Jordan won six championships with the Chicago Bulls and is arguably the greatest basketball player ever. Lawrence, a star quarterback from Clemson, is months away from starting his rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Beyond them both being professional athletes who played collegiately in the Carolinas, what do Jordan and Lawrence share? Jaguars owner Shad Khan has an idea, and it’s a bold one.
Shad Khan compared Trevor Lawrence to Michael Jordan
Shad Khan has his quarterback, and he wants the world — quite literally — to know about Trevor Lawrence.
In a recent interview with NBC Sports, Khan discussed the impact that Lawrence could have on the Jaguars. Khan, who owns Fulham in the English Premier League, even believes that Lawrence can be a global superstar.
“As great as Michael Jordan was, he was never a true superstar over there [in England]. Trevor has the gravitas. I think he could become a true international superstar.”Shad Khan
Peter King asked Lawrence about Khan’s comments, and the rookie quarterback handled it with grace.
“I thought about how cool it’ll be to play in London, but . . . I try not to think about that too much,” Lawrence said. “My job now especially is to come in and to win games and to get ready to be the best I can be and to make the team as good as we can be. I try not to think about all the other byproducts of it.”
Dabo Swinney once compared Deshaun Watson to Jordan
Let the record show that Lawrence isn’t the first Clemson quarterback who has been compared to Jordan.
In January 2017, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney met with reporters at the Senior Bowl. Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was a projected first-round pick at the time.
Swinney made it clear that teams who didn’t pick Watson would regret it in a big way.
“They pass on Deshaun Watson; they’re passing on Michael Jordan.”Dabo Swinney
Swinney then shrugged his shoulders and laughed. After joking that he didn’t know what he was talking about, Swinney made his overall points on Watson clear.
“Deshaun Watson is the best, by a long shot,” Swinney said.
Khan may be overestimating Lawrence’s potential
Khan is understandably excited about having Lawrence in the picture after years of owning one of the longest-suffering professional sports franchises.
Still, comparing his potential star power to that of Jordan’s might be going a bit too far. Even if Lawrence becomes a perennial Pro Bowl selection and turns the Jaguars into a legitimate powerhouse, there is only so much global popularity that he’d be able to attain.
The NFL remains king, at least with regards to North America. Only a few select athletes from this part of the world have become those global superstars, and the vast majority of that group — Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James — played basketball.
The exception is players who were either born overseas — former Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, for example — or American-born players from an international background, such as former New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin.
But maybe Lawrence can become a trendsetter in his own right. However, it is not yet known when the Jaguars will next play in London, so overseas fans may have to settle for watching the next Jordan play on television.