LeBron James can make an unknown hip-hop artist’s career if he shares the music on his Instagram, but what happens when the NBA superstar uses his social media influence to rip an entrepreneur?
James strayed from his usual Twitter plaudits on Wednesday night to blast the QUBE Basketball Trainer — an unconventional cube designed to help youth basketball players improve the form, accuracy and rotation of their shot. The patent-pending training tool is being sold for $39 apiece.
This is a square basketball. Yes. Square. 🏀 pic.twitter.com/qLMcpVTydX
— Cheddar (@cheddar) September 12, 2018
LeBron joined the chorus, calling the makers of the QUBE “frauds” (NSFW language below):
Man please stop it!!! That’s bad karma for the game of PURE basketball! I’m sending the 👮🏾 👮♀️ 🚔 to apprehend the frauds now https://t.co/P30Q2LrlJO
— LeBron James (@KingJames) September 13, 2018
That warning went out to LeBron’s 41.4 million followers on Twitter, many of whom are aspiring youth basketball players. That could be enough to crush an entrepreneur who believes in his product. So, we reached out for comment from Charlie Wallace, QUBE’s inventor and CEO. Here was his response:
We have great respect and admiration for LeBron and what he’s accomplished on and off the court.
The QUBE Basketball Trainer is all about bringing “purity” back to the game in as much as we’re trying to help standardize the way players shoot a basketball.
LeBron’s skill set is one of a kind … obviously, most players aren’t so lucky. In fact, we ﬁnd that many players are self-taught when it comes to shooting. They see a player they like and try to copy his/her shot. In their mind’s eye it looks great, but in reality, it needs some work.
That’s why the “QUBE” is such a valuable tool. It provides all players, coaches (even parents of players) a simple, understandable, and affordable solution to making the great game of basketball more fun!
So that LeBron can witness the beneﬁts of the QUBE himself we are donating 4 QUBEs to his new I Promise School in Akron, Ohio.
If you’re in the “any news is good news” camp of public relations, then even LeBron’s negativity can lift your company’s profile, but it will be interesting to see how the QUBE’s sales rise or fall after the world’s best basketball player denounced it as fraudulent. It would be even more fascinating to see LeBron try training with one. Some of his new Los Angeles Lakers teammates might actually need it.
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