Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lebron James, Damaged Legacy, and he doesn’t even know it.

Lebron James first game with the Miami Heat comes to us tonight. Have you seen his new Nike commercial?  Taken lightly it’s a painfully funny attempt at boosting Lebron into stardom in the general sense, not just the basketball world.  I believe that this commercial is one of the most over-produced sports ad I’ve ever seen.  Lot’s of different sets, and different costume changes for Lebron.  There’s even a guest spot for Don Johnson and even some great special effects.  (there’s a shot where he’s having his Chosen 1 tattoo removed from his back).  With all of this rambling by Lebron, there is no sign of humility.  Humility from a superstar is something that we all want. Michael Jordan completed an entire career without ever being filmed “bathing” in his greatness.  There’s a scene in this video
Where Lebron rides his SUV by a huge banner in Cleveland “We Are All Witness”.  We have Don Johnson in his Miami Vice role advising Lebron “Be patient, after a while the temperature drops and everything is free and easy”.  Even this simple advice is shown contempt by this wayward superstar.  In the commercial lebron replies “Should I be writing this down”.  Can you write Lebron?  You certainly can’t reason! This commercial, just like everything that has come out of Lebron’s mouth and all that we see from his behavior shows nothing but contempt from this golden spoon biting athelete.

From the time Lebron entered the NBA up until this free agency move I have been “on the fence” where Lebron is concerned.  I’ve given him credit as being one of the most talented players to come into the NBA.  I’ve watched his accomplishments with a degree of awe and have been excited about what he offers the game.  If you remember, it was he that was excited to play for “his” Cavs.  He led us all to believe that Cleveland is where he wanted to be as a professional.  Cleveland has done a great deal to put a championship supporting cast around him. Obviously, all of their efforts fell short of King Lebron’s expectations.  He’s decided to team up with some superstars in Miami, turning it into the Justice League building the superfriends used, and wage a full frontal assault on the doors of Basketball Superteam status.  Well this is where my support ends.  I find myself secretly hoping for a season ending and career shortening injury for the King. 
As I viewed this commercial I had the Dan Patrick Show on television in the background.  He had sports commentators calling in giving their opinion.  Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports says "He (Lebron) has Harvard problems and he has community college friends (advising him)".  This is true, but, even more telling is the fact that Lebron James is a young man with a history of taking the easy road.  He went straight from High School to the NBA. Avoiding the difficulties of NCAA and satisfying the requirements of living that life.  In Cleveland, he had a team looking to build a winner around James.  Now, he's found a new shortcut.  If he and two other league superstars join up an a single team we can win several rings.  Oh boy, another shortcut, Lebron jumps at that.  I don't have a problem with Lebron making the choices he has, what I do have a problem with is that Lebron thinks that he is entitled to be handled with kids gloves. 
This commercial, meant to repair Lebron's image, serves exactly the opposite purpose.  He asks questions that all have answers that are negative to Lebron's image.  At one point he says "I am not a role model", then shows lebron eating a donut. then he winks and says "Hi Chuck".  Who is this kid to try to show up Charles Barkeley?  Simply because you're not happy that the likes of Barkeley and Jordan have  spoken out against this coordinated free agency move to Miami doesn't mean they are wrong. Again, it leads back to humility.  Something seriously lacking with Lebron James. 
In the end, here’s what I can say, before decision 2010, when James took up 60 minutes of ESPN air time to announce he’s going to Miami, I had a mostly positive image of Lebron James, since then I’ve had a decisively negative impression of the Basketball Superstar.  After this commercial, my view of Lebron is even more negative. 
There’s nothing more disappointing than wasted talent.


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