This Day in History: Four Years Ago Lebron James Made “The Decision”

Black tank top or white?  Let’s go with white.

July 10, 2010–On this day NBA superstar Lebron James added the phrase “The Decision” to the cultural lexicon when he announced to friends and family gathered at his newly purchased Miami estate that he was going to “take my talents to The Gap to buy some new tank tops and maybe a couple pairs of cargo shorts.”

The NBA star and newly-signed member of the Miami Heat, with whom he would go on to win a pair of NBA titles, had been mulling whether to purchase the clothing items at The Gap or American Eagle.  He had long been a regular American Eagle customer, but a recent run in with a store manager had soured him on the popular clothing store.

“Lebron had been a loyal American Eagle customer for years,” recalls Rich Paul, James’ agent, “But he had repeatedly asked management to expand inventory and add items that make him look really good.  They were shuffling their feet and ultimately Lebron started looking elsewhere.”

Coincidentally, The Decision came directly on the heels of an ESPN special, also dubbed “The Decision,” in which James chose to leave his team at the time, the Cleveland Cavaliers, for the Heat, where he joined fellow superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.  But it wasn’t until two days later, when he chose The Gap over American Eagle, that the phrase captured the American imagination.

“It was pretty controversial,” Paul says, “For Lebron to leave a place that he was so closely associated with by most people for The Gap.  He was called names like Benedict Arnold and Ray Allen.”

Later in the day James added to the controversy by announcing his intention to “take my talents to Burger King” for a Whopper and some fries.  James had long been a regular McDonald’s customer.

Subsequent decisions James made, including to “take my talents to Lowe’s” instead of the much closer and more convenient Home Depot and to “take my talents to see Wolf of Wall Street” instead of the much more culturally relevant 12 Years a Slave stained James’ legacy to many NBA fans.

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