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May 4, 2006

Witnessing LeBron

We are all witnesses. So says Nike, and so say the cliché-ridden sportswriters who can't stop plugging the LeBron James ad campaign. Sure, it's a slightly clever phrase that is especially good fodder for ridicule when James's teammates stand around gawking at the star's moves, but does it really merit so many prominent mentions in the media?

Nike's ad has garnered press in the Washington Post, the New York Times, SI.com, the AP, and many other major papers, mainly as a throw-away line in game rehashes for the Cavaliers-Wizards playoff series.

Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas even used the phrase mockingly after he led his team to a thrilling comeback in Game Four of the series. But the media couldn't seem to agree about what his exact choice of words were:

"This is the Lebron James show," Arenas said. "We're all just witnesses."
Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

"This is LeBron's show, you know. We're just all witnesses," Arenas said with a broad smile, mimicking a catch phrase used in James' shoe ads.

"This is LeBron's world," Arenas said afterward, tongue comfortably in cheek and one particular shoe ad in mind. "We're just witnesses."
Baltimore Sun

"This is LeBron's show, you know," Arenas said through a babykins smile. "We're all just—we're just all witnesses."
Washington Post
(The folks over at Wizznutzz ponder the phrase babykins smile: "Is that the sort of face a little kid has after he makes in his pants?")

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