Of course LeBron James has a Photoshopped picture of him playing basketball against Michael Jordan as the wallpaper on his smartphone. That's what proud and respectable athletes that enjoy the game they play with access to such technology do. And of course LeBron James is going to be asked what's on his phone's wallpaper, because he is an international superstar — lauded by respectable publications, but also given the Tiger Beat treatment sometimes while being asked to divulge his favorite ice cream.
And of course LeBron James, after earning his first NBA championship and Sports Illustrated's coveted 2012 Sportsman of the Year award, is going to be secure enough to point out that he has a picture like that covering whatever brand of phone he uses. And, of course, the must-follow Richard Deitsch from Sports Illustrated is going to report the news, and the great Trey Kerby is going to pass the word along in typically charming fashion.
[James] revealed on Wednesday that the screensaver of his phone is a Photoshop image of himself handling the ball while guarded by Michael Jordan in his prime. "Jordan was my superhero growing up," James said. "He was the guy I feel helped me get to where I am today. As a competitor, who would not want to go against the best? That's like asking [Tom] Brady would he want to go against [Joe] Montana in the fourth quarter."
This isn't the same as working as one of those iffy types that buys a team's jersey with a fan's name on the back, because that's a bit rough. Unlike those fans LeBron James actually plays in the NBA, as did Jordan. And though their paths never crossed — MJ retired for the last time in April of 2003, James debuted with the Cavaliers six months later — the two will probably go down as the best to have ever played the game should James continue on his current path.
Initial submissions for LeBron's wallpaper (Courtesy Kyle, Grade 9)It's also par for the course for a generation of technology users that has been able to add personal touches to their gear for decades, now. The second I determined that I could streak wallpaper across my family's home desktop in 1996, stretch or tiled images of Jordan's Bulls were switched in and out every time I found a new picture to my liking (with the odd portrait of Jack Lord, seriously, because I'm very strange). This carries over to your own computer later, or your message board avatar, or email's signature, or Facebook/MySpace background, new Twitter avi, or smartphone photo.
If others can take a picture of their puppy (puppies can't even use a phone!) or I can use an image of a WWII-era Royal Air Force roundel for phone backgrounds, why can't LeBron have his choice as he takes to the same Sports Illustrated honor that MJ received after Jordan won his first championship in 1991? We're all fans, here. And some fans happen to be around the same height as Michael Jordan.
Although, it should be mentioned that the guy who chose to sign to play on the same team with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh may want to hold off on the whole, "as a competitor, who would not want to go against the best?"-line.
More NBA coverage from Yahoo! Sports:
Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
• David Stern wants to stamp out 'Hack-a-Shaq' tactics
• Florida State coeds make pitch for top hoops recruit
• Y! News Year in Review: The top 10 obsessions of 2012