LeBron James and Michael Jordan approach basketball and life in completely different ways. Jordan had to be convinced to consistently share the ball with his teammates, while James was criticized for involving his teammates in the attack too often. James is a considerably taller man and one of the most unique physical specimens in the history of the sport, as Jordan played basketball with the grace of a dazzling performance from swan lake†
Jordan hit .202 in AA baseball as a 30-year-old, and James was an All-State football player in high school. James spent his life trying to maintain his hairline, Jordan abandoned his in the late 1980s and transformed the bald head into a style that many people in the 1990s should never have copied. A 21-year-old Jordan happened to meet an aspiring Phil Knight when Nike was gaining a foothold as a company, while James — born two months into Jordan’s rookie season — had his sights set on becoming a billionaire for his 21st birthday.
People always compare the two, knowing that they play basketball in completely different ways, and their lives are even more so. Jordan was born five months before the March on Washington and grew up in the South in a two-parent family with four other siblings. James was born in late 1984 in Akron, Ohio, and it was just him and his mother in a Midwest, once bustling with industry, become desolate and desperate.
Other than being tall black men who are two of the best basketball players to ever walk the planet, and 21st century billionaires, there doesn’t seem to be much in common between the two. However, when James tweeted the day before the 4th of July “I *pray emoji for my city today‘, it was a reminder of the commonality they share with millions of other people on this planet. They are indeed black and being black and being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be dangerous and sometimes deadly.
In addition, both James and Jordan grew up in cities steeped in racism.
On June 27, 2022, Jayland Walker’s life in Akron ended. A chase with police led to a foot chase that was soon ended with gunfire. Walker was allegedly shot 60 times while being chased by eight officers. Law enforcement officers said they planned to detain Walker for a routine traffic stop. The officers allege that Walker did not stop and also fired a shot from the driver’s side window, and that they recovered a handgun from his vehicle. They said they shot a Walker in a ski mask for reaching for his waistband.
He was shot by bullets seconds after he sprinted from the vehicle. An officer would have reloaded and continued firing before attempting to resuscitate him. Akron had a curfew from Sunday to Tuesday when the public could view parts of the bodycam footage of Walker’s shooting. The protests continued on Wednesday evening. Jacob Blake Sr. – father of Jacob Blake who became paralyzed after being shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin – was arrested as well as Bianca Austin – Breonna Taylor’s aunt who was murdered by police in Louisville.
Walker’s murder isn’t the first questionable move by the Akron Police Department. In March 2022, Jamon Pruiett and Latrent Redrick received a $900,000 Settlement from the city after being shot and wounded by police in October 2017. A fight broke out near a club in downtown Akron, Redrick owned a gun with a conceal and carry license, and when an officer attacked the fight and fired at it, Redrick was hit. His brother, Pruiett, grabbed the gun and fired back, unaware that it was an officer who shot at them and was also beaten. The officer – John Turnure – was not charged but eventually resigned in 2021 after body camera footage showed him forcing snow into the mouth of a man accused of domestic violence and saying he could not breathe.
Jordan’s hometown had a Mark Fuhrman moment in 2020. Three officers, James Gilmore, Jesse Moore II and Kevin Piner were fired after being recorded using violent and bigoted language. According to the reportGilmore criticized the department for its response to George Floyd’s protests, speaking of white people “kneeling on their knees” and “worshipping blacks.”
Piner and Moore were recorded on a phone call about the murder of black people. Moore spoke of a black woman he arrested. He called her the n-word and said, “She needed a bullet to the head at that point and moved on. Let’s get the body out of the way and get on with it.” Piner said civil war was coming and he was going to buy a new assault rifle and, “We’ll just go out and start butchering them damn n words. I can not wait.” Moore didn’t want to go that far — I think he only wants to kill black people he arrests — but Piner went on to say that a civil war “would wipe them off the damn map.” As appalling and disturbing as that language is, it is especially appalling of the Wilmington Police Department.
The January 6 commission hearings currently underway are about an attempted coup. Wilmington is the location of the only successful one in American history. In 1898, Wilmington had the highest proportion of black residents of any southern city. The results of a recent election displeased many of the city’s white people, who saw it coming. While to research In a Jordan story, Wright Thompson found that a group called the Red Shirts bought so many guns that the stores had to message other states so they could replenish their stock. At least 60 black people were killed. The mayor, chief constable and all of the city’s councilors were forced to resign, and Wilmington’s Black newspaper burned to the ground. Today, a city that was 60 percent black is now 18 percent black, while the total population is at its highest ever number, over 110,000.
Akron’s racist past is part of what has seriously damaged many black communities in America, interstate constructs. Like Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and more, highway construction—designed to help mostly white suburbans get in and out of the city faster—has displaced people, devastated property values, and destroyed businesses. In Akron, however, there is another twist to the story. The construction of the highway, the Innerbelt, was never completed† It lasted until 1987 and turned out to be $300 million wasted in a city that was dying in the midst of its No. 1 source of industry, rubber production. The Innerbelt, along with three other urban regeneration projects near downtown, displaced 3,197 households and forced 100 businesses to close, according to the Akron Beacon-Journal.
This could have something to do with James, in the fourth grade, missing about 100 days of school and possibly moving six times. And for those who think segregation was a lifetime ago: Brown vs. Board of Education was passed in 1954, but Wilmington schools did not separate until 1968. According to Roland Lazenby’s biography of Jordan, primary schools were not desegregated until 1971, meaning one of the most famous people to ever walk the earth, and not yet 60 years old, attended segregated schools.
Today, both men seem to have won in life with Jordan who owned an NBA franchise and was worth more money than the owner of the team he played for, the Chicago Bulls, and James’ production company, named after the apartment complex he lived in. during high school, is worth over $700 million. But for those two astronomical success stories, a black man reportedly fires a single shot from a car during a police chase, not aimed at either of the officers, and is confronted by a hail of gunfire from eight uniforms just seconds after being killed. fled from his flight. vehicle. A white man allegedly kills six people at a suburban parade, or 10 black people in a supermarket, and will live out their days in court.
James and Jordan are billionaires and the two best basketball players to ever wear Nikes or other shoes. Many of the similarities end there. They didn’t play at the same time and their games are completely different. They come from different parts of America and their personalities are apples and pears. What they have in common, however, is the journey they had to make in hostile territory, simply because of their skin color.