a 1996 poll celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NBA, Ewing was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, he is a two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Massachusetts.
Additionally he was inducted into the U. S. Olympic Hall of Fame as a member of the "Dream Team" in 2009, his number 33 was retired by the Knicks in 2003. Patrick Ewing was born August 1962 in Kingston, Jamaica; as a child, he excelled at soccer. In 1975, 12-year-old Ewing moved to the United States and joined his family in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he learned to play basketball at Latin School with the help of John Fountain. With only a few years of playing experience, Ewing developed into one of best high school players in the country, among the most intimidating forces seen at the level given his size and athleticism. Due to his stature and the team's dominance, Ewing was subject to racially fueled taunts and jeers from hostile away crowds. Once rival fans rocked the team bus when Ewing's squad arrived to play an away game. In order to prepare for college, Ewing joined the MIT-Wellesley Upward Bound Program; as a senior in high school, Ewing signed a letter of intent to play for Coach John Thompson at Georgetown University.
Ewing made his announcement in Boston, in a room full of fans who were hoping for him to play for local schools Boston College or Boston University. During his recruitment, Ewing was close to signing a letter of intent to play for Dean Smith and the University of North Carolina, while on his recruiting visit, he witnessed a nearby rally for the Ku Klux Klan, which dissuaded him from going there; as a freshman during the 1981–1982 season, Ewing became one of the first college players to start and star on the varsity team as a freshman. That year, Ewing led the Hoyas to their second Big East Tournament title in school history and a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. In the tournament, the Hoyas advanced to their first Final Four since 1943, where they defeated the University of Louisville 50-46, to set up a showdown in the NCAA Final against North Carolina. In one of the most star-studded championship games in NCAA history, Ewing was called for goaltending five times in the first half, setting the tone for the Hoyas and making his presence felt.
The Hoyas led late in the game, but a shot by future NBA superstar Michael Jordan gave North Carolina the lead. Georgetown still had a chance at winning the game in the final seconds, but Freddy Brown mistakenly threw a bad pass directly to opposing player James Worthy. For the 1982-1983 season and the Hoyas began the season as the #2 ranked team in the country. An early season showdown with #1 ranked Virginia and their star center Ralph Sampson was dubbed the "Game of the Decade". Virginia's veteran team won, 68–63, but Ewing at one point slam-dunked right over Sampson, a play which established Ewing as a dominating "big man"; the Hoyas posted a 22-10 record for the season and made another NCAA Tournament appearance, but Georgetown was defeated in the second round of the tournament by Memphis State. This would be the only season in Ewing's Georgetown career where they did not make it at least as far as the National Championship game. In the 1983–84 season, Ewing led Georgetown to the Big East regular season championship, the Big East Tournament championship and another #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
He was named the Big East Player of the Year. The Hoyas advanced to the Final Four for the third time in school history to face Kentucky, a team which had never lost a national semifinal game and was led by the "Twin Towers," Sam Bowie and Melvin Turpin. Georgetown was able to turn an early 12 point deficit into a 53-40 win to advance to the National Championship game. In the final, the Hoyas faced the University of Houston, led by future Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon. Ewing and Georgetown prevailed with an 84–75 victory, giving the school its first and only NCAA Championship in school history. Ewing was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. For the 1984-1985 season, Ewing's senior year, Georgetown was ranked #1 in the nation for the majority of the campaign. Ewing was again named the Big East Player of the Year and the team won the Big East tournament title yet again, they entered the NCAA tournament as the #1 overall seed of the East Region, where they wound up advancing to another Final Four, their third in four years.
In the National Semifinal game, Georgetown faced their Big East rivals, St. John's and Chris Mullin, the fourth meeting between the schools that year; the Hoyas defeated the Redmen 77-59, setting up a matchup with another Big East rival in unranked Villanova for the title. An o
LeBron Raymone James Sr. is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. He is considered the best basketball player in the world and regarded by some as the greatest player of all time, his accomplishments include four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals. James has been named NBA All-Star MVP three times, he won the 2008 NBA scoring title, is the all-time NBA playoffs scoring leader, is fourth in all-time career points scored. He has been voted onto the All-NBA First Team twelve times and the All-Defensive First Team five times. James played basketball for St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, where he was touted by the national media as a future NBA superstar. A prep-to-pro, he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 as the first overall draft pick. Named the 2003–04 NBA Rookie of the Year, he soon established himself as one of the league's premier players. After failing to win a championship with Cleveland, James left in 2010 to sign as a free agent with the Miami Heat.
