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On the fulfilled prophecy of LeBron James and the writing of more chapters

May 31st, 2017 at 2:20 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

No one can ever question if James didn’t live up to the hype bestowed upon him as a teenager. David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

On February 18, 2002, Sports Illustrated declared LeBron James “The Chosen One,” making him just the ninth high school athlete ever to cover the magazine. Nearly three years later, LeBron would start in his first of 13 straight NBA All-Star games, alongside the likes of Grant Hill, Vince Carter and Allen Iverson. Josh Smith won the dunk contest that weekend over LeBron’s current teammate J.R. Smith while Quentin Richardson out-dueled Kyle Korver for the three-point shootout crown. It might as well have been a lifetime ago, but it was the tip of the Sports Illustrated-crafted iceberg, and just the beginning of James’ living up to the hype and the moniker he was so fond of he splattered it across his back in permanent ink.

Now, 15 years after SI’s ballsy declaration, James has fulfilled the prophecy.

With his seventh consecutive NBA Finals on the horizon, maybe his greatest challenge yet ahead of him and his idol and the GOAT title within reach, with all he’s proven thus far LeBron is still playing for his legacy. We should probably be satisfied with all that he’s accomplished in his 14 years in the NBA. His accolades are common lore at this point: fourĀ MVP awards, three Finals MVPs, three championships, two gold medals and most recently, the record for most career playoff points amongst other trophies, records, impressive statistics and all sorts of noteworthy accomplishments.

For LeBron, none of that is enough, not for the most scrutinized athlete since Muhammad Ali, who committed a literal act of treason to earn that distinction. Not in the era of the 24-hour news cycle, screaming head debate shows, constant Twitter debates, memes and everything else that has brought heated barber shop debates and water cooler …

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, J.R. Smith, Kyle Korver, LeBron James, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA, Orlando Magic, Quentin Richardson, Vince Carter

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