LeBron James is Winning the NBA Lockout by Staying out of the Negative Spotlight

Eric Johnson@<a href="https://twitter.com/EJisLegend" class="twitter-follow-button" data-show-count="false">Follow @EJisLegend</a> <script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platCorrespondent IIISeptember 28, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 21: Lebron James speaks during the Boys & Girls Clubs of America 'Great Futures Start Here' campaign launch at The National Press Club on September 21, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
Kris Connor/Getty Images

It's no secret that the 2010 NBA offseason instantly transformed LeBron James from a hero into a so-called villain. To an extent, there was justification.

No, James shouldn't have been ridiculed for leaving Cleveland. He fulfilled a contract with a team that made no true efforts to keep him then he decided to move elsewhere.

It's the way James went about announcing to the world he was "taking his talents to South Beach to join the Miami Heat" that really caught him a whirlwind of negative media and fan attention.

To follow that up, James and the newly formed Heat superstar trio of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh decided to have a welcoming party for the Miami fans.

Nothing wrong with that at all.

Well, except for James' guarantee of "not two, not three, not four," and so on championships. Maybe not the worst move of his career, but there is no doubt that put a whole level of extra weight on his shoulders.

So to say the least, James spent most of the NBA offseason in the spotlight. The backlash of that is every move he made from then on would be noted by the sporting world.

Later in the season, James had his worst disappointment to date in his NBA career, losing to the Dallas Mavericks in the Finals. However, shortly after the criticism and talks about James and the Heat dwindled as we headed towards a dreaded lockout.

So just what is Miami Heat superstar LeBron James up to lately?

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 30: LeBron James warms up before the Goodman League All-Stars take on the The Melo League at Edward P. Hurt Gymnasium at Morgan State University on August 30, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Besides defending Tim Tebow on twitter after getting blasted by ESPN's Merril Hodge, nothing noteworthy as far as negative publicity goes.

Actually, I would go as far as saying it's been a positive effort in rebuilding his public image.

So far during the lockout, James has made all of the right decisions in progressing his professional career, both on and off the court.

While many players are going overseas to stay active, James has shown strides in becoming a complete player.

One of the first worthy pieces of information in the off-season was that LeBron was working with NBA Hall of Fame Center Hakeem Olajuwon on his post-up play.

LeBron James vowed to be a better player next season. Not many better ways than working with "Hakeem The Dream" to focus on an area in which he could use a bit of improvement.

The 6'8" point forward is also keeping his game sharp, playing in different exhibitions with other NBA superstars.

In fact, it was recently announced that along side Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Heat "Big Three" will host a game filled with plenty of stars in October.

Besides showing improvements on the court, James has also done good elsewhere.

Recently James received an award from the Boys and Girls Club of America for his efforts in helping out over the past few years. A great honor, in part because of the money he raised by televising "The Decision." When you put it that way, maybe the televised announcement doesn't seem so bad huh?

He has also shown efforts in working with the youth by working his annual basketball camp. While the biggest story coming out of the camp was LeBron's sick throw-down on a young kid, it still wasn't anything serious.

Actually, the kid received a pretty sweet gift for being posterized, a pair of shoes from James himself.

NEW ORLEANS - NOVEMBER 05:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat throws powder in the air before playing the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena on November 5, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees tha
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Things like the awards and camps aren't only good for him personally, but it also keeps him out of the unnecessary negative spotlight.

So far, so good for the "Chosen One" during the lockout,

Don't look for him to be greeted with cheers by the many critics who blast him for his "arrogance." Fans will always dislike him for reasons that are truly beyond me.

However, his ability to not draw anymore negative attention will ultimately help him focus on becoming a better player while attempting to lead Miami to the second championship in franchise history.

If James continues to be productive during the lockout, it will eventually lead him to a better persona and a better career.

However, good or bad, expect LeBron James to be a media sensation. But if his latest McDonald's commercial says anything, it's that James is ready to write the wrong when it comes to his image.


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