In case you live under a rock, LeBron James surpassed Michael Jordan to move into 4th place all time in scoring in the NBA. The Lakers of course had a video ready to go in the midst of their 4th straight loss as they sink further in the Western Conference standings. LeBron obviously sat on the bench as the video tribute played while dramatic tears rolled down his eyes.
Before I continue, I should probably state my opinions on LeBron James. He has the most skill of any basketball player in the history of the game. Michael Jordan will forever be a better player than him because of his intangibles. If you come across someone who would rather have LeBron take the last shot over Michael then promptly slap them in the face on the spot. I thoroughly enjoy watching the spectacle that is LeBron James playing basketball at a high level. I am not a fan of his inability to get a clue when it comes to the media. His tone deaf Instagram posts are by far the worst part about him with his on court dramatics a close second.
That being said, LeBron James has exceeded the hype better than any athlete in the history of sports. He was the first big athlete to really be exposed to the limelight at a very young age. Sidney Crosby has since done a fantastic job living up to the hype. Bryce Harper is still to be determined but is also on his way. There are plenty of other athletes to grace the Sports Illustrated cover at a young age that would go on to completely flop. See, Sebastian Telfair.
LeBron James was named Ohio Mr. Basketball as a sophomore in high school. He was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated during his junior year. Most students are just excited they can now drive, LeBron James was on the cover of the most popular sports magazine in the world. He was named Gatorade National Player of the Year after his junior year. St. Vincent St. Mary games were regularly televised on ESPN. High schoolers fall asleep to ESPN, LeBron James was nationally televised at that age. During his senior year he was named Ohio Mr. Basketball for the third straight year. He was named Gatorade National Player of the Year for the second year in a row. He also left high school with the words “Chosen One” tattooed across his back. The hype for LeBron James was through the god damn roof.
It was a hype that sports had never seen before. A human being of his age had never been thrust into the spotlight. LeBron James lived up to that hype and then some. His NBA resume speaks for itself. He is the center of one of the most talked about debates in sports history. I would say when you are consistently being debated against one of the best athletes in history that you did a pretty damn good job.
While we all hate off the court LeBron, take some time to appreciate on the court LeBron. Not this season though, I legitimately have no idea what he is doing out there. Soon enough, LeBron will be gone and the focus will be on Bronny. We will compare everyone to LeBron James. People always say the hype is real and this time it was definitely real folks.