LeBron’s damage control

The NBA season got underway last night.

All 30 teams begin anew with fresh players, regained talent and unparalleled desires to win a championship. No team made more noise this off season than the Miami Heat.

The Heat re-signed their star point guard Dwayne while adding a pair of the best players in the nation. Forward Chris Bosh was brought in from Toronto and superstar LeBron James “took his talents to South Beach.”

The James saga has been one of the most controversial movements in sports history. Growing up in Northeast Ohio James was seen as a basketball immortal tabbed for greatness since his early high school days. As the first overall draft pick in 2003 he went to Cleveland, less than 30 miles from his hometown of Akron. The hometown boy carried the Cavaliers until this past summer.

In a made for TV, hour long event James showcased himself to the world by announcing where he would sign a free agent contract. The program was seen as self-centered and flamboyant, but nonetheless unique.

Bud Shaw, columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote an article demeaning James, as well as ESPN for broadcasting the event.

LeBron James may have set a dangerous precedent.

Not the creation of super teams in the NBA.

Terrifically bad sports programming.

Many believed he would show loyalty to his roots by staying in Ohio, but speculation abounded that he would choose the bright lights of a larger media market.

He did.

Drawing criticism not only from Clevelanders but noble human beings world wide, James took matters into his own hands and did what was best for himself.

Personally, I don’t blame him.

James took less money to join the Heat and set himself up for the best chance of winning a title, the ultimate symbol of success in the NBA.

Throughout the summer leading up to yesterday’s opening day James was trashed left and right and his image was tarnished as he was seen as a villain, a cheat and a backstabber to his true loyal fans.

He established a twitter page (@KingJames) to promote his clothing line, the Heat and himself. He utilizes the outlet on a consistent basis sharing his thoughts on how he handled the situation as well as updating fans on his daily routines.

Throwing himself into the fire of social media gave pundits of James the opportunity to mention him in harmful tweets.

This didn’t faze James one bit.

In the week leading up to opening day James re-tweeted many of the vulgar and rude mentions he has received over the course of the summer.

James’ biggest splash came earlier this week with the release of a new Nike commercial pinning him in the limelight once again.

“Rise,” as the commercial is titled gives James the opportunity to lash out and basically say “What do you want from me?”

He has drawn rave reviews from all reaches including sports talk shows, twitter and The Huffington Post.

This needed to be done and James definitely may have won some people back on his bandwagon. He may not have wanted them, though.

James was straight-forward and honest, the best recipe for a better image.


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