So maybe LeBron saying he'd consider returning to Cleveland last week wasn't just him answering a question. Maybe it was all part of a master PR plan. Why might one think this? Because according to the News Herald in Cleveland, LeBron recently hired a new PR strategist.
The first thing we all should remember is LeBron James is a master manipulator.It could be coincidental, or it could be part of a plan for LeBron to restore his image. Before the season, he seemed genuinely upset at how he had been cast as a bad guy. He didn't like being the villain and wanted to get back to having fun and being a fan favorite.
James had to know the questions were coming on Thursday when the Miami Heat were practicing at Quicken Loans Arena. He recently hired a new "strategist," a man who worked on Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign, so for all we know, his answers could all have been planned.
He had every chance in the world to discourage talk about returning to the Cavaliers. Instead, he encouraged it and embraced it.
Unfortunately the fallout from "The Decision" is going to leave smoldering ruins around LeBron for a long time. Saying things like "I love Cleveland" and being nice and having more fun aren't going to fix that.
But it wasn't just "The Decision." It was a long list of decisions LeBron has made that's turned the public against him. LeBron has his own marketing firm -- LRMR -- but evidently wanted a little outside consulting. Maybe a little distance from that is a good start to rehabbing his image. I doubt it can be completely healed, but it's not going to happen on its own.
All LeBron can do is keep playing terrific basketball, keep saying the right things and most importantly, win. Image takes care of itself a lot of times, PR strategist or not.