In the summer of 2001, LeBron James returned home from a week in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he'd been the youngest player to take part in a USA Basketball development camp.
It was mid-June and school had just ended. James was 16 years old, pimple-faced and sporting a long, unkempt hairstyle. Though he was already turning heads as a major talent -- he would capture the attention of scouts and journalists for the first time later that summer at the ABCD Camp in New Jersey -- he still was a relative unknown.
He'd met a few really good players in Colorado. Guys like Deron Williams, Raymond Felton, J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams. But when he went back to Ohio, there was only one player he was really talking about: another young star who had made a name for himself in high school circles but was headed for stardom.
"I kept telling all my friends how good this Carmelo Anthony guy was," said James, who will see Anthony again Thursday night when the Heat host the Knicks. "I did not know then that we were going to put him on our schedule."