Tag Archives: LeBron James

Hoodies for justice

Today, Huffington Post Sports reported Dwayne Wade and LeBron James posted pictures to Facebook and/or Twitter showing them with a hooded sweatshirt pulled over their heads. LeBron’s picture showed Miami Heat teammates participating in the act of protest. Both posts were in response to the death of a local teenager shot and killed by a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla. late February. Shooter George Zimmerman said he shot the unarmed  African American, Trayvon Martin, out of self-defense and has not been arrested.

I am not a big Heat fan…AT ALL, but was struck by this team’s efforts to use their respective platforms to bring awareness to the injustice of Martin’s death. In the NBA, players are bought and sold constantly. Players rarely end up in the community they grew up, nor do they stay for long periods of time. Thus, players don’t often have deep connections to the communities they play in. This is natural. I don’t know if this was prompted by the Miami Heat executives, but I like it regardless. Wade, James and their teammates are using their massive social media reach to bring awareness to an injustice in their community, while also showing the Florida community that they care about what’s going on there. This is community relations at its finest. This is just good PR.

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The real king of basketball

Cindy Boren for The Washington Post Sports wrote an article today referencing today’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on ESPN. Scottie Pippin was the guest and the three discussed who’s better, former Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan or Miami Heat’s self-proclaimed king LeBron James?

Pippen, Jordan’s former teammate, said that James was approaching the same level of greatness as Jordan. This sort of surprised me and got me thinking about branding. When LeBron entered the NBA, he talked about his dream to bring his home team a championship. Then, he left Cleveland for Miami to get himself a better chance at a championship. Yes, he took a pay cut, but that’s not enough to mend the hearts of Cleveland fans.

Jordan has created a brand for himself; he’s a legend. Even if James reaches Jordan’s level, or exceeds it, I don’t know that he will be a legend…legends are loved.

(Here’s what Jason Segel thinks…)

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Good job, Joakim

Has anyone else had it with the derogatory slurs and comments that have been spilling out of the NBA lately? Earlier this month I wrote a post about LeBron’s “retarded” comment. A month before that, Kobe called a ref a “f*&^ing f@##*t” in response to an unfavorable call. Yesterday afternoon, Chicago Bulls forward Joakim Noah was fined $50,000 ($50,000 less than Kobe) for directing an anti-gay slur at a fan during game three of the Eastern Conference Finals.

I’m going to set aside my disappointment in these three players, or general distaste (who likes LeBron since he left Cleveland, who likes Kobe except Lakers fans and I haven’t liked Noah since his Florida days), for just a second and say Noah handled this situation rather well.

First he apologized, and he didn’t wait to do it either, he was honest and sincere. Pardon my cynicism, but I think sincerity and honesty are a big deal in professional sports. Furthermore, after the fine, the player admitted that his punishment was fair. In a Forbes article about the incident, Noah is quoted saying, “I made a mistake, learned from it and move on.” People make mistakes and remember athletes are people too, just really famous ones with tons of money. Lets just commend Noah for taking responsibility and holding himself accountable.

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Think before you speak…and after

Editor and weekend blogger for SBNation Andy Hutchins posted an article comparing Miami Heat star LeBron James’ “retarded” comment to Kobe Bryant’s gay slur.

For those of you who don’t know, here’s the story. During a post-game interview on Saturday, James called a reporter (or the question she was asking to Dwyane Wade) “retarded.” A little over a month prior, Bryant responded to an unfavorable call by calling the ref a “f*&^ing f@##*t.”

So while others decide which comment is worse, I’d like to ask the question: why can one be let off the hook? Both slurs were derogatory, offensive and downright disrespectful. And it’s not as if these two are new to the media game. James’ announcement to move to Miami from his home-team of Cleveland was named one of the biggest PR blunders of 2010. Bryant was taken to court for allegedly raping a girl (not his wife) years ago branding him for the years to come. My point is, these boys should know better.

When you’re skating on thin ice, the worst thing you can do is jump.

Last night, James apologized saying, “First of all, I want to apologize for using the ‘R’ word after Game 3. If I offended anyone, I sincerely apologize.” If you offended anyone? Nice try. I’ll give James a little credit for taking responsibility for his mistake, but I’ll also say his apology could have been more sincere. When you’re apologizing for a mistake, the last thing it should sound like is someone is making you say it.

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