15 Things You Never Knew About LeBron James

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2014

15 Things You Never Knew About LeBron James

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    Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

    He's the most polarizing, popular and talked about athlete on the entire planet, but that doesn't necessarily mean we know everything about four-time NBA MVP LeBron James.

    As someone who grew up not too far from LeBron in Ohio—actually having a cousin who was friends with him in high school—I've been fortunate enough to follow his career from the time we were both 14 years old.

    On the cusp of another possible title in the next week or so, I figured I'd present to you a few things that you may not know about him—even if it seems like we get a LeBron overload all the time.

He Joined Wilt Chamberlain and Moses Malone

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    James received some seriously harsh criticism for his “Decision” special announcing his intentions to take his talents to South Beach in 2010, but there was something else historical about what he did.

    That’s because by leaving Cleveland for Miami, James joined Wilt Chamberlain and Moses Malone as the only two other players to have changed teams following being awarded the league’s MVP.

He Endorses Dunkin' Donuts

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    With a physique like LeBron’s, not too many people would think that he eats a ton of unhealthy stuff.

    Still, that didn’t stop Dunkin’ Donuts from signing him to a big marketing deal to promote the brand in Asia a few years ago.

    It appears that James is sweet on and off the court.

He Shoots Right-Handed and Writes Left-Handed

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    Noah Graham/Getty Images

    LeBron has worked on his jumper over the years, since it was his one questionable skill heading into the NBA from high school.

    And as anyone who watches him play can tell, he shoots the ball right-handed.

    But if you were to meet James for dinner somewhere, he’d be holding his fork and eating left-handed, and then he'd sign whatever you handed to him the same hand.

He Played Against My High School Buddies

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    This is one that’s just for my friends and I, but LeBron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary’s high school squad played my high school in a preseason tournament back in Ohio before our senior years.

    Knowing every parent wanted a photo of their son guarding him, our coach rotated players to guard him while James stood stagnant during play to make sure each kid got their chance to brag a bit when they were older.

    Coolest thing he did, though? He autographed his game shoes and gave them to my ex-girlfriend’s younger brother—all-white Adidas.

He Helped Design His High School Football Uniforms

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    Known for some unique outfits, LeBron has shown to have quite the style.

    Thanks to that passion to look good, James actually had a hand in designing the uniforms that his old high school football team wears these days—which, of course, are sponsored by Nike and the LeBron brand.

He Started a High School Phenomenon

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    MARK DUNCAN/Associated Press

    Although all of us are accustomed to the non-stop, live news action that the Internet gives us thanks to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., back during James’ high school days in 2002, the thought of a teenager getting one of their games televised nationally was insane.

    It might happen all the time now, but 12 years ago, James was the one who started it all.

He Would Have Chosen Ohio State University

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    LeBron may have been targeted as the No. 1 pick for years before officially being able to declare for the NBA draft out of high school back in 2003, but had the rules been as they are now—where a kid has to go to college for at least one year—where would he have gone?

    While LeBron has admitted to having a few favorite colleges before, he declared he would have gone to Ohio State to play for the Buckeyes—which, most likely, would have won them a national title for the year he was in Columbus.

He Had to Cover Some Skin

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    MARK DUNCAN/Associated Press

    James might sport some serious tattoos all over his body these days, but back in high school, the private school actually made he and his teammates cover up their ink during games.

    So, while he didn’t get it until a few years later, James’ famous “Witness” tattoo on his leg would have had to be whited-out.

Here's Why He Really Quit Football

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    Most of us are familiar with the fact that James was an All-State wideout while in high school—and that he has talked about the desire to play in the NFL.

    But why did he give up the gridiron?

    It wasn’t because he couldn’t cut it or just lost interest, but because he had broken his wrist at a hoops camp and the thought of risking more injury on the football field ultimately led to him walking away from the helmet and pads.

He and Michael Jordan Share a Cool Record

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    Sharing a few records with his idol Michael Jordan, one of James’ most famous accomplishment is that he and Jordan are the only two players to ever win a league MVP, NBA Finals MVP and Olympic gold medal in the same year.

    MJ accomplished it back in 1992, and James did it in 2012.

Jay Z Came to His Defense

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    Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press

    Good friends with legendary rapper Jay Z, the MC’s freestyle “Blow the Whistle” was actually in defense of then-Washington Wizards forward DeShawn Stevenson calling LeBron overrated.

    Stevenson said it before a 2009 playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers to try to throw Bron off his game—it didn’t work, as James averaged 29.8 points and 9.5 boards and 7.7 dimes in the six-game series win.

He Lived with His Peewee Football Coach Growing Up

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    During his mom Gloria’s search for a more stable situation for her and her son, LeBron actually lived with his peewee football coach, Frank Walker, who James credits with introducing him to the game of basketball.

    If that’s the case, why aren’t more people lining up to hire Walker as their personal coach? The dude clearly knows how to teach them!

The Number 6 Means a Lot to Him

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    After wearing No. 23 out of respect to his idol, Michael Jordan, before leaving to join the Miami Heat in 2010, LeBron chose to wear No. 6 for a few reasons.

    And although there are random theories out there, Bron has said he picked it because his first son was born on Oct. 6, it was already his Olympic number and because his second son was born in June.

His Yearbook Made Some Mistakes

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The name LeBron James might be recognized in nearly every single household around the planet, but while LeBron was in eighth grade, his own middle school couldn't even get it right.

    That's because there were a series of errors that were made after printing up the photos, with the most obvious being James' name mistakenly appearing beneath another boy named Michael Quinn.

    At least that kid knows what it's like to be Bron for a day...sort of.

His Oldest Son Clowned Him

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    There aren't too many people who would ever question the ability of LeBron James—but apparently his own son is someone who does.

    It's what James said happened following his terrible Game 5 in this year's Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers, where Bron scored just seven points and racked up five fouls in the loss.

    Looks like LBJ even gets criticized in his own house!