LeBron James is (Still) Not A Role Model (Or a Sympathetic Figure)

If you hadn’t heard, LeBron James and Nike put out a new commercial on the eve of the start of the NBA season. Watch it above. Soak it in. Formulate your opinion.

I love Jason Whitlock’s column on The Commercial. My favorite part:

“Any action, no matter how irresponsible, selfish or disrespectful, can be rationalized by “I’m being who I want to be, not who you want me to be.””

It seems like this sentiment permeates youth today like no other.

“I’m being me.

“You can’t tell me what to do!”

This is a brilliant piece of advertising. Nike should be very proud. This is more about image restoration than selling shoes. The only problem is that Nike is so good at their craft, that Nike comes through more in the commercial than LeBron James. To me, this feels like LeBron took a meeting with Nike and said, “Do whatever you think will sell my brand and will make me look cool.” At no point in the 90 seconds do I feel like LeBron’s personality genuinely comes through. He’s a fraud. An actor. He talks a big game but rarely delivers. Rather than lead his hometown team to a championship, he’d rather join forces with Dwayne Wade and share them blame when they lose.

I’m on record as calling out LeBron. As much as he wants to evoke Barkley or Jordan in the new ad, he’s just picking at the scab. Some may praise him for being self-deprecating and taking on the “haters.” It’s all bullshit. The refrain of The Commercial is “What should I Do?” How about you shut the fuck up and play basketball. Learn a post move. Get a consistent jumper. Let your game do the talking.

LeBron will always do LeBron. The Commercial makes that very clear. But let’s understand that LeBron will never be in the same breath as Jordan. LeBron is not better than Kobe and will quickly be surpassed my Kevin Durant. LeBron may not even be the best player on his own team. LeBron is LeBron–just another over-hyped diva who values his brand more than championships, his image off the court more than his skills on, and “friendship” over competitiveness.

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2 Comments

Filed under Blog, Sports

2 responses to “LeBron James is (Still) Not A Role Model (Or a Sympathetic Figure)

  1. Radley

    Great article. Granted, I’m not a basketball fan and therefore never was concerned with LeBron until I saw this commercial about a week ago. Now, I see it like this:
    When he had the arrogance to call his own 90 minute press conference to reveal what team he was going to play for, he was pretty much putting himself on display and inviting the world to form opinions about him and his choices. He was basically saying “I know you care about my career, and I care that you care, so I’ll indulge us both.”
    So now, perhaps a bit surprised that after his decision he coincidentally is no longer “who people want [him] to be,” he’s suddenly “above” all the criticism and treating himself as a shining example of personal integrity who couldn’t care less about what people think about him. Psychologically, it’s the only way he can rationalize not being universally loved. I highly doubt he’d have the same attitude if people were less critical of him. If he really didn’t want to be who others wanted him to, why did he hold his own television special to tell them?
    The icing on the cake: going so far to make a commercial to explain to people that he doesn’t care highlights the fact that he does indeed care, as it’s just a futile attempt to have people change their opinions about him yet again. I’m sure the commercial was Nike’s idea, but he still agreed to do it.

    I might believe that he didn’t care what people thought if he acted like it.

  2. Excellent points made in this article. “I’m a totally selfish and inconsiderate dickhead, who’s also a pussy. But I’m just being me!!!”

    Ok. Well then, whatever you are, it sucks, I guess.

    Durant is gonna smoke the whole league this year. He’s the best basketball player on the planet.

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