LeBron plays victim card, attempts to rehabilitate image

I think it's a nice commercial.  It does a nice job of pointing out some of the negative stuff said about him is ridiculous.   He gave up money and perhaps shrunk some of his legacy to win and play with friends.

I said a long time ago that this story, handled correctly, would have been a huge PR win for LeBron.  Ultimately, we always complain that stars are selfish and don't care about winning.  Yet when a guy takes less money and is willing to sacrifice personal legacy we want to jump on him?

The story should have been great, but the path he took to get there derailed that along the way, and now through the power of Nike, he'll slowly begin the campaign to make people forget about that path and remember the destination.

It will be interesting to see how much his image softens, I'd guess that within a year the majority of fans who care about his path to the Heat will soften their stance on him.   However, ultimately, he hit the nail on the head in his first question.

Do I think you should admit you made mistakes?   Yes.

If you really want to rehabilitate your image, then that's what you should do.   Generally, in this country, people will forgive anything if you say you're sorry.   Do steroids and apologize?   Cool.   Do steroids and act like it never happened even with conclusive evidence against you?   You will be hated until apologizing.

Really, it's that simple.  The best thing LeBron could do to rehabilitate his image is just to say to a beat reporter at any point, "In retorspect, the 'decision' wasn't a good idea.  I was happy to raise money for the boys and girls club, but it was awfully insensitive to the fans of Cleveland, and I wish I had done things differently".   People would then move on within a week.

Anyway, the commercial certainly seems to attempt to rehabilitate his image, and it does a solid job given he's not going to apologize via a Nike ad so contrition wasn't really an option.  Here's how ingenious Nike is though, LeBron plays the "unfairly persecuted", "I don't care what you think", and "buy my shoes because you like me" cards all at the same time.    That's some talent.


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  • 1. I think he talks to a beat reporter from Cleveland just before the Heat play the CAVS.
    2. That said as a Bulls fan, I don't care as long as he loses every year.
    He will obviously rehabilitate his image in a year or two. Once he wins a championship, all the talking heads will be fawning all over him saying how great he is and how close he is to Magic. They need to talk to talk more. They will put him up on a pedestal soon anyhow..There is no doubt about it.

  • Who cares what this guy says. All I want is for the Bulls to try to improve the team so they can beat Wade and his 2 followers. I guess I am looking too far into the future cause right now.... the Heat have the east locked up for some years to come barring injury or lucky upset. I want to know do the Bulls management know how to build a championship contender without having Jordan. It's been 12 years and so far they have come up with nothing. How much longer will we Bulls fans have to wait. Will the Bulls have to wait 22 years to win another title like Boston had to wait??? Guess what we got 10 more years to wait and the Bulls will match Boston's drought and with Miami being a stacked team pretty much the Bulls just may reach 22 years.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    What should the Bulls do??? Bring in the BEST players or remain irrelevant and match Boston's 22 year drought. Miami and Maybe Orlando has the east on lock down for some years to come. WHAT SHOULD THE BULLS DO??? DAMN LEBRON!!! WHAT DO THE BULLS NEED TO DO???

  • In reply to Reese1:

    RPK summed it up perfectly, all I'm left with is apathy. But that said, Nike did a brilliant job in my opinion for all the reasons Doug mentions. I believe given time (maybe when he matures a little more, or maybe when the opportunity is right) he'll admit that the 'decision' wasn't really a good idea.

    I'd disagree that he needs to apologize or anything like that. I think for clevland fans, theres nothing he can do to win them back, and honestly I don't think he cares. He's made it clear several times that its akron he'll always hold dear, not clevland. And I suspect that the people of Akron are in the same boat as most people.

    He just needs to let his game to the talking, everything else will take care of itself.

  • In reply to fola:

    sorry, cant spell...

  • In reply to fola:

    He ruined his image already lol He wont get it back imo.

  • In reply to fola:


    Rose, Gibson and Johnson all have their team options picked up.


