Typically, if it doesn’t have wheels and an incendiary compression device attached to it that runs on refined dinosaur bones, I don’t pay it much heed. I’m that weird old geezer in the corner of the pub who thinks Channing Tatum is a Brazilian wax treatment, and that Snapchat is when two people are getting testy with one another in a brief, heated conversation. Oh, you’re going to see Kanye West in concert? Never heard of her.
So when this assignment arrived, I had no idea that this LeBron James was such a big deal. The guy apparently works six months a year, has a habit of dribbling, and thought that the weather in Miami wasn’t nice enough, so he moved back home to Cleveland.
Crazy as that sounds to someone like me, it turns out that this “King James” isn’t just “the best basketball player in the world,” he’s also gone through some cars in his day. And while some of us may not agree with his taste in vehicles or customization preferences, the guy’s got an eclectic enough palate to be considered a bit of a gearhead. Besides, knowing how to dunk properly makes him far more money than we’ll ever be able to conceive, and that’s why this cheat sheet is here: to show that some of his money was put to use in the best way possible.
1. Lamborghini Aventador
Back in 2014, The duPont Registry reported that Lou La Vie, Rich B. Caliente, and Toys for Boys Miami collaborated on this specially-wrapped Lamborghini Aventador Roadster to celebrate the launch of the Nike LeBron XI and the King James Legacy sneakers. The unique wrap was patterned after the liner in the “King’s Pride” Nike LeBron XI shoe, and while the car reportedly cost $670,000 and was commissioned by Nike, the thought of hearing the roar of a 6.5-liter V12 and the jungle blur of it blasting past us on the interstate is what really draws us to it.
2. Porsche 911 Turbo S
The Turbo S is such a good car, why did LeBron look so pissed to be in it back in his Miami Heat days? Maybe he’s forgotten that it has over 550 horsepower, a fantastic drive layout, six-piston calipers up front a four-pots in the back, and an interior that is sexier than an all-access trip to the AVN Awards. Maybe he’s just grumpy about all of the sunshine, beautiful women, ocean, and paparazzi, and pines for the comforts of Cleveland?
3. Hummer H2
From what we can gather, this monster was one of LeBron’s first big purchases after going pro, and back during the infamous days of “The Decision,” this monster was still one of his rides of choice. But those headstrong days are a distant memory for LeBron, much like the Hummer brand itself, and just looking at something like this makes us wonder how many ounces of chrome went into those million-pound wheels way back then.
4. Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG
Now we’re finally working with something just covert enough that it doesn’t stand out like a 6-foot-8 basketball player. While this car has over 577 horsepower on tap and an interior that’s plenty large enough for Akron, Ohio’s tallest celebrity, there’s a feeling of treachery in the air — reportedly, LeBron sold his custom Kia K900 earlier this year in favor of European luxury, even though he’s still the K900’s official poster boy.
5. Ferrari F430 Spider
Right when it was looking like LeBron was settling into a non-descriptive slice of German luxury, along comes a Ferrari F430 Spider, and everybody takes notice. It’s kind of hard to ignore someone, celebrity or not, if they’re driving a car with a fully automatic electric hood that keeps the engine visible at all times. Boasting over 480 horsepower, and enough noise to bring Elvis back from the dead, we don’t think LeBron was trying that hard to dodge the paparazzi when he took this puppy out of the pen.
6. Dodge Challenger SRT
Detroit muscle meets heavy coupe, massive wheels, tires that appear to be more of an afterthought, and windows that are tinted so dark that driving at night becomes more dangerous than getting a Channing Tatum in Tijuana. The wheels aren’t spinners, the paint scheme is subtle, and while the Challenger remains the fat brother of the modern day American muscle car, it’s the only one with a strong resemblance to its ancestors, which made the film Vanishing Point such a winner back in the 1970s.
7. Maybach 57S
Mmmmmm … a hyper-luxury car with a V12 engine, 620 horsepower, a curb weight that approaches three tons – and a face that only a mother could love. Originally derived from the Mercedes-Benz Maybach concept at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show, this bizarre contraption was basically an S-class with even more swankiness and a six-figure price tag to match. While it may have tried to beat Bentley and Rolls Royce at their own game, financial losses and sales that hovered barely above a fifth of what Rolls-Royce was seeing caused Mercedes to end Maybach production in 2013. There’s a good chance that LeBron ditched his 57S around the same time as well.
8. Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
Now here’s one hardcore off-road, rough and rugged man machine that’s sure to show Mother Nature who’s boss because that’s what these trucks were designed to do. But look around online, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a picture of LeBron mud-hugging around in this thing. That’s like having a hyper boxer puppy and denying the chance to go outside and play. The greatest basketball player on the planet has the greatest off-roader on the planet; we’d like to see what he could do with it at Moab.
9. Chevrolet Camaro SS
I’m not entirely sure what’s going on here, but one thing is for sure: One day a Stormtrooper will see this car, fall in love, and they’ll both live happily ever after. This Camaro sports wheels with the rotational mass of an intergalactic space station, has tires that are thinner than Lord Vader’s patience, and rear quarter panels that leave you blinder than Han Solo fresh out of a carbonite refrigerator. To say that the force is strong with this one would be an understatement because the only time this car is understated looking is when LeBron is standing next to it.
10. 1975 Chevrolet Impala
It’s awesome to see a classic slab of Americana like this get some special treatment. Few cars represent LeBron’s days in Miami quite like this one, with its custom, sub-encrusted trunk, massive color-matched chrome rollers, and cabana-colored interior trim. Looking it over, one has to wonder what’s beneath the bonnet, and if this thing is even safe to drive above 45 — even when the white stripes scream “floor it!”