HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We realize that Pat Riley doesn’t particularly appreciate all the heat being thrown at LeBron James for coming to Miami, but the negative vibes the James relocation project generated this summer are real.
And it’s not just the fans of other teams (and their coaches and executives, mainly in Orlando) whose opinions about James have changed.
In January 2010, The Q Scores Company took a poll of the general population and found that 24 percent of people thought of James in a positive light, compared to a 22 percent negative opinion.
Henry Schafer, executive vice president of the company, told CNBC that the average sports personality has a 15 percent positive score and a 24 percent negative score.
“LeBron’s positive score at that time was the highest we had ever seen it,” Schafer said.
But since “The Decision” show on July 8, things have gone seriously downhill for the NBA star.
LeBron’s Q Score today?
Schafer says that now only 14 percent of the general population see him as a positive figure, a 41.6 percent drop, while 39 percent view him in a negative light, a 77 percent decline.
In fact, LeBron is now the sixth most disliked sports personality, according to The Q Score Company, behind Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Kobe Bryant.
But wait, there’s more:
Perhaps equally as interesting is the fact that James has apparently dragged down the general population’s opinion of his new teammates.
Dwyane Wade’s positive Q score went from 21 in January to 15 today.
His negative Q score rose from 18 in January to 25 today. Chris Bosh – whose move to Miami was part of what sealed the deal for LeBron – saw even a worse drop. His positive Q score only fell from a 13 in January to a 12 today, but his negative Q Score rose from 21 percent in January to 35 percent today.
Schafer says that LeBron’s “Decision” was one of the most detrimental acts – not related to any anti-social behavior — by a sports personality since the Q Scores were first developed more than 45 years ago.
Lucky for James, the only numbers folks are going to care about in a few days are how many points, rebounds and assists he can pile up playing alongside Wade and Bosh.
The only categories that will matter are wins and losses.
And the only score that will be important at the end of his journey is how many titles he and his new teammates can win together in Miami.