LeBron James' new Nike ad ahead of NBA Finals reveals orgin story of 'Chosen 1' tattoo

It's a bold decision. Tattooing "Chosen 1" across your back potentially sets you up to advertise a lifetime of disappointment and ridicule. 

But LeBron James was branded as the Chosen One thanks to a Sports Illustrated cover from 2002, when he was just a junior in high school. Later that year, he decided to embrace that designation by getting it inked across his back. It would become one of the most iconic tattoos in sports.

And with LeBron getting ready to partake in his eighth straight NBA Finals, Nike -- one of the superstar's biggest sponsors -- has made it the focus of their latest ad involving James.

The spot takes us back in time to the moment that the St. Vincent-St. Mary's phenom walked into a tattoo parlor and delivered his request for the tat, which -- according to NIke -- reflects "LeBron's belief that he was destined to achieve great things."

The ad is directed by Japanese-American filmmaker Hiro Murai, who is most recognized for his work on music videos and FX's "Atlanta." 

It may take a couple viewings to get past the jarring CGI recreation of a younger LeBron, but once you accept it, it's hard not to admit that this is a pretty great spot.

Luckily for LeBron, that tattoo ended up not being as foolish as some people may have thought. It seems the sports world is constantly salivating to crown "the next [whatever]" and set impossibly high expectations for promising prospects, and often times those prospects fall short. 

But arguably no sports figure of this generation has been as hyped as LeBron, only to deliver on every bit of the promise. The debate has flipped from whether or not he'll live up to his potential, to whether or not he's the greatest to ever play the game.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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