How a simple and minor twist of fate can change the course of history has been seen on countless occasions in the sporting world.
It takes one domino to knock over an entire layout or one flap of wings to create a cyclone. In LeBron James’ case, it was one loss that he would never forget. No, not his loss to the Dallas Mavericks in 2011 that would lead LeBron to becoming a more well-rounded and diverse player, but the loss he suffered as a 17-year-old high school student while still playing at St. Vincent-St. Mary.
At the same time LeBron was looking to override the former NBA rules of a player having to had graduate high school before declaring for the NBA draft, he had also endured the most significant loss of his playing career in a State Championship defeat to Roger Bacon, the only Ohio based high school to defeat LeBron’s storied high school squad
LeBron would stay for his senior year and would lead his high school back to championship glory in a 25-1 season–the lone loss coming via forfeit. Did James stay his senior year because of the humbling experience of losing in the previous title game? Effectively proving to him that he still had work to be done before entering the NBA level?
In ‘The Chosen Ones: The Team that Beat LeBron’, writer Tony Meale gives an in-depth look into the forgotten team that defeated James and possibly changed the course of basketball history. Had LeBron left his junior year, he would have ended up either as a Houston Rocket or Chicago Bull, since those teams had the top picks in the 2002 draft. Instead, the Rockets took Yao Ming and the Bulls ended up with Jay Williams.
You can only wonder how the Bulls would look with LeBron James rather than Jay Williams.
Instead, as we all know, James ended up leaving his senior season and would get drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the number one pick.
Meale looks into James’ past and future, while also delving into the story of Roger Bacon High School which includes interviews with the players and coaches of the team that defeated SVSM.
Tony Meale’s website is www.thechoseonesthebook.com. His book is available on Amazon.com