On this day in history, June 26th of 2003, the Cleveland Cavaliers made the easy decision of selecting hometown-kid LeBron James from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School with the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. Although most basketball fans in Cleveland were praising the Lord for the arrival of the high school phenom Sports Illustrated called “The Chosen One,” a few players on the Cavs weren’t ready to join the choir.
Here’s a news report from 2013 with Big Z, Wrong Way Ricky Davis, Carlos Boozer, Smush Parker, and former prep-to-pro player Darius Miles talking about the 18-year-old who hangs with Jay-Z and already had a $100 million Nike deal.
“We have better players than him in his position already on our team.” Said a pre-shoe shine Boozer.
Ricky Davis, who was rumored to say he thought LeBron was coming in to help give him the ball (I have never found any proof of this quote but it’s pretty damn funny), said LeBron would help make things easier.
Kobe’s favorite former teammate, Smush Parker, said he expects LeBron to “have an immediate impact like a Caron Butler on the Miami Heat.”
Darius Miles added he didn’t think you could bring in a high school player and expect him to turn a team around but if he comes, “he can just hop on their bandwagon.”
How many times did you do a “D’OH!” like Homer Simpson?
As you know, LeBron did turn the team around, made a bigger impact than Caron Butler did with the Heat and showed he wasn’t just the best player in his position on his team but he was one of the best players in his position in the league. And in 2017, he shared that throwback video on his Instagram with the following caption:
So just imagine how hard is to fight off the naysayers, doubters, haters that u never see but u know they talking crazy behind tv screens, computers, phones, tablets. Then imagine fighting off naysayers, doubters, haters that u would think have your back and u see them everyday! Keep the grass cut, so u can see em when they coming. Then u heat they ass up. Cause they cats that u went to play with, will catch you in your new whip and your brains into cool-whip(Kiss said it best)! So basically no matter what u do just keep the blinders on at all times, work hard, push forward and I promise you’ll have the last laugh.
In defense of everyone in that video, most of them were young guys still in their teens or early 20s. And they should show more respect for guys already making a name for themselves in the NBA than a kid who hasn’t played a second in the league yet.
LEBRON’S FIRST NBA GAME
LEBRON ROOKIE HIGHLIGHTS
LEBRON ROOKIE INTERVIEWS
Top 2003 NBA DRAFT PICKS
- LeBron James, Cle
- Darko Milicic, Det
- Carmelo Anthony, Den
- Chris Bosh, Tor
- Dwyane Wade, Mia
- Chris Kaman, LAC
- Kirk Hinrich, Chi
- T.J. Ford, Mil
- Mike Sweetney, NY
- Jarvis Hayes, Was
Other Notables: David West (18), Boris Diaw (21), Kendrick Perkins (27), Josh Howard (29), Mo Williams (47), Kyle Korver (51)