For everyone that like's Mike.


Lebron Like Mike?

How Lebron Could Transcend Mike...

More than two decades after Mars Blackmon hustled America into buying Air Jordans and the "Be Like Mike" jingle had us reaching for the Gatorade, the model for how to turn a gifted basketball player into a worldwide icon remains largely unchanged. LeBron James, the latest and most worthy heir to Michael Jordan's throne, is trying to be like Mike. Some very smart people think that's a huge mistake.

Though Kobe Bryant's hang-gliding game has born the closest resemblance to Jordan's on the court, Bryant never fully captured the imagination as a marketer, spokesman or pitchman. So the vacuum left by Jordan, the first international basketball icon, has yet to be filled. James intends to fill it.

But how?

"I think it's really unfair to compare people to Michael," said David Falk, the super-agent who created the Air Jordan paradigm that James is trying to replicate. "There'll never be another Michael."

No, there won't. And there will never be anyone better as long as the next challenger falls into the same trap of trying to imitate Jordan instead of trying to surpass him.

In sheer dollars and market share, LeBron's off-court accomplishments through the first six seasons of his NBA career are "staggering," said Paul Swangard, director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon. 60 Minutes, in a profile of James on Sunday night, placed his annual income from basketball and other sources at $40 million last year. The Harvard Business School said James is now the third-biggest name in the sports world behind Tiger Woods and David Beckham.

"I think the challenge for LeBron is to do what Michael did 25 years ago -- to raise the bar, to create a new paradigm, a different way of looking at how an athlete is marketed," Falk said. "That's what he needs to take advantage of. He's got to create his own comparison. He's got to do it differently."


"I get paid a lot of money to answer that question," Falk said.

Since he didn't attend college, James, 24, is two years younger than Jordan was at this stage of his career. Jordan won his first NBA championship in his seventh season, a mark that James could eclipse in a couple of months with the Cavaliers, who are vying with the Lakers for the best record in the NBA. Due to inflation and the economic expansion of the NBA -- in which Jordan was complicit if not primarily responsible -- the dollars are incomparable. Jordan's basketball salary in his sixth NBA season was about $2.3 million. James is paid $14.4 million this season, which is nearly $5 million more than the entire NBA salary cap in 1989-90, Jordan's sixth season.

Jordan's first endorsement deal with Nike was for $2.5 million over five years, plus royalties. James, riding those coattails, signed a seven-year, $90 million contract with Nike - when he was still in high school.

With his engaging smile, the swoosh on his shoes, the No. 23 on his jersey, and the deep voice and speech patterns -- listen to James talk about "the game of basketball" with your eyes closed, and you'd swear it's Jordan talking -- he has modeled himself after the master. If he's happy spending his entire basketball career being "the next Michael," then James would only need to keep doing what he's doing. No need to take risks or try anything different. The problem with trying to separate yourself from the best, of course, is that you might fail.

"Well, you know, I suppose averaging 35 points a game and being defensive player of the year and the MVP is probably a start," said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who coached Jordan to six championships with the Bulls -- or was it the other way around? "But winning seven championships will probably be the one that'll make a difference between what Michael did in his career and some other player."

And off the court?

"Maybe changing sports and being MVP in baseball," Jackson said, "something Michael couldn't do."

He doesn't have to do anything that drastic, but if he wants to eclipse Jordan, LeBron is going to have to take chances.

One frontier Jordan didn't fully explore is ready and willing for the King to claim as his own: China. Swangard re-tells an old story about NBA commissioner David Stern's first trip to China, when he tried to persuade the government to allow NBA games to be shown on TV. Stern was informed that tapes of Jordan's games had already been smuggled into the country, because, "The people always loved watching Mr. Jordan from the Red Oxen," Swangard said.

If he seizes the opportunity, James could become as popular in China as Yao Ming by the end of the decade. Coinciding with Team USA's gold-medal performance at the Beijing Olympics last year, the NBA opened its first two merchandise stores in China with many more to come. It's by far the global market with the most potential for growth, and the millions of eyeballs and billions of dollars could provide the boost LeBron needs to separate himself from Jordan.

"You walk down Wangfujing [shopping district] in Beijing and you get why these guys get the millions they do," Swangard said. "It's certainly true that much of their value remains tied to their domestic notoriety. But it's a whole different world over there. It is probably the single greatest opportunity for LeBron to be a global icon in a way that Jordan just didn't have the platform. ... When the number of basketball fans in a country outpaces the number of people in the country where the league is played, you can just sort of do the simple math."

But with opportunity comes responsibility, which brings us to the next -- and perhaps even more important -- area in which James could separate himself from Jordan. To this point, LeBron and Tiger have followed the Jordan Plan: Play your sport at the highest level, endorse the products that make you the most money, and keep your nose clean. Jordan's infamous explanation for why he refused to endorse a black Democratic candidate running for the U.S. Senate in his home state of North Carolina -- "Republicans buy sneakers, too," he said -- has been the template for the two iconic athletes who have most closely followed in his footsteps.

