​'The Chosen One' and what a prediction that was. 


Today we celebrate 17 years since LeBron James' first Sports Illustrated feature story. The then 17-year-old James was called a prodigy, as a junior in high school.


The subtitle read "Ohio High School Junior LeBron James is So Good That He is Already Being Mentioned As the Heir To Air Jordan." Yup, true that. 

We see hype around high school and college ball players all the time. But, this one was different. 


Sonny Vaccaro, the Adidas rep who signed the first shoe deals with Michael JordanKobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady, said, "At this age LeBron is better than anybody I've seen in 37 years in this business, including Kevin [Garnett] and Kobe [Bryant] and Tracy [McGrady}." 


LeBron was destined for greatness from the start. 


We all know LeBron for not only his amazing basketball skills, but also for his great basketball mind. Wise beyond his years (at the time) he said,  "A lot of players know how to play the game," he said, "but they really don't know how to play the game, if you know what I mean. They can put the ball in the hoop, but I see things before they even happen. You know how a guy can make his team so much better? That's one thing I learned from watching Jordan."

This Sports Illustrated cover launched LeBron to becoming a household name. His future was bright and all eyes were on him. 


If only we knew the dynasty that would later ensue, and the spectacle that we have all been able to witness these past 17 years.