LeBron James deserves a round of applause. The way he’s played the first five years of his career has been superb, and should be commemorated. With that said, I’ve decided to create a “Why LeBron Is The Chosen One” list.
Time to recognize why he's the best at what he does.
His Swagger: The King knows who he is. Obviously, he knows how to play basketball. Every time he steps on the court, he knows he’s the best player in the arena. Whether he’s playing Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, or Michael Jordan (if he came out of retirement).
He’s confident that he can play just as well, if not better than any of them. This mental attitude gives him a certain type of motivation, like no other, that is needed to lead an elite team in the NBA.
The Way He’s Always Humble: After every win, LeBron will never boast or brag about the victory that he might have just sign-handedly won. It’s always a complete team effort in his eyes. Whether he scores 60 or 10, you’ll never hear him mention stats in a postgame interview or press conference.
Cockiness is not a part of LeBron’s game. He settles what needs to be settled on the court with his ability, not with trash talking.
And One: Every King has to be a robust person, mentally and physically. To rule the land of Cleveland, LeBron can't be weak in any of those areas. While driving the lane, you’ll never see Bron shy away from the rim. He finds a way to weave in an out of the largest defenders.
If you’ve ever seen James play, you’ll notice how tough he is to stop, mostly due to the fact that he brings 250 pounds of pure muscle to the hole on each and every drive. Because of this, he’s drawn hundreds and hundreds of and-one fouls in his career.
His Sense of Humor: We’ve all seen him in the High School Musical Clips on SNL and on the “LeBrons” commercials. "The Chosen One" might not just have been meant to play basketball.
If an injury ever takes his career in a different direction, we’ll know that the SNL crew will easily take him under their wing. The dude has a serious knack for comedy.
His Life Off the Court: Last spring, during the NBA playoffs, I witnessed a five-minute segment on LeBron’s home life. He elaborated on his children, girlfriend, and his love for the James family, which is even more critical to him than his love for basketball.
I watched in awe as he was shown playing with his year-old son, Bryce Maximus with a basketball.
As you readers have probably guessed, I’m an enormous fan of LeBron. However witnessing him around his family, he gained a heap of respect from me. Why? Because knowing that throughout the chaos during the season, he still has time to be a good father to his children, which can sometimes be a much more difficult job than any NBA player.
He’s more than just a phenomenal athlete. He’s a good guy.
The Transition: While being dazzled by LeBron’s versatility on the court, one could forget how young he truly is. As of today, he’s still 24.
When he first entered the league as an 18 year old, barely out of high school, his world wasn’t anything like it is today. In four years at Saint Vincent-Saint Mary High School, he averaged over 25 points, tallied up more than 500 assists, and grabbed 835 boards.
During his rookie NBA season, LeBron adjusted to the NBA like no one anticipated. Yes, he was predicted to win the Rookie of the Year Award, but LeBron went above and beyond his highest expectations.
James led the Wine and Gold to 23 more victories than the previous year, averaged over 20 points per game, and played in 79 of the 82 regular season games. You see players take part in 79 games every year, but LeBron was a mere teenager at the time.
The NBA schedule lingers on much longer than your typical high-school season, and can easily take a toll on someone’s body.
His Clutchness: LeBron James is the ultimate fourth-quarter player. Physically, he has what it takes to get to the basket when needed. Mentally, he focuses on the task at hand at all times, and could drain out the deafening crowd with ease.
The man doesn’t slow down in the fourth quarter like most players do; he accelerates as the game progresses. This isn't something that is too common in any professional sport.
When clutch time (the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, when neither team is ahead by more than five points, according to 82GAMES.com) comes around, King James earns his paycheck.
Per 48 clutch-time minutes, LeBron averaged a remarkable 56 points in 2007-2008. Disgusting. Just nasty.
Playoff Magic: May 31, 2007. 3:15 left in regulation. Detroit up by seven. On the verge of going up 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
LeBron wasn’t going to let the Pistons eliminate his Cavs in two consecutive years. He just wasn’t able to comprehend it. Thus, it forced him to go onto a rampage.
James carried the city of Cleveland on his back during that final stretch, scoring the team’s last 25 points. Throughout the tear, LeBron took (and made) the most crucial shot of his career, a driving lay-up to break the tie, giving his squad a two point lead.
LBJ finished with a playoff career-high 48 points, and engraved his name in the NBA Playoff history books.
Just the Beginning
LeBron James is a household name in the NBA. 10 years from now, that won't be any different. 20 years from now, he'll most likely be retired, and be receiving comparisons to M.J., Kareem, Magic, and Wilt, among the best of all time.
30 years from now, the list will triple due to the fact that his list of accolades will have grown tremendously. And 100 years from now, when someone mentions "The Chosen One" to a sports fan, you'll know who will come to mind.