Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Still Hate LeBron

I really dislike LeBron James.  I can’t help it.  I’m not even that big of an NBA fan, but every single time I see that guy he annoys me.  Before you start pointing your finger at me like I am a scorned lover, I would like to go on record as saying I have no problem in that he opted to go to Miami to work.  If I could go to Miami to work in that situation, I would gladly pack up.  It’s not what LeBron does, so much as the way he does it.  There’s no need to retread old ground.  Why go into The Decision?  Why go into that Welcome to Miami party he threw himself?  That’s old news.  LeBron James managed to go from being one of the most beloved basketball players into being a Kreep with a capital “K” in a shocking turn of events.  From a public relations standpoint, it is absolutely fascinating.

The thing with LeBron is that the public actually got a quick peek at who he really was with The Decision and the fallout afterwards.  That dude bungled that situation so badly, had ten million armchair pundits like me agree and say exactly why he messed it up.  EVERYONE agreed he fucked that up.  Then he pouted through the entire next season like he was the victim.  It shouldn’t be surprising though, should it?  If you have been having your ass kissed since you were 12, it’s probably pretty difficult to see a realistic point of view.  You have a pack of lackeys around you yukking it up 24/7 suckling off the LeBron teat.  “Ho ho ho!  Right you are LeBron.  That’s a funny one LeBron!”  I bet those guys make Elvis’s old Memphis Mafia look like a military tribunal in comparison. 

The public forgives and forgets almost everything, but most of the nation still loved seeing him fail (again) last year in the Playoffs.  Then things started to change in the way the media covered him this Spring.  You may have noticed that he has finally replaced whatever grade school public relations firm he had representing him back when he made The Decision and afterwards.  This was long overdue.  A college student taking a public relations class would have shot LeBron in the leg before letting him walk onto that set and “take his talents” to South Beach live on ESPN.  However, LeBron is so remarkably detached from reality that he was soon holding a Q score just south of Idi Amin and shocked at what happened.  That’s what you get for having your high school buddies handle something grownups need to do.  I wouldn’t let my buddies paint my garage much less put together a press conference.   Hell, my buddies actually went to college instead of picking up my dry cleaning for the last four years too.

You couldn’t avoid seeing that LeBron started to appear in news and sports stories about having fun and playing basketball.  This is the repositioning of the smiling wunderkind.  The poor boy rising from the ashes childhood story was retold, and LeBron even commented on how he would like to return to Cleveland before he was done.  This obvious pandering was ignored here, but national media took the bait.  You can tell that people that know what they are doing are trying to return to the public eye “Fun Loveable LeBron”.  That sells basketball shoes, soda, and fast food.  Then before the Playoffs, Sports Illustrated ran a fawning story about the fragile human side of this sports star, and his dedication to winning a championship.  The PR team was trying to give the public someone they could once again root for.  In short, someone very smart is making decisions in Kamp LeBron.

That someone is an old PR strategist that handled Arnold Schwarzenegger gubernatorial race and the after shocks of Arnold having a kid with the maid, having sex with anything that moved, and being a difficult to understand action movie star.  In short, this guy is a real pro.  In another year, most of the country will think LeBron is a swell guy.  Think about it.  Most people forget Kobe sexually assaulted a girl in a hotel.  Allegedly.  This LeBron thing should be easy in comparison.

I’m sure that the sum of money these people are being paid to manufacture positive stories and massage existing coverage must be awe inspiring.  However, if you are LeBron, you better pony up.  Back when he willingly put himself in a position to look stupid on national TV, he told you everything you needed to know.  He wants to be a Billionaire and he think he deserves it because he is The Chosen One.  And the only way he is going to get to be a Billionaire is to win that elusive championship and appear to be humble.  I think he can do one of these eventually, but not both at the same time.  It’s just not who he is.  I can’t wait to watch this well laid plan fall apart.

Go Celtics.



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