The past six months have been a public relations disaster for LeBron James. And it's been a disaster because LeBron can't make up his mind about what he wants to be. Does he want to be Mr. Marketability… the do-it-all superstar with a million dollar smile and say-the-right thing demeanor? Or does he want to be Mr. In-The-Crosshairs… the say-whats-on-my-mind guy with an edge who soaks in the boos and destroys your team then leaves with a one-finger salute?
Seriously, LeBron. You've got to pick one and stick with it.
The latest instance of waffling came this week. A few days ago, the Lakers demolished the Cavs by 55… which he followed up with this tweet:
That there is bold… and very douchey. But hey, if that's the guy he really wants to be… then fine. We an all hate him and he can continue to surround himself with the same lackeys as always and he can live a very happy life with his gazillion dollars. There's a market for bad guys out there. And LeBron even said he'd embrace the role.
But then he backtracks and flies into spin mode.
"It's just how I was feeling at the time," James said. "It wasn't even a comment from me, it was someone who sent it to me and I sent it out. It wasn't toward that team. It definitely wasn't a good showing by that team last night, I know they wish they would've played better."
Uh huh. Sure. We're supposed to believe that the same way we believed you didn't know what contraction was when you supported it.
Look man… just own it. If you're going to say something… especially publicly in an interview or on Twitter… then stand behind it. Either that, or give a canned non-answer. You're either in or you're out. LeBron wants it both ways. He wants to be outspoken, yet guarded. He can't find the middle ground between who he is and the image he wants to portray. Who LeBron is is clearly the guy who sends he tweets and makes the unpopular statements. And then after he sees the backlash, his team comes up with some ridiculous way to cover his tracks.
It's transparent. And quite honestly, the excuses are lame. Can't anyone come up with anything better than "I didn't know" and "It wasn't me"?
Just own it, LeBron. Be the bad guy. You might not like it… but I'm telling you… the excuses make you look worse.