Watch: LeBron James' video game appearance has dramatically evolved

Even before LeBron James entered the NBA out of high school in the 2003-2004 NBA season after being selected as the No. 1 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers, he was arguably the most polarizing basketball player in the universe.

If you recall, his high school games were even televised, as his unmistakable talent was recognized at an early age. Unlike a number of players since he broke into the league, absolutely no one falsely predicted his dominance at the next level.

One of the coolest experiences that many NBA fans enjoy is the ability to virtually control their favorite teams and players in video games. Due to his incredible popularity as the face of the NBA, game developers over the years have clearly made it a priority to make LeBron one of their most true-to-life players.

With the development of video game technology, not only graphical representations have become more crisp and defined over the years, but player movements and tendencies have been replicated to near-perfect precision, thus making the current NBA 2K game the most realistic virtual basketball experience to date. As a result, LeBron’s appearance, shot, on-court tendencies, mannerisms, reactions and more were all captured with astounding accuracy.

Along the way, however, there was a clear evolution. Using LeBron’s appearance as a baseline, check out the incredible difference, beginning with NBA Shootout 2004 and ending with this year’s NBA 2K17, as compiled by HoopsHype:

It’s amazing how this was the best graphical representation of King James during his rookie year:

Given today’s technology, those graphics seem ancient, as his face and body are not only disproportional, but also seem distorted. 

Now, on the other hand, people might have a hard time distinguishing his virtual face from his actual one, as you can see:

As the video game world continues to develop and evolve, it will be incredible to see what the future holds in terms of giving fans the tools to create the most real-life experience possible.

With the popularity of virtual reality games hitting the market, it’s exciting to think of the possibilities that the future holds. After all, in just over a decade, the strides that were made (as seen above) were extremely noticeable.

Therefore, it’s safe to assume that as technology continues to grow and develop, NBA fans will soon be able to show their devotion to their favorite teams and players in ways that never seemed to be possible.

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