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Lebron Rise
November 29, 2010 1:03 PM   Subscribe


 
Inscrutable post is inscrutable.
posted by rhizome at 1:05 PM on November 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Making self-serving, glorifying advertising that hijacks the debate is so hard these days thanks to all those "people" that get in the way.

(I love that the same hoary chestnut that Wieden + Kennedy (Nike's agency) has trotted out so many times as "shocking" or "in your face" is getting hijacked. It makes me sad, however, that it'll still sell the Nike brand, even if it's bad for the celeb.)
posted by Gucky at 1:11 PM on November 29, 2010


Should I admit I was wrong, ask for everyone's forgiveness, and go back to my original team?

...

"Nah, screw that. I'm just gonna keep being a f*cking dick."
posted by Rhaomi at 1:13 PM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


My "shouldn't be in the blue" senses are tingling. Or maybe that's just my annoyance at not knowing WTF is going on here.
posted by clvrmnky at 1:16 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Best South Park clip in YEARS.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:16 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nike will not get my business. My feet are the wrong shape. (very wide, short and thick) Finding EEE width shoes was a revelation.
posted by poe at 1:20 PM on November 29, 2010


New Balance, poe. New Balance.
posted by lodurr at 1:21 PM on November 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


And Lebron James is who, exactly? Yes, I could Google, but why should I? I rather think it is incumbent upon you, MeFi front page poster, to make that minor inconvenience unnecessary for me, your fellow MeFite. Do you not agree? I do hope you do.
posted by Decani at 1:24 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


of course i know why shit like this gets made. but even though i work in an office full of people who thinks this shit not only does not stink but is actually "brilliant", "genius", "powerful", .... and even though i (think that i) understand intellectually why shit like this works, i still at some gut level do not understand: why it gets made; why people admire it; why it works.

maybe it's me.
posted by lodurr at 1:25 PM on November 29, 2010


It's a mashup of the recent LeBron James Nike commercial and an older Michael Jordan Nike commercial. Both made their names as professional athletes who play basketball. It is meant to highlight the contrast in styles between the two. The mashup version has become popular, and is now being circulated around the internet.

This appears to be a post in which both original versions are also presented, presumably to allow readers to note how the source materials were combined.
posted by First Post at 1:25 PM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Not to mention that youtube embedding is broken somewhere such that there is only audio.
posted by rhizome at 1:26 PM on November 29, 2010


Decani: "And Lebron James is who, exactly? Yes, I could Google, but why should I? I rather think it is incumbent upon you, MeFi front page poster, to make that minor inconvenience unnecessary for me, your fellow MeFite. Do you not agree? I do hope you do"

This is the first Google result for "Lebron James fucks Cleveland".
Yes, that was the first thing I thought to type.
posted by charred husk at 1:26 PM on November 29, 2010


"'Free agency?' Um, no. We own you, black man."

(Yes, I just equated professional basketball with slavery, and yes, I am alarmed by that as well.)

"Oh, also, all the remaining players on this team are utterly worthless without you. How can you even think of leaving them?"

Oh, grow the fuck up, Cleveland. It's a game. Guys toss a ball through a hoop. It's team skee-ball, for fuck's sake.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:28 PM on November 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


I don't follow sports but I recently discovered the secret of sports talk. Any time a team or player is mentioned just call them bums.

That guy is a bum.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:28 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not to mention that youtube embedding is broken somewhere such that there is only audio.

Works fine here.
posted by kmz at 1:35 PM on November 29, 2010


Oh, grow the fuck up, Cleveland.

Agreed. You had something like 7 years to surround him with players who could help win a championship, and you didn't. You didn't make any indication that you were going to do that in the future. Michael Jordan didn't win all those championships alone. No one does.

It's a game. Guys toss a ball through a hoop.

Really though, it's an escape. For a few hours, people can forget their real troubles and just focus on something like their favorite team playing. It is very important to a lot of people to have that kind of escape. When something messes with how enjoyable that escape is going to be, people get really upset.
posted by King Bee at 1:36 PM on November 29, 2010


Did you see that ludicrous display last night?
posted by Babblesort at 1:40 PM on November 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hype machine creates hype, yes. Two points, though.

1. James can go where he wants -- his contract was up, and Cleveland couldn't get him to re-sign. Point Lebron. Yeah, he kinda made an ass out of himself with all the pre-decision hoopla. Go figure.

