What if: LeBron went to college
The year was 2003. The future of the NBA was drafted as the first overall pick. The ‘Chosen One’, hailing from Akron, Ohio. LeBron James was drafted by his home state, Cleveland Cavaliers. This pick shaped the future of the NBA, as James would elevate to immediate stardom.
But what if he opted to go to college?
Needless to say, the ramifications would have been huge.
LeBron more than likely would have attended Ohio State University. His freshman year would have marked a low point for the Buckeyes. They finished 14-16 that year. It figures that LeBron would have been able to add at least a few wins, but the Buckeyes would not have made it in the NCAA Tournament.
After the season, Coach O’Brien is relieved of his duty for rules violations. In comes Thad Matta. He convinces LeBron to stay.
The Buckeyes, who went 20-12 without LeBron, finish 27-5 with their season ending in a Sweet-16 loss.
The Buckeyes find themselves on an upward swing going into LeBron’s junior year. They enter the season as not only Big Ten favorites but Championship contenders. They make it all the way to the Championship game, where they run into the Florida Gators. Florida wins on a buzzer-beater, 73-72.
LeBron enters his senior year with all the buzz around his NBA future. His eyes are fixed on bringing Ohio State a National Championship. The addition of freshman Greg Oden makes Ohio State a powerhouse. The Buckeyes finish the season with another Championship matchup against the Florida Gators. LeBron pours in 31 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists on his way to bringing Ohio State a revenge Championship.
LeBron enters the 2007 NBA draft as the consensus number one pick. Beating out his fellow teammate, Oden, for the spot.
The Portland Trail Blazers add LeBron to their young of LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy. They go on to become a Western Conference power. They end up winning the NBA Championship in the 2008-09 season.
The Trail Blazers become the face of the NBA for the next seven seasons, while LeBron wins three MVP awards.