October 29, 2003. More than 19 years ago LeBron James He made his NBA debut in the first meeting with Sacramento, then led by Mike Bibby, Doug Christie, Peja Stojakovic and Vlade Divac.
The would-be “King” still remembers the first basket of the long streak scored three minutes and four seconds into the game. A blocked shot from the baseline.
“I knew I was ready for this moment”he said in an excellent interview for ESPN. “I knew I belonged to the biggest league in the world. But I didn’t know what to expect. And I was just so nervous. I didn’t know how my first basket would arrive. Actually, it was a bit difficult. But I was just very nervous, excited. I didn’t want to fail and let people down.
I’m not familiar with defeat yet
Nearly two decades and four NBA titles later, LeBron James will return to where it all began for him, this time in a Lakers jersey, in the complicated context of his team still sitting a worrisome 12th in the conference.West. Even if the Lakers have been on the upswing lately.
Now less than 500 points away from surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,397 points to become the all-time leading scorer, LeBron James made sure he is motivated above all else by the collective accomplishments. Talking about this record in today’s context loses its meaning somewhat.
“I want to win. Losing doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t like to have personal accomplishments, and I don’t feel good when it comes to effort and losing. We’ve been playing good basketball lately as a franchise and as a team that’s been winning less than 50% of the time, but winning at the highest level “We want and I want to. It was never in my DNA to break records, set records or beat the greats.”
LeBron James hinted at the end of last season, when the Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs, that he withdrew from the competition for the leading scorer of the season to treat his ankle.
“I felt really bad about being on the court and trying to win the top scorer title in games that didn’t matter. So I told myself that I am not going to play at all. It was never important to me except for the victory.”
Playing with Bronny, one last appetizing challenge
With the pursuit of success and this historic record dating back to April 1984, the end of LeBron James’ NBA career will come with another challenge, the prospect of playing at the highest level with his 18-year-old son Bronny. It will be eligible to join in 2024.
“One day I’ve got to be in court with my son, I’ve got to be with Bronnie.”he added. “Either in the same form or in a match against him. I’m not saying that to defend against each other because he’s a playmaker and at this point in my career I’m at center or the team needs me. But I would like to do the same with Ken Griffey Sr and Jr (MLB). That would be ideal, that’s for sure. When asked what his dreams are, he says he wants to play in the NBA. Therefore, if he wants to get there, he has to do his part. I’m already there, so I’m waiting for him to get there.
After his career is over, it will be time for other differences, like the one Dirk Nowitzki experienced two weeks ago. No doubt there will be a statue of LeBron James one day, but what emblematic gesture will represent him in stone for the eyes of future generations?
“Not like my single-leg fadeaway like Dirk Nowitzki, fadeaway like Michael Jordan, skyhook like Kareem or Hakeem Olajuvon’s Dream Shake. “I think the one signature move that people always talk about is my tomahawk dunk in transition.”he noted.
His dunk in his first NBA game in Sacramento…
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