NBA

LeBron James Is Subtly Trolling His Critics by Embracing a Controversy From Nearly 20 Years Ago

Despite proving to be one of the top NBA players of all time, LeBron James still has many critics. While he typically proves them wrong with his play on the basketball court, James is now actually trolling some of those critics with something he is doing off the court. He is doing this by embracing a controversy from nearly 20 years ago, too.

LeBron James’ Hummer became a big controversy when he was in high school

NBA star LeBron James at a Nike store in China.
NBA star LeBron James meets fans at a Nike store in China on Sept. 4, 2017. | Visual China Group via Getty Images

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LeBron James was the No. 1 overall pick with the Cavs in the 2003 NBA draft. However, before entering the league, he was a part of a controversy regarding a Hummer that he had started driving not long after he turned 18 years old.

According to Yahoo, with James not yet being an NBA player, the Ohio High School Athletic Association investigated the situation. This was to see if James violated any bylaws regarding amateurism, which would have been the case if he accepted a reward worth more than $100 for something he did athletically.

The OHSAA ended up determining that James’ mom took out a $50,000 loan and gave the Hummer to him for his birthday.

Fifteen years after James made that specific Hummer famous, it ultimately went up for action. The LA Times reported that the Hummer only had 28,532 miles on it, and the bidding started at $50,000. It was expected to sell for six figures, though, per Yahoo.

Despite this seeming to be a harmless situation, some of James’ critics have continuously brought this up over the years. He, however, has since trolled them in a big way.

He is the face of the Hummer EV

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During the 2020 Super Bowl, LeBron James became the face of the GMC Hummer EV, as he appeared in a 30-second ad for it.

“Any time I have any type of partnership, it’s always pretty simple: anything that’s organic and then is something that I have a good deal of respect for,” James said in a video for the Hummer EV.

GMC vice president of marketing Phil Brook then agreed that the fit between GMC and James is “organic.” 

“This vehicle and LeBron have something in common in that they’re game changers,” Brook said of James and the electric version of the Hummer in 2020, according to Automotive News. “He’s really changed the game of basketball, putting a stamp on it. At the same time, that’s what we think this vehicle is going to do for the truck market. So we think this is a really, really strong fit there.”

He continued: “At this point in time, he is associated with Hummer EV. We think that makes a lot of sense. That’s the relationship at this point in time. But it is a long-term relationship. It’s not just for the Super Bowl. We’ll be working with him going forward.”

So, LeBron James essentially went from causing controversy by driving a Hummer that he in no way could pay for prior to becoming an NBA star, to now getting paid by Hummer to endorse their vehicle as an NBA legend. That’s definitely a savage way to subtly troll your critics.

James has continued trolling them by narrating a new Hummer commercial, too. 

LeBron James is the narrator of a new Hummer commercial

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During the 2021 NCAA Tournament’s Final Four, LeBron James took part in a new commercial for the Hummer EV SUV. 

While James’ face was all over the Super Bowl ad in 2020, he was much more low-key in this new commercial. James simply just narrated it and his face showed for maybe half-a-second. Because of this, upon watching it, his fans may have recognized his voice but potentially wondered if it was even him. Well, per Mashable, James is, in fact, the narrator of the ad, as he is continuing his relationship with Hummer and continuing to subtly troll those critics who like to bring up that nearly 20-year-old controversy.

LeBron James has become an NBA legend. He is a four-time NBA champion and four-time NBA MVP. However, he has also become very good at subtly trolling his haters.