words // Luis Sanchez
Before ever even lacing up his own signature shoe, LeBron James was busy introducing himself to the world in a number of already iconic footwear styles. His high school days at SVSM in Akron saw LeBron make a name for himself in classics and performance models by everyone from adidas, to Nike and the Jordan Brand, and even Reebok.
Eventually signing a record breaking $90 million endorsement deal with Nike, LeBron took his earliest days in the NBA as an opportunity to pay homage to the brand's most recognized endorser in Michael Jordan. Saluting his childhood idol and likely playing in a pair of Air Jordan's for the last time ever, LeBron hit the court in the White/Cement Grey Air Jordan 3 in a 2003 preseason game vs MJ's then former Wizards team. The preseason match-up saw James drop 19 points and account for 8 assists as he geared up for what's gone on to become one of the most storied NBA careers we've seen yet.
Celebrating the return of the Air Jordan 3 Retro '88 this weekend, enjoy a look back at one of the many memorable footwear moments of LeBron James' rookie season as he showcased his talents for the world in the forever iconic Air Jordan III.
images via getty