NBA legend Michael Jordan offered some words of wisdom to a 17-year old LeBron James, the St. Mary high school sensation.
There has never been a more hyped high-school basketball player than LeBron James in the history of the NBA. The kid from Akron was a physical specimen, none like anyone had ever seen.
James was on everybody’s radar, from scouts to players to even NBA coaches. In only his junior year in high school, St. Mary’s high athlete had the biggest shoe companies lined up to sign him.
The 6’7” James at the time averaged an impressive 31.6 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 4.6 APG, and 3.4 SPG in his senior year in high school, winning two straight Division III titles.
There was no doubt that the 17-year old was not going to wait for college to finish, with sports giants such as Nike waiting to sign him on a $20M 5-year deal.
6x NBA champion Michael Jordan, who rarely makes any public appearances, made an exception when he arrived in Cleveland, wearing a sleek navy blue suit to have a look at the national sensation LeBron James.
When Bulls legend Micheal Jordan counseled a 17-year old LeBron James
James was regarded as the next big thing after the Bulls legend. The St. Mary’s high basketball player truly had everyone’s eye on him even before he made his NBA debut.
The attention was such that a reclusive Jordan could not shy away from having a look at him. The 6x NBA champion entered Cleveland’s Gund Arena, greeting a young James. Regarded as a historic day.
After having a conversation about James’ upcoming games. His Airness had some parting words for the 17-year old, “One dribble, stop and pull up, That’s what I want to see.”
It was a perfect moment between the 38-year old MJ and his protege LeBron James that seemed like a passing of a torch from the Bulls superstar. “That’s my guy,” James said as Jordan left the arena. MJ had even invited James to a personal workout with him as per rumors.
A junior in high school, James was predicted as the no.1 pick in a draft. According to Germantown (Pa.) Academy coach Jim Fenerty, “We played Kobe when Kobe was a senior, and LeBron is the best player we’ve ever played against. LeBron is physically stronger than Kobe was as a senior, and we’ve never had anybody shoot better against us.”
Some scouts even compared him to all-time great point guard Magic Johnson as he exhibited some great passing abilities. As predicted, James would go on to be the first pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. The next decade would have the superstar winning multiple MVPs and championships and establish himself as the face of the league.