LeBron James: Behind-the-scenes of his first cover story - Sports Illustrated Vault | SI.com
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SI Vault podcast: Grant Wahl on LeBron James and "The Chosen One" cover

Once upon a time, LeBron James was just a high school kid in Akron, unknown to most of America. But that was before he landed on the cover of the Feb. 18, 2002 issue of Sports Illustrated.

Today LeBron James is one of the world's most famous people. But in February of 2002 he was just a high school junior in Akron, Ohio, unknown to the world and to most of America. That all changed when James landed on the cover of the Feb. 18, 2002 issue of Sports Illustrated under the headline "The Chosen One." Now, 15 years later, SI senior writer Grant Wahl, the author of that piece, joins host Ted Keith on the SI Vault podcast to discuss the story, what James was like before the spotlight really began to intensify and the debate about whether the magazine should put such a young athlete on its cover.

To read Grant's story, "Ahead of His Class", click here. To browse every story and every issue in the Sports Illustrated archives, check out the SI Vault. And for past editions of the SI Vault podcast, click here.