2. The Miami hype this year has been spectacular. First, all the noise about how great they'd be, and now all the noise about how "lo the mighty have fallen, and what is up with them?" They've sucked all the press cycles away from 90% of the league. Meanwhile, the Spurs have very, very quietly risen to the top of the league without anyone noticing. Sports are just sports, but as a San Antonio Spurs enthusiast, this season has started out pretty fun.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:45 PM on November 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
posted by Chuffy at 1:46 PM on November 29, 2010


2. The Miami hype this year has been spectacular. First, all the noise about how great they'd be, and now all the noise about how "lo the mighty have fallen, and what is up with them?" They've sucked all the press cycles away from 90% of the league.

FTFY
posted by robcorr at 1:54 PM on November 29, 2010 [4 favorites]



Nike will not get my business. My feet are the wrong shape. (very wide, short and thick)


Strangely, my feet are very narrow and although I do not find Nike to be a poor fit, around the time that I was 23 years old I realized that all three times I broke my ankle, I was wearing Nike basketball shoes.

10 years later I have owned only Reebok and New Balance and I have suffered no further ankle injuries.

Of course, I recently ruptured my achilles but hey.
posted by fusinski at 2:00 PM on November 29, 2010


poe: Nike will not get my business. My feet are the wrong shape. (very wide, short and thick) Finding EEE width shoes was a revelation.

lodurr: New Balance, poe. New Balance.

With feet shaped like that, I doubt poe has any problems balancing, new fangled or old fashioned.
posted by hippybear at 2:11 PM on November 29, 2010


I still hate Boston more.

Actually, I hate the Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, Jazz, Magic, Spurs, Mavericks, and the Hornets more than I hate the Heat. They all also probably have better records this season ...
posted by mrgrimm at 2:15 PM on November 29, 2010


Actually, I hate the Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, Jazz, Magic, Spurs, Mavericks, and the Hornets more than I hate the Heat. They all also probably have better records this season ...

Hmm... Rockets fan?
posted by kmz at 2:25 PM on November 29, 2010


I love this mashup but instead of viewing it as Jordan scolding LeBron for not trying hard enough, I envision it as more of a cry for help from Jordan - "LeBron, you will never be like me, ever, see, because I'm a sociopath, and I have emotional problems, no seriously, I don't know what it is, I push away everyone in my life because all I care about is winning at basketball, well not just basketball, everything, win win win, all the time, I must win, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you, that's in my head, day in and day out, I can't shut it off, it's just win win win all the time, destroy the other guy, if the other guy is better than me then I'm worthless, I'm nobody, I'm only somebody if I am better than everybody all the time, honestly, it's getting to be a problem."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:27 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, I hate the Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, Jazz, Magic, Spurs, Mavericks, and the Hornets more than I hate the Heat. They all also probably have better records this season ...

I read a great piece the other day - wish I could find it now - on why Golden State fans inexplicably filled the arena year after year, and enthusiastically cheered them on, despite a mediocre record, overall. (compared to somewhere like Boston, where they routinely boo their own team, or Charlotte, where 1/2 the seats go unsold) Great fans out there.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:34 PM on November 29, 2010


I'm not a huge basketball guy so I'm sure somebody will school me on Jerry West or Wilt or Kareem, but watching Michael Jordan play it's hard to believe anybody did or ever will top him. Being a Texan, I loved watching Hakeem and the Rockets win the two championships between the Bulls' two runs when Michael decided to try baseball, but they felt like stolen trophies, prizes earned while the true champion was away. It's amazing to think how many great players (Barkley, Ewing, Stock and Malone) never got rings simply because they happened to play in Jordan's era.
posted by kmz at 2:47 PM on November 29, 2010


clvrmnky: My "shouldn't be in the blue" senses are tingling. Or maybe that's just my annoyance at not knowing WTF is going on here.

*checks usernumber* ahh... entirely possible, sir.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 2:49 PM on November 29, 2010


Jordan was the best ever, kmz. Anybody who tells you differently is just being a contrarian. The same kind of person who likes to talk about how the Beatles weren't influential and that Peyton Manning is just an average quarterback.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:51 PM on November 29, 2010


I've found it interesting how many people on twitter, etc, thought that the mashup was an actual Nike ad. I mean, I'm not saying Nike wouldn't go to great lengths to stir up controversy, but I think badmouthing LeBron is a shootable offense at Nike HQ these days.

