Many sports fans call LeBron James the G.O.A.T., comparing him to other NBA legends like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. And they certainly have a point; James is a four-time NBA MVP award winner, and he’s also won three NBA championships. Not to mention, he recently became part of the billionaire boys club. But if you ask James who he credits for much of his success, he would likely point to his wife.
Savannah James is, of course, the wife of the superstar athlete but she is also a mother, businesswoman and the glue that keeps her family together. And even though LeBron wears many hats, he’s certainly not a one-man team.
With the help of his beautiful wife, the family has built an empire with no plans to stop. To learn how they became the power couple that they are today, here’s a timeline of LeBron and Savannah’s relationship.
Lebron James Shoots His Shot, But Misses
In an interview with Cleveland Magazine, Savannah James talked about how the couple met. She says that a mutual friend revealed that King James was interested in her, but she declined. She laughs, “I’m like, ‘Um, nope. I’ll take his number.'”
She admits to later reaching out to Lebron out of boredom, saying, “One day, I’m sitting around — I was probably bored or something — and I’m like, ‘Oh, I forgot! I have this number for this guy that I can call. He seemed interested, so let’s see.'”
The pair hit it off on their first date at Outback Steakhouse, and have been inseparable ever since.
Lebron James Becomes a Rising Talent
Lebron James is pretty serious about his craft, as evidenced by his multiple titles and awards. But even though James is a natural talent, he credits his wife for helping him become the man he is today.
In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, he discussed the important role Savannah played throughout his career. He referenced a line from the song Stay Schemin’, in which Drake critiques the divorce settlement the late Vanessa Bryant was due to receive following a divorce from NBA legend Kobe Bryant. He divorce was later called off.
“We have been down since high school. I listen to a lot of rap music, and a good friend of mine said, ‘You wasn’t with me shooting in the gym. But in all actuality, Savannah was with me shooting in the gym when I [had] absolutely nothing.”
He continues, “[Savannah] was down when I was at my high school, no cameras, no lights. And she was there with me. You wouldn’t be talking to me right now if it weren’t for her.”
Fortunately, their hard work paid off when Lebron James became the top pick in the 2003 annual NBA draft.
Their First Child is Born
In October of 2004, Lebron and Savannah James welcomed their first child, Lebron “Bronny” James Jr. The couple was overjoyed upon meeting their new bundle of joy, but prior to his arrival, they were concerned how a new baby might affect Lebron’s budding career.
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Savannah James recalls her worries over the timing of her pregnancy.
“I was thinking, ‘What am I going to tell my parents? What’s going to happen to his career?'” she remembers. “I was very scared. I was bawling. But he (James) said, ‘It’s not going to slow me down, and it’s not going to slow you down. We’re going to keep doing what we have to do.'”
The Couple Started The Lebron James Foundation
Both Lebron and Savannah James are all about giving back to the community. And their hometown of Akro, Ohio holds an especially important place in their hearts.
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In 2004, Lebron and Savannah James started The Lebron James Foundation. Their mission was to provide education to underprivileged children and youth in Akron, Ohio. Since its inception, the foundation has provided many education tools and resources to help make learning equal and accessible. This includes annual sponsored events, donations and giveaways, and much more. They even partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help renovate over 30 clubhouses across the country.
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And even though Savannah James helps to manage The Lebron James Foundation, she also started a mentorship program for young girls called “Women of Our Future”.
Lebron James Proposes to Savannah
In 2011, Lebron James proposed to his longtime best friend, Savannah James. He popped the question at a New Year’s Eve celebration in South Beach.
But even though James is a multi-talented athlete, he admits to being nervous that he could pull off the proposal. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey of Oprah’s Next Chapter, he recalls the moments leading up to the big event. “I was nervous. It felt like before a finals game.”
He even enlisted the help of his teammate Dwayne Wade to hold the ring for him while he waited for the perfect moment to pop the question. “I asked him for it right after the ball dropped,” James recalls. “He was like, ‘You ready?’ I was like, ‘If you don’t give me this ring right now, I ain’t gonna do it.'”
Friends and family were elated upon hearing the news, but Savannah James wouldn’t be the only one to be given a ring. In 2012 and 2013, Lebron James went on to win his first two NBA championships with the Miami Heat.
The Couple Becomes #Relationship Goals
Following his first NBA championship win in 2012, Lebron James was quickly becoming a household name. And as his fanbase grew, so did the spotlight on him and his family.
Fans called Lebron and Savannah James #relationship goals. But the duo is also best friends, and they aren’t afraid to show it.
In an interview with Cleveland Magazine, Savannah gushes over her husband. She says, “He is truly a king to his queen if you will. He treats me with so much respect — I mean, it’s hard to not love him, with the way that he is with me and the kids and his mom and just everyone who’s around him. He’s a really, really humble guy for everything that he has and everything that he’s done.”
And when Lebron sat down for an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, he highlighted her role, saying, “You wouldn’t be talking to me right now if it weren’t for her.”
Lebron and Savannah James Wed
And on September 24, 2013, the power couple celebrated their love by tying the knot in an intimate California wedding. Joining them were their two sons and, of course, their closest family and friends. Other notable guests were in attendance, including fellow basketball player Dwayne Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union. Plus, Beyonce and Jay-Z performed at the wedding to help celebrate their nuptials.
And shortly after their wedding, the high school sweethearts welcomed their third child, daughter Zhuri.
The Couple Celebrate Their Wedding Anniversary
Even though Lebron and Savannah James lead busy lives, they make it a point to take time to celebrate each other.
To honor their fifth wedding anniversary, King James surprised his wife with a private Daniel Caesar performance in their family living room. The singer and songwriter serenaded Mrs. James by singing “Best Part,” a beautiful song that celebrates love and romance.
And for their eighth wedding anniversary, the couple shared a series of heartwarming social media posts. Lebron shared a picture of them standing on the balcony as they embraced on the night of their engagement. He captioned the post, “Our own personal Met Gala 8 years ago. Happy Anniversary Queen!! Who am i w/o you in my corner, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Love you ♾ 👸🏾🤎🤎🤎🤎🤎.”
And Savannah echoed his sentiments, saying, “Happy Anniversary to my forever scary movie partner, my forever feet warmer, the Capricorn to my Virgo, my bestie, my babe!!! 8 years down, forever to go! Love you deep!! #LookWhatWeDid,” said Savannah.