LeBron James can say, for at least the next year, that he has overtaken Michael Jordan.
James was the most popular American male athlete in a recent Harris Poll, according to ESPN.com. Findings were based on a representative sample of 2,241 people polled last month, and Jordan topped the list last year.
This is the first time that James — who recently signed a two-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers — took the top spot as America’s most popular male athlete. The polling actually was done before James and the Miami Heat lost in the NBA Finals and before James decided to return to Cleveland as a free agent.
James fell out of the top 10 the last time he was a free agent, as his “Decision” soured some public opinion of him.
Here’s the rest of the top five for male athletes.
1. LeBron James
2. Michael Jordan
3. Derek Jeter
4. Peyton Manning
5t. Kobe Bryant/Dale Earnhardt Jr.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady checked in at No. 7 on the list. Tennis star Serena Williams topped the list of female athletes, followed by NASCAR driver Danica Patrick at No. 2.