In the summer of 2010, the Miami Heat introduced LeBron James and Chris Bosh (alongside Dwyane Wade) in an arrogant welcome party that instantly became the go-to reference for any fan looking to explain an intense dislike for the team. The worst part, according to those detractors, was that LeBron suggested they'd win up to seven championships before they'd even suited up for a real game. It was all pretty off-putting, even if the hate went overboard at the time.
Now that LeBron actually has a championship, it's easier to joke about that moment, even if he's still a ways off from the promised seven titles. And jokes we now have, in the form of a Marvel/ESPN the Magazine team-up that brings us into the future to see how LBJ will go about rewriting the NBA record books. In the image above, you'll see one example. Yes, it involves Eddy Curry, a near-death Mike Miller, and a post-death, zombified version of Shane Battier capable of playing 48 minutes per game with absolutely no drop in single-minded, brain-focused effort.
[Fantasy Basketball '12: Play the official game of NBA.com]
There's much, much more. After the jump, check out another image, plus a hint at some of the other scenarios in this comic.
It seems unlikely that LeBron will join up with Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, and other aging stars when they're collecting Social Security checks, but who knows where the NBA will be more than a decade from now. I mean, this comic also predicts that Dan Gilbert will still own the Cleveland Cavaliers at that time, and he'll tell anyone who listens that his small-market business needs as much help as possible. Maybe we're heading for NBA boom times!
While the vast majority of this comic is pretty funny, I have to take issue with one situation Marvel and ESPN used. I greatly enjoy the idea that LeBron will start a trend of players mechanizing their bodies to stay healthy and relevant well beyond their physical primes, but that idea was already depicted in stunning detail by Tom Scharpling of The Classical in June. (Note: I am a founder and staffer for The Classical.) I hope Marvel cleared this idea with Tom, because he has an entire army of followers ready to attack all foes. Just ask Chuck Woolery.