Answering LeBron's new ad


By Mary Paoletti

Have you seen LeBron's new commercial?


Silly question. The media, your co-workers and third cousins have already had a field day making fun of BronBron for the new Nike spot.

But not me. Nope.

True, the barren Hall of Fame scene behind"Should I really believe I ruined my legacy?" tickles my gag reflex. And, also fact: it's impossible to suppress an eyeroll when he asks "Should I admit that I've made mistakes?" in supposed post-'Decision' regret.

Some will say that by asking questions instead of making statements, he's being passive aggressive; that by pointing to the possibility of guilt but not grabbing onto it, he can both mend the broken hearts of jilted fans in Cleveland and reassure the hungry hearts in Miami who want an unapologetic champion.

But not me.

There are a couple of reasons why I won't tease King James for this attempt at martyrdom.

Some of his jabs at critics are pretty clever. Like the shot at Michael Jordan as "Mars Blackman": "What should I do? Should I just sell shoes? Wanna see my shiny new shoes?"

And then the message to Sir Charles: "Should I tell you 'I am not a role model!'?" LBJ asks. In case reference to the now-chunky Barkley's old Nike ad is too subtle, a bite into a pink frosted donut, wink, and 'Hi Chuck' sends the bomb to the right address.

The other thing I'm thinking is that The Chosen One isn't even asking rhetorical questions. So I've taken it upon myself to answer the most pressing ones for him.

I'm just trying to help.

Q: Should I have my tattoo removed?
A: No. Just like getting ink done, removing it marks a moment of the irrevocable. You've got to be able to live with the decision you've made with zero regrets and not be afraid of pain. Maybe just hire someone to try to make it look like something it's not.

Q: Should I just sell shoes?
A: Aren't you doing that right now, LeBron?

Q: Should I tell you 'I am not a role model!'?"
A: Well, you can. Problem is, nobody will believe you. That's the thing about being the "Chosen 1"-- you don't sign up for the job but you still have to accept the responsibility. Bummer.
Q: Should I be who you want me to be?
A: I want you to be a tremendously talented basketball player. Try just doing that for a while.

Q: Should I stop listening to my friends?
A: It depends on what they're talking about. If they're asking if your mom is seeing anybody then you might want to find new friends. But if they tell you that making a commercial about how you can't care what people think of you only proves that you do care what people think about you.... Wait. Nobody told you that.

Q: Should I try acting?
A: You're doing that right now, LeBron.

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