When LeBron James told Jim Gray on ESPN last night he was going to play for the Miami Heat, people immediately started bashing the 25-year-old basketball superstar for the ultimate public dismissal of his hometown team.
Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, where Akron, OH native James played for seven seasons, wrote a scathing open letter, and others said the move tarnished James' good-guy image.
Opposing Views wrote that James' show, publicly dismissing Cleveland during an hour-long televised love-fest, was a bad PR move, while The New York Times asked who (besides people in Miami, I guess) could root for James after that move.
Yet others understand James' decision, with one Akron blogger reminding the country that James is "not the savior if Cleveland," and is just a basketball player.
Chris LaPlaca, SVP of communications for ESPN, told PRWeek yesterday the network had "asked ourselves every question that's been posed" and thought about all the issues before saying yes to James' camp's proposal for the hour-long TV extravaganza.
What did you think of last night's "The Decision" special? How are the Ohio PR pros holding up? And any folks planning to move to your agency's Miami office?