If you don't like this post, the recent MeTa about SportsFilter is still open. Just saying.
posted by auto-correct at 3:05 PM on November 29, 2010


Who is this person? What is this post about?

seriously - no snark intended
posted by idiomatika at 3:27 PM on November 29, 2010


I'm also confused.

Also I wish you kids and your new-fangled basketball would turn down your music and get off my lawn.
posted by NoraReed at 3:30 PM on November 29, 2010


I can't watch these, but I'm pretty sure I've seen the first two, the Lebron attempt to save face, and the Cleveland response, which I thought was perfect. I look forward to checking out the mashup later. Thanks for the post.

And the Heat! Roughly around .500. It makes me feel all giddy to see that Wade, Bosh, and James, who, by all accounts plotted out this summer years ago, seemingly failed to figure out if they would actually mesh on the court together. Sure, they had a great time at the Olympics, but that was on a team with Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Chauncey Billups, and Carmelo Anthony (who was pretty much the MVP of the team) among others. Now? Joel Anthony? Supernintendo Chalmers? Meanwhile, the Bulls are leading the Central, and Boozer just started practicing. Happy, happy days.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:39 PM on November 29, 2010


Any time a team or player is mentioned just call them bums.

As a person who knows nothing about sports, I find that, "Yeah, what can you say about [insert team/player/league] ?" works most of the time.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:50 PM on November 29, 2010


Apparently LeBron's fame doesn't extend to the UK. (Some of the "how is LeBron formed" comments are from UK posters, just saying.)

LeBron James is an NBA basketball player. He used to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that has never come close to winning a championship until they got LeBron back in 2003. LeBron came into the NBA straight outta high school, so you could guess he was probably pretty impressive. Since he's been in the league, he's racked up all sorts of individual accolades and led the Cavaliers to the finals in 2007, but they did not win it all.

LeBron is also from Akron, OH, which means he's sort of a "home-grown" superstar. He came to play at Cleveland and said he was going to bring a championship to Cleveland, and wouldn't quit until he got one.

Well, he didn't get one in the 7 years he played there, and now it's 2010. After that, his contract was up, and he became a free agent, meaning he could entertain offers from any team in the league. He was such a coveted player by other teams that in the 2 years prior to his contract expiring, teams began to clear room under the salary cap to try to coax him into playing for them by offering a "max contract" (the most amount of money a player could make under the current collective bargaining agreement). LeBron is arguably the best player in the league, and will continue to be so for years to come.

Lots of people thought he would still sign with Cleveland, making good on his promise to bring a championship to his hometown fans. He even had a huge hour long special on ESPN where he was going to give his decision as to which team he signed with. Surely he wouldn't break the hearts of his fans on prime-time TV, right?

Wrong. He ended up signing with the Miami Heat, joining two other pretty darned good players in a hope to make a championship run. Everyone in Cleveland freaks out, hates LeBron, burns his jerseys in the streets, etc. Some praise LeBron. Many hate on him, citing that "he's afraid of competition" or some nonsense since he can't win a team game by himself.

He makes this commercial for Nike. Dude makes a mashup with a previous commercial involving Michael Jordan, who as stated above, is pretty much the best player of all time, a guy that LeBron gets compared to a lot.

It might help to know that somehow Cleveland is cursed when it comes to sports, as the blog Waiting for Next Year will attest to. So, losing their superstar and essentially rendering their basketball team useless (since the team was pretty lousy except for LeBron) has hit a lot of people really hard. That's what the second link in the OP is all about.
posted by King Bee at 3:51 PM on November 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


Brilliant mash-up.
posted by yeti at 3:56 PM on November 29, 2010


Thanks, King Bee!
posted by idiomatika at 3:58 PM on November 29, 2010


OK, so, which one's the mashup -- just the third one with the Jordan VO and closer?

The second one where all those Ohioans dis LeBron is a real Nike commercial, right?

'Cuz that's the one that's really freaky to me: That you as Nike would do that requires such massive chutzpah that it boggles the mind. (That Wieden & Kennedy would do it I have no question about at all. They'd prostitute their mothers on live TV if they thought it would earn a lot of billing and notoriety.)
posted by lodurr at 4:11 PM on November 29, 2010


First one is real LeBron Nike commercial.

Second one is fan-made Clevelander reaction. It is not made/endorsed by Nike.

Third is mashup with Michael Jordan commercial.
posted by King Bee at 4:13 PM on November 29, 2010


where they routinely boo their own team

I think it's a shame when people don't come out to see a good team but there is nothing wrong with booing the home team when they leave a turd on the court.

