Despite graduating from high school less than five months ago, the 18-year-old eschewed college for the rigors of the National Basketball Association and is already drawing comparisons to Mr. Jordan, arguably the greatest player in the history of the game.
For that, Mr. James can thank his prodigious talent.
But he's also being called the next Michael Jordan after landing more than $100 million worth of endorsements.
For that, Mr. James can thank Aaron Goodwin.
Mr. Goodwin, 42, runs Goodwin Sports Management with his twin brother, Eric. Aaron cultivated a two-year relationship with Mr. James; his mother, Gloria; and his mother's longtime boyfriend, Eddie Jackson, that paid off in May when Goodwin was selected to represent the phenom.
This wasn't a popularity contest, however. Previously a partner with sports agent Bill Duffy before opening his own company, Mr. Goodwin represents Gary Payton and several other NBA players, and was recently ranked 39th on Sports Illustrated's list of the 101 most influential minorities in sports.
Mr. Goodwin helped broker a monumental $90 million shoe endorsement deal with Nike , as well as a $12 million deal with Coca-Cola Co. to hawk Sprite-the brand formerly endorsed by another high school-to-NBA star, Kobe Bryant.