Way back in October, Nike revealed that LeBron James`s clothing line would be called Heart Of A Lion. The Facebook page that revealed it said, “Game after game. LeBron James’ heart stays strong. The two-time NBA MVP has seen his fair share of battles. He’s done his time on the hardwood. In the gym. And around the neighborhood. With every victory the beast within grows stronger. More determined. Fearless. Always on.”
That brand is now a go. The Lion 6 will be on t-shirts, jackets, shoes and rugby shirts.
But check out that branding. “Long Live The King”. The stylized Scottish lion. Is it me, or is it a little hard to tell what the clothes look like behind James’s gigantic ego?
HUBRIS OR SAVVY MARKETING?
“Long live the king” says the brand next to the zipper, and the Lion 6 itself is a stylized version of Scotland’s royal lion crest—it’s an awesome way to bring in James’s nickname. After all, James was a big deal from the start, and that’s why they called him King James.
He was in the lime light from an early point in his career due to his talent and skill, and he has made a name for himself outside of basketball as well. He’s been extremely successful at promoting himself in other markets and making himself a celebrity in his own right. During that whole time he was King James, this larger than life persona, and it’s made him infamous. His cocky actions (specifically those surrounding the Decision) had made him as a villain, and he’d become one of those celebrities that people love to hate.
This brand might only fuel that, especially since this brand was announced back in October, well before James redeemed himself at the championship.
But he did redeem himself. He persevered. So how does that change what this line means?
IS LEBRON JAMES THE KING?
Pre-championship, it was so easy to make James the villain, for both the Decision and the hubris of the Miami superteam. But let’s face it, he has talent. And the guy gives back to the community.
He’s led the Miami Heat to enormous victories, he gives to local and national charities including the Boys & Girls Club of America, and he has also established his own charity foundation called the LeBron James Family Foundation in his home town of Akron, Ohio.
On top of that, he was the first black man to ever grace the cover of Vogue, which, considering he is not a model or movie star, is pretty incredible.
So is he really big headed? Or do his actions back up his outlandish claims of greatness? Are those claims really so outlandish when he has achieved so much?
It’s always wonderful when someone is great but acts with humility. But that’s not who LeBron James is. Does his lack of humility really subtract from his talent? And who says where the line between confidence and conceit is drawn?
As a role model to thousands of young people, is he trying to show that confidence is important and to keep believing in yourself and your talent even when it seems like the entire country is rooting for you to fail? Maybe that’s what the Lion 6 line truly represents. Maybe that marketing bluster above has it right: Even when the entire world is rooting against him, LeBron James stayed strong. And now that everyone loves him again, he’s taken back his throne under his own terms. Long live the king, indeed.