“Maybe I destroyed the game.”
A new commercial featuring Michael Jordan came out recently in which he asks . Michael Jordan’s new commercial in the Jumpman23 campaign certainly seems to call out Lebron. The commercial explains that nothing came easy for Michael Jordan. Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. He went to college, worked on his game, and became the best player that ever lived. Jordan’s highlights certainly ”didn’t start at the free throw line,” but all we seem to remember are his incredible highlights. His intense focus on the game off the court, made people believe his on court achievements were really that simple, when he did what we difficult. He did what was necessary. He stayed in Chicago when the Bulls weren’t winning championships. He did what was great, he earned his legacy.
Lebron James has never been forced to do what he didn’t want to do. When he lost the Ohio High School State Championship as a junior in high school, he left the court instead of following the sportsmanship that makes high school sports great. When he lost the Eastern Conference Finals, he didn’t bother to shake hands or talk to the media. His career low numbers this season may be evidence that he should have been more focused on his game than The Decision. As of right now, he has zero rings and zero legacy. Jordan gives us a stark reminder of this fact.
James is statistical anomaly (average a triple-double?) and an unreal physical talent. His regular season accolades are countless, and he has had some playoff games where he absolutely exploded (i.e. – Cleveland at Detroit). That is all the God-given skill that Michael Jordan alludes to. But James isn’t cold blooded on the court like Kobe, he’s not clutch like Wade, and he’s certainly not a leader like Garnett. What made MJ great was that he was the leader and the cold blooded clutch superstar. That’s what staying on the court when you lose brings to the table. His pain made him who he was on the court. He speaks to that fact in his commercial.
It’s true that none of these players have ever won without the talent around them (Garnett with the big three, Wade with Shaq, and Kobe with Shaq or Gasol). Lebron asked for Antwan Jamison and Shaquille O’Neil, and he recieved. He asked to keep Varejao, and Andy’s contract was extended. Gilbert went into the luxary tax to give James exactly what he wanted. Jordan had help of his own, no doubt. When he asked for help and received – he stuck around long enough to pull that talent together and the team to the promised land.
Michael Jordan was the first basketball player to truly commercialize basketball. Perhaps this is what he alludes to when he says “maybe this is my fault.” Lebron’s Nike “what should I do” commercial says “should I just sell shoes?” Jordan’s incredible endorsement potential fed off his growing legacy and his loyalty to the Bulls organization. James mortgaged his future on The Decision. He put himself above the organizations that pursued him by holding out on them, he made himself bigger than basketball. This isn’t Jordan’s fault by any stretch. MJ earned all of his publicity, you can’t blame him for another player believing he deserves the same treatment without the hard work or the post season accomplishments. Even though Jordan took basketball mainstream, it wasn’t his fault that Lebron transcended basketball and maybe it all about him.
So maybe Lebron shouldn’t be asking “what should I do.” Jordan never had to ask that question. Instead he lived out his career. Did things the right way. Now all he can ask is “is this my fault.”
No Michael it’s not your fault. You “became legendary”. Lebron “is just making excuses”.
Judge for yourself – and be sure to comment. (Let’s keep it civil, please).
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEVCjUG1Mww&feature=player_embedded This isn’t the commercial, it is a mashup of the Lebron and Jordan commercials)
About the Author
Written by Michael Watts
Cleveland based student. A writer for Cleveland based high school news sites. Broadcaster for Cleveland Saint Ignatius High School. Avid Pens, Cavs, Tribe, and Browns fan.