LeBron James and Dan Gilbert both damaged their global presence with their communications this week. LeBron’s theatrics were a narcissistic nightmare. Gilbert’s knee-jerk open letter was widely interpreted as an example of a sore loser.
At least Gilbert’s passionate response was fascinatingly transparent and straight from the heart. LeBron’s was purely from the head and didn’t ring true.
Here are seven ways that the man who covets a ring didn’t ring true during his televised hostage release:
- Deceptive body language. LeBron did a poor acting job of trying to look humble, furrowed brow and all. His attempt to look “pained” backfired, resulting in him looking uncomfortable and lacking warmth. More importantly, LeBron’s lips gave him away. When he revealed his choice, he pursed his lips. The lips are among the most emotional parts of the body. Pursed lips are a sign of unvoiced emotion. He was being deceptive.
- Ludicrous use of the phrase “humbling experience.” LeBron said the vetting process had been humbling for him. Nonsense. Humbling for the rich beggars forced to trek to LeBron’s chambers for their expensive dog-and-pony shows. Oh, the money that was wasted trying to lure LeBron. This experience was not humbling. It puffed him up like a popcorn kernel waiting to explode.
- Implausible “I made the decision when I woke up this morning” storyline. This was a blatant, manufactured story in an attempt to justify the suspenseful dog-and-pony show. No one believes it, LeBron. You played everyone. The Three Musketeers knew this decision all along. You were just satisfying your ego and playing out your plan to build brand dominance.
- The phony baloney backdrop at the Boys and Girls Club. There was nothing charitable about it. You should have held your hostage release at the University of Phoenix or Vitamin Water headquarters. Your clients were front and center. And yes, we noticed the Vitamin Water bottle beside you, label turned toward the camera, along with the vending machine strategically placed between you and Jim Gray. But funny thing – you never mentioned your OWN kids. Although asked repeatedly who factored into your decision, you never once mentioned your children or the girlfriend who’s raising your mini-me’s.
- Using his mom as his accomplice. As a mother, it struck me as a cowardly move to say that your mother’s morning phone call blessing the South Beach destination sealed the deal. Take it like a man, LeBron. It was your decision, not hers. And why bring God into it? You’ve never mentioned the man upstairs before. Nice publicity for God, but it came across as out of character to the people who know you.
- Speaking of himself in the third person. How arrogant to refer to himself as “LeBron James” and wanting to make “LeBron James” happy. Who does that, other than a narcissist? A simple “I” is how levelheaded people refer to themselves.
- Being disrespectful of the Cavaliers. How cowardly that he didn’t call his team’s owner and give him two minutes of his time before he was dropped on live TV. That’s disrespectful, selfish, and speaks volumes about character.
We won’t even get into how cruel you were to your hometown fans, LeBron, because plenty has been written about this act of cruelty.
We learn who people really are by how they communicate in stressful situations. We reveal our core, instead of our cleaned up versions. At least Dan Gilbert gave us a window into his passionate heart. LeBron’s hometown, along with the world, witnessed the athlete’s narcissist communication. In his attempt to build global dominance, LeBron blew an opportunity to communicate sincerely and from the heart. His theatrics all came from the head. And a very inflated one at that.