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More Than a Player

Lebron James is leadership goals!

In the 90’s one only needed to utter two letters to shut down any conversation about who was the best NBA player of all time- “MJ”. Michael Jordan spent 15 seasons dominating the world of professional basketball, but it wasn’t just his athletic prowess that made him such a powerhouse. Jordan was one of the first pro athletes to build a business dynasty, as well as a personal brand, that to this day is still impenetrable. 

Actually, I’d like for all of my readers to just take a moment of silence to recognize how brilliant this man was. 

Outside of his prominent shoe empire and a starring role in one of every millennials favorite childhood movies, “Space Jam”, Jordan danced alongside the man…the legend…Michael Jackson. Your favorite basketball player at the time could never!  

And while Jordan officially hung up his basketball shoes in 2003, it was in that same year that another player graced us with his presence and unmistakable talent. 

That player is none other than Lebron James.

As the first overall draft pick of his ’03 class, Lebron James has been blazing the trail for fellow NBA players and athletes alike for years. Moreover, James has exhibited a magnitude of talent that basketball fans haven’t seen since (you guessed it) Michael Jordan. 

As a heads up, my next statement may be a bit controversial to some, however facts are facts. 

2018 makes James’ 15th season with the NBA, and in that time he’s managed to
create greater overall impact (emphasis on “overall”) than Michael Jordan did in his time as a professional basketball player. Despite being compared to MJ and other greats at every turn, James has made it a point to focus on forging his own path as a professional athlete.

From dawning the now legendary “I Can’t Breathe” shirt to openly supporting  Colin Kaepernick and his right to protest the national anthem, James represents the modern day athlete. Unlike his predecessors, Lebron regularly uses his influence to drive important social conversation. His desire to give a voice to the voiceless was made even more apparent in 2011 when James launched the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio; the school was opened in an effort to support children that have fallen behind their peers in education. 

Now don’t get me wrong. James is now the highest paid NBA player in the league, a feat that no one athlete can attain without a few endorsements; sneaker deals, television and movie cameos, ties to Beats by Dre, and the list goes on

Lebron James has proven that it’s possible to garner and maintain commercial success, as well as stay true to one’s own values, and speak out on controversial topics without having to compromise one or the other. This is a complete 180 compared to that of Jordan and his era of athletes who focused more so on the game and the money than on invoking any real societal change.

So say what you want about Lebron, but he’s proven himself to be more than a player. He’s a visionary. 

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