….Lebron is already a bigger star than Jordan

….Lebron is already a bigger star than Jordan

This past weekend, Lebron James wrapped up his fourth MVP award in five seasons, joining Russell, Abdul-Jabbar, Chamberlain, and Jordan as the only players to have won the award four times.  And while the others may have scored more points and won more championships, only Michael Jordan is considered to have had bigger star power than Lebron James.  But in many ways, Lebron is already a bigger star than Jordan.  Here are 5 Ways:

1. Lebron has been in charge of his own business from the beginning – Lebron has had the advantage of time due to the expectations from his early discovery, coverage, and celebrity. He took advantage of this by establishing his own management company early in his NBA career with the focus of best aligning his off-court business with his on-court success. This led Lebron to have innovative business opportunities for an athlete beyond endorsements, creating marketing and ownership interests in most of his activities.

2. Lebron is about more than just the shoes – Jordan broke ground with his Nike and Gatorade endorsements and, later, the Jordan Brand. By Lebron’s arrival, those same opportunities were part of the superstar athlete formula. Lebron has had more time to be ambitious than Jordan ever did as well as access to more media coverage. Lebron’s smile is ever-present and his attitude appears bright. Jordan was practically cynical when it came to commerce, recognizing that everyone was a potential consumer, openly acknowledging why he shied away from controversy. James has not been afraid to take risks. Despite flops like “The Decision”, his personality remains attractive to fans everywhere.

3. Social Media – As a player, Jordan never had Twitter for an outlet. As an owner and businessman, Jordan has not embraced social media wholeheartedly. Lebron James is a social media superstar,  embracing the medium enthusiastically. As a result, he reaches a young and diverse crowd, interacting with them in a continuous yet controlled dialogue. This accessibility gives Lebron a broader presence than Jordan, available to fans anytime and everywhere.

4. Basketball is bigger than ever – The sport’s popularity exploded in the 1980s, driven by Magic, Bird, and Jordan. Jordan’s timing coincided with globalization and the spread of the internet, making Jordan a global icon. But while Jordan presided over global growth, James has thrived in an already global market. Fans around the world have been able to watch all of his games since he was a teenager. Basketball reaches farther now than it did 10, 20, 30 years ago.

5. Lebron is a better player – Hold on you say.  Yes, statistically, Jordan holds the edge in all meaningful categories.  The stats, MVPs, and championship rings favour Jordan, but Lebron still has several years to challenge his records. More importantly though, Lebron is able to dominate in ways that Jordan could not.  While Jordan was a dominant defender, Lebron can play any position on defense. While Jordan was the ultimate scorer, James has the same ability to score at will. Lebron’s advantages over Jordan are in passing, rebounding, and attitude.  The joy James brings to basketball is infectious.  On top of that, Lebron has the potential to finish his career with more individual honours and championships than Jordan. I fully expect him too.


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JB Hacking

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  1. mph Wednesday - 12 / 06 / 2013 Reply
    Yes, but only he can beat Gary Neal...

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