  • In reply to fola:

    Agreed, just apathy.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nba/news/story?id=5726366 This can't be good.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    He may start but I'm not sure how many mins he'll get or if he will finish games. He wasn't getting many mins during pre-season...

    There's a lot of story lines this season.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I have been a Bulls fan all my life, I will always be. I enjoy this team for what it is, and have patience. I am forever grateful for the 6 championships I have witnessed, & for the hall of famers I had the privelage to watch. This team is young & exciting, & I can't wait for the season & the next decade to follow.
    Professional sports is not a public service or civic instiutution, I am not entitled to have a championship team. That said, it is the goal, & I believe management sees it as I do.


  • I agree. I remember reading RealGM forum prior to "the decision". There was only one poster that was brave enough to say that he disliked LeBron and he did not want Bulls to sign him. For him the team stand for something more than a number in wins column. Everyone else was willing to sleep with a devil even though many disliked his personality at the same time. Quite a surreal site it was for me but then I came from different cultural background.

    Given that majority of the society thinks and acts in that way, few wins and great performances will "change" the attitude of public. The press that pulls enraged face now and brings into view dozens of real or imagined LeBron vices will be the first to change sides and prize him to God. This is what they did prior to "the decission" even though his fault were all in the plain view.

  • Kobe's offenses were never proven, Doug. Therefore they're different cases.

  • In reply to DannyV:

    We had a discussion about it in a blog a few months back. Even though Kobe was not convicted, he settled it out of court and the victim did not testify.

    LBJ for all his faults, he just been arrogant.

    If people are ready to root for Kobe, they will root for LBJ. If they don't root for LBJ in a few years, then there is something wrong with our society. BTW, I don't care about LBJ

  • In reply to DannyV:

    What really pissed me off with the whole LeBron thing (besides his dumb ass ESPN show) was all his posturing making people think that there was a chance he'd come to Chicago. Asshole #1 LeBron was coplicit with assholes #2 & 3 Wade and Bosh who did the same bullshit dance. If he and Bosh would have just said from the get go that they were both going to Miami(which we all know they were planning on doing from day one of free agency) there would have little if any fallout.

  • In reply to DannyV:

    There is a difference between disliking a guy because he is a criminal and disliking a guy because he is a jerk. Lebron is a jerk and has been for a while. This is the guy who was clowning around dancing on the sidelines in a blowout showing up his opponents. If you want respect in the game, you have to show respect for the game.

    "Should I be who you want me to be?" is an attempt to change the question. We want him to be who he ought to be: a player who first and foremost respects the game and the fans who built the pedestal he stands on. Until he does that, he's a bum.

  • In reply to DannyV:

    The hatred towards Lebron has far deeper roots than the initial backlash Kobe got for basically just hooking up with a girl who took the initiative to try and get money from him. Don't be so naive, Kobe didn't rape a girl, give me a break, he cheated on his wife and his mistress took financial advantage. How many people on this site are young women age 18-26? Ok, now how many people on this site are die hard basketball fans?

    Thats your answer as to why the Lebron hate will have much more staying power than the Kobe hate. He did it to guys like us; the reason so many people hate LBJ is because they can relate to the die hard Cleveland fan. You couldn't help but watch the debacle and think of how disgusted, furious, betrayed you would be if you were a Cavs fan. The casual public will forgive LBJ, but the real fan will not. And unfortunately for James real fans hold down season tickets across the country. If anything it gives me comfort to know that even after time has passed, and the everyday Joe has forgiven Lebron, there will still be those who felt Cleveland's pain, to boo Lebron James and remind him that there actually is a lasting negative ripple effect felt, when a superstar treats the people who loved him, like pieces of shit.

  • In reply to DannyV:

    I'm a Bulls fan first and foremost, but I live in Cleveland right now and sympathize with the locals. They are still pretty crushed and when I asked them what they thought about the commercial, they were pretty hurt by it still. I'm going to a bar tonight to see the heat celtics game. I'm interested to see how the crowd is going to respond in Cleveland.

  • I really don't care what he does. I didn't like him before and now I definitely don't like him. For what it's worth, yes Lebron, you did ruin your legacy.

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