Welcome to Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! This is a feature where we look back on yesteryear, dig into the archives, indulge in some nostalgia, and in some cases, wonder just what we were thinking. Check in every Wednesday for features and retrospectives on old basketball video games, old NLSC editorials published as-is with added commentary, and other flashback content.
Today, LeBron James turns 31. I don’t feel comfortable calling him one of the league’s elder statesmen just yet, mostly because I’m only a couple of months older than the King, and I’d like to avoid any “elder” labels for as long as I can. Nevertheless, at this point LeBron James is well-established as one of the league’s marquee players, biggest attractions, and all-time greats. He’s been one of the top players in basketball – and a candidate for being the top player in basketball – for over a decade now.
At times, it feels like the last decade or so has flown by very quickly. All of a sudden, here we are watching an NBA where LeBron James is in his thirteenth season. Like the great players that came before him, he’s become an institution. As such, if you’re a younger fan, it might be difficult to imagine him as an up-and-coming rising star, The Next Big Thing. Of course, when LeBron made his NBA (and NBA video game) debut back in the 2004 season, he was exactly that. With it being Wayback Wednesday, and also his birthday, I wanted to take a look back at early virtual LeBron, specifically his presence in NBA Live 2004.
Let’s take a look back…way back…