When was NBA legend LeBron James first dubbed “The Chosen One” in his career?

LeBron James is an exceptional persona in the arena of basketball and is widely adored not just for his great skills on the court basketball but also for his magnificent impact off it. His story from a young basketball player to a global sports legend is a true testament to his steadfast determination and commitment to excellence.

LeBron’s influence stretches beyond the lore of basketball enthusiasts and fans. As a role model for aspiring and current athletes and even individuals worldwide, his journey of being dubbed as the destiny child is truly unique.

16-Year-Old LeBron James earned the title “The Chosen One'”

LeBron James who is now one of the most decorated NBA players, recalled how his career took off when he was at the age of 16. As reported by Will Arnett, LeBron said, “The beginning of my junior year, I was 16 years old, and I was on the cover of ‘Sports Illustrated’. They dubbed me ‘the chosen one’ at 16. A lot of NBA execs were talking and saying that if I entered the NBA Draft right now, I’d be the number 1 pick.”

LeBron James was subject to immense pressure to succeed as a young player coming into the NBA directly from high school. Comparing the story of LeBron to the likes of other promising youngsters coming into the NBA, LeBron was given a more significant spotlight.

LeBron James
via SI

After LeBron won Rookie of the Year honors, great expectations around him were starting to surface as he didn’t disappoint. LeBron, before he even hit 20 years of age, was a top 10 player in the league and remains at the top till today.

Being dubbed “the chosen one” at 16, has no doubt been the motivation he needed to not only debut in the NBA but to become a global icon in the game and beyond.

When did LeBron start playing in NBA?

LeBron James started his professional career in the NBA after being drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003 NBA draft. By that time, he was already dubbed the ‘Chosen One’ as he became the No.1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft class.

LeBron’s introduction to the NBA was quite impressive. He scored a record-breaking 25 points in his first game against the Sacramento Kings, setting a new standard for high school draftees. By the end of the season, he was honored with the NBA Rookie of the Year award.

After participating in multiple All-Star games and earning several All-NBA selections, he achieved his first NBA MVP award in 2009, marking the beginning of a remarkable career filled with many more accolades.

What’s your favorite LeBron James moment in his stellar NBA career? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section.

Shariare Hasib

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Shariare Hasib is an NBA Editor at SportsKnot. With a master's degree in journalism from a prestigious university, Shariare started writing about the sport during his undergraduate years. Since then, he has been fascinated by LeBron James' lasting impact as well as Stephen Curry's incredible consistency. He specializes in live basketball coverage. Apart from reporting on trade speculations and match updates during off-season activities, Shariare frequently interacts with fan communities to stay abreast of the constantly evolving NBA scene.


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