It’s only been five days since the NBA’s free agency period began and I’m already pretty tired of hearing about it. The one thing that did get my attention this weekend was the “challenge” that was dished out to LeBron James. In short, he was being asked to step out of Michael Jordan‘s shadow and cast a bigger one upon the city of Chicago. It was the work of a Chicago based ad agency called Leo Burnett Worldwide that obviously wants LeBron in a Chicago Bulls jersey. They presented their challenge with a series of four items sent to LeBron beginning on Monday last week and ending on Thursday, the first day of free agency.
On Thursday, a two page ad ran in the Akron Beacon Journal, LBJ’s hometown paper, with a question addressed to him. It was a picture of the Chicago skyline with a very familiar shadow cast over it. The shadow looked like Chicago’s most famous superstar — Michael Jordan, of course. It said “LeBron, the fans of Chicago have a question for you. Can you cast a shadow this big?” Personally, I think that’s awesome. It’s telling LeBron that yes, you would be coming to the city where thee greatest player ever spent most of his career and that you shouldn’t be afraid of his shadow. But that wasn’t all that LeBron got.
Starting it all off on Monday, the King got his first challenge from the ad agency. It was a box that held a pair of red, white and black Air Jordans. If you didn’t know, those are Bulls colors. LeBron was being asked if he could “fill these shoes.” This was really clever and quite a daring question. Plus, the shoes look awesome so I’m sure LBJ was happy with his little present. Now my question is … will he put them on?
The next gift LeBron received was on Tuesday. This one was the biggest challenge of them all, but one that is completely possible if LBJ decides to put on a Bulls jersey. He received seven empty ring boxes with the question “Can you fill these boxes?” The Bulls won six championships with Jordan, so you figure out what their point is. If I were LeBron, this type of challenge would me say yes.
It wasn’t over just yet. On Wednesday LeBron received an “issue” of the Chicago Tribune dated 10 years into the future. Its cover read “Sweet Throne Chicago: With Title No. 7, It’s Officially King James’ Court.” That’s pretty cool too and it sends the message to LeBron that there is room in Chicago for two legends. Plus, Jordan might be proud to see that his former team can still bring championships home.
As I’ve admitted in the past, I’m biased about this issue. But this was a really cool ad campaign. If LBJ is competitive like I am (which duh,of course he is), then I don’t know how you could turn the challenge down. He should send back a letter to the company that simply says one thing: Yes. James has the talent to do all that and more, he just needs the players around him to do so. And let’s be honest, he doesn’t have that in Cleveland.Google+