The video: The new NBA season tips off tonight, but the buzz among hoops fans is about LeBron James' new Nike ad. The spot, something of a Socratic monologue, consists of James pitching the audience various schemes — becoming a poet? becoming a hermit? — for how he might satisfy critics who think he erred last summer in deciding to leave the Cleveland Caviliers and sign with the talent-stuffed Miami Heat. (Watch the ad below.)
The reaction: Well, that ad "is pretty much perfect," says Royce Young at CBS Sports. It's "candid" and allows us "to see the human side to LeBron" that had all but disappeared lately. If James' goal here was to restore his brand, then "put it this way: Mission Accomplished." Yes, it's a good commercial, says Jason Whitlock at Fox Sports. But James should have admitted that his exit from Cleveland "lacked the appropriate amount of grace and respect" he owed to his fans. While you can argue over James' image, CNBC's Darren Rovell notes that Nike shoes are "barely mentioned in the spot." See for yourself:
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