Sunday, October 9, 2011

LeBron James: King James Rightly Named Most Influential African-American Athlete

Love him or hate him, you've got to admit that LeBron James is as influential as any African-American athlete in the world today. certainly agrees, as James placed 36th overall in the 2011 The Root 100 List. The rankings were determined by a formula that "defines influence as the marriage of reach and substance", with "reach" quantified by popularity among news articles, Google searches and Twitter followers, and "influence" calculated more intuitively on a 0-10 scale depending on the impact and importance of the individual's contributions. The final influence score is simply a multiplication of the "reach" and "influence" scores for each candidate. Only individuals between the ages of 25 and 45 were considered for the list.

To put James' ranking in perspective, he pulled in an influence score of 73.9, well behind Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, who checked in at No. 1 with an influence score of 131.1. In his own sphere of society, James still checked in ahead of women's tennis star Serena Williams (No. 41, 71.9), the only other active professional athlete who placed among the Top 100.

But does LeBron James, the reach and substance of whose professional career would seemingly pale in comparison to that of an NBA champion and global icon like Kobe Bryant, really deserve to be recognized as such an influential figure?

Continue Reading at bleacherreport


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