James Chases Jordan with 20th SI Cover

James Chases Jordan with 20th SI Cover

LeBron James claimed his 20th Sports Illustrated cover this week, well behind Michael Jordan’s all-time record 50 covers. James four ahead of Jordan’s pace at the same age.

On the June 17, 1991, Jordan was pictured dunking with his left hand to the headline of “Air Power” for his 16th Sports Illustrated cover when he was a month younger than James is now. Jordan was actually on the cover the next week – but only in a tiny photo in the upper right hand corner with the main photo being of Mike Tyson, which does not appear to be counted in Sports illustrated’s official count of 50 covers.

Jordan did not get his 17th until a few months later when Phil Jackson was pictured holding him and Scottie Pippin. Jordan was later named Sportsman of the Year and would proceed to pass Muhammad Ali’s 38 covers for the top mark:

Michael Jordan 50

Muhammad Ali 38
Tiger Woods 24
Magic Johnson 23
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 22
LeBron James 20
Tom Brady 19
Kobe Bryant 17