Every time someone compares LeBron and Jordan in terms of playing on the court, one basketball analyst is born in the world – and it’s endlessly sad. Of course, Michael is primarily a myth, a legacy, and everything that creates the image that we know. The problem is that LeBron is trying to go the same way, and in this case comparing the image seems much more logical than the game (and more interesting).
Although we don’t really need to compare the images themselves, such a comparison would be too short. Ideally, you need to compare the eras and what created the myth of Michael Jordan and creates the myth of LeBron James right now just like this and just like this.
But if all the same about images, at the peak of his career, Michael did not and could not have any media competitors. The early LeBron had Kobe, the late one had Steph Curry’s peak (whose media career, by the way, would have been very similar on the chart to Harden’s playing year).
- The effect of long shelves
During the formation of e-commerce, there were popular claims that the main advantage of online stores over conventional ones is the “long shelf effect”. What’s the point: any offline store is very limited in assortment due to shelf space, since location is still the basis of offline trading, and real estate in a good place costs good money, which means that you have to limit the range, partly focusing on demand, partly creating it.
Online business at the same time (ideally, take the example of Amazon) is almost unlimited in this sense, especially now. When not only the factor of the real estate price is significant (the warehouse is always cheaper), but also the number of warehouses and delivery possibilities.
In other words, you can’t buy the comic you need at the nearest grocery store, but you can buy both products and conditionally any comic on Amazon.
About the same thing happened with media consumption.
Content consumption in Michael’s time is an offline store where there are several Newspapers, several TV channels, and several radio stations that (most importantly) have a much greater influence on you when choosing an idol. They create it based on the demand of society and their own desire.
Content consumption now is Amazon, where you can follow LeBron on instagram, read ESPN, watch Trey young’s games.
Of course, your choice is still influenced, but the opportunities for choice have become disproportionately greater.
Both because of the first point and for other reasons, the audience has become much less focused on one particular content. There are a lot of studies of various degrees of quackery that calculate specific numbers, but it’s enough to think about how many TV shows a person watches on average now and how many in the early 90’s? How many are produced? How did the length and number of tracks on the average album change? How has the amount of news content changed over 30 years? And what about the time spent on it, especially with the advent of a full-fledged mobile Internet?
Here, too, there are several almost mutually exclusive points. For example, focusing a fan’s attention on the fact that LeBron is a basketball God is much more difficult than in Jordan’s time. On the other hand, the results of the “Solution” are also forgotten much faster.
If more globally, then:
- stars got a little more second chances and have more opportunities to make mistakes
– it is very difficult to keep the fan’s attention on yourself for a long time in any one context without feeding
This greatly complicates LeBron’s goals from the point of view of legacy: today you are a basketball God, tomorrow Steph Curry blows up the season, now you are an idol again, then James harden does what he does, again you, and, no, Russell Westbrook makes a triple-double for the season, “everyone admires, then laughs”, as the literary Negroes of one Russian author wrote. Even in theory, it is difficult to calculate the amount of effort that it takes for LeBron, his team, the NBA and the universe to put Him on the same throne as Jordan at the time.