MJ and LBJ: Bigger Than Basketball

Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Those two men are two of the greatest basketball players that have ever lived, maybe the two greatest ever. While most will argue who is one and who is two, there is one thing that we can all agree on … these two men have decided to make a positive impact on the community they love. As a basketball fan, a family man and as a new father, I tremendously appreciate and respect these men for what they have done off the court.

Michael Jordan is a six-time NBA champion and is known for his acrobatic dunks, championship pedigree and nonstop intensity, Now, he will be known for much more. Just last month, MJ opened a clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina for the uninsured and under-insured. The clinic, Novant Heath Michael Jordan Family Clinic, is the first of two facilities that HE IS FUNDING. MJ grew up in North Carolina and went to North Carolina University before being drafted into the NBA by the Chicago Bulls in 1984. MJ is the current owner (or governor) of the Charlotte Hornets and while his team does not have the success that he did, MJ still has a huge impact on the community where he used to be a youth. This clinic will provide the Charlotte-area with affordable primary and preventative care to people with no insurance and insufficient coverage.

The money is not an issue for me, it’s the commitment to be able to make a difference and make an impact…

Michael Jordan on the impact of the Novant Clinic

A study by Harvard University and UC Berkeley in 2014 ranked Charlotte dead last out of 50 large cities for social and economic mobility for children born into poverty. That stat is devastating and MJ decided enough was enough. Let’s take a second to think of how amazing this is. This country’s healthcare system is not perfect, or even ideal, and it takes acts from millionaires to make health care available to those that need it most. This act by Jordan is truly an astonishing thing to do. There are people out there, GOOD PEOPLE, that need help and I’m glad at least someone is listening.

LeBron James also takes care of the community he loves. Lebron is known for powerful dunks, insane court vision, and being a great teammate. He’s always been a guy who looks out for his teammates and in 2018, LeBron and his foundation, the LeBron James Family Foundation, opened a school in Akron, Ohio, the town LeBron grew up in. The school is named the “I Promise School” and it’s aimed to help at-risk children. The school opened with just 3rd and 4th graders attending, but by 2022 will feature grades 1-8.

“I know these kids basically more than they know themselves. I’ve walked the same streets, I’ve rode the same bikes on the streets they ride on, I went through the same emotions, the good, the bad, the adversity. […] Everything they’re going through as kids I know and for me to be in a position where I have the resources, the finances, the people, the structure, and the city around me, why not?”

LeBron James on the I Promise School

LeBron said he wanted to create a school for the youths in that area because he knows how tough it was for him. While the cost of the school is around $8M annually, which has caused some concern, the concept is amazing and the impact on the community will outweigh the concern of the cost. School days run from 8-5, which is a much easier schedule for working parents, and the school offers services that include uniforms, food for families, career placement services, bikes and helmets for each student, transportation for qualified individuals, and GEDs and job placement services for parents.

LeBron James and Michael Jordan have become bigger than basketball. They have allowed themselves to become one with their community and help the people in those communities thrive. I am proud to be in a world with these two heroes. We all want to live in a world that extends a hand to their fellow humans and the example these two men are setting is bigger than basketball.

Rosenthal Sports



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