Megastars like LeBron James are polarizing by nature. Some of it is simply because there will be haters… some of it is because of some personality trait. But no one is going to be universally loved.
But LeBron spent this summer tearing down any positive feelings towards him by not only leaving his "home town" team… but by publicly embarrassing the city with a self-serving, 1-hour special and by celebrating a championship before winning the damn thing. And if the feelings we've been feeling aren't enough… this study is
But since “The Decision” show on July 8, things have gone seriously downhill for the NBA star.
LeBron’s Q Score today?
Schafer says that now only 14 percent of the general population see him as a positive figure, a 41.6 percent drop, while 39 percent view him in a negative light, a 77 percent decline.
In fact, LeBron is now the sixth most disliked sports personality, according to The Q Score Company, behind Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Kobe Bryant.
Oh heavens… why oh why was there such a drop?
Schafer says that LeBron’s “Decision” was one of the most detrimental acts – not related to any anti-social behavior — by a sports personality since the Q Scores were first developed more than 45 years ago.
See, a normal marketing-conscious individual with stated goals of becoming a billionaire would look at this and say "oh crap, this is going to cost me a lot of money. People think I'm almost as bad as a dog-killer, a serial philanderer, an accused rapist and 2 of the most self-centered egomaniacs on the planet. I should fire whomever is responsible for this and get to work on repairing my image… now!"
The problem is… the man responsible for this is Maverick Carter… LeBron's boy. Maverick pulls the strings. And now… Maverick is ruining it.
Why would companies want to invest in this guy… especially when Kevin Durant is running around out there unintentionally launching an international PR campaign via the FIBA World Championships to make him the biggest star in the basketball world?
What people fail to realize is the World Championships to many people in the basketball world are bigger than the Olympics. 24 countries compete in the Worlds… compared to 12 in the Olympics. 24 rabid fan bases watched KD quietly decimate everyone in his path and be as awesome and awesome gets.
Meanwhile LeBron… and by association Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh (follow the link to see how hard THEY'VE been hit)… are becoming more and more hated seemingly by the day (dunking on or blocking children doesn't help).
So we have their stars taking huge hits… while Durant's is rising at the same time. Seems to me that we're ripe for a new "face of the NBA." David Stern is a smart guy… and he's not going to paint his league negatively. You HAVE to market Miami… but don't be shocked on a VERY heavy emphasis on KD.
By the way… as Chuck pointed out… after all the hits LeBron has taken… Kobe is STILL more hated. Now THAT'S funny.
(Thanks, Jared Wade)