Lebron James Tweets Like a Villain
And I’ve kind of accepted this villain role everyone has placed on me. I’m OK with it. I accept it.” – LeBron James, after Miami’s 13th straight road victory at Portland .
I think LeBron James gets it. Finally.
When Lebron made the decision to, well, have “The Decision” on ESPN to reveal that not only was he going to join a Guns-For-Hire operation in Miami, but also kill and violate the corpse of professional basketball in Cleveland … well, let’s say James threw away the chance to ever truly be the next Michael Jordan.
Jordan was about avoiding controversy. He was about endorsing his products, maintaining a squeaky clean image, becoming the most universally beloved athlete ever. Jordan sold himself to you, every game, every interview, every commercial. Some people didn’t like him, but they were in the minority … you cheered against Jordan simply because you liked the underdog or the opposing team, not because he presented himself as some kind of asshole.
LeBron James can no longer be that, even if he wins the next 10 championships. He won’t be the next Michael Jordan.
In fact, they’ll never be another Michael Jordan.
But LeBron will be even bigger if he plays this right.
James was never going to be favorably compared to Jordan because of the times we live in. Everything’s on the Internet immediately. There is no privacy. 24/7, anything you say or do is going to be devoured. All of a sudden, the haters have a voice via the Internet, via the voice of Skip Bayless, via Twitter or Facebook. A great professional athlete is in our face all day, every day, meaning the backlash comes much swifter when we get sick of you.
See also: Favre, Brett – he turned into a villain without even trying.
But lets look at the Favre case closer. Everyone loved Favre. He got his share of attention before.
But not until he became “Will he or won’t he” Brett did ESPN start devoting entire broadcasts to his every whim. Then the backlash began and he got even MORE coverage. Then came the sexting fiasco. Last month I saw NFL Total Access begin with its lead story: Brett Favre. At Vikings practice. Dancing.
He was doubtful for Sunday, by the way, the streak was over and the Vikings were eliminated.
The fact of the matter is, these days, as an athlete you want people to love you if you want your star to shine brightly. But hate is just as powerful an emotion – and people who feel either are going to watch, to see you succeed or fail.
In the past month, we’ve seen James pile on his former Cav teammates via Twitter (“Crazy. Karma is a b****. Gets you every time. It’s not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!” – LeBron James’ Twitter after the L.A. Lakers’ 112-57 demolition of James’ former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.), then deny any fault.
We’ve heard him say the NBA should contract teams, then say that’s absolutely not what he said and that he doesn’t know what contraction means.
He never said the league should contract your favorite team, no, no, no. He just said the league should make your team cease to exist and send its players elsewhere. Also, Stewie doesn’t want Lois to die. He just wants her not to live, anymore.
James isn’t stupid. At this point, he’s decided the people are going to boo him, criticize him, and he doesn’t care. He’s popping off and saying what he wants. And come playoff time, EVERYONE’s going to be watching … many praying for him to fail, and his backers twice as loud, emboldened by the haters.
You may never be as universally beloved as Michael Jordan, LeBron. But you might become some kind of Jordan/late-stages Brett Favre hybrid.
It’s a combination that could rule the media world. Love him. Hate him. You’re still watching his every move.
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
- 1 First Openly Straight Figure Skater Comes Forward
- 2 Brooklyn Man Now Living Entirely Off Own Beard Garden
- 3 “Cra Cra” Now Official Diagnosis in New DSM (DSM-5)
- 4 OfficeMax Marketing Director Struggling to Make Staplers ‘Sexy’ and ‘Conversational’
- 5 Homeless Guy Woos Silicon Valley VCs with Low-Tech Crowdfunding Startup
- 6 Area Man Tailors Life To Be More Relevant To His Hulu Advertisements
- 7 Fan Banging Furiously on Glass Could Be the Difference in Hockey Playoffs
- 8 Survey: 88% of Eagles Fans Too Drunk To Spell Nnamdi Asomugha Last Season
- 9 Local Mom Won’t Stop Being First Person to Like Every Goddamn Thing Son Posts to Facebook
- 10 Shaq Confident He Will Eventually Make Funny Quip on TNT