LeBron James was told by a doctor when he was 11 that he would only grow to be 6'3".
The news crushed him as he already was dreaming of becoming a professional basketball player.
"When your idols are Michael Jordan and Penny Hardaway, you're like [expletive]," James said to cleveland.com in a one-on-one session. "You're looking on the back of basketball cards and it says M.J. 6-6, Penny Hardaway 6-7½, Grant Hill 6-8, you're like, 'I'm only going to be 6-3? Golly. My dreams are shattered.' That's how it made me feel."
James was approximately 5'7" at age 11. His growth spurt was just about to take off. He reached six feet in junior high. By the end of his freshman year, he was 6-3.
"I thought I was all done," he said, referencing the doctor's prognosis 20 years ago. But James was confident he would continue to grow.
"Nah, once I was that tall at that age, I felt pretty good about my chances."
James grew to become 6'8".
"I'll still be the same player, I'll just probably be shorter," James said to cleveland.com. "I'm not sure I'd still have that athleticism as far as how I jump, but as far as my intelligence, my basketball IQ, that wouldn't have changed at all."
James talked about all of the point guards in the 6'3-6'4 range who are super athletic.
"I don't know if you jump higher if you're shorter or not. You do have guys like [Russell] Westbrook, who is not 6'3". He's like 6'4", 6'5"," James said in a kidding tone while laughing. "And obviously D-Rose in his heyday, boy he was jumping out of the gym. But I would still be a very dominant player in this league just because of my basketball IQ and my drive."