LeBron James has finally passed Michael Jordan—at least when it comes to being the most popular sports figure in the United States.
In a poll released Thursday by Harris Interactive, the Cleveland Cavaliers forward passed His Airness for the honor for the first time in his 11-year career. Jordan, who has not played basketball in more than a decade, still comes in at No. 2. Jordan had been topped the poll from 1993-2005 and was No. 1 again last year. Harris surveyed 2,241 adults online between June 11 and 16 to come up with the final tallies.
Perhaps the most popular player in sports history during his heyday, Jordan's relatively low post-career profile played a part in his drop. He's stayed in basketball as the primary owner of the Charlotte Hornets and appears in a popular Hanes ad campaign, but makes minimal public appearances and rarely gives press interviews.
James, meanwhile, is the most publicly recognized post-Jordan basketball player and in the prime of a Hall of Fame career. He averaged 27.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists last season while leading the Miami Heat to their fourth straight NBA Finals berth. The four-time league MVP left Miami after four seasons earlier this month to return to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.