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LeBron now sixth most hated sports figure according to Q Score

Sep 14, 2010, 11:08 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for LeBron_Heat.jpgIt didn’t take a rocket scientist to know that LeBron James’s popularity had taken a hit in the wake of his move this summer and “The Decision.” The ability to read and log on to message boards could have told you that.

Now we have some numbers to back it up.

CNBC’s sports business reporter Darren Rovell got LeBron’s Q Score numbers, which show his popularity nationally. And things aren’t good.

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…

 “LeBron’s positive score at that time was the highest we had ever seen it,” [Q Score Company executive vice president Henry] Schafer said….

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.

“Instead of his change to the Heat being seen as the best way he can win a championship, many have looked at it and how he chose to announce it as a selfish move,” Schafer said.

LeBron took less money to play with the other elite players and give himself the best chance to win a title. Those are things we generally laud in our sports stars (that “we expect stars to do it in one place” farce flies in the face of history). The fact this whole summer has become a LeBron negative had more to with how the announcement was handled — having the teams come to him in a very public pitch process followed by an hour long television special came off as incredibly egotistical. The backlash at that bled over into the choice itself.

But no need to tell you that. You clearly are already a hater. And it really doesn’t matter because in the fall you will all tune in to watch him.

  1. McDaddy - Sep 14, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    Stuck in Utah (you poor fellar),
    Of course I was not referring to the Laker fans. If you are
    a Laker fan – you are going to love the guy no matter what, and
    deservedly so. Kobe has been huge for the Laker organization.
    I don’t like the guy because I am a Celtic fan, but I have much
    respect for Kobe as a basketball player. He is one of the best
    I’ve ever seen play. But I bet a big percentage of his jersey
    sales are black youth. And why not? Most people where I live
    are not basketball fans but are aware of Kobe. Have heard a
    lot of negative comments from whites but never from a black man.
    Just my limited experience. “Screw all that white bros think”:
    it is reality with the older generations, maybe not with the
    younger people – being stuck in Utah has perhaps distorted
    your since of reality.

  2. ronald - Sep 14, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    U should know;knicks fan

  3. Bob Blick - Sep 14, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    Beth – Are you on an island somewhere where news doesn’t get to you? He signed with Cleveland for minimum years and then refused – REFUSED – to help recruit any free agents. When any the Cavs were trying to get asked him if he was staying – he wouldn’t answer. Then he goes to Miami – signs for 6 years – and starts recruiting!
    You want to still admire the guy – do it. But get your facts straight. The Cavs tried so hard to please him that they put themselves into a bind and were unable to compete for free agents once he signed elsewhere. That’s