LeBron James is a free agent this summer… blah blah blah… we know all that. It's been beaten into our heads that he MIGHT go to New York… which would decimate Cleveland to a point where they're counting ping pong balls for the foreseeable future.
I understand that LeBron is under no obligation to reveal what he's going to do. He can play teams against each other… be coy… all of that. That's fine. No reason to advertise to Cleveland that he's definitely coming back because then they'd try to lowball him… and he's entitled to ask for whatever money he wants.
But there's no reason to screw with the fans… which is where Nike comes in. The Cleveland Leader has obtained leaked photos of LeBron's new shoes:
Yep. Those are Knicks colors. And that's an "I love New York" thing on the underside of the heel. And these shoes are freaking fans out in Cleveland… and making people in New York wonder if they should start getting in line for season tickets.
The whole thing is just a little unseemly. Yes, Nike and LeBron can do whatever they want… but it just screams out to the fans that LeBron really doesn't seem to care about them. This is just some big game to get EVERYONE'S hopes up one way or the other and make as much money as they can off the uncertainty.
The sad thing is, it's all going to work perfectly for them. The shoe will sell. Even if LeBron stiffs Cleveland, he'll go on to other things, be dominant, and continue to slip his way into the "best player ever" debate. And if he stays, fans in NY will just have to focus on someone else. People will forget about the shoe thing.
I just don't like that the super-rich are cashing in by letting fans twist in the wind. The same fans who work hard and spend some of that cash on things like this because they're passionate about their team. It just sucks to see.