LeBron James had always made it a point to emulate one of his childhood idols in Michael Jordan the best that he could.
ESPN’s recent 10-part documentary series “The Last Dance,” based on Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, allowed many fans like James an inside look at some of the key moments that transpired leading up to his final season.
Among them was Jordan’s decision to return to basketball following his brief stint playing Minor League baseball. Jordan was adamant about making sure that the message encapsulated the significance of his return and he did just that with two simple words.
Unfortunately, there was a time James opted to take a completely different route by making a spectacle of “The Decision” back in 2010, when he joined the Miami Heat in free agency.
According ESPN, James took a page out of Jordan’s book by going with a much more simple approach when he announced his decision to sign with the Lakers:
Fun fact: The fax informed the manner in which LeBron James announced his decision to play for the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2018, according to sources. After the TV spectacle that backfired with “The Decision” in 2010, when James went to Miami, and the extreme course correction that followed with a first-person essay as told to Sports Illustrated in 2014, when he went back to Cleveland, James’ camp wanted something clean and simple in 2018.
It is no secret that James caught plenty of flak for the TV special that saw him announce a decision to leave his home state of Cleveland for an opportunity to win his first championship in Miami.
Of course, the more subdued delivery he took when he left the second time around was met with much less criticism despite the fact that James was joining one of most decorated franchise in NBA history.
This just goes to show that the actions taken in making the announcement can play a major role on how the decision itself is received by the public. Although the circumstances for Jordan and James were completely different, the impact that it had on the rest of the NBA was still relatively the same.
Like many other aspects in basketball, Jordan may have inadvertently set a new precedent when it comes to players announcing career-altering decisions. While dominating headlines with an elaborate process may be tempting, history proves that simple is often the better way to go.
LeBron, Jordan connect to help save NBA Playoffs
James and Jordan were intertwined again last week when the NBA Playoffs were in danger of being cancelled amid boycotts stemming from the shooting of Jacob Blake. The two superstars were part of multiple calls, along with other players, team and league officials, as the parties involved worked to find a resolution.
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