What inspired LeBron James to get the famous back tattoo?

By Khadrice Rollins
May 30, 2018

LeBron James has a famous tattoo on his back that reads "Chosen 1" that he got after being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated on Feb. 18, 2002.

James was tagged as "The Chosen One" on the SI cover, and the story profiled the then-high school junior and his rise to the top of the prep basketball scene.

In a new Nike commercial, a young James is depicted going to get the iconic tattoo that was spawned from the magazine cover.

"I was worried, that we were going to ruin the kid’s life by putting him on the cover," SI writer Grant Wahl, who wrote the cover story on James, told Jesse Washington of The Undefeated back in 2017. "It’s one thing to do a feature on somebody inside the mag. But when you put a young kid on the cover and proclaim him ‘The Chosen One’ – maybe ‘ruin his life’ is a little strong, but it took things to such a level that I felt like his life was not going to be the same after that. The pressure would get a lot higher."

James has since gone on to put together one of the most impressive careers in NBA history even with the potential pressure of the phrase "Chosen One" being attached to him.

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