Listening to sports talk radio today, I heard the 8,456,377th discussion of whom or what people think LeBron James is or is not. I keep hearing why he is not a part of the great pantheon of NBA royalty and why other guys are better. It kind of took me to a discussion that wrestling fans have about John Cena. Both maybe the most polarizing figures of their respective professions. As I began to examine both men and how they are viewed they have a lot in common. Enough that I decided to post this both on the Kind of Like Sports and on Ring Time Pro Wrestling pages.
James and Cena are both apart of the first generation of athletes that are viewed through the scope of social media. The constant flow of Twitter and Facebook allow fans to debate the greatness of these versus the prior generation’s superstars. James has never been able to escape the shadow of Michael Jordan and constantly being told no matter what he does that he will never be a Jordan. Cena faces similar critiques that is no Stone Cold Steve Austin or will never be The Rock. Both are said to be the stars of what is believed to be the lesser era of their league or company.
Cena rose to the top in 2004 when he defeated the Big Show at Wrestlemania XX. He was not number 1 draft pick like James. The powers that be in the WWE expected Randy Orton or Brock Lesnar to be the unquestioned face of this generation. James on the other hand from day 1 had to prepare to take on the ghost of NBA past. Both have risen to the top and no matter how much they accomplish they still are dealing the comparisons to completed careers that happened prior to them. Both of James and Cena’s legacies are still being written.
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr