He who laughs last, laughs best…..
In a move that created a huge firestorm around then eighteen year old LeBron James, his mother Gloria, took out a $50,000 loan to buy her son a Hummer H2 as a birthday gift. Today in a huge announcement, LeBron became the face of GMCs new Hummer EV. LeBron made the announcement himself, via Twitter, and shared the new commercial in which he narrates.
For those of you who have followed LeBron since he burst on the scene as a highschool basketball phenom, you are fully aware of the relationship that LeBron and his mother has with the brand. Back in 2002, Gloria James gave her son a $50,000 pewter-colored Hummer H2 with multiple televisions.
In doing so, it raised the ire of those who could not comprehend nor accept this kid receiving such an extraordinary gift. The controversy created a media push that placed his family’s finances, or lack thereof, and their public assistance living arrangements in every publication and on the lips of every talking head on sports television. There was an investigation launched by the Ohio High School Athletic Association. There were many conversations centered around the hows and whys and why he did or didn’t deserve the truck. There was talk of improper benefits being received and rules being broken. But the truth is, Gloria received a loan using the biggest and safest collateral in the state of Ohio, LeBron himself. No one or nothing was a surer bet than LeBron and the banks and dealers knew it. And that assurance allowed Gloria to skate right on past the unfair rules of amateurism. And I believe this situation was a huge part of the driving force behind LeBron and his feeling towards amateur atheletes and their ability to capitalize off of their names and likeness, unlike himself. That aftermath of that birthday gift so many years ago helped shine a huge spotlight on the unfairness of amateurism. It also became a starting point on how people judged LeBron the kid and it carried over into his adulthood. It even gets mentioned in a negative way today when he talks of the dire situation of poor black people and their disenfranchisement in America. But regardless of what they say or do,when it comes to putting in work vocally, physically and financially for the Black community, LeBron is infallible. He is the biggest and most vocal athelete in the world, and outside of the great Muhammad Ali, arguably in history. In the commercial LeBron says “The real revolutionaries want to change the game forever.” And to think, that revolutionary spirit likely started with a 2002 Hummer. Talk about coming full circle…..
Tyrus Kennedy is a full time content creator for Black With No Chaser and the MFer in charge of Black With No Chaser Sports. He is currently in an entanglement between writing, video content creating and podcasting. Needless to say that he gets around.