LeBron James’ Bad Image Is A Problem



By: Alex Reimer

David Stern has a big problem. The problem is on par with labor uncertainty and scandalous referees. The NBA’s biggest star, LeBron James, is completely clueless. Not only that, but he’s completely unlikeable. But the worst part is, judging by his latest Nike commercial, that he’s beginning to embrace it.

In a 1:30 ad, LeBron asks a serious of rhetorical questions to the audience. He asks if we “want him to stop listening to his friends?” If by friends, he means his high school cronies like Maverick Carter who orchestrated “the decision,” then “yes.” LeBron, you should stop listening to your friends.

“The decision” was single-handedly the most narcissistic piece of television this side of well…anything. Never before had a player in a team sport held a special primetime television show announcing where he would sign before LeBron did. It was the quintessential example of putting your personal brand above the team.

It’s fine to be disliked. In fact, it’s good. The best-case scenario is a Michael Jordan situation, where one city completely embraces him as their own but everybody else tunes in to watch him lose. A similar kind of thing can be said about Kobe Bryant.

The difference between Jordan and LeBron (besides the fact that LeBron has never won anything yet) is that Michael Jordan was universally respected.

LeBron James is a joke. He’s viewed as a quitter. Why else would the most talented player in the game who’s only in his mid-20’s not want to lead a team to a championship all by himself?

LeBron James is incredibly insecure. Why else would he retweet 100+ tweets saying what a good commercial he shot?

Nobody likes the insecure bully. Nobody likes the guy who needs a TV special to announce who he is going to sign with in free agency.

When LeBron James returns to Cleveland on Thursday, riot control is going to be needed. Is that really what the NBA wants? Do they want an environment so hostile that the safety of the players on the court is going to be in question? Cleveland is used to disappointment, so for the city to still be so distraught over LeBron’s choice to leave illustrates just how poorly the situation was handled.

There needs to be an intervention. The game’s brightest talent cannot go on like this. Efforts of reconciliation need to be made.

LeBron James isn’t respected, and doesn’t have a city to call his own. He ran away to Miami to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Which by the way, is different than what happened in Boston in the summer of 2008. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce were well into their 30’s when they decided to join forces. They weren’t 25.

The Nike ad also features a clip in which LeBron is speaking to an empty room in his Hall of Fame induction press conference. Never mind that it’s also narcissistic for a 25 year-old to be inducting himself into the Hall of Fame, but the whole scene was sad.

It was sad, because if things don’t change with LeBron James, that clip may turn out to be true.

Alex Reimer is the host of the Red Sox podcast, “Without a Curse.” “Without a Curse” is available on both www.thesportsstuff.com and in the iTunes store. Alex is also the host of “The Alex Reimer Show,” which airs Saturday’s from 4-6 PM EST on 1120 AM WBNW Boston and www.moneymattersradio.net. Alex can be reached at, [email protected]

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One Response to LeBron James’ Bad Image Is A Problem

  1. Jake says:

    Of course, its all about putting your personal brand above the team, anyone who didn’t see a bunch of personal brands coming together in the Miami Heat this year is blind. You are talking about three of the biggest names in the league on one team which is destined to be a companionship laced with ego. Don’t be surprised that James would put up an ad like this, I would expect it. In fact, I’ll bet you anything that Bosh and Wade come out with similar ones. Of course he’s narcissistic, he’s gone from hometown hero to approaching Michael Jordan fame, and needless to say ego comes along with that like bread with butter. No surprise here, and Stern should have quit his job before this year’s Heat took the court if he was going to have a problem with player’s egos. May as well just call them the Miami Egos.

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