The damage LeBron did to his brand may be beyond evaluation at this point. LeBron had a very simple decision to make, and all the right in the world to go anywhere he wanted. But as we have learned, with LeBron, it’s all about the failure to execute. Rather than acting like the professional basketball player we thought he was, LeBron decided to put on some sort of a second-rate Ringling Bros. reject act. Showing immaturity and lack of perspective, LeBron made a terrible choice regarding HOW to tell the world about his decision. LeBron’s decision made it clear he has no confidence in his ability to lead a team to an NBA title. Of course, no one player can win an NBA championship on their own, but LeBron all but admitted that he does not possess the leadership skills, determination, and resolve, and sheer will he pretended to have over the past few years. We were all witnesses to an act…
I believe LeBron’s career in Cleveland will be reassessed, as a series of excuses, which pointed anywhere but at LeBron. The continual babying of LeBron over most of his career in Cleveland may be looked at as one of the biggest mistakes the organization made. But of course, 20/20 hindsight. Dan Gilbert, and the rest of the crew were under the impression that if they did everything LeBron wanted, he would stay in Cleveland.
Now, back to LeBrandless James. Not only has he done irreversible damage to his existing brand, but is now potentially facing the insurmountable challenge of recovering. Don’t get me wrong, LeBron is GOING TO BE a superstar in the NBA, this is not in question here. However, the respect he lost with fans of Cleveland, Chicago, New York, may only be slightly more significant than the nationwide ridicule he received for the last night’s act. In addition to the complete devastation of LeBron’s brand, James also lost the respect of his fellow NBA players. With the exception of his future teammates in Miami, LeBron will ALWAYS be seen as the guy who couldn’t be his team’s go-to guy. Do you honestly think Kobe Bryant, or any other superstar in the league is going to give LeBron “props” if he wins in Miami? Think again.
Fans around the league will now look at Miami as the NBA’s Yankees (flashback to LeBron wearing a Yankee’s hat at an Indians game). While LeBron has enjoyed a hero’s status around the league, and the respect of the fans, he has added an asterisk next to any of his future accomplishments. I’m not at all saying that if he wins 3 or 4 NBA titles in Miami, he will not get credit for them, but they won’t be HIS titles. If I was marketing LeBron, I would not worry about the Cleveland market, which clearly is shot (with addition to New York, Chicago, New Jearsey, etc), but to the ramification LeBron’s actions will have on what used to be the LeBron Brand.