July 13, 2010 BY John Kim
How did the city of Cleveland respond to LeBron James’ departure? Let’s just say you didn’t have to worry about any traffic jams on the “high road”. King James’ jerseys were set aflame on the streets, his merchandise was being sold at vicious price reductions, and Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wore his heart on his sleeve in an anger-filled tirade posted on the Cavaliers’ official website, likening his formerly employed superstar to the traitorous Benedict Arnold, vowing to win a championship before LeBron James and the Miami Heat do. But is Cleveland throwing away just a billboard? Piece by piece this huge banner is being torn down, and a fragment of Cleveland’s relevance is going down with each piece. The cash-flow generated by LeBron James’ brand comes to a halting stop and the ripple effect of his departure will soon be felt by the other sports franchises as well as local businesses.
So what can possibly replace Nike’s 10-story tall billboard in Cleveland? Surely we’ve never seen anything of this magnitude, and with LeBron now joining forces with two bonafide superstars who deserve a spotlight in their own right, would LeBron ever get his own 10-story billboard in Miami? The only other Nike pitchman worthy of such a profuse display of homage is Kobe Bryant, but he knows championship rings relay bigger messages. Continue reading for a look at images and video of Nike’s “Witness” billboard being torn down as well as a humorous video to lighten the mood.
Filed under: LeBron