BLOG: LeBron commercial misses point

Jason Singer
Jan 4, 2011

In a new Nike commercial, LeBron James almost apologizes to Cleveland.

"Almost" is the key word.

It starts out on the set of "The Decision," with a vulnerable James seeking forgiveness.

"What should I do?" James asks, before turning his attention to the city of Cleveland.

Should I tell you how much fun we had?" he says, as they take down his "We Are All Witnesses" sign.

But before long, James turns irreverent and aggressive. He takes shots at Hall-of-Famers Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, the latter of whom harshly criticized James.

He bashes his other critics, mockingly asking if he should accept his role as a villain.

It ends with one last middle finger to Cleveland and his critics: "Should I be who you want me to be?" as he glides toward the rim for a layup.

This last question is the ultimate theme of this commerical. And it's brilliant.

It plays on the age-old belief that any action, no matter how graceless, selfish or disrespectful, can be defended by saying, "I'm being who I want to be, not who you want me to be."

Look, LeBron James had a right to leave. He was a free agent. But the way he did it — dragging it out all summer, with a one-hour nationally-televised special to embarass Cleveland, with no remorse and with just one line: "I'm taking my talents to South Beach" — could have been handled better.

If he would just admit that and apologize — as he almost did at the beginning of this commercial — we could all move on.

But the commercial skips the apology and misses the point. James (and Nike) don't feel he did anything wrong. They feel the criticism is unwarranted. So while the commerical is a slam dunk technically — it's funny, exciting, aggresive and irreverent — it's still fails to score any points, at least with this fan.

What did you think of the commerical?

Comments

tk

I guess with that last line LeBron was right.  He wasn't what we wanted him to be.  We wanted him to be a classier guy and we also wanted him to be a winner.  In the end he was neither.

curious

Everyone needs to just get over it........if all of you were pro athletes and had a choice to play on a losing team (always the bridesmaid and never the bride, close but no cigar, etc., etc.) or a winning team, what would you do.  Point made!!

Exxcellent

He should be...........long gone. Good riddance. Whether or not he wanted to be a role model, he was. He let everyone down. His marketing agents may try to make him feel better about himself and his decision, but obviously he feels guilty because he knows he did wrong. He is a self absorbed show boat.

tk

Curious, no one is denying that LeBron had the right to leave.  The problem is with the way he did it by thumbing his nose at at city and fans who loved him.  They didn't let him down, he let them down.   Also, his lack of consideration for the Cavalier organization.

Retiree

Any one that has played in most major sports knows one person does not make a team. In basketball you have five players and a strong bench to be constant winners. Players that will pick up the slack when your tired and need a rest. That's what makes the Lakers so strong. That is why Lebron was trying to recruit players, that were free agents, to joint the Heat. I feel that James and the way he handled his free agency showed what kind of person he really is. Many of the NBA's elite players told him how bad he looked. I hope that Lebron eventually  gets his championship ring on Dwayne Wades team.  You  couldn't get the job done on youir team, the Cavs.

Bada Bing

do we all really care?

Raoul Duke

It seems like Cleveland fans have forgotten all the idiotic trades our teams have made over the years(too many to list here-we all know them anyway). These were done without the consent or approval of the fans, of course. Just recently, the Cavs traded Zydrunas Ilgauskas, a guy we all liked, and a guy that WANTED to be in Cleveland. Did the Cavs owner care about what we, or he, wanted? NO. It's the nature of the business, key word being "business."

Having said that, I'm much more likely to follow through with my boycott of the NBA this year. I love college basketball so much more anyway.

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