'King James' continues to build his legacy as one of basketball's all-time greats.
Drafted in 2003 by the Cleveland Cavaliers - just 50km from where he was born - James subsequently won the NBA Rookie of the Year award to earn selection for his first Olympic Games as a teenager in 2004.
He was restricted to cameos off the bench with Richard Jefferson in the starting role at small forward, although he did play most of USA's final group win over Angola.
James played just three minutes in their stunning semi-final defeat to eventual winners Argentina, and seven minutes in the bronze medal playoff win over Lithuania.
After Athens, he soon established himself as one of the leading players of his generation.
In 2007, James led the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Detroit Pistons for their first ever Eastern Conference title before they were swept in the NBA Finals by the San Antonio Spurs whose head coach, Gregg Popovich, was a Team USA assistant in Athens.
Before Beijing, he became the Cavs' all-time leading scorer and won the NBA scoring title ahead of MVP Kobe Bryant.
“"You can’t be afraid to fail. It’s the only way you succeed. You’re not gonna succeed all the time and I know that."”
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