Tag: The Decision

Sweat rolls down the face of Miami Heat's James during a break in play against Milwaukee Bucks in their NBA game in Milwaukee

LeBron has a new PR handler


LeBron James is loathed by many, still. His negative PR is lessening as people begin to move on with their lives, but after last year,it was clear that James had struggled with how to handle his public perception. He took a bad situation, lit it on fire, and then dropped it off a cliff into a pit of manure. And apparently, James realized this because he has reportedly gone out and gotten himself a new handler.

From the News Herald:

James had to know the questions were coming on Thursday when the Miami Heat were practicing at Quicken Loans Arena. He recently hired a new “strategist,” a man who worked on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign, so for all we know, his answers could all have been planned.

via Bob Finnan’s NBA notes: If LeBron James wants to return in two years, the Cavs should find a way (with video) – news-herald.com.

Well, Schwarzenegger did get elected, so there’s that.

James’ comments this week about playing in Cleveland again were really the first things h’e said to cause issues for himself this year. He was quiet during the lockout, has played well, hasn’t made any overly confident statements and hasn’t come across as badly. It is interesting that he has his own marketing firm with his friends from high school in LRMR (who put together “the Decision” along with his agent), and now has looked outside. Getting away from that series of decisions is the best thing he can do.


(HT: IAmAGM.com)

LeBron: “I can understand why a lot of people were upset”

Not shown: hair on LeBron's forehead.

LeBron James understands where you are coming from, you haters.

He’s backtracked from how he handled “The Decision” for some time now, said he wouldn’t want to change the choice but does wish he had gone about it differently. He and those around the announcement thought the show was all for a good cause, not seeing the wider reaction to an hour show talking about where he would play basketball (and ripping the heart out of Cleveland on national television).

He said basically the same thing to the Guardian in London, adding he understands the anger people had now.

Was James taken aback by the ferocious criticism of his screening of “The Decision”? “Um, yeah. I was surprised by it because I was making a decision for myself. I was doing something that I believed was going to make me happy and freshen me up. But looking back I can understand why a lot of people were upset. That definitely wasn’t my intention: to upset people.”

Does he wish he could change what he did in the summer of 2010? “I can’t say I would change anything – because it would change so much that is leading to the future. But, yeah, there is definitely a better way I could have handled it, as far as the whole TV thing is concerned, and the same goes for the build-up to the announcement. A lot of people were hurt by it – and I definitely apologize to them. At the same time, you should never be afraid to do what you believe in.”

This is really a good interview and you should go read the whole thing. Especially if you are a Liverpool fan.

LeBron is becoming much more polished with his interviews. He talked about the lockout but steers clear of stepping in that land mine by being pretty dull. He also talks about losing in the 2011 NBA finals and how that will help him going forward whenever there is a season.

When did he get over the loss? “A couple of days ago,” he says, laughing wryly. “It stayed with me a couple of months. It was definitely heartbreaking. [But] I really believe it’s made me a better player. And I’m a better person as well for it – just in terms of focusing harder, zeroing in even more. It’s made me critique my game and work out who I am as a person. We faced a great team in Dallas and I don’t think enough people gave them the credit they deserve.”

We’ll see how much that loss helped LeBron and the Heat. Actually, I just hope we get to test that hypothesis this season.

Video: Gordon Hayward makes his “decision” parody

Leave a comment

Now that the skinny white kid from Utah has made his “decision” parody video, can we officially say that the LeBron James “Decision” meme is dead. Please let it be dead.

We already told you how Hayward was going to be a professional Starcraft II player during the lockout. Which doesn’t quite pay as well as the NBA — and the groupies are less impressive — but hey, it’s something.

