James might be the next Big O

Measure LeBron James by nine major categories and he compares favorably to a former great other than Michael Jordan.

Updated: April 18, 2005, 5:54 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN Insider
Can LeBron James do anything more to amaze us?

Watching his overnight transition from high school phenom to NBA superstar has been incredible, especially now that he's stopped biting his nails at every dead ball. James is the most hyped NBA player we've ever seen, yet somehow he's matched the impossible expectations. A skilled, graceful athlete packed into a bruising 6-foot-8, 240-pound frame, he impresses us more with his understanding of the game than with his athleticism. As a result, he's an MVP candidate at the tender age of 20.

Friday night, he scored 38 points in the Cavs' 101-90 loss at Washington. But the Cavs are holding on to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

James has been so good, so quickly, that it's hard to decide which aspect of his play is the most amazing. Is it his sixth sense for the game? His rapid improvement as a pro? His Magic-like combination of size and ballhandling skill? Or how about the way he's dealt with the fame and fortune, avoiding swirling temptations?

One could make a case for any of those, but I'll go for a different answer.

ALSO SEE