LeBron James is no stranger to social media drama. A recent Instagram story has added fuel to the fire of rumors about the King’s unhappiness in Cleveland.
“When you become lazy it’s disrespectful to those who believe in you.”
Alone, those words can provide a motivational kick in the pants as well as a welcome reminder that we’ve all got people behind us who want us to succeed.
When posted to LeBron James’ Instagram stories, however, the words become layered with cryptic meaning and hidden messages. His words leave us on a search for clues, digging through past history and quotes, pouring over game tape for anything that can lead us to discover the intended target of LeBron’s subtweet.
Has he snubbed any teammates for high fives? Was that an eye-roll we just saw at a lackadaisical defensive play? Has he walked into the front office recently only to be surprised by a lack of phone calls offering trade proposals to any team that will listen?
This time around a simple “I like Arthur” from James won’t be enough to get him off the hook.
LeBron has a well-known history of subtweets. And we eat it up. Every time LeBron takes to social media with a non-direct thought about teamwork, chemistry, or “fitting out” we turn into internet detectives. James knows this, and he uses it to play us perfectly. He’s referred to his posts as “Da Vinci Code tweets” and said it’s fun for him.
It can’t all be fun though. We can’t imagine what it would feel like to disappoint LeBron James, especially if he believed in us. He’s one of the greatest athletes of all-time, playing for his place in history as his career enters his final chapters. We wouldn’t want to be responsible for any potential knocks on his resume when his career is finally done.
There’s some brilliance in LeBron’s style of subtweet-motivation. By never specifically calling anyone one publically, he’s potentially calling everybody out. He doesn’t name names, leaving not only fans and the media to speculate about his intended target, but his teammates as well. It can make them question their current effort, increase their drive, and reinforce the fact that yes, LeBron does believe in them.
And you better not continue to let the King down.