A tale of two Nike phenoms: Lebron James lives up to expectations while Wie fails
Nike bets on teenaged athletes much like we might wager on greyhounds at the dog track. It can be pretty speculative, especially when talent scouts are snooping around inner-city middle-schoolers. But the dividends pay off mightily when you put your chips into prospects like Tiger Woods and now Lebron James.
If anyone didn’t see Lebron’s performance Thursday (the same Thursday his Nike sibling Michelle Wie made a mockery of the LPGA, it was one of the most dominant performances in sports in recent memory, as he scored just about every point in the fourth quarter and two OTs to take the win on the road. Everyone knew the Pistons had no chance in game 6.
In his four years in the NBA, the annointed “King James” has taken the Cleveland Cavaliers from one of pro sports’ sorriest franchises in one of the most failured sports towns to the NBA finals. Nike’s bold “I am a witness” marketing campaign it rolled out last year looks spot on.
Nike signed Wie soon after Lebron around her 16th birthday and it’s hardly been a success. I keep thinking there’s a three-year reality show being filmed about her and no one’s telling us about it until it’s all over: nothing but a bunch of quacking and whining. While there are always twists, the payoff never lives up to the premise.
You have to wonder how different the results would be if Nike had laid off the pressure on signing her until she was 18, like Lebron. She would have probably won some amateur events and had been a little more prepared to enter the international sports world - not embellishing injuries to avoid further embarrassment.
At present, Wie looks like little more than a cautionary tale, but it’s safe to assume Nike and other corporations won’t get gun shy about chasing young talent long after she’s out of the spotlight entirely, because another “phenom” is always right around the corner.
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This unnamed amateur golfer also qualified for the U.S. Open and had to withdraw after one round during this period. What a waste.
Can anyone name this golfer?
1. Do you believe Wie should have finished her round and then that she should have been banned for a year even though she had made it clear she was playing at less than 100% in an interview before the tournament?
2. You have stated that NIKE signed Wie soon after they signed James. But the times between those signings was greater than the time between the Wie signing and today. That would make the present closer than soon after the Wie signing. Shouldn't we wait to judge. Plus if James is a great champion whether he wins this year or finishes second, wouldn't that make Wie a great champion too?
3. James plays in the NBA. It is a good thing players in the NBA never fall to the floor after a collision embellishing any injury they may have recieved in the collision.
It's convenient to forget that Wiesel has not earned any of her appearances as they were all gratuitou$ invitations, wink wink. But she's suppose to be the dominant champion prodigy phenom. Where's the prodigy phenom in her game for the last year? It's definitely not in her post cut interviews where she's competing for the world record in saying "like" and "you know".
- Waipahu, Hawaii
By the time he got to the the Tour, obviously he had learner a few things...2 wins in 7 tournaments; woon his first major as a pro by 12 shots. Again, what your frickin' point. Wi Wie is in her second year as a pro--you are delusional as she is.
If you want to get out of the bunker remember, feet, hips and shoulders left of the target, open the club face, aim at the sand just behind the ball and follow through on the swing. Avoid striking loose impediments on your take away and avoid a two stroke penalty in the hazard.
A short while back, you boldly predicted that Bubbles would show up to play golf, but you didn't say when or where.
What is the latest skinny in the saga of Bubbles the Infirm?
If her 'Team' had devoted energy to her development as golfer, the money would take care of itself. Instead, they chased the money and may have potentially done irreversible damage to her psyche.
I'd have to agree with you that Bubbles and her parents and agents have taken the right course of action IF the only consideration was to make as much money as possible and make it as quickly as possible by whatever means available.
Certainly, it is highly unlikely that Bubbles could have ever won the more than $20M she reportedly has scammed if she had stuck to golf alone.
So, yes, BJ, Bo, and Bubbles are a hugely successful team.
Using those same criteria, Michael Milken, Marc Rich, Pincus Green, and Al Capone were roaring successes, while Father Damian, Albert Schweitzer, and Mother Theresa were abject failures.