First introduced in 1988 by Kenner and later by Hasbro, Starting Lineup figures were about providing fans with memorabilia they could enjoy for years to come. These figures allowed fans everywhere to collect and display their favorite players. For lovers of authentic sports collectibles, Fanatics and Hasbro Pulse are back in 2022 with a whole new set of Starting Lineup figures for fans and collectors alike to trade and display. Series One features eight NBA players to choose from, ranging from LeBron James to Trae Young. Here’s a detailed look at each of these notable players.
LeBron James was born in Akron, Ohio on Dec. 30, 1984, and demonstrated a natural talent on the court from an early age. With an impressive high school record and a drive to succeed, he was quickly picked up by the 2003 NBA Draft straight out of high school. In the 2003-04 season, he made history as the first member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the youngest player ever to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He also quickly began turning heads by averaging 20 points per game — putting him in the same category as Michael Jordan.
He continued to excel with the Cleveland Cavaliers, leading them to victory again and again. In 2005, he made history once again as the youngest player to score more than 50 points per game. In the 2007-08 season, he was able to win the NBA scoring title, averaging 30 points per game. The year 2010 saw him exercise free agency for the first time, and he went on to join the Miami Heat in the 2010-11 season, where he led the team to the championships in 2012 and 2013.
James rejoined the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 and would go on to lead the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals. He helped the team win their first championship in more than 50 years and earned the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.
In 2018, he moved on to the next chapter of his career by signing a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, and he later helped to spearhead the Lakers’ rise to fame by recording a triple-double against all 30 NBA teams in November 2019. In 2022, he became the first NBA player to accumulate 10,000 or more career points, rebounds, and assists.
Stephen Curry was born on March 14, 1988, in Akron, Ohio. As the son of son of former NBA player Dell Curry, Stephen left little doubt that he would have a bright future in basketball. The Golden State Warriors first drafted him in 2009, and he would go on to become one of the top players in professional basketball history thanks to his impressive shooting skills. As a guard, Curry averaged more than 22 points per game after the 2010 All-Star break and came in second for the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
He achieved new heights in the next few years and led the Warriors on a winning streak. In 2014-15, he won his first official league MVP award and helped the Warriors achieve their first championship since 1975. In the following season, he launched the team into further victories, helping them set an NBA record of 73 consecutive wins. The year 2016 saw Curry earn the MVP award again, and he became the first player in NBA history to win the award by unanimous vote. He also earned Finals MVP for his performance in the All-Star game in 2022.
Born Dec. 6, 1994, Giannis Antetokounmpo is a talented Greek-Nigerian NBA player who currently plays for the Milwaukee Bucks. He rose to fame in 2013 when he was first drafted into the NBA by the Bucks at just 18, making him one of the youngest NBA players in history. He finished his first season with 61 total blocks, quickly propelling him into the category of top NBA rookies.
At the end of the Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend, he was able to earn a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Team. During his next season with the Bucks, he recorded his first triple-double with 27 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists and became the youngest on the team to score a triple-double. His fourth year with the Bucks was really when he further propelled himself to fame by becoming the first Greek NBA All-Star and the youngest player to start in an All-Star Game.
In 2020, at the height of his career, he would win his second MVP award. He also joined the ranks of Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to win the MVP, Finals MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year awards during their careers.
Luka Doncic was born Feb. 28, 1999, and currently plays for the Dallas Mavericks while also representing Slovenia’s national team. He began his career by joining the youth academy of Real Madrid Baloncesto, a professional basketball team based in Madrid, Spain. In 2018, Doncic joined the Mavericks and made his NBA debut. After being unanimously selected for the NBA All-Rookie First Team, he won the Rookie of the Year for the 2018–19 season.
In December 2019, he won the NBA Player of the Month award after earning the title of NBA Western Conference Player of the Month for October and November. In 2019, he became the youngest European player to start in an All-Star game and surpassed Jason Kidd for the most triple-doubles recorded in franchise history. The following season saw him earn numerous additional distinctions. In May 2022, he again earned a spot on his third consecutive All-NBA First Team.
Jayson Tatum was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 3, 1998 and rose to fame after being drafted to the Boston Celtics in 2017. Naturally talented at basketball, he played for the Duke Blue Devils before joining the NBA. In 2018, he earned an NBA All-Rookie Team honor. In early 2020, he would earn the title of NBA All-Star for the first time in his career. Tatum also won a gold medal for the U.S. team in Tokyo in 2020.
Tatum would eventually earn the NBA Eastern Conference Finals MVP award in 2022 and help the Celtics get to the NBA Finals. He would also finish the playoffs with an impressive 100 total turnovers, the most of any player in NBA postseason history.
Born in Dalzell, South Carolina, on Aug. 10, 1999, Ja Morant is a breakout star of the 2022 NBA season. First drafted in 2019 by the Memphis Grizzlies, Morant earned the title of NBA Rookie of the Year after the end of the 2019-20 season and the NBA All-Rookie First Team honor. He also earned the NBA Most Improved Player Award following his outstanding performances throughout the season.
During his time with the NBA so far, he’s broken the OVC’s free throw record and also holds the record for the first NCAA Division I men’s player to average 40 points, 10 assists, and five steals in a single game.
Joel Embiid is a Cameroonian basketball player who was born on March 16, 1994. He declared for the NBA draft in 2014 and, despite his injuries and challenges, quickly became one of the league’s rising stars. Playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, he earned the NBA All-Rookie First Team distinction at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.
After a slew of bad luck, he rose to come up second in NBA MVP Award voting. In 2022, he earned the 2021-22 NBA scoring title, becoming the first internationally born player to lead the NBA in scoring. He also became the first center to average over 30 points per game since 1982.
Trae Young was born in Lubbock, Texas, on Sept. 19, 1998, and first started his basketball career in college playing for the Oklahoma Sooners. He rose to fame after becoming the first player to lead the NCAA in both points and assists within just a single season. He declared for the 2018 NBA draft and officially signed with the Atlanta Hawks. Young started his career off strong and earned the 2019 NBA All-Rookie First Team honor, joining Luka Doncic.
Young became the second player besides LeBron James to accumulate at least 30 points and 10 assists in a postseason debut. He also became the second player in the Hawks’ history to score 30 or more points in each of his two postseason appearances. In 2022, he earned a spot at the 2022 NBA All-Star Game as a backcourt starter.
NBA fans can now enjoy having their own Lebron James, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum, Ja Morant, Joel Embiid and Trae Young figurines to remember some of the most skilled basketball players of today. Get your Starting Lineup product line at Fanatics.