LeBron James is without a doubt one of the most influential athletes of all time as beyond his absurd abilities on the basketball court, his relevance in the public sphere — as well as the power he has to help influence public opinion — is something very rare in the sports world.
One NBA player who recognizes this in the strongest terms is Draymond Green.
Green recently signed with Klutch Sports to help him negotiate a four-year contract extension with the Golden State Warriors and is also a vocal supporter of James and just about everything he does. Green cited James as the reason he joined the agency, and admitted how weird it was that he wasn’t playing in the 2019 NBA playoffs.
Green is now continuing his praise of James by saying that the biggest accomplishments of his career go beyond the court. In reality, Green believes it’s the ‘doors he’s opened’ for the basketball world that make him as great as he is, via CNBC:
"Everybody celebrates LeBron for his basketball career … but this is his biggest accomplishment." pic.twitter.com/jKev5ze8hj
— CNBC (@CNBC) September 12, 2019
At first glance, this statement could come off slightly ridiculous. On the court, James has put together a no-doubt Hall of Fame career, which is arguably one of the greatest ones of all time. He’s put up numbers never before seen at nearly impossibly good efficiency rates.
However, James — at this stage of his career — has become a truly powerful figure in the world. He opened the I PROMISE School where everything is free and top of the line, all funded by his’ foundation. He has put his support behind winning political campaigns and currently is one of the biggest supporters of the recently passed California bill that would allow student athletes to get paid.
James has produced several TV shows and documentaries, such as “The Shop,” “Million Dollar Mile,” “Student Athlete,” “Shut Up and Dribble,” and “What’s My Name” about Muhammad Ali that have spoken up for the rights of underprivileged people as well as the plight of the student athlete.
There’s no doubting that James will continue to do these things after retiring, and may start to make even more of a societal impact at that point.
All of these things not only make James one of the greats on the court but easily one of the greats off it.