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The buzz about LeBron James began when he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated—at age 17! As a high school student in Akron, Ohio, this basketball phenom was billed as "the next Michael Jordan" and nicknamed King James.

As the hottest teen athlete in the world, LeBron decided to skip college and enter into the NBA draft at age 18. The Cleveland Cavaliers snatched him up as their number one pick and offered him a four-year, $18.8 million contract. Their pick paid off—LeBron went on to become the youngest rookie of the year ever!

On top of his NBA contract, LeBron scored big with a $90 million endorsement deal from Nike before he set foot on the Cavaliers' court. Forbes magazine predicts that by the time LeBron turns 25 years old, he'll be worth more than $200 million!
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FROM: Why Everybody Hates Chris Rock
Published on September 22, 2005

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