Who drops a (couple) hundred bucks and says "Yay, we suck!"
posted by The Hamms Bear at 4:18 PM on November 29, 2010


Whats hilarious is the big 3 are now pointing fingers at the coach of the Heat. Guess who'll get fired first.

So much money so little responsibility.
posted by Max Power at 4:20 PM on November 29, 2010


Who drops a (couple) hundred bucks and says "Yay, we suck!"

Kings fans.
posted by banshee at 4:26 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who drops a (couple) hundred bucks and says "Yay, we suck!"

And in a different sport Cubs fans.
posted by Max Power at 4:38 PM on November 29, 2010


I can guarantee you that Cubs fans aren't saying "Yay, we suck!"
posted by The Hamms Bear at 4:53 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]



Inscrutable post is inscrutable.

My "shouldn't be in the blue" senses are tingling. Or maybe that's just my annoyance at not knowing WTF is going on here.

Is this something I would need at TV to understand? What the hell is a Google, is that the internet, or like a browser?
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 5:45 PM on November 29, 2010


Apparently Cleveland is unfamiliar with pillow talk. This guy I know had a one night stand with a woman from Cleveland and she made a similar video after he prematurely ejaculated and fell asleep, despite promising to rock her world. Come to think of it he also left for Miami shortly thereafter...
posted by humanfont at 6:02 PM on November 29, 2010


Wait, these aren't attack ads about Obama?
posted by Nomyte at 6:34 PM on November 29, 2010


LeBron is arguably the best player in the league

Sorry this is just not true. Kobe Bryant is the best player ever. No, I am not a fan boy. It's just the way it is. Dude has won 5 championships (3 by the time he was 23). 6th incoming.
posted by Brocktoon at 6:46 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I did say "arguably". Kobe has played on great teams for a great coach in a great organization. The same cannot be said of LeBron. Everyone on the team gets a ring. Yes, Kobe plays a huge part, but did you see how the Lakers imploded when Jackson left? Why didn't Kobe win a championship then?

Not to derail, but just in terms of single-player dominance, Wilt Chamberlain has all these new dudes beat by about 90 miles.
posted by King Bee at 6:49 PM on November 29, 2010


Brocktoon, Jordan. Jor. Dan. Kobe is amazing. He's a special talent. He's fantastic. He's no Jordan, though he clearly desires to be in the conversation, and has made himself a student of the game, most specifically Jordan's game, including mastering the fadeaway jumper, and, now that he's no longer the high flyer, he's working on his post-up game, just like Jordan did. Still, he's no Jordan. He's the best in the league at the moment, though I imagine this is the year he slips a bit, and I'm not sure, rings aside, that we can really say that anymore. He'll just have to settle for player of the decade, I guess.

If Duncan let's him have it.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:32 PM on November 29, 2010


As a lifelong Cleveland sports fan, I really enjoyed the second video that features "people of Cleveland" telling LeBron what he should do. He and the Heat will be in Cleveland this Thursday (his first game against his old team), the game will be nationally televised on TNT in case you want to see how the city responds.
posted by Man Bites Dog at 7:56 PM on November 29, 2010


I'm not sure if the OP's timing was intentional but this Thursday, Nov 2, happens to be the very first Miami at Cleveland since the trade.

Jordan's voiceover is eerily prescient, line-for-line. The part about 'a game built on Flash and not Fire' in this new context could easily be a reference to comparisons between LeBron (bigger, faster, stronger, younger) versus Kobe (talent and hard work). The voiceover gains extra poignancy when you take into consideration LeBron (and Kobe, for that matter, as Ghidorah said) is obsessed with Jordan: Lebron chose to be #23 on the Cavaliers; Kobe changed his number to #24 (i.e. 23+1).

Yes, it may be just basketball but this whole LeBron spectacle is a modern parable of dignity surviving defeat, being played out in the format of sports. Allen Iverson never won a championship ring but AFAIK he is still beloved in Philly. It's a great time for basketball - haven't been this into it since '94 Knicks versus Rockets. Great video.
posted by marco_nj at 7:56 PM on November 29, 2010


Agreed. You had something like 7 years to surround him with players who could help win a championship, and you didn't. You didn't make any indication that you were going to do that in the future. Michael Jordan didn't win all those championships alone. No one does.