As part of the promotion of that, he was part of a “Decision” parody that hopefully is the end of that genre. At least we can hope it is. (hat tip to Eye on Basketball)

Bosh: Heat have to just own up to “The Decision”

Miami Heat v Dallas Mavericks

About the start of next season — whenever that is — we should be done talking about “The Decision.” Maybe we won’t be, maybe people will not let it die, but it feels like it should. LeBron James himself has said he would have handled it differently. The event turned all of the nation outside of South Florida against the Heat, but next season it stops being about The Decision and only about if the Heat can live up to their potential as a team.

As a team, the Heat just need to own up to the decision and move on.

That’s not what I say, that’s what Chris Bosh said on Scott Van Pelt’s show on ESPN Radio (via Sports Radio Interviews).

“I say you own up to it. We all make mistakes. I think anybody would be kidding themselves if they thought they were perfect at anything. I mean why change it? We’ve already went through with everything. Whether good or bad, whether it was a good decision or bad decision, or we should have done this, could of done that, if we would of done this. We are here now. Everything has happened, so let’s just own up to it. Yeah we did it. Yes. If it was a mistake? If I see it as a mistake and here’s the reasons why, but here’s the reasons why it is going to help us in the long run.”

Bosh got caught in the crossfire at the Heat, with people saying he did not do enough, that his numbers dropped off. Well, of course they did, he went from being option No. 1 to option No. 3 in an offense. He has accepted that and knows that is the first step to getting the Heat where they need to be. He will have big games — when he was exploiting mismatches the Heat were feeding him plenty in the playoffs. Thing is, LeBron and Dwyane Wade are walking mismatches, so the Heat create a lot of challenges.

We’ll see if the Heat can own up to it and move on. We’ll see if the fans can move on. But it is starting to feel like time to move on.

LeBron’s popularity at an all-time low

LeBron James

They say it’s better to be feared than loved. Maybe the modern sports equivalent is “it’s more profitable to be hated than loved. ”

Because even as LeBron James’ global brand is expanding to collegiate teams who have Final Four spots penciled in (plus Miami), as his jersey is tops in the world, as his financial intake is the highest it has ever been, his popularity is the lowest it could possibly be. From CNBC’s Darren Rovell:

In a poll taken just days after the decision (7/11/10), James’ appeal dropped by more 11 percent, his endorsement appeal by two percentage percent and trust plummeted by more than three percent. DBI took eight more polls of the public and how they felt about James.

James’ appeal had climbed back up somewhat to almost 63 percent by May 24, 2011, his endorsement was holding steady and his trust was showing improvement.

But all that plummeted when the poll was taken after the Finals. James was criticized for not showing up in the fourth quarter and for looking down on people who criticized him. DBI’s poll taken on June 19, shows that LeBron’s appeal was at the lowest it has ever been (57%) and that his trust was hovering at all-time lows (48.87 percent).

It’s debatable as to whether this has hurt LeBron’s business. Nike  said last month it sold more than 500,000 pairs of his signature shoes this past year and he was, after all, the NBA’s most popular jersey.

via A Year Later, Polls Show LeBron Still Hasn’t Recovered – CNBC.

So this just confirms what was pretty apparent from fan, media, and league reaction to James this season and during the Finals: everyone hates the guy outside of South Beach. He’s arrogant. Okay, so what? So is everyone in the NBA and for sure nearly every superstar. He’s brazen. This in a league filled with Kobe’s jaw-jut, KG’s incessant screaming, Durant and Co.’s constant pom-pom parade after every made three, and Derrick Rose’s preseason MVP proclamation. He’s constant in his exposure… much like Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, or Dwyane Wade on television. He betrayed the team that drafted him… by leaving in free agency which he had every right to do. He did it in a disgusting way… again, brazen. So what is it? And why hasn’t it affected his bottom line?

The reality is that James is more famous than popular. He’s not loved. He’s not feared. He’s just observed. His attention is constant, even if it’s mostly negative. And for whatever reason, companies are still flocking to him as a symbol of what they want to represent. He’s not winning titles. He’s not the people’s champion.

But he’s getting his empire, one way or another.