Giving a player the title of "once-in-a-generation" isn't something that any fan or analyst can take lightly, nor bestow upon others. Every once in a while, however, a player comes along with the combination of skill, leadership and "brandability" that you wonder how long it will be until he is surpassed.
LeBron James is hands down a once-in-a-generation player.
Sure he's not perfect, but really, who is? What he lacks in tact he makes up for in talent. He left your beloved Cavs for a South Beach party? Well, I'm labeling a once in a generation athlete, not role model.
LeBron is seemingly unstoppable when he's on his game, something that occurs rather often. He can score at will, from anywhere on the floor and creates space for his teammates to join the party as well. He dishes, shoots, dunks, steals and rebounds all with such athletic touch that LeBron is head and shoulders above so many players of this generation.
This idea begs the question of how to define one player's "generation". Kobe still plays in the NBA and continues to be an offensive force for the Lakers, but is he really in LeBron's generation? I think not.
The exceptional 2003 draft was led by LeBron being drafted first overall ushered in a new era in the NBA, one where names like Duncan, Kobe and Shaq were being replaced by LeBron, Wade and Melo. If we separate the league into pre-2003 and post-2003, it's easy to see how LeBron is easily the player of this generation.
Love him or hate him, there's no denying the talent that King James possesses. Unfathomable buzzer-beaters, high-flying dunks and picture-perfect fadeaways are all in a day's work for the Heat star, and considering he is still relatively young, LeBron seems to only get better with age.
While one can argue that the 2003 draft class' generation might itself be coming to a close with the emergence of superstars Durant, Rose and Paul, it's tough to imagine LeBron failing to contend for the MVP and scoring champion awards in the next few years.
LeBron James is not only a world class athlete but he is also a player that will be known as one of the greatest ever. He is talented beyond comprehension and while he hasn't won a championship just yet, he has dominated the stat sheets and NBA awards ever since he suited up for his first career game.
Who knows when a new crop of stars will officially oust LeBron and his generation from the league spotlight, but until then, all we need to do is sit back and watch history unfold before our eyes.