LeBron James' big decision turned into Sports Illustrated's biggest day online. The iconic sports magazine says James' story drew 6.1 million visitors Friday, the day the website broke the news that the hoopster was headed home to play for his native state's team in Cleveland.
The Web traffic from the James story topped the 3.7 million visitors that came the day Jason Collins became the first openly gay basketball player and announced it with an essay on SI.com. In January, a column from Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman, after beating the 49ers, drew 4.3 million visitors to SI-operated TheMMQB.com. Sports Illustrated is owned by Time Inc.
Last week, James gave his free agency story exclusively to SI, which posted it online. The handling of the news was a decidedly low-key departure from four years ago when James starred in a live ESPN show devoted strictly to his big decision to leave Cleveland and play for the Miami Heat.
Of the 6.1 million visitors to SI.com on Friday, 50 percent came from mobile devices, and 32 percent were driven to the site from links on social media.