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Recalling Allen Iverson and Ray Allen’s Fame, LeBron James Highlights the Lack of Icons in Men’s College Basketball

Siddid Dey Purkayastha

Recalling Allen Iverson and Ray Allen's Fame, LeBron James Highlights the Lack of Icons in Men's College Basketball

The college basketball season just ended with UConn and South Carolina clinching the Men’s and Women’s Championships respectively in the NCAA basketball tournament. Over the past few seasons, there has been a noticeable rise in popularity in the Women’s collegiate game. While this has helped the impending rise of women’s basketball, a lesser number of icons in men’s college basketball, especially this year, has prompted concerns in different circles. LeBron James addressed this issue with JJ Redick on the latest episode of his podcast, Mind the Game. 

When we talk about men’s collegiate basketball, there aren’t many names that immediately come to mind. Of course, many will name Purdue’s Zach Edey, but it’s evident that the big man’s popularity isn’t anywhere near that of his female counterparts.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

On that note, Redick discussed how Rich Paul once remarked about the lack of icons in today’s men’s college basketball. LeBron James never played college basketball, as he was drafted into the league straight out of high school. However, he grew up watching college ball and looked up to some of the college icons who later became great NBA players. However, LBJ agreed with Paul’s opinion that men’s basketball is going through a talent slump in recent times.

“When I was growing up watching college basketball on Big Monday, you had Allen Iverson at Georgetown, you had Kerry Kittles at Villanova, you had Ray Allen at Connecticut, you had John Wallace at Syracuse. These are all on Big Mondays. There’s no more…,” James told Redick.

James also praised his co-host JJ Redick for playing four years at Duke and finishing top six on the list of the school’s all-time scorers. Furthermore, he also praised his former Miami Heat teammate, Shane Battier, who was touted as a lottery pick in his junior year and chose to return for his senior season with the Blue Devils. All in all, James was incredibly impressed to witness the rise of women’s college basketball and the emergence of more icons in that league. However, he also seemed to think that the apparent drought in the men’s game is something to think about.

Women’s basketball has seen a meteoric rise over the past few seasons

This year, women’s basketball has witnessed unprecedented rise and hype, especially for college-level tournaments. Players such as Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese rose through the collegiate ranks to become some of the most highly touted athletes in basketball, especially in comparison to their male counterparts. Women’s college basketball this season has also amassed a high viewership, which explains why its even competing with men’s college basketball right now.

While Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese’s tenure might be over, the future for women’s college basketball is now brighter than ever. Emerging stars have shown great glimpses of talent and might as well emerge as the next big stars, carrying the baton of their veteran predecessors.

Post Edited By:Satagni Sikder

About the author

Siddid Dey Purkayastha

Siddid Dey Purkayastha


Siddid Dey Purkayastha is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush, covering the sports for two years. He has always been a lover of sports and considers basketball as his favorite. While he has more than 600 articles under his belt, Siddid specializes in CoreSport pieces with on-point game analysis. He is an ardent fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, since Kobe Bryant's 80-point game made him a fan of the franchise. Apart from basketball, Siddid occasionally watches soccer and takes a fancy in following up with the Premier League in his free time.

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