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Thursday, May 26, 2022

LeBron James Dominating NBA Players as a Teenager Amazed Jamal Crawford: ‘This Is Just Unreal’

LeBron James dominated the NBA as a teenager and was considered one of his generation’s best players from an early age, but he wasn’t always on top. In this video clip from The Hollywood Reporter’s “Actor Roundtable” panel at Comic-Con in July 2018, Jamison Crawford tells LeBron that even when he played against him growing up preps playing together in high school.

Jamal Crawford said that LeBron James was “amazing” when he was a teenager. He also mentioned how many people would have been scared to play against him as a rookie.

LeBron James was taken as the No. 1 overall choice in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers after a legendary high school career at Saint Vincent-Saint Mary in Akron, Ohio. LBJ had already been called the “Chosen One” by Sports Illustrated while he was just 18 years old.

In 2003-04, the Cavaliers finished 35-47 and missed the playoffs. However, as a youngster, LeBron was outstanding, to the point that three-time Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford was astounded by the King’s dominance.

“This is absolutely unbelievable,” Jamal Crawford says of rookie LeBron James.

Crawford was awestruck by LeBron’s rookie highlights, which went viral on social media lately. In 2003-04, the Michigan product was a member of the Chicago Bulls. Cleveland and Chicago met four times during the season, with the two clubs splitting the season series 2-2.

As a rookie, LeBron averaged 21.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game versus the Bulls. He received the Debut of the Year Award after finishing his rookie season with great averages of 20.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.6 steals. The Akron native recorded 12 double-doubles and 13 30-point performances in his career.

On March 27, 2004, against the New Jersey Nets, LeBron had his highest-scoring game as a rookie. The point-forward scored 41 points in 43 minutes on 15-of-29 shooting from the field and a perfect 10-of-10 free-throw shooting. LeBron also had 13 assists on the night.

As a rookie, LeBron lived up to the expectations that surrounding him. Some analysts, however, questioned whether he would be able to constantly live up to the lofty expectations. Those individuals were completely incorrect.

After a stellar debut season, LeBron James never became complacent.

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After early success in the NBA, many players get comfortable. They get obsessed with money and women, losing sight of what really counts.

Fortunately for NBA fans, after a stellar first season, LeBron maintained his head on a swivel and made basketball his top focus. In the summers, he worked diligently to enhance his game, and each season he returned with something new in his bag.

The only year LeBron hasn’t made an All-Star or All-NBA squad is 2003-04. Since his rookie season, he’s averaged over 25.0 points per game and has the potential to be the finest all-around player in NBA history since he can score, pass, rebound, and defend at an outstanding level.

LeBron played with the Cavaliers for the first seven years of his career, collecting two MVP awards and one scoring crown. However, he never won a title and had difficulty attracting free agents to Cleveland. So, as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2010, LeBron signed the Miami Heat to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. When the Heat fell to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 Finals, he became the NBA’s No. 1 villain, and every fan base roared for pleasure.

However, LeBron has been a different beast since his loss to the Mavericks.

The King has been a natural force.

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Since the Heat’s loss to the Mavericks, LeBron has earned two regular-season MVPs, four titles, four Finals MVPs, and one assist title. The 17-time All-Star is the first player in NBA history to earn three Finals MVP awards while playing for three different clubs. With the Heat, LeBron earned two rings and two Finals MVPs; with the Cavaliers, he won one championship and one Finals MVP; and with the Los Angeles Lakers, he won one title and one Finals MVP.

With the Cavaliers, Heat, and Lakers, LeBron averaged 27.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game. You definitely wouldn’t have believed it if someone told you that during his first season, King James would finish second in NBA history in player efficiency rating, sixth in points per game, third in points, seventh in assists, 11th in steals, and fifth in triple-doubles.

That is, however, where LeBron stands in terms of all-time statistics. He is the only player in NBA history to rank in the top-100 in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and 3-pointers, as well as second in points, sixth in points per game, second in field goals, second in assists, second in steals, and sixth in blocks in the NBA Finals. 

As a rookie, LeBron James was a joy to watch. It’s been even more amazing to see him mature as a player and a man since 2003, establishing himself as the GOAT.

Basketball Reference provided the statistics.

RELATED: LeBron James Was Surveilled by a Cleveland Cavaliers Teammate During His Final Season: ‘I Was Looking at Everything He Did’

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