In the world of collegiate and professional athletics, I’ve always been a believer that athletes on a celebrity status level deserve the right to have a sense of privacy off the court.
Many athletes are able to do so to a degree, but when you’re arguably the most-worshipped athlete in the world as LeBron James is, it doesn’t tend to work that way.
In case you haven’t logged onto the internet or turned on your television, LeBron James and his entourage were accompanied by an ESPN journalist, Arash Markazi, to document a night in Vegas in the life of LeBron James. It appears as though the network’s hosting of “The Decision” was done in return for an exclusive look into his life off the court.
However, Markazi’s recap of James’ visit to Tao, a night club located inside the Venetian hotel, as well as other clubs and hotels on the Las Vegas strip, is not sugarcoated by any means. In the piece, James is referred to as a “child wrapped in a 6-foot-8, 250 pound frame.”
And from what the piece contained, I wouldn’t go so far as to refute that comparison….
Throughout the evening, while walking through casinos and restaurants, James acted like any child basketball lover would.
From dribbling imaginary basketballs to practicing his jumper in the middle of the casino or pretending to slam dunk on any overhead sign to attempting to cross-over any tables in his way, James was sure to get a workout in during his play time. For what it’s worth, I didn’t see any statistics included in the article.
I’m sure he converted on at least a few of his shots.
I don’t really have a problem with him doing what he wants to in his free time, because it’s just that; his free time. However, I do have a problem with the way he presents himself in a public setting like Las Vegas. When you’re a celebrity, you need to at least give off the impression that you’re not an egotistical moron.
Yet, I don’t completely fault him. He’s advised by a group of people that are just as, if not more, immature as he is. Maverick Carter is the one I blame. He’s the one that led to LeBron James becoming one of the most universally-hated athletes on the planet and he’s continuing to allow the media to show the world who LeBron James really is.
I’m sure LeBron James isn’t the only athlete that acts immature, but it goes to show you how invaluable a good public relations team is You don’t hear about Kevin Durant running a practice session in the Bellagio or Dwight Howard working on his next dunks for this year’s slam dunk contest inside the MGM Grand.
The fan’s perspective of an athlete is what matters most because it’s what legacies are made of.
Michael Jordan was advised by David Falk throughout his career and Falk made it his priority to keep his client as respected off the court as he was on the court. There were very few times in which Michael Jordan faced extreme media scrutiny throughout his career and Falk is to thank for that.
However, if you’re a fan of the Miami Heat, there is a bright side to all of this. You can rest assured that LeBron James is not taking any time off from perfecting his talent. Even in the middle of a Las Vegas casino.