A kid from Akron. A high school superstar. A world champion. A basketball legend.

There is no shortage of superlatives to describe the basketball player LeBron James. From his accomplishments in high school to his growing NBA stardom to his becoming the best basketball player in the world, LeBron James is a basketball icon.

But all icons star somewhere. And for James, that somewhere was on this date 14 years ago at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.

People questioned if he could live up to the hype. Haters doubted whether he could really become an MVP. Cynics wondered if he could rule the league as a king.

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With his talent, charisma and charming smile, LeBron James laughed off the doubters and took the league by storm.

And with today marking the 14-year anniversary of James' first regular season game in a NBA uniform, it's worth remembering how his greatness and ability to live up to the hype is truly unprecedented.

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For his career, statistically, James is as dominate across the board as they come. 27.1 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 7.0 APG, a 50 percent field goal percentage and a 27.6 player efficiency rating. Over 14 NBA seasons, now in his 15th, James' production is MVP worthy.

Which explains why he's earned four MVPs, three Finals MVPs, 13 All-Star selections and three NBA titles.

You don't have to think he's better than Michael Jordan. You don't have to even think it's close. But you do have to appreciate the consistent greatness James puts on display every time he takes the court.

Since LeBron James was taken No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, there have been numerous stars and busts selected in that same draft spot: Dwight Howard, Andrew Bogut, Greg Oden, Andrea Bargnani, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, John Wall, Kyrie irving, Anthony Davis. And even many more before and after 2003.

But how many have had the sustained success in the stats column and in the win column? None. It's part of the reason why he's gone to seven straight NBA Finals.

I'm not asking you to cheer for LeBron James, just like I'd never tell you to cheer for Tom Brady, Lionel Messi, Mike Trout or any other athlete whose performance transcends their sport.

But I am asking you to appreciate how, during your lifetime, you've seen one of the greatest basketball players of all time. And on the anniversary of his NBA debut, it's a good time to remind ourselves how LeBron James is so impressive.

A young kid from Akron has lived up to the hype, and he's exceeded it in basically every manner.

Source: Basketball Reference