Updated 03:43 PM EST, Thu, Dec 02, 2021

LeBron James Better Than Michael Jordan? Player the 'Most Popular US Athlete' According to Poll

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Former Miami Heat star and now Cleveland Cavalier returnee LeBron James went past Michael Jordan as the most popular athlete in the United States as revealed by the latest Harris poll.

James' start in the NBA in 2003 has started debates on whom between him and Jordan was a better basketball player, Reuters reports.

The same report notes that Jordan held the top spot in the list from 1993 to 2005 then in 2013, but now James has knocked him down to the No. 2 spot.

The poll, according to Reuters, was conducted from June 11 to 16, with more than 2,000 people as respondents. The participants also included athletes like New York Yankees' Derek Jeter, who is set to retire from Major League Baseball, Denver Broncos' Peyton Manning, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and Nascar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Meanwhile, returning athlete Tiger Woods dropped from his third spot finish, settling for eighth this year.

Tennis player Serena Williams and Nascar driver Danica Patrick, on the other hand, proved that the ladies are also famous in terms of sports as they both claimed slots in the top five.

Serena's elder sister Venus was also included, as well as tennis hot star Maria Sharapova. Reuters adds that soccer player Mia Hamm closed out the top five list.

The report also notes that James became more popular in the past week owing to his much talked-about return to Cleveland this season after two NBA championships in Miami.

NESN explains that this is James' first time to take the top spot as the most popular athlete, considering that the survey was conducted even before he made his decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent.

In a similar report by Yahoo, it was noted that despite a considerable number of people hating on James, he is still a really popular athlete with the ability to outshine an athlete from an older generation.

The same report adds that James was able to top up Jordan's businessman image nowadays and the impact that he had in the lives of the younger generations in basketball, including James himself.

Yahoo speculates that James' stay at the top of the list could be short lived as older athletes have proven that years of experience is a big factor considered in the poll. It also noted, however, that if his stay in Cleveland proves to be fruitful for the team, then he might just have another year on the No. 1 spot.

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