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LeBron James says become a scientist, not an NBA player

Commentary: A new Verizon spot, debuting during March Madness, suggests that there are too few glamorous jobs, so head for science and technology.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Can we ever have enough LeBrons?

Verizon/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

How many kids want to be scientists?

The answer seems to be "not enough."

So the deeply scientific souls at Verizon have taken it upon themselves to encourage children to think about a science career -- and forget about glamorous things like playing in the NBA, being an NFL quarterback or being a fashion model.

In a spot launching during March Madness, we see NBA star LeBron James explaining that there are only around 2,880 professional football players, a mere 850 pro soccer players and 624 pro basketball players.

And, amazingly, there are only 5,800 fashion models.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, supermodel Adriana Lima and aging soccer star David Villa underline that there isn't a need for more of them. Instead, there are 9 million jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Verizon says that many kids simply don't have access to resources that would get them excited about these kinds of jobs. So it's launching a #WeNeedMore campaign to enlighten America and excite kids.

The company says it's creating the Verizon Innovative Learning Initiative to help fund access to the tools needed for kids to become engrossed in science.

Also appearing in the #WeNeedMore campaign will be Nascar driver Joey Logano, actress and singer Zendaya and NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns.

The intention here is surely noble.

However, being a sports star still feels a lot more ego-satisfying -- and infinitely more lucrative -- than being a scientist. Especially in an era in which the government is threatening to decimate science funding.

Some kids will still take their chances. Others will ask their local algorithm to calculate them.

Unless, of course, ESPN discontinues SportsCenter and launches ScienceCenter.

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