The opinion of many is that the dunk heard 'round the web will remain unseen for years to come - burned, locked up, buried at the bottom of the Atlantic, whatever. But since everyone's allowed their own opinion, I have one too: this footage will soon be used by Nike - and LeBron - in a commercial campaign that will prove to be James' most powerful pitch to date.
To me, there are just too many ways that Nike can go with this for it to be simply dismissed. The rationale behind this thought was laid out in my latest post for Midwest Sports Fans, which went up today.
An excerpt is below - click here for the complete post:
"In a ‘Be Like Mike’ motif, Nike could say that if you wear LBJ’s – like Jordan Crawford – even you can run faster, jump higher, and dunk harder than LeBron James himself. Imagine the anticipation towards such a campaign if its the first time this dunk is aired. Might not be as powerful if it was on You Tube for months prior."
If LeBron did systematically maneuver to have these tapes destroyed, then in this case, as Denny Green says, 'he was what we thought he was.' No doubt, that in this instance, it certainly would be a bit lame of the King to hide from the fact that a kid named Jordan Crawford got the better of him in a meaningless pick-up game - one in which James was probably playing in at half speed. However, I don't see it.
To me, James' track record more than indicates his ability to poke fun at himself publicly, and even capitalize on it. In Nike's LeBrons series he referenced his inability, up to that point, to get past Detroit. In the Puppets commercial, the Kobe likeness repeatedly asks LeBron if he's seen his championship rings (a ring LeBron is yet to be sized for). And at the ESPYs, well, he did dress up like MC Hammer, and perform the song My LeBrogative. If there was a tape meant to be burned, I think it would have been that one.
If Dunktapegate does end up in a commercial, not only would I be right, but so would LeBron. It would be more of the same from him too: humble, funny, entertaining, and must watch television.
Click below to see the You Tube clips reference above: