Rare Lebron Publicity Slip

9 05 2011

Just as I was considering a write up on how well-spoken Lebron James usually is compared to the rest of the NBA competition, I stumbled on this Web gem. A little different that Kobe’s earlier situation, Lebron James was caught saying “that’s retarded” in response to a question from a reporter suggesting that Dwayne Wade had something to do with the (unsightly) injury to Rajon Rondo in Saturday’s NBA playoff action. While not much can be said for Dwayne Wade’s intentions, people will undoubtedly find a lot of things to say about Lebron’s less than publicly correct response to a question addressed to Wade.

From a PR perspective, Lebron James is just about as immune as it gets from an issue like this. The high caliber of his play consistently leaves fans breathless and as I said before, the attention created by the NBA playoffs will mask any public negative backlash James might receive. However, James (along with other NBA players) can learn something from this incident and make changes to ensure people think that he is the perfect public speaker that I used to think he was. This lesson is mainly do not speak unless spoken to.

Extracurricular conversations that never even need to occur in the first place too often get athletes into positions that could be easily avoided. When athletes learn only to talk to reporters, fans, and referees when spoken to, they will avoid technical fouls, hefty fines, and offensive YouTube videos. While athletes figure out how they are going to do this, I will be waiting to see how large the fines for Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum will be. Yikes.


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