“I’m Conceited…I Got a Reason To Be” – Kelis

As misleading as the title of this post is, I regret to inform you that this entry is not going to be about Kelis or her milkshake.

I wanted to touch on the hullabaloo surrounding King James (or the one formally known as LeBron). I am in no way, shape or form, a basketball fanatic. The closest I ever got to even considering myself a bandwagon fan occurred after my ex asked for Sixers tickets for our anniversary (romance isn’t his best attribute, but I digress).

When I first heard of “The Decision,” I thought I  missed the memo explaining that the Presidential election was being pushed up by two years. How dare anyone who isn’t running for President of the United States of America decide that a career jump needs a one-hour special. This “announcement” was complete blasphemy and a mockery of the American public.

Luckily for me, an online acquaintance, M. Drew Emmick (@mdemmick and http://mdemmick.tumblr.com) was able to fill me in on the PR faux pas of this situation.

I will first address the astoundingly immature letter overflowing with hurt feelings from Dan Gilbert (Owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers) to “Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight.” Mr. Gilbert, I completely understand how betrayed you felt, after putting so much time, money and confidence into King LeBron James (isn’t that how we should address him?). I do believe, however, that accusing a formal player of some sort of witchcraft and black magic is a little overboard, no? Gilbert went so far as to say,

“The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.”

Those are some strong, slightly creepy, words. I know it is hard to be the “bigger man” when King James stands at a ridiculously tall 6′ 8″, but  Gilbert used the same defensive tactics of an elementary school girl who was called fat (I would know). Gilbert had everything working in his favor; Cavs fans were outraged and LeBron appeared to be the rudest man in America. This should have been a home run for Gilbert, but instead, he let emotions get in the way of the message he was trying to convey to the fans.

And now, on to King Lebron Raymone James. I have one message and one message alone. I respect the fact that Mr. James is arguably the best basketball player to ever play the game. I respect the fact that he has never known rejection, had had his journey to the NBA paved in gold fairy dust and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. I even respect the fact that, during his free agency, he turned down the highest paid offers. However, I cannot respect King James for the fact that he ultimately rubbed salt in the fresh wounds of the Cavs owners, players and fans. They helped him become what he is today and to turn on them in an instant creates ferocious backlash and paints the King in a dishonest light.

As M. Drew Emmick said,

“I have tried to look at what [LeBron] did objectionably, and I still come to the same opinion. I truly believe that James cared little, if at all, for Cleveland, the Cavs, his fans and the league. His decisions are solely based on what’s best for him or will feed his ego.”

When his shine wears off and his is incapable of performing suicides during practice, he will be remembered for being conniving, egotistical and, in layman’s terms, a tool. Need I mention T.O., who has a VH1 Reality Show, or Plaxico Burress, who was one of the best but is now considered a fool? These two men were at the top of the game until one bad decision, one accident, one “party foul” if you will, brought their professional world crashing down.

As your mother always said, “Play nice.” King LeBron is certainly not playing nice, and I foresee a VH1 dating show in his future. Perhaps, one day he can strive to be the Burger King?

The King is Here

Now as I mentioned before, these are the opinions of someone who self-admittedly knows nothing about basketball. Please feel free to add comments and teach me a thing or two.


About cristinmcgrath

Cristin is a consumer engagement consultant who is currently exploring new opportunities within social media strategy and digital marketing. With experiences ranging from traditional media relations and public affairs to interactive and digital marketing with a specialization in emerging media, she is a versatile marketing professional.

8 thoughts on ““I’m Conceited…I Got a Reason To Be” – Kelis

  1. Interesting post Cristin:

    The reason why I found this whole King James decision interesting in it brought in non NBA fans into the mix with strong opinions. Is it true that LeBron has a big ego? Heck Yeah, but he has been hyped as the next big thing since he was as a junior in High School when his games were televised on ESPN and announcers were crowning him “King” and to be the man be the next Michael Jordan. Does that give him the right to think he is above everybody? No. But it is hard for a 15 yr old not to believe the hype when everybody is telling you how great you are and giving you free clothes and other stuff.

    I’m a LeBron fan but partially because we are both 6-8. But I believe LeBron wanted to mess with the media and made it an hour long special for his amusement. That is the trait of a bad guy from some action movie. Like any great movie you need conflict and its always good to have villains and heroes. LeBron is now public enemy number one. But if his Heat make it to the Finals in 2011 a lot of people will be watching whether to cheer for LeBron or watch him fail. Either way I think that will result in the NBA in making a lot of money. Controversy sells.

    Also I’m not surprised LeBron didn’t go back to Cleveland. Mainly because if the rumors are true I don’t think the King would be comfortable because his former Cavs teammate, Delonte West slept with his mom is still there.

    • Yes, I have heard of the “Mom” thing, and I can only imagine how bad the comments were in the locker room.

      Like I said, I haven’t really watched basketball, and when I did, it was the terrible Sixers. I started hearing the hype surrounding LeBron when he had that commercial where he clapped and the powder puffed out of his hands (overkill). I just get so annoyed when people forget where they come from. If (and when) I become that successful, I’ll always remember my lovers and haters. They make you who you are.

      Thanks for the feedback!! 🙂

  2. The whole situation was an absolutely awful commentary on the status of sports and celebrity in general. It’s very sad that we’ve reached the point where a person’s sucess is wrapped up in a winning a simple game. LeBron would have gone down as one of the greatest basketball players ever regardless of where he played. He however felt that winning was the only thing that was important; not loyalty, not pride, not even respect. He bailed because all he cares about is winning. So while he may become the greatest basketball player ever, he blew his chance at being remember as a great person. He’s now become a turncoat, a sellout, and a traitor.

  3. Cristin,

    We’ve emailed each other ad nauseum on this topic, so I’ll keep my comments brief. 🙂

    As you know, my criticism of LeBron is solely based on how he announced he was signing with the Miami Heat. I was troubled by how disrespectful it was to Cleveland fans. Professional sports are ultimately financed through fan support. It is fans that make it possible for James and others stars to have a career playing the sport they love. The best PR advice I think you could give a pro athlete is to love their fans. Even if they don’t, pretend they do anyways.

    You mentioned Terrell Owens. It reminded me of an article I read earlier in USA Today. The selfish manner in which he conducts himself on and off the field has finally caught up to him. When he was young and explosive teams overlooked the liability of his massive ego. But instead of enjoying his years as a veteran TO is now having a difficult time finding a long-term contract. He’s still a great receiver, and normally teams would be clawing at each other to get him. http://bit.ly/aW6SnF

    This could be LeBron James in a few years if he doesn’t learn to appreciate those who make his million dollar contracts possible.

  4. Great Post!

    I agree with your comments about the Cavs owner, his letter was unprofessional and I believe it will have a negative impact on the team. It is obvious he did not consult with the team’s communications staff prior to releasing the letter.

    As far as LeBron, I think he made the move he thought was best for his career. We will have to wait and see what impact this decision truly has on his image. The one hour special was over the top and a little narcissistic. I must admit, if there is a VH1 reality, sadly I will play for LeBron’s heart because he is a cutie to me! LoL

    • “Ain’t no shame, ladies do your thang. Just make sure you’re ahead of the game.”

      There is not a doubt in my mind that he refused to consult anyone. He sent the letter out of rage. Poor decisions.

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