LeBron James is a phenom. He’s beyond one of the most impressive athletic specimens to ever touch a basketball court; he’s one of the most gifted athletes of his generation and could easily be one of the best of all time. God knows that if he didn’t like basketball he probably could have been the best tight end or the best American striker or the best water polo…er ever. He is a gifted athlete whose physical prowess puts him beyond normal human achievement. He’s also an oblivious dolt.
This new commercial is the response he–and Nike–are making after being a part in one of the greatest character assassinations ever witnessed…that was actually an effort towards grandiose self-promotion. “The Decision,” where LeBron publicly spurned the city of Cleveland, somehow making living in Cleveland worse than previously conceived, was a public relations mess of Waterloo proportions. His handling of the fallout of said egregious event was almost as appalling, citing everything from blatant racism to jokes to a life-long dislike of Cleveland.
This ad is some sort of response to all of that. In this slick li’l clip, LeBron asks a series of open-ended questions because, essentially, the answers will come this season and beyond. Welp, I’m going to FJM the shit out of this commercial and answer those questions for him, because I doubt he’s ever taken the time to answer them himself.
What should I do? Should I admit that I made mistakes?
It wouldn’t be a bad place to start. You could “admit” that “The Decision” was a pompous, arrogant move. You could apologize to the fans of the Cavs who were with you for seven years that you ran away from on the alter to go party with the sexy half-Cuban girl who showed up outside the church in the Hummer Stretch limo with all her friends bumping the sub so loud it shatters the stain-glass windows. And yes, that is a perfect analogy for this, down to the sub-woofer. People in Miami are fucking loud.
Should I remind you that I did this before? Should I give you a history lesson?
Sorry, I didn’t think I’d need to consult my LBJ 101 text book before looking at this commercial. That one’s definitely on me.
What should I do? Tell you how much fun we had?
Should I tell you how much fun all the Clevelanders who bought into your cult of personality would’ve had ripping that giant “We’re All Witnesses” banner to shreds, lighting it on fire, and dancing all over it if only the city didn’t send cops to stand in front of it? Spoiler: they would have had a lot.
Should I really believe I ruined my legacy?
No. I don’t think anyone in their right mind is going that far. Just believe that you’re an asshole and we can all go home satisfied.
Should I have my tattoo removed?
Ok, you’re not even taking this seriously anymore.
Wanna see my shinny new shoes? Should I just sell shoes?
Oh I see what you did there, Nike. Clever bastards. Unfortunately, they don’t show off his new kicks which are just awful.
Or should I tell you “I’m not a role model”?
What? A Nike commercial homage within a Nike commercial? Dammit, you know how I love all things meta. Wait…then there’s a Homer Simpson doughnut…and a wink to Sir Charles, cause who doesn’t love him, right? Gotta have someone likable in this ad.
Should I tell you I’m a championship chaser? That I did it for the money? Rings?
…You’re really not getting this, are you? It has NOTHING to do with going to Miami. At all! It has everything to do with how–
Should I be who you want me to be?
NO! For fuck’s…no, we just want you to be contrite. We want you to feel bad for the public display of douchebaggery that you planned and participated in. Apologize for that ungodly hour-long blowjob and for the cash you threw the Boys and Girls Club as some sort of character insurance. And take back Maverick Carter’s insipid idea that this backlash is spurred on by race. If your name was Ulysses Flannery Lee and pulled off “The Decision” you’d still be a giant dick.
Should I except my role…as a villain?
At least you’d be taking A side and not blaming other people for their perceptions of you, the innocent victim. But being the villain would be fun. We’d finally have a Hollywood Hogan-level heel of actual athletics. You would need to grow the black beard/blond Fu-Manchu and spray paint the entire Cleveland roster. That’s mandatory if you accept the role. Like Sharon Stone’s crotch shots in Fatal Attraction. Just ties the whole thing together.
Should I just disappear?
Where is this coming from?! No. You’re really awesome at basketball and you’re fun to watch, and you’re going to be really fun to root against, specifically because you and D-Wade are so good. And Chris Bosh also exists, I guess, so that’s nice.
Should I stop listening to my friends? They’re my friends.
Who am I, your mother? A D.A.R.E. cop? If your friends give you shitty advice, then yes, you absolutely should stop listening to your friends. If one of your friends comes in and says, “LeBron, you need to take all of your money and invest it in Fushigis,” you should ABSOLUTELY NOT DO SUCH A THING and never talk to that person again, because that person is clearly not your friend. He or she is just a horrible person. I don’t care if he’s your twin brother. Shitty advice is shitty advice. You shouldn’t blindly follow it because that same person saw you shoot milk out your nose in 5th grade. This is called “peer pressure” and it won’t make you cool. Obviously.
Should I start acting?
If it wasn’t for Don Johnson being involved this section would be frivolous, stupid, and annoying. Now it’s just frivolous and stupid.
Should I make you laugh?
I dunno, Don Johnson just did. Well, him and the writer. You were just kinda there. So yeah, it’d be nice if you did, I guess. It’d be nicer if you didn’t rip out the heart of a city on live TV. I know that for damn sure. Oh, wait, do you mean this beat poetry shit? Then no, please don’t try to make me laugh. It’s painful for everyone involved.
Should we just clear the decks, and start over?
Oh. Yeah. Sure. Just hand me that Men In Black mind eraser thing over there. Thanks. I’ll take this opportunity to erase Men In Black 2 while I’m at it.
What should I do?
Ooohhh here comes the big finish! Oh, good, a montage that drives home the point of the entire commercial because it’sa minute-thirty long and clearly I can’t remember back that far.
Should I be who you want me to be?
If you mean a person with a soul? Then yes. Yes, we’d all like that. Be a person with a conscious. Be a person who matches his undeniable athletic skill with an equal measure of humility. Be a person who handles himself like any number of decent folk who understand and respect others.. Be a person with even a shred of self-awareness.
It might be the hardest thing for you to do, but honestly? Just be a person. That’s really all we want. Then maybe you could understand why so many people loathe you. Now go be awesome at basketball, you asshole.