Well, not quite, but LeBron is beginning to make moves that will make us all love him again.
LeBron’s new Nike commercial, What Should I Do?, is a brilliant p.r. move that represents the first wave of remaking LeBron James into the most popular athlete in the country. Who else could possibly fill the void vacated by Tiger Woods?
Nike has hundreds of millions of dollars invested in LeBron, and stands to make hundreds of millions, if not billions, from LeBron. Naturally, this makes restoring LeBron James’s popularity of the utmost priority for Nike.
What Should I Do? conjures up images that remind me of The LeBrons commercials. These commercials featured the fun LeBron we unanimously loved.
As his prowess on the court grew, and his "Chosen One" title was legitimized, his popularity grew. I routinely was astonished by LeBron’s performance on the court.
I was not the only one amazed by LeBron’s performance. With time expiring on LeBron’s contract, millions of fans across the country began to obsess with the idea of LeBron James playing for their team.
This factor alone meant that, no matter who LeBron decided to play for in The Decision, millions of people would be angry. The immense interest in who LeBron James was going to sign with necessitated a bigger announcement than is atypical for other free agents.
This is where LeBron messed up.
He listened to his friends, but they are his friends. He is supposed to listen to them.
The Decision was in poor taste. While it raised significant amounts of money for The Boys and Girl’s Club of America, there were much better ways this announcement should have been handled.
For starters, ESPN, should never have been given exclusive rights to this announcement. ESPN’s cinematic take on sports has done wonders for the way we watch sports, but their cinematic take on The Decision over-personalized things.
This resulted in The Decision coming across as “Fxck You Cleveland,” when really it was just “Fxck You Dan Gilbert.” Dan Gilbert’s subsequent memo illustrated how he viewed the king, as nothing more than a commodity.
At the end of the day, Gilbert is the one with the most yolk on his face. Through an utter inability to make any useful personnel moves, Gilbert squandered away the best basketball player of our generation, and he is left with an awful basketball team, in an economically-depressed city.
LeBron James going to Miami will work out well for him, because in Miami, he has something he never had in Cleveland: Two players capable of creating their own shot. Bosh and Wade are not only capable of this, but exceptional at this.
LeBron James should have held a press conference at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America, and spent 15 minutes or more answering questions from Cleveland reporters, before he took any questions from reporters based elsewhere.
When properly coached, LeBron James’s charisma would have shone through. While Cleveland would still be furious at him, the rest of America would have been indifferent.
Following The Decision, like much of the country, I was furious at LeBron. My anger did not stem from LeBron’s choice of venue for The Decision, but rather his decision not to come play for my Chicago Bulls.
Everyone in Chicago was angry at LeBron, because we all wanted him to play for our team. This sentiment was mirrored across the country, as basketball fans harbored ludicrous hoop dreams that LeBron would somehow come and play for their team.
These feelings were exacerbated in Cleveland, by LeBron’s perceived national snubbing and abandonment of his home team. LeBron James will not restore his image in Cleveland
Until following his acquirement of a few rings, he convinces some buddies to come and play with him in Cleveland.
When LeBron James’s next contract ends, Kevin Durant will be ringless in Oklahoma City, and be beginning to worry about his legacy. Hopefully for Cleveland, Durant will trade one crappy city for the other, and head to the rust belt.
That would really be the ultimate legacy for LeBron, and would embrace the edgier side he bore for us in The Decision.
The only thing I will never understand about the whole way The Decision went down was how nobody in LeBron’s camp recognized how much better The Decision would have been if it was a press conference broadcasted live on virtually every network.
With a lockout looming, basketball players will need all the p.r. help they can get. That is why I am offering my services.
I am much cheaper than whoever you are paying now, and I cannot do any worse than LeBron’s people.
Now all that is left for LeBron is winning. With a ring, he will officially be back.