That Samsung Galaxy Note II commercial is dope as hell.
Who cares that it's a contrived view into the "real" life of LeBron Raymone James? They say even in a lie there's at least an ounce of truth. In reality, the commercial shows us what LeBron wants us to think of him.
A family man who makes his kids breakfast (OK, cereal) in the morning (his son's drawing skills are legit). A dude who goes to the barbershop (and watches YouTube clips). A guy who randomly goes into the neighborhood and buys kids ice cream. A person who takes random photos of his shoes. This is the "life" of The King, and he wants us to think he's just like one of us.
We all know that's the furthest thing from the truth, but transparency does wonders for enlightening others who a person really is. In 2012, LeBron simply eviscerated every demon that had crossed his path. Not only did he plow through each one of his yearly goals, he did it in a fashion that in many respects was incomprehensible. Let's go through this chronologically.
The 2012 NBA All-Star Game: LeBron James played a helluva game, but the signature moment of the game was a play that James didn't make. That being attempting a tough cross-court pass for an easier shot, instead of taking a difficult perimeter shot with the game on the line. Kobe Bryant chastised him for not seizing the moment, and Carmelo Anthony could only look on in disbelief as to what transpired. Many would argue that LeBron was looking for a bailout, but in reality it was someone trying to keep his cool when others couldn't keep their head. It would be this lesson that would serve as another notch when the time to shine really mattered.
Game 4, 2012 East Semis vs. Indiana Pacers: The Miami Heat lost Chris Bosh, and the Indiana Pacers were gaining confidence. Paul George and Roy Hibbert were playing inspired basketball. Darren Collison and George Hill were giving Miami fits. Tyler Hansbrough proved he had a 97 annoying rating on NBA 2K13, and Danny Granger had the nerve to try and buck up on LeBron. LeBron responded in a way that only Frank Dux could after getting blinded by Chong Li. Blind rage. 40, 18, and 9 later, the Pacers were disposed of.
Game 6, 2012 East Finals vs. Boston Celtics: If Michael Jordan's ultimate hurdle to a championship was the Detroit Pistons, then LeBron's ultimate hurdle would be the Boston Celtics. Time and time again the Celtics had found a way to outsmart, outhustle and outbang LeBron's crew and thwart their efforts. Rajon Rondo's calling out of The King was defiant and cunning, but Rondo's snapping seemed to be the catalyst that finally made LeBron believe he was indeed unstoppable. He seemed unleashed, like an energetic child running roughshod through a sandcastle. Then he gave us 45, 15 and 5. Witnessing someone gain this awareness, live, and in living color, was amazing. I imagine it being similar to watching Bobby Fischer figure out how to beat Deep Blue or Beyonce doing that one pelvic gyration in that one video where she wears that onesy.
1:55 remaining, Game 5 of 2012 NBA Finals vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: The unbridled joy of LeBron on the bench, turning up and getting crunk with his teammates. Witnessing him become flooded with emotion. The early bro-hug with Kevin Durant. Sharing a smile with his coach. Almost becoming weak and tender with the Larry O'Brien Trophy. "It's about damn time." The rawness of the moment was something truly enjoyable to watch, almost like you were peering into a moment you weren't supposed to see.
2012 Olympics in London: Usurping power from others comes in unique ways. During the Olympics, claiming the alpha dog role of the team and being the unquestioned leader was astounding. I mean, that's Kobe's job, right? Even Kobe had to relinquish that role … okay, let me stop. It had to be ripped away from Kobe's cold, dead hands. It was the only way it would happen, and LeBron was the one to do it. He was at the height of his superpowers, and even Bean knew it. Plus, LeBron got that extra second of an embrace from The First Lady, and I bet she smelled like baby's breath and Hennessy at the same damn time.
The Fall of 2012: From the LeBron X's, to that damn Samsung commercial, to luring Jesus Shuttlesworth to Miami, there's been an air of defiance in what's gone on during the second half of the year. While so many things seem so manicured in LeBron's journey, these moves almost feel more diabolically calculating. A $300 shoe? (Of course folks have lined up all year to purchase it. Ask Kenny.) A 3-minute long commercial that has run non-stop since the beginning of the season? (Got damn I want one bad.) Miami's found ways to upgrade their squad, and LeBron's still looks like the unstoppable force and the immovable object at the same damn time.
Back to that damn commercial though.
Sometimes I wonder if the person in the commercial is really him. That The King could be so personable and deprecating with his kids. That The King could be in the barbershop, asking for the #23 on the haircut chart and the folks laughing at him for asking for a haircut that he can't attain because of his receding hairline. That The King is as selfless with "the people" as he is on the basketball court. That The King is really just like us when he has a quiet moment by himself.
It's not I'm convinced that the commercial is real, but it's the fact that the way LeBron carried it in 2012, I'm willing to believe the commercial a little more than I probably should.
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”