By now I'm sure that everyone has seen or at least heard of the LeBron James Nike commercial, which ends with the superstar asking the world, "Should I be who you want me to be?" If not, watch it below.
Now I'll admit that I was a LeBron James fan until his little self-promoted (with some help from ESPN) charade of The Decision 2010. I felt like he was the most versatile basketball player that I had ever seen, and I'm probably not wrong about that.
I loved watching him dominate whoever was "defending" him and watch as he'd take the ball to the basket with the ease of a layup drill.
I loved watching him take eight strides to clear the entire floor and swoop in to pin a wide-open layup against the glass.
I loved watching how he had fun with the game, while making the best defenders in the league look like Ben Gordon.
But then came this past summer when he decided to take the NBA free agency and give it a title worthy of a presidential election to put the focus solely on "LeBron James" as he likes to call himself.
I thought he was arrogant and didn't care about anyone but himself.
That was until a Nike commercial (yes, THAT Nike commercial) opened my eyes to what's really going on with ol' No. 23 (or make that 6).
What the commercial says is that LeBron James wants people to like him, but he's finally realizing that he can't please everyone. And in this Twitter era he's able to hear everyone's discontent.
Should he be what his business friends want? Should he be what his basketball player friends want? Should he be what his family wants?
What about the people that would've bashed him for claiming that this would be the most exciting offseason of all-time and then just staying at home?
What about LeBron James himself? His most realistic haters have pointed to the fact that he has no rings. If he would've stayed in Cleveland, there's no telling how long he'd have to wait for one, let alone multiple rings.
No matter where he would've decided, some people were going to be angry.
Could he have made his decision a little less spectacular? Yes.
But we have to remember that this guy is only 25 years old and young men make mistakes (as he reminds us in the commercial).
He's always loved having the hype around him, but now we'll have to see if he can capitalize on this special opportunity.
As a Bulls fan, I'll be doing anything but rooting for the Miami Heat (even tonight against the whiny Celtics), but this commercial has made it a little easier to depict LeBron James as I once did: a respected enemy.
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