EXCLUSIVE: 17-Year-Old LeBron James’ Interview After First Ever National TV Game

Published 12/12/2021, 2:30 PM EST
LOS ANGELES – JANUARY 4: LeBron James #23 of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School talks on the court during the Ninth Pangos Dream Classic game against Mater Dei High School at Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus on January 4, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. St. Vincent-St. Mary won 64-58. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)


Many regard LeBron James as the greatest player of all time. King James has now spent more than 18 years in the NBA and is still going strong. But it all started from St. Vincent-St. Mary varsity basketball team for LeBron. In fact, James declared himself for the NBA right after his high school career.

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James’ high school performances made him the most anticipated rookie during the 2003-04 season. He led his Ohio-based high school to three state championships in the four years he played for them. The hype was real, and he was called ‘The Chosen One’. In fact, he became the national high school Player of the Year during his senior year.’

There were several iconic moments in his high school career; however, the one that stands out was his national television debut in 2002. It has been 19 years since LeBron made his national television debut in high school.

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19 years since LeBron James made his national TV debut in high school

LeBron dropped 31 points in his national TV debut against the number 1 team in the country, Oak Hill. James was then interviewed after the game, to which James said that he felt ‘no pressure’.

“Well you know it’s a different game, different atmosphere today and today you know we played the number 1 team in the country and I don’t think it was more pressure for the team, I think it was more pressure for the fans,” LeBron replied when asked about feeling the pressure.

ESPN’s Jay Bilas then asked LeBron about him being on SportsIllustrated and ESPN’s cover and if it was too much pressure to him. To this LeBron replied: “Well, I think no pressure for me. I think if I come out and play my game, get my team involved in the game.”

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“I just go out and play my game every night. And if we give it our 100% that we did tonight, there’s no pressure for us.”

James even reacted to his national TV debut back in 2017 on Twitter. LeBron has been putting those numbers for more than 18 years now. This is a testament to his greatness and longevity. However, it has been an interesting journey for LeBron so far and he has no sign of slowing down.

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However, LeBron’s Lakers are struggling this season despite having one of the best rosters in the NBA. LeBron has continued breaking records and recently recorded the 100th triple-double of his career. Can LeBron James guide the Lakers to their 18th championship? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Abhishek Singh

445 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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