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The world when LeBron debuted

It’s been 2 decades since LeBron James made his debut. Since then, he’s broken records and become a legend. Let’s look at what life was like back then...


Ahh, 2003. The days of Evanescence and Myspace and “Finding Nemo”. It feels like yesterday, and yet it feels like centuries ago. Time flies, and it’s already been two decades since legend LeBron James joined the NBA.

He was picked by the Cleveland Cavaliers, his hometown, first overall in the 2003 NBA Draft. He left an immediate impression, scoring 25 points in his debut against the Sacramento Kings, the most points scored by a prep-to-pro player in NBA history. Literally from the moment he stepped onto an NBA court, he was setting records. Now, his latest is as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, a record he set (surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and doing so in less time) on Tuesday.

In the 20 years since 38-year-old LeBron joined the pros, a lot has happened. But let’s take a trip down memory lane just to make you feel that much older and look at what life was like back in 2003…

The world when LeBron debuted

  • Myspace launched, as the first ever global social media site.
  • Apple revolutionized music consumption with the launch of iTunes on Windows.
  • Concorde, the first supersonic passenger plane, made its last flight before being withdrawn from the market.
  • The NBA said goodbye to its biggest star, Michael Jordan, who announced his retirement.
  • Other huge sports stars on the soccer scene made their debut as well - Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United and Lionel Messi for Barcelona.
  • England won the Rugby World Cup with a “drop” from Jonny Wilkinson in extra time.
  • Disney led the box office with “Finding Memo” and “Pirates of the Caribbean”.
  • Evanescence released “Fallen”, which became the fifth-most sold album in history.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected as governor of California.