Few people would question the fact that LeBron is definitely on pace for eventual Hall of Fame induction, but the idea of a 27-year old already being worthy of Hall of Fame honors is a little tough to wrap one's mind around, especially on the first ballot.
The thing is, the basketball Hall of Fame is a little different from other sports. In baseball, you can win the MVP and never have a chance to be in the Hall of Fame. You need at least a decade of great play to even be considered. In football, you can retire as the all-time leader in every significant statistic for your position, and still be snubbed for years (Art Monk, anyone?).
In basketball, there are a few things that make you a lock for the Hall of Fame. One of the most prominent of those is the MVP award.
Every single Hall-eligible player with an NBA MVP has been inducted. Here's a list of players who have won an MVP and aren't in the Hall of Fame (courtesy of basketball reference):
Notice that they're all either active or very recently retired. Also, with the exception of Rose, who is still very young, they're all almost certainly a lock for the Hall of Fame.
With that in mind, LeBron has already won TWO MVP awards, and is most likely going to take home one more for this season.
James is 3rd all-time in points per game, which is obviously impressive. Something that a lot of people probably don't realize is that he's also 28th all time in assists per game. That might be even more remarkable than the points, because we already knew he's a great scorer.
The biggest knock on LeBron: Obviously, it's the fact that he doesn't have a championship, and has appeared to shrink in the biggest moments of his career. Whether it's against the Spurs in his first NBA Finals appearance or against the Celtics or Mavericks, he has consistently underperformed in clutch moments.
That having been said, his pros outweigh his cons by a mile. He's a 5-time 1st team All-NBA player, and made the 2nd team twice. He also was a 1st team All-Defensive player 3 times.
He turned an otherwise pitiful Cleveland team into a legitimate title contender, and is an 8-time All-Star. He elevates the performance of players around him, almost to a fault.
The bottom line is this: Without question, LeBron James is already worthy of first ballot HOF induction.
The scary part: He's only halfway through his career.