Back in 2003, taking LeBron James with the first-overall pick was a no-brainer for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
There was a time when there was an actual debate between James and Carmelo Anthony as the best prospect in that legendary class, but James’ physical traits and playmaking put him a tier above the Syracuse product.
It didn’t take long before that kid from Akron, Ohio, wowed the NBA world with his athleticism and strength, grabbing a board and going coast-to-coast and then taking flight from the free-throw line to put whoever dared guard him on a poster.
It’s been two decades since his first NBA game, and that hasn’t changed the slightest; he’s still unstoppable in transition and a train going at full steam when he drives to the rim.
Notably, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich couldn’t have explained it better, stating that no one ever wants to get in front of him because people are too afraid of death:
“He’s most dangerous in transition,” Popovich explained. “He’s still like a locomotive coming down the court. Nobody seems to want to get in front of him. Maybe that’s a life wish, that they want to continue life.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich on LeBron James: "He’s most dangerous in transition. He’s still like a locomotive coming down the court. Nobody seems to want to get in front of him. Maybe that’s a life wish, that they want to continue life."
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 26, 2023
We’re talking about a 6-foot-9, 250-pound specimen going at you at full throttle, so there’s no wonder why people would rather make business decisions instead of trying to contest his shot above or below the rim.
James continues to beat the odds and challenge Father Time, being as fast, strong, and athletic as he was on day one, and showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Perhaps, his durability will end up being what separates him from the rest of the pack once the dust settles and the GOAT debate is over.NEXT: Latest Lakers Addition Is Preparing For His Debut