Lakers News: LeBron James Compares Growth In Popularity Of Women’s College Basketball To Men’s
LeBron James, Lakers
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA March Madness Tournament has finally concluded, but much of the discussion around college basketball was focused on the women’s side as opposed to the men’s. NBA stars such as Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James and Damian Lillard of the Milwaukee Bucks among many others were some of the millions of viewers of those women’s tournament contests.

Stars such as Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, UConn’s Paige Bueckers, LSU’s Angel Reese and Flau’jae Johnson and USC’s Juju Watkins are more popular than any of their men’s counterparts and LeBron feels this is a big reason for the rise in popularity of the women’s game.

On the latest edition of the Mind the Game podcast with JJ Redick, LeBron spoke on the ability of the women of college basketball to really build their legacy over multiple years whereas most of the top men’s players are gone after one year:

LeBron is right in the fact that women’s stars staying in college really increases their popularity. When there are multiple of those level of players around at the same time, it makes the matchups between them must-watch and that was the case during this year’s tournament.

The National Championship game between Clark and Iowa against undefeated juggernaut South Carolina averaged 18.7 million viewers on ABC and was the most watched basketball game, college or pro, since 2019.

While Clark’s legendary college career has come to an end, as has that of LSU’s Reese, who led the Tigers to last year’s national championship by defeating Clark’s Hawkeyes, there is still a ton of star power remaining in the women’s game with Bueckers, Watkins, Johnson and Iowa State’s Audi Crooks chief among them. As Redick added, it is simply a matter of time and evolution and right now it is the women’s time.

Lakers’ LeBron James reveals he has ‘absolutely’ thought about playing in March Madness

Of course LeBron James himself has never played in the NCAA March Madness Tournament as he jumped to the NBA straight out of high school. But the Lakers superstar admits that he thinks about the idea of playing in the tournament every year around this time.

LeBron noted that this is the only time of year he thinks about it as he doesn’t watch much college basketball overall. But when March Madness comes around, James, likely in an Ohio State jersey, goes through his mind.

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