It didn’t take a rocket scientist to know that LeBron James’s popularity had taken a hit in the wake of his move this summer and “The Decision.” The ability to read and log on to message boards could have told you that.
Now we have some numbers to back it up.
CNBC’s sports business reporter Darren Rovell got LeBron’s Q Score numbers, which show his popularity nationally. And things aren’t good.
In January 2010, The Q Scores Company took a poll of the general population and found that 24 percent of people thought of James in a positive light, compared to a 22 percent negative opinion…
“LeBron’s positive score at that time was the highest we had ever seen it,” [Q Score Company executive vice president Henry] Schafer said….
Schafer says that now only 14 percent of the general population see him as a positive figure, a 41.6 percent drop, while 39 percent view him in a negative light, a 77 percent decline.
In fact, LeBron is now the sixth most disliked sports personality, according to The Q Score Company, behind Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Kobe Bryant.
“Instead of his change to the Heat being seen as the best way he can win a championship, many have looked at it and how he chose to announce it as a selfish move,” Schafer said.
LeBron took less money to play with the other elite players and give himself the best chance to win a title. Those are things we generally laud in our sports stars (that “we expect stars to do it in one place” farce flies in the face of history). The fact this whole summer has become a LeBron negative had more to with how the announcement was handled — having the teams come to him in a very public pitch process followed by an hour long television special came off as incredibly egotistical. The backlash at that bled over into the choice itself.
But no need to tell you that. You clearly are already a hater. And it really doesn’t matter because in the fall you will all tune in to watch him.