Unlike Jim Brown -- or Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the Olympic runners who raised their firsts in the black power salute during the 200-meter medal ceremony at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics -- Jordan chose the path of most money and least resistance. So far, Tiger and LeBron have done the same. During the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Games, James avoided any involvement in protests over China's complicity in the genocide in Darfur. Even when James' teammate, Ira Newble, circulated a petition protesting China's policy, James refused to sign it, saying he needed more information. It was a page right out of Jordan's book.

"Mike paved the way for all of us to open up the endorsement door," said Celtics star Ray Allen, another Jordan Brand athlete. "But the one thing that Mike never was is political. I think in today's era, the NBA player has an even greater podium if he chooses to use it. And with Barack Obama being the first black president, it's a great forum. I think that would separate him from anybody who's done this. ... It's great to be a basketball player, but to transcend sports is a big responsibility. If he were able to pull that off -- if he wants to pull that off -- I think that would set him apart."

Can he?

Does he want to?

That's the next frontier for LeBron James.

Enjoy this Lebron James interview with 60 Minutes Steve Kroft-


Mike in Miami

Mike was out on South Beach Thursday night taking his girlfriend to dinner at Red the Steakhouse to celebrate her birthday.

Here's a few paparazzi shots from the night.

Peep the brace on Mike's left hand in these two shots...

Here's a few shots of his girl...

Her name is Yvette Prieto, shes a Cuban-born model who used to date Julio Iglesias Jr.

At the end of last year, it was rumored that Mike and Yvette were planning to marry, however, no confirmation has been made.

Shes fine, but don't do it Mike...

The last one cost you $168 Million!


Mike' Son Visits UCF

Michael Jordan may soon have a reason to come watch games at UCF Arena. Jordan's youngest son, Marcus, visited the Knights on Friday on an official recruiting trip according to And a source with UCF said he enjoyed his visit to the Orlando campus.

Jordan, a senior shooting guard at Whitney Young High School in Deerfield, Illinois, recently led his team to the Class 4A Illinois state championship. The 6-2, 180 pound shooting guard scored a game high 19 points and sank four late free throws in the state championship game to help his team defeat Waukegan, 69-66.

Jordan wouldn't be the first player to come to Orlando from Whitney Young. One of his former high school teammates, A.J. Rompza started at point guard for the Knights last season.

According to, UCF is the only school Jordan has visited but he has also garnered interest from Miami, FLorida, Michigan State, Illinois, Iowa and Wright State with offers coming from the Knights and Hurricanes.

If Jordan decides to sign with the Knights, as a three star recruit, he would join Orlando Christian Preps Keith Clanton as one of the highest rated recruits ever to play at UCF.


Hare Jordan I's

The “Hare Jordan 1″ will be dropping on the 11th of April. It features all the colors and materials you would expect, considering the Air Jordan 7 “Hares” that inspired this new make-up.

A fresh look to the Jumpman logo is done up in “Hare” fashion as well, and is placed on the tongue.

I would much rather have the VII's, but if your a real Jordan Head you will pick these up just for the Bugs Bunny Jumpman logo on the tounge.

Thank Nice Kicks for the pics.


Crazy Etch-A-Sketch skills...


And another one...

Just to prove that this shot wasn’t a fluke, LeBron James nails another half court underhand shot...

Nothing but net!

Thank for the video.


Dwayne Wade for MVP

Here's two more examples of why Dwayne Wade should be the NBA's MVP for the '09 season...


First the Grizzly dunk on Memphis...

And the 3/4 court shot off the glass he hit the other night against New Jersey...

Dude is on fire right now.

Thank for the links.

Another Michael Jordan Highlight Video

It's videos like this that remind me why everybody wants to


Thank youtube member "cashmoney484" for the video.

Air Jordan XX3 PEs

Peep this crazy collection of Air Jordan XX3 PE's from NBA players such as Joe Johnson, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.

Thank for the pictures.

Police Academy 4

Check out this old clip from Police Academy 4 featuring the Bones Brigade skate boarding in some vintage Nike's...


Thank NT Member "BlackKatTx" for the link.


Choppin' Down Nets

In basketball a chopped down net is the ultimate symbol of victory.

Mike got his first taste back in '82...

And on Saturday Mike's son Marcus got his first taste of the "chopped down net" as his highschool team won the state championship.

The guys from K1X have paid tribute to this ultimate honor in a very dope way...

Check out this fresh new design called "Chopping Down Nets"

My man Tom from K1X hooked me up with a little surprise in the mail today...

Good looking out homie!

The design is ill, with the net wrapping all the way around to the back of the hoodie.

Here's another nice K1X shirt they sent my way...

I love the splatter paint basketball hoop design, the details are dope, embroidered K1X logo, and the material is really nice, similar to Nike's Dry Fit, but in my opinion, much more comfortable.

Much love to whole K1X crew...

Make sure you check out the K1X blog at