This move was announced in an ESPN special titled The Decision, is one of the most controversial free agent decisions in American sports history. James won his first two NBA championships while playing for the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, he was named NBA Finals MVP in both championship years. After his fourth season with the Heat in 2014, James opted out of his contract to re-sign with the Cavaliers. In 2016, he led the Cavaliers to victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, delivering the team's first championship and ending Cleveland's 52-year professional sports title drought. In 2018, James opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers to sign with the Lakers. Off the court, James has accumulated additional fame from numerous endorsement contracts, his public life has been the subject of much scrutiny, he has been ranked as one of America's most influential and popular athletes. He has been featured in books and television commercials, he has hosted the ESPY Awards and Saturday Night Live, appeared in the 2015 film Trainwreck.
James was born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio to a 16-year-old mother, Gloria Marie James, father Anthony McClelland. Anthony was not involved in their life; when James was growing up, life was a struggle for the family, as they moved from apartment to apartment in the seedier neighborhoods of Akron while Gloria struggled to find steady work. Realizing that her son would be better off in a more stable family environment, Gloria allowed him to move in with the family of Frank Walker, a local youth football coach who introduced James to basketball when he was nine years old. James started playing organized basketball in the fifth grade, he played Amateur Athletic Union basketball for the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars. The team enjoyed success on a local and national level, led by James and his friends Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, Willie McGee; the group dubbed themselves the "Fab Four" and promised each other that they would attend high school together. In a move that stirred local controversy, they chose to attend St. Vincent–St.
Mary High School, a private Catholic school with predominantly white students. As a freshman, James averaged 6 rebounds per game for the St. Vincent-St. Mary varsity basketball team; the Fighting Irish went 27–0 en route to the Division III state title, making them the only boys high school team in Ohio to finish the season undefeated. As a sophomore, James averaged 25.2 points and 7.2 rebounds with 5.8 assists and 3.8 steals per game. For some home games during the season, St. Vincent-St. Mary played at the University of Akron's 5,492-seat Rhodes Arena to satisfy ticket demand from alumni and college and NBA scouts who wanted to see James play; the Fighting Irish finished the season 26–1 and repeated as state champions. For his outstanding play, James was named Ohio Mr. Basketball and selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team, becoming the first sophomore to do either. Prior to the start of his junior year, James was featured in Slam, an American basketball magazine, writer Ryan Jones lauded him as "the best high school basketball player in America right now".
During the season, he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, becoming the first high school basketball underclassman to do so. With averages of 29 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 3.3 steals per game, he was again named Ohio Mr. Basketball and selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team, became the first junior to be named male basketball Gatorade National Player of the Year. St. Vincent-St. Mary finished the year with a 23–4 record, ending their season with a loss in the Division II championship game. Following the loss, James unsuccessfully petitioned for a change to the NBA's draft eligibility rules in an attempt to enter the 2002 NBA draft. During this time, he used marijuana, which he said was to help cope with the stress that resulted from the constant media attention he was receiving. Throughout his senior year and the Fighting Irish traveled around the country to play a number of nationally ranked teams, including a game against Oak Hill Academy, nationally televised on ESPN2.
Time Warner Cable, looking to capitalize on James's popularity, offered St. Vincent-St. Mary's games to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis throughout the season. For the year, James averaged 31.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 3.4 steals per game, was named Ohio Mr. Basketball and selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team
Wilton Norman Chamberlain was an American basketball player who played as a center and is considered one of the greatest players in history. He played for the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association, he played for the University of Kansas and for the Harlem Globetrotters before playing in the NBA. Chamberlain stood 7 ft 1 in tall, weighed 250 pounds as a rookie before bulking up to 275 and to over 300 pounds with the Lakers. Chamberlain holds numerous NBA records in scoring and durability categories, he is the only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game or average more than 40 and 50 points in a season. He won seven scoring, eleven rebounding, nine field goal percentage titles and led the league in assists once. Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game in a season, which he accomplished seven times, he is the only player to average at least 30 points and 20 rebounds per game over the entire course of his NBA career.
