In the most highly-anticipated flag football ever, LeBron James' squad beat Team Durant 70-63 on Wednesday night in Akron.
Both NBA superstars -- who scheduled the game when it looked as if there might not be a basketball season -- appear to have emerged injury free. And, one would think, both would be basking in a bit of goodwill today for taking such a game to Akron. However, LeBron seems to have once again provided fuel to any fires previously kindled with his old Cavs jerseys.
After returning an interception 95 yards for six points, James chose to celebrate by imitating Bills receiver Steve Johnson's controversial touchdown dance.
In Sunday's loss to the New York Jets, Johnson celebrated a touchdown by acting out a nightclub incident three years ago when Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the thigh. The 25-year-old came under fire for the controversial celebration and provoked a scathing rant on touchdown dances from NBC's Bob Costas. Johnson was also reportedly fined $10,000 by the NFL.
With enough heat coming down on Johnson for the celebration that even he apologized, James' choice to replicate it says one of two things.
1) Despite having seen Johnson's score, James is so out of touch with mainstream opinion that he didn't know about the backlash and the perception that the act was classless.
2) James knew how many people were riled up by the celebration and did it anyway.
These possibilities actually recall the missteps of one of the biggest sports PR blunders ever, "The Decision." Was he oblivious? Or callous?
Coming off a loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals, James began poking fun at himself seemingly in an attempt to improve his image, even appearing in a McDonald's commercial in which he mocked the prediction he made of winning eight championships when he first signed with the Heat. That commercial along with playing in several summer league and charity games during the NBA lockout, apparently didn't heal all wounds, though.
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