We built the site to be 38,991 pixels tall — one pixel for each point LeBron is predicted to score during his career. When the user scrolls through the LeBron's first 9 seasons, we want it to feel like 9 seasons of record-breaking performance. When he enters to the Top 100, we want the user to feel how quickly LeBron overtook player after player. Finally, when he reaches the Top 10, we want the user to feel how far he has to go to reach the Number One spot.
When you’re ESPN, and LeBron James becomes one of the Top-10 points leaders in NBA history, you’re going to have something to say about it. To mark the event, we began collaborating with ESPN’s editorial team to design something unique. We knew we needed to capture the drama of the accomplishment and highlight the stats that underscored its significance. The interactive experience we created lets fans track LeBron’s journey from draft day to present day, and offers some predictions about what it will take to become the greatest of all time.
Create a unique editorial experience that highlights the significance of LeBron’s entry into the NBA’s Top-10 highest scorers.
Develop a dynamic, stats-based story that tracks LeBron’s rise from rookie, through the ranks of the top 100 players, to one of the best of all time.
An interactive timeline that takes you point-by-point through LeBron’s historic achievement, and even predicts when he might make it to the No. 1 spot.
How we did it.
Early concepting had us going in the direction of a LeBron James vs. The World approach — pitting LeBron's stats against every player within the Top 100. Quick sketches exposed potential problems with the approach and inspired our final, more compelling storyline — LeBron vs. Kareem.
Our previous relationship with the ESPN Digital team gave us the freedom we needed to work fast. Constant communication through tools like Slack helped provide quick feedback for ideas, progress, and issues.
Creating the background collages for LeBron and Kareem meant we got to live a sports fan's dream — combing through decades worth of editorial photos to select the most iconic photos from the best athletes to have ever played the game of basketball.
With so many moving parts to the timeline — seasons, photos, point totals, progress, stats — our team began prototyping early and refactored often to ensure each update performed as as efficiently as possible.
LeBron's schedule was our schedule and that meant unpredictable nights with our team huddled in Slack with ESPN's team — hanging on every blocked shot — ready to launch the site the minute he entered into the Top 10.