Lebron James was, simply put, one of the greatest high school basketball players ever. Famous people went to his games just to see him play, every crowd he played in front of was sold out, and ESPN brought high school basketball to television just so they could show Lebron.
Lebron was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, he drove around in a Hummer, and he made $90 million in endorsements… and that was all before he even played a single NBA game. By the time he actually did play in the NBA, he was already a cultural icon, quite probably the most-hyped high school athlete in the history of the United States of America. (Think I’m exaggerating? Think again. In a time of ever-increasing sports coverage at every level, Lebron was deemed the best athlete and the biggest “sure thing.” Greg Oden would come along to be nearly as hyped, but his hype never approached the fever pitch with which Lebron-Mania swept the country.)
But there are downfalls to being so famous, to having every game televised. (Note: I almost wrote “televised on t.v.”, before realizing at the last moment how foolish that would have been. I can’t believe I almost wrote that in writing.)
One of the downfalls? James’ every mistake was caught on camera. I’m sure he made other bad blunders, but if he did, I never saw any as bad as this one:
Granted, there’s no way the shot went in. In fact, it looked to be quite a bit of a brick. But when you’re Lebron James, the most dominant high school basketball player on the planet, mishaps like falling down while guarding a regular high school player — or even a great high school player — just aren’t supposed to happen.
When they do, though, they sure as hell make for some good viewing.