1. LeBron James (2003):
Even in an era of when we’re way too quick to anoint young athletes long before they’ve actually accomplished anything, LeBron James’ nickname of “The Chosen One” seemed extremely fitting at the time. Teams genuinely believed that his ceiling was almost immeasurable, given his combination of the court vision of an elite point guard, the athleticism of a top-tier NBA forward, the leaping ability and in-air theatricality of a young Julius Erving.
He revolutionized the concept of “basketball hype” before the age of social media, having his high school games broadcast on national television, and signing 8-figure deals with the world’s most famous clothing apparel company before he ever played a minute of professional basketball.