Although he suffered a long string of losses in the playoffs, Chamberlain had a successful career, winning two NBA championships, earning four regular-season Most Valuable Player awards, the Rookie of the Year award, one NBA Finals MVP award, was selected to 13 All-Star Games and ten All-NBA First and Second teams. He was subsequently enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, elected into the NBA's 35th Anniversary Team of 1980, in 1996 he was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Chamberlain was known by several nicknames during his basketball playing career, he hated the ones that called attention to his height, such as "Goliath" and "Wilt the Stilt". A Philadelphia sportswriter coined the nicknames during Chamberlain's high school days, he preferred "The Big Dipper", inspired by his friends who saw him dip his head as he walked through doorways. After his professional basketball career ended, Chamberlain played volleyball in the short-lived International Volleyball Association, was president of that organization, is enshrined in the IVA Hall of Fame for his contributions.
He was a successful businessman, authored several books, appeared in the movie Conan the Destroyer. He was a lifelong bachelor and became notorious for his claim of having had sexual relations with as many as 20,000 women. Chamberlain was born in 1936 in Philadelphia, into a family of nine children, the son of Olivia Ruth Johnson, a domestic worker and homemaker, William Chamberlain, a welder and handyman, he was a frail child, nearly dying of pneumonia in his early years and missing a whole year of school as a result. In his early years Chamberlain was not interested in basketball, because he thought it was "a game for sissies". Instead, he was an avid track and field athlete: as a youth, he high jumped 6 feet, 6 inches, ran the 440 yards in 49.0 seconds and the 880 yards in 1:58.3, put the shot 53 feet, 4 inches, long jumped 22 feet. But according to Chamberlain, "basketball was king in Philadelphia", so he turned to the sport; because Chamberlain was a tall child measuring 6 ft 0 in at age 10 and 6 ft 11 in when he entered Philadelphia's Overbrook High School, he had a natural advantage against his peers.
According to ESPN journalist Hal Bock, Chamberlain was "scary, flat-out frightening... before he came along, most basketball players were mortal-sized men. Chamberlain changed that." It was in this period of his life when his three lifelong nicknames "Wilt the Stilt", "Goliath", his favorite, "The Big Dipper", were born. As the star player for the Overbrook Panthers, Chamberlain averaged 31 points a game during the 1953 high school season and led his team to a 71–62 win over Northeast High School, who had Guy Rodgers, Chamberlain's future NBA teammate, he scored 34 points as Overbrook won the Public League title and gained a berth in the Philadelphia city championship game against the winner of the rival Catholic league, West Catholic. In that game, West Catholic quadruple-teamed Chamberlain the entire game, despite the center's 29 points, the Panthers lost 54–42. In his second Overbrook season, he continued his prolific scoring when he tallied a high school record 71 points against Roxborough.
The Panthers comfortably won the Public League title after again beating Northeast in which Chamberlain scored 40 points, won the city title by defeating South Catholic 74–50. He led Overbrook to a 19 -- 0 season. During summer vacations, he worked as a bellhop in Kutsher's Hotel. Subsequently, owners Milton and Helen Kutsher kept up a lifelong friendship with Wilt, according to their son Mark, "They were his second set of parents." Red Auerbach, the coach of the Boston Celtics, spotted the talented teenager at Kutscher's and had him play 1-on-1 against University of Kansas standout and national champion, B. H. Born, elected the Most Outstanding Player of the 1953 NCAA Finals. Chamberlain won 25–10. In Chamberlain's third and final Overbrook season, he continued his high scoring, logging 74, 78 and 90 points in three consecutive games; the Panthers won the Public League a third time, beating West Philadelphia 78–60, in