Every year, Forbes slaps together a list of America's most influential athletes, and LeBron James was riding high at number two last year. Of course, some sort of "decision" happened in the meantime, and King James has seen his rankings fall. He's still in the top ten, but barely. Granted, a championship ring could change all of that on next year's list.
"E-Poll and Nielsen Media Research surveyed over 1,000 adults as to the athletes they considered influential, while also assessing their likeability and awareness levels," reports Forbes. "Only those known to at least 20% of the respondents were considered."
LeBron has now fallen to number nine. That fall is especially brutal when you remember that Tiger Woods' reputation is now shattered, and another list mainstay, Lance Armstrong, has retired.
Here's how LeBron's numbers broke down:
Like/Like a lot: 33%
Dislike/Dislike a lot: 15%
N-Score (endorsement potential): 131 (avg. athlete 14)
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Interestingly, former Florida QB Tim Tebow has also seen an equal fall. He plummeted from number 3 last year, to number 10 this year.
Miami sports fans will be none too pleased to hear who took over the number two spot. It's none other than Patriots QB Tom Brady. NASCAR champ Jimmy Johnson reigns at number one. Shaquille O'Neal, interestingly comes in at number four and is the highest-ranked basketball player on the list. No other NBA players made the top ten.