LeBron James debuts Nike ‘Rise’ ad, Miami Heat star asks ‘Should I be who you want me to be?’


LeBron James knows he lost a lot of fans this summer, destroying his once-powerful likeability by announcing his move to Miami in an epically pompous one-hour special dubbed “The Decision.”

Now the basketball powerhouse seems ready to reclaim his image, addressing the controversy he created in a glossy new ad from Nike that has rocketed around the internet since making its debut on YouTube Monday.

In the ad, James takes fans back to “The Decision,” sitting pensively on a studio set that mimics where he made his infamous announcement.

“What should I do?” he asks, turning to face the camera — and his critics. “Should I admit that I’ve made mistakes?”

Nike says the campaign, called “Rise,” is a way for James to confront naysayers, letting him speak to “his off-season controversy head-on,” according to AdAge.com.

The ad will air for the first time on TV Tuesday, as James and his new team, the Miami Heat, take on the Boston Celtics.

James is the latest star to get the Nike post-scandal ad treatment, similar to what the company did with Tiger Woods earlier this year.

The disgraced golfer appeared in a striking ad featuring voiceover from his deceased father, seemingly lecturing him for his bad behavior.

Fans reacted badly to the Woods ad, but so far the feedback on James’ spot is largely positive.

“Best LeBron James commercial yet,” USA Today declared, while ESPN said Nike uses emotion “stunningly, masterfully, boldly.”

The ad features James inhabiting various fantasy sequences as he confronts the fallout from his announcement, repeatedly asking himself “What should I do?”

The images are instantly iconic: James getting his “Chosen 1” tattoo removed, James standing in front of an empty room to accept his Hall of Fame induction, James decked out like a Wild West villain.

“Should I really believe I ruined my legacy?” he asks.

James also takes aim at Charles Barkley, who has publicly bashed the star in the past.

Mimicing Barkley’s famous “I am not a role model” line from his own Nike campaign, James then winks and says “Hi Chuck.”

The ad closes crisply, as he delivers his message loud and clear.

Layered over an image of James doing what he does best, delivering a perfect shot, we hear him ask, “Should I be who you want me to be?”

Courtesy: NYDailyNews