When LeBron James announced his intention to forgo college and enter the 2003 NBA Draft, no one was surprised. His high school games were the first at that level to be televised on ESPN, and he’d graced the cover of Sports Illustrated as a junior with a headline auguring a messianic arrival: “The Chosen One.” The anticipation wasn’t just relegated to fans and the media, either. Basketball’s two titans, Nike and Adidas, engaged in a bidding war that no player before or since has come close to matching. Not even Michael Jordan.

But based off where the basketball sneaker industry is headed, LeBron isn’t just the first high school player to inspire a Travolta-and-Cage-esque faceoff between the preeminent basketball brands. He could also be the last real signature athlete.