It was pretty clear that LeBron James was a one-of-a-kind player from the very second he set foot on a basketball hardwood. His high-school games had more fans in attendance than a lot of major sports events and he was the most expected prospect in the history of the league.
Needless to say, James lived up to the hype and surpassed all expectations from day one, torching the best defenders in the league and proving that he was going to dominate the league for a very, very long time.
That's why even a standout defender like Metta World Peace - then still known as Ron Artest - couldn't do much to contain him back in the day, as he recently told Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson in an interview for All The Smoke Podcast:
“LeBron came into the league. The first game in Indiana, I was so pissed. The first game in Indiana, he gave me 25. He went to the fans and said ‘this is your best defender.’ Right? I hear this. I’m f****** furious.” I’m super f****** pissed. He was disrespecting me and I want to walk up to this m*********** but he bust my ass. That was like wow! This is crazy!” Metta said.
Metta World Peace is one of the toughest, most physical defenders of all time, so putting up 25 points on him as a rookie is quite impressive, and not many players in the history of the game can brag about busting him on the court and then talking trash to him.
That was the first glimpse Metta World Peace had of LeBron James' greatness and while he may have disliked him back in the day, he's tipped his hat off to him recently and even called him the GOAT when he led the Los Angeles Lakers back to the NBA Finals for the first time in a decade.