The Infamous Dunk On LeBron James: Poor Sport Or Good Marketing?

Jay MitchellContributor IJuly 24, 2009

ATLANTA - MAY 11:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dunks against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena on May 11, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

It happened nearly two weeks ago and you all know what I'm talking about: little known Xavier player Jordan Crawford dunked over LeBron James.

What happened after the dunk?

Well, you all know that Nike confiscated the footage of Crawford "posterizing" LeBron.

Some people were outraged and called the confiscation a conspiracy and that LeBron didn't want footage of an unknown college player dunking on him all over the Internet and television waves.

Want to know what I call the confiscation?

Good marketing.

Had the video footage been immediately made public, we would have seen it for a day or two at most.

Here we are, two weeks later and still hearing about the dunk.  Not because it was a great dunk, but it wasn't anything special.  Heck, LeBron wasn't even the one guarding him.

No, we are still hearing about it because by confiscating the footage, Nike and LeBron were able to make a bigger story out of it.

Rumors are always flying about how LeBron is going to bolt Cleveland and go to New York next summer.  Not because the Knicks are close to a championship, their not, but because it is the biggest media market in the world.

If everybody thinks LeBron wants as much media coverage as possible so that he can get bigger and better endorsements, I think it is very likely that the decision to confiscate the footage was a way to increase media coverage, and they did a very good job at creating a story out of nothing.

I may be wrong, at Nike really was trying to keep the focus on the goal of the camp and not on the tape, but either way, they just got a whole lot of free publicity.

I think it is time Nike and LeBron's Public Relations/Marketing Teams get a pay raise for a job well done.