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SI Columnist Phil Taylor examines the world of athletic endorsement in the wake of Nike's successful $90,000,000 bid for high school basketball player LeBron James.

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tlevitz's picture

Out of hand. Out - of - hand. I've long thought the whole celeb endorsement thing has lost its punch, is over-blown, over-used and over-drawn; I only wish the buying public would prove me right.

God help me, I hope the Hummer-driving "King" James freakin' flops when he hits the pros. Serves us all right.

This isn't about pushing the right buttons anymore; it's about pushing all the wrong things.

Talent or no, no high school kid who's done nothing more than the whup the low-hanging shorts off his fellow adolescents in a basketball game deserves this kind of canonization.

I want to see the anti-LeBron. Find me a good-hearted and grounded kid, a real kid who doesn't want to make the pros but just wants to make the game. Give him a shoe deal. And price the damn shoes reasonably enough so that his peers don't have to go out and shoot somebody or sell drugs or go without food just to get a pair.

I've gotta question? What was LeBron wearing when he first set foot on the court? On second thought, don't answer that.