Class of 2003: One King To Rule Them All

Class of 2003: One King To Rule Them All

Draft class in 2003 featured many future HOF’s, All-Stars, and solid role players and is considered one of the best classes in NBA history. The most common names we relate to this draft class are of course LeBron James, Carmelo, Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh & Darko Milicic who is mentioned simply because he was the second pick in that year’s draft, and is one of the biggest busts in recent NBA history. It’s still a mystery what happened that night when Detroit missed 3 future HOF’s in the draft and took Darko.

Four biggest stars from that year’s draft class ended up having spectacular careers with numerous All-Star appearances, NBA championships and made immediate impacts for teams they played for. Later in their careers, Bosh, James, and Wade teamed up in Miami to create a powerhouse where they eventually won 2 titles in 4 finals appearances.

15 years have passed since these players were drafted and the time has changed with many of them finding themselves in different situations in their careers.

Chris Bosh is unfortunately out of the league because of continued blood clotting. Exactly one year ago, Bosh and the Heat reportedly reached a unique parting agreement in which he would leave the Heat without taking up their salary cap for the 2017–18 season. Later in 2017, the NBA ruled that Bosh’s blood clotting issues were a career-ending illness, meaning the Miami Heat were able to remove his contract from their salary cap once they officially release him. On July 4, 2017, the Heat announced that they had waived Bosh, ending a seven-year stint with the organization.

Last season Carmelo Anthony was traded to OKC from the Knicks in hoping to win his first NBA championships by joining forces with all-stars Paul George and Russell Westbrook. Carmelo had a really poor season scoring a career-low 16 PPG while shooting only 40% from the field. Melo also completely disappeared in the playoffs vs Utah Jazz and it’s safe to say he will no longer stay with OKC as the team expressed interest in shipping him off somewhere during summer.

Dwyane Wade’s last season can be slightly compared to Carmelo’s in a sense he was producing a career-low 11 PPG. Initially, he teamed up with his best buddy LeBron James in Cleveland, however, that plan didn’t work well since the team couldn’t find any chemistry so Wade got shipped of somewhere he truly belongs and that is Miami. He had his best game of the season in the playoffs vs Sixers, however, a young Heat team just didn’t have enough talent to go any further than they actually did. It will be interesting to see what kind of decision Wade will make during summer but we’re hoping to see him next season in a Heat jersey.

Loved and hated by many, LeBron James is in his 15th season and is still the best player in the world. For the first time in his career,33-year-old LeBron played in all of 82 games while averaging 37 minutes per game. The King finished the season with 27.5 PPG while at the same time posting career highs in assists with 9.1 APG and 8.6 RPG. It seems he also turned it up in the playoffs by sweeping the 1st seed Toronto Raptors with 34 PPG 11 RPG and 8 APG while going 55% from the field. “The Chosen One” how a lot of fans called him when he was entering the league, took his game to a whole other level and there is a big chance he is going for his 8th straight NBA finals appearance.

If you look retrospectively, a lot of things happened in the league, and it seems this generation of players is slowly but surely disappearing from the league. However, if you look at LeBron James and what he is accomplishing in his 15th year, in some strange way he still looking like a rookie eager to prove himself to the world. LeBron is not surrendering himself to the wheels of time and is still pretty much looking like a rookie with a mind of an experienced warrior ready to take on the next big challenge.