Miami Heat: LeBron James Embracing Good-Guy Image Again

By Karim Akbar
Steve Mitchell- USA TODAY Sports

When LeBron James won his second NBA title with the Miami Heat this June, many called it a “real” win. Most of America loathed James after winning the first, with critics slamming James and his ‘decision’. Many refused to give the star his due even after winning his first championship.

James seemed to relish this role as the ultimate villain, playing it to perfection.

But a year and a championship can change everything. LeBron has been to the dark side, and now he’s relishing his role as the good guy. With his public opinion rising, it seems America has gotten past the decision long enough to accept LeBron for who he is and what he won’t be.

And marketers have taken notice as well. James’ Q score [likability with consumers] was on par with sports’ deadbeats a few seasons ago, now it’s near the top once again. Now that his detractors have been silenced, Lebron is hawking everything in sight these days like headphones and apparel. And we love him for it.

LeBron has also recently added television impresario to his growing portfolio. The Heat star has inked a production deal with Starz to develop a sitcom series. Though LeBron will not star in the show, he will serve as one of the executive producers. He is also without a doubt the (less hated now) face of the NBA.

He is definitely the league’s best player, and even entertained an offer to be the NBAPA President. It was a prestigious post for a icon LeBron, but he only cares about rings right now, not labor strife. That kind of thinking shows you just how far James has come and how he’s matured as a superstar.

LeBron has consistently met and exceeded expectations since day one. It’s a testament to his talent and determination that, at the prime of his career, he would even consider tackling another duty while pursuing a title.

For LeBron, it will always be about his title count and how it compares to everyone else, including Micheal Jordan. With everyone seemingly on his side now, that task becomes much easier.

Karim Akbar is a Sacramento Kings writer for Follow him on Twitter @Kuhreem , “Like” his RantSports page on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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