[Editor's Note: Our good friend Brendan Bowers, who has been contributing to MSF under the name "J.D. Shaver", has shifted his blogging focus from his old blog Shaver Sports to his new one: Stepien Rules. He will now be posting under that name to remind you all to visit his site, which we can only assume will continue to be one of the best Cavs blogs out there. To learn what exactly "Stepien Rules" means, view the about page of the new blog.]
Xavier Musketeer Jordan Crawford dunked over the top of LeBron James recently at a LeBron James-Nike Summer Basketball Camp.Â LeBron thenÂ whispered something into the ear of a Nike exec shortly after, and the tape was subsequently confiscated.Â You may have heard about it.Â My friendsÂ at Cleveland Frowns coined the phrase ‘Dunktapegate’ in a post ThursdayÂ Â which collectivelyÂ summarizes theÂ online opinions of many on the subject.Â Â Most peopleÂ conclude thatÂ JamesÂ isÂ ‘surprisingly lame,’Â ‘pathetic,’ and a ‘North Korean communist,’ for allegedly directing the destruction ofÂ footage.Â Even Ozzie Gullien’s favorite ‘columnist’ chimed in,Â callingÂ the King a ‘baby’ and his Nike constituents, ‘goons.’Â
But how does everyone know for sure what exactly it was that JamesÂ whispered?Â
What if he said: ‘Get those tapes, and send them to Phil Knight, that’s our next marketing campaign.’
Â You don’t know that he didn’t, and it wouldÂ have the makings of LeBron’s most powerful Nike Campaign of all time if he did.
In a ‘Be Like Mike’ motiff, 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.Â Â Imagine the anticipation towards such a campaign if itsÂ the first time this dunkÂ isÂ aired.Â Might not be as powerful if it was on You Tube forÂ months prior.Â Â If you don’t think this could beÂ already in motion,Â well it might be.Â Â On the Dan Patrick show Friday, Dwayne Wade said that Nike Pitchman Kobe BryantÂ called Wade and said ‘we need to give LeBron ‘stuff,’ for this.’
‘Stuff,’ or more publicity.
TheÂ marketing spinsÂ are endlessÂ here, andÂ I find it impossible toÂ believe that LBJ and NikeÂ won’t capitalize.
If you think not,Â I’d ask you to answer the following questions:
Â WhatÂ does LeBron James lose by people seeingÂ Jordan Crawford dunk on him?Â Will people forget the hundreds of come from behindÂ rejections he hadÂ this pastÂ season?Â Will people forget that LeBron blocked aÂ 360-attempt by Jason Richardson? Or thatÂ he has dunks on the heads ofÂ Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan to his credit?Â Will they make him give his MVP Trophy back?Â Additionally,Â if LeBron is not only going to show up to, but actually play pick-up gamesÂ at,Â the basketball camps bearing his name, why is he playing?Â Is it so thatÂ he canÂ dunk onÂ the faces of all campers, and block all their shots?Â Or is heÂ allowing them the opportunity to play against the best in the world, and to go home saying to themselves, ‘I was on the same courtÂ as LeBron James, and I held my own.’ Â
Is Jordan Crawford’s basketball career better for attending the LBJ-NikeÂ summer camp?Â Isn’t that the point ofÂ basketball camps?Â Doesn’t Nike sell the idea that you too canÂ play better too if youÂ wearÂ Nike shoes?
When the LBJ – Kobe Puppet Campaign is over, this will be next, and you heard it here first.
* – Lebron James photo credit: AdRants.com
Brendan is a featured columnist at Midwest Sports Fans who also runs Stepien Rules, where they discuss everything you ever wanted to know about the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Brendan’s contributions to Midwest Sports Fans are sponsored by BigTimeGameBoards.com, the company that helps you tailgate like a champion with our high quality cornhole boards, sets and accessories. And if you don’t know what cornhole is, you aren’t a Midwesterner.