Best ‘bike lobby propaganda’ ever? NBA star LeBron James bikes to work

LeBron James (R) and his publicist.
(Photo by Jack Balayla, Twitter)

LeBron “King” James is arguably the biggest star in the NBA. So when the Miami Heat player was spotted by a fan riding his bike to the arena for a game last night, it was sort of a big deal.

The photo was snapped by Jack Balayla (@jackNruth on Twitter) and from there it went to the Palm Beach Post newspaper and now it’s making headlines on ESPN and NBA.com. Adding to the mystique of the bike ride is that, during the game, James made one of the most amazing plays ever.

According to reports, James decided to bike into work because of traffic snarls caused by the Miami Marathon. But, in a post-game interview shared by ESPN James made it seem like the ride was no big deal.

“Did you have fun riding your bike to the game?” a reporter asked.

“Fun? I mean, I do that.. I do it all the time.”

I loved James’ answer. The reporter couldn’t fathom that riding a bike is simply how James decided to get to work and he didn’t do it just to have “fun.”

It’s always interesting and revealing to see how the media responds to situations like this.

One fan blog, The Bleacher Report, covered the story with headline: “LeBron James Channels His Inner Child by Biking to AA Arena.” While that might annoy bike advocates, you’ll be happy to know that the author ended his post by writing:

“I’m not going to lie, now I feel like riding my bike to work. All I need is a bike and a job that isn’t confined to my home office.”

Aaron Naparstek, founder of Streetsblog, had this to say via Twitter this morning:

“Possibly the most powerful piece of Bike Lobby propaganda ever (or until Beyoncé and Babé-Z are spotted on a bakfiets).”

He might be right.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

Thanks for reading.

BikePortland has served this community with independent community journalism since 2005. We rely on subscriptions from readers like you to survive. Your financial support is vital in keeping this valuable resource alive and well.

Please subscribe today to strengthen and expand our work.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

19 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Alan 1.0
Alan 1.0
12 years ago

Fun

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

(I just think it’s sort of ironic that enjoying a bike ride could possibly be taken as some sort of put-down or slight.)

Darne3ll
Darne3ll
12 years ago

It’s great that Lebron rode his bike, but is it a publicity stunt? According to Deadspin.com, Lebron’s riding partner was his publicist and apparently, the Heat alerted the media that he was riding before any pics were taken. Lebron also has an ownership stake in Cannondale.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Reply to  Darne3ll

I could actually care less if it was a publicity stunt or not. He’s out there on a bike and people are noticing that’s good enough for me.

As for his stake in Cannondale… I wonder why he’s clearly not riding a Cannondale.

Alan 1.0
Alan 1.0
12 years ago

Look again…his ride looks like the bike in that link posted by “d” in this thread. 🙂

Darne3ll
Darne3ll
12 years ago

Lebron is riding a Cannondale – the King James 29er mentioned by “d,” above.

Al from PA
Al from PA
12 years ago
Reply to  Darne3ll

Maybe he’s a part owner of Cannondale because he likes to ride bikes.

Marissa
Marissa
12 years ago
Reply to  Al from PA

I hope so!!
I tweeted Cannondale and told them to get LBJ to DC for the Bike Summit and amp up the bike commute promotion. Too bad Cannondale doesn’t have much selection for town-style bikes.

SilkySlim
SilkySlim
12 years ago

Personally, I have seen no correlation between bike commuting and one-handed, alley-oop slam dunks.

d
d
12 years ago

Mr. James became a part-owner of Cannondale in 2007 and claims to ride regularly to supplement his training regimen.
Here’s a link to the sweet oversized “King James” 29er they built for him: http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?id=/photos/2007/tech/news/03-28/LeBronsBike.

daisy
daisy
12 years ago

His commute is three miles, which makes all this extra funny. It’s not like he has that far to go.

Marissa
Marissa
12 years ago
Reply to  daisy

Three miles is far to non-bike commuters, and a lot of people live within 5 miles of work.

“24% of all trips are made within a mile of the home, 40% of all trips are made within two miles of the home, and 50% of the working population commutes five miles or less to work.” – http://1world2wheels.org/get-involved

Kristen
Kristen
12 years ago
Reply to  daisy

So… does that mean my 5-mile commute is not worthy of being called a “real” bike commute?

Opus the Poet
12 years ago
Reply to  Kristen

No, it just means that like LeBron’s ride it’s “no big thing”. Just like my 3 1/2 mile one way ride to church every Sunday.

JRB
JRB
12 years ago

I think its great that James is being seen out riding his bike, regardless of whether its a publicity stunt. It makes a great juxtaposition to the many professional athletes seen driving luxury SUVs. Despite what we might wish, celebrities do influence people’s opinions and behaivors and I think it can’t do bicycling anything but good when famous people are seen riding.

captainkarma
captainkarma
12 years ago

A slow news day?

Mike
Mike
12 years ago

He should get nothing but props. He likely has a stable full of exotic cars to choose from but he chose a bike. Even the most bike centric person on earth must have wondered what it would be like to sit behind the wheel of a ferrari. Come on, be honest

Opus the Poet
12 years ago
Reply to  Mike

I have driven a Ferrari and it’s freaking awesome, on a race track. On a regular road it’s frustrating as hell because you have so much potential with no way to even approach using it. My little Fiat 500 powered sports car I had when I was a teen was way more fun because with the tiny motor and tires you were much closer to the limits of performance when just driving on the road. Of course the fact that that car killed the first 5 owners in single-car wrecks might have had something to do with it…

michweek
michweek
12 years ago

Whelp. I never enjoyed a car commute but i always have fun riding my bike to work.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
12 years ago

Awesome. We need more publicity like this.