Back in 2001, a 16-year-old LeBron James was schooling NBA players in a pickup game organised by Michael Jordan. Metta World Peace decided to stop LBJ from cooking them by knocking him hard on the ground. Little did Metta know, Bron was a tough guy and immediately got up and played even harder.
LeBron James is arguably one of the greatest players to lace up on the basketball court. For over 18 years now, King James has been putting on a show every single night he set foot on the floor. His unique gameplay, versatility and durability are unparalleled, due to which is compared to Michael Jordan for the GOAT debate.
LBJ has a very celebrated and highly-decorated basketball career. In his 18-year professional career, Bron has put together a rather surreal resume with 17 All-Star appearances, 17 All-NBA selections, 4 NBA Championships, 4 Finals MVPs, 4 MVPs and will surely be a first-ballot Hall-Of-Famer once he decides to hang his boots.
LeBron has been a problem for the defense ever since he was an athletic 19-year-old entering the league. Throughout his career he has been handing buckets to some of the greatest defenders. Even at the relatively old age of 36, Bron was on a tear this past season, averaging a staggering 25 points, 7.8 assists and 7.7 rebounds against some of the toughest defense the league has seen.
James has been heavily guarded his entire life. In fact, even when he was just a young 16-year-old high schooler, LBJ was schooling some of the greatest defenders.
Metta World Peace recollects how he knocked LeBron James down, and the then-16-year-old got up and played harder
Back in 2001, Michael Jordan had decided to come out of retirement for the second time for his new stint with the Washington Wizards. To get back in shape for his NBA comeback, MJ decided to organise a few pickup games wherein he invited a few of the league’s best players. A 16-year-old LeBron James was also a part of that scrimmage.
As the Lakers star stated, he didn’t really get a lot of playing time. Bron explained:
“They didn’t let me play for like the first hour…To be honest, I didn’t even think I would even get the opportunity to play. And the only reason I played is because the guys that was in the league, after hours, some of them get tired. … So, for me to be on the court at 16 years old, sophomore in high school, with my favorite player of all time, man, it was like, ‘This can’t be real.’”
Bron says he got to play pickup against MJ when he was 16 years old.
MJ hit the game-winner and reportedly said “That’s why they pay me $33M to do this.” 😤
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 19, 2020
But when the 4-time MVP did get the chance to take on the court, he decided to make full use of that opportunity. According to former NBA Champion Metta World Peace, the King was straight-up cooking some of NBA’s fine talent. On his appearance on the “Knuckleheads” podcast, the former Pacers star recollected:
“He was cooking, nobody could guard him, LeBron James; they couldn’t guard him. I’m like, ‘He’s embarrassing us.’”
Bron was playing so well that Metta decided to knock him out so the 16-year-old kid could stop embarrassing superstars of the world’s best and most talented league. However, little did Metta know that his actions would instantly fire right back at him.
“He’s coming in at full speed, LeBron James — boom; I lay him on the floor,” World Peace said.
“He get up and start cooking more; he’s just tough,” the former Indiana Pacers star added. “He was about 225 (pounds) at that time, but I remember him just being tough.”