LeBron James Hits Back at Critics in New Nike Ad

By Michael Preston
|  Tuesday, Oct 26, 2010  |  Updated 6:14 AM CDT
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MIAMI - JULY 09: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat greets fans as he is introduced during a welcome party at American Airlines Arena on July 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

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LeBron James has heard all the complaints. But now he has a question for his detractors: Should he be who you want him to be?

In a new Nike ad entitled "Rise" that's by turns funny, biting and defiant, the Miami Heat superstar attempts to put into context who he is and what's he done, reports the New York Daily News.

Opening on a set designed to look like the Boys and Girls club where LeBron announced his fateful "decision" this past summer, the all-star sits quietly before turning to the camera and asking: "What should I do? Should I admit that I've made mistakes?"

The commercial then flies through several scenarios, each touching on a part of the player's life or persona: James watching the massive banner of himself fall from the Cleveland Cavaliers arena; James having his famous "Chosen 1" tattoo removed, James acknowledging the importance of his friends to his life and his decisions in a spot that attempts to put the man into context.

The ad, which will debut on TV October 26, is being released so that James can address "his off season controversy head-on," according to a statement from Nike. And LeBron does indeed hit back at some of the folks who unloaded on him in the last several months.

In a direct shot at one of his most vocal critics, James mimics Charles Barkley's famous "I am not a role model" ad before taking a bite out of a donut and saying, with a wink, "Hi Chuck."

And in an especially cheeky bit, James asks if he should try acting before instantly appearing alongside Don Johnson in a "Miami Vice" skit. Johnson tells his stand in Tubbs: "Kid's gotta deal with the heat, man. Be patient. After awhile the temperature drops, then everything is free and easy."

From the tone of the commercial, it doesn't seem like things will be cooling off in LeBron's world anytime soon.

 

Selected Reading: New York Daily News,  USA Today, Ad Age

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