What on are you talking about? For seven years the lineup of the Cavs revolved around getting LeBron the team he needed to win the championship. He wants Shaq, he gets Shaq. The Cavs were prepared to offer Bosh a six-year $125 million contract. You know anything he asked for that was possible for them to give him, he would have received. You simply can't say that Cleveland didn't try hard enough to support him.

Anyway, he's got his best buddy superstar team right now, and they kind of fail. So while one person can't win a championship alone, it's silly to act like it's everyone else holding LBJ back from ascending to take his place beside God. It goes both ways: he makes promises he shouldn't make, then fails to carry through. Tough break, but it's absurd to make commercials complaining about people getting upset.

In the end, LeBron's the biggest one who wants to keep talking about LeBron. Maybe people would cut him some slack if he stopped making commercials and television specials about himself.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:04 PM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


By the way, personally this is my favorite fan-made video of the whole thing.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:15 PM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Cavs are quietly better than expected and so are the Browns; rooting for a group of mediocrities who aren't terrible but have little chance to win a championship is a Cleveland sports tradition that I've missed over the last few years...the teams have generally been outstanding or pitiful.

I'm glad that LeBron left, and I say the fans carry Cleveland to a win or a close loss on Thursday. On Friday every news outlet in America will write another story questioning LeBron's decision, with the new angle that maybe the old team wasn't a bunch of chumps after all.
posted by Kwine at 7:22 AM on November 30, 2010


This seems like a good excuse to drop in DJ Steve Porter's Press Hop 2, in which he autotunes a number of memorable press conferences including LeBron's ESPN special.

Here's the original Press Hop
posted by IanMorr at 8:01 AM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


What on are you talking about? For seven years the lineup of the Cavs revolved around getting LeBron the team he needed to win the championship. He wants Shaq, he gets Shaq.

First of all, players should not be making personnel decisions. Players don't really know what it takes to build great teams, this is why no player is also a general manager at the same time.

Secondly, Shaq was acquired by Cleveland after his effective years were over. He averaged only 23 minutes a game, and 12 points per game. This isn't the dominant Shaq of the Laker years we're talking about here.

Perhaps they were prepared to offer Chris Bosh a healthy sum, but he didn't want to go to Cleveland. A good general manager finds players who will play well in the system that the coach has in place. If the system is "support LeBron", well, it's pretty clear they didn't have the players to do that. (By the way, that's a terrible system.)
posted by King Bee at 3:41 PM on November 30, 2010


It's not just Shaq. The Cavs tried to make Lebron happy with numerous trades throughout his career. Pretty much every year for the last four was "hmm, which pieces can we shuffle to make Lebron happy?" After a career year in Washington, they signed Larry Hughes, thinking he could be Lebron's Pippen (which, as we all know, was a horrible, horrible mistake) In 2007-2008, they went out and got Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, Ben Wallace and Joe Smith. The year before, they'd nabbed Damon Jones. 2008-9, Lebron was complaining he didn't have a point guard, so they got Mo Williams, who had been having a terrific year in Milwaukee. Lebron was still complaining about not having enough help, so they got Antawn Jamison, then, of course, they got Shaq.

The thing is, some of these moves were obviously busts, and Danny Ferry was rightly canned. Szczerbiak was literally on his last legs, and Damon Jones was a fraud Miami was happy to wave goodbye to. On the other hand, many of the players that came and went had good years before they played with Lebron, and then better years after he or they were gone. He doesn't do a very good job of making others around him better, which has always been one of the intangibles about GOAT conversations. Point guards naturally have that in their makeup, but then you have players like Jordan or Bryant who inspire by sheer terror, or others who are just fantastic teammates that push each other to become better. Lebron, for however many reasons, didn't seem to have that. While in Cleveland, it was obvious that most plays involved Lebron going 1 on 4 and getting to the basket (and inevitably getting a foul, even if there wasn't one), and well, that's what happens when the coach is clearly in a weaker position than the star. Personally, I'd be surprised if Spoelestra makes it to January at this point.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:08 PM on November 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


that's what happens when the coach is clearly in a weaker position than the star. Personally, I'd be surprised if Spoelestra makes it to January at this point.

Right, something's going on there.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 6:43 PM on November 30, 2010


Wow. Just wow. I hadn't seen that. The thing is, if Riley is really going to stand by the coach, why didn't he drag James in his office and read him the riot act for that? Riley giving that a pass is as good as a vote of no confidence (or, that Riley intends to coach again).
posted by Ghidorah at 7:33 PM on November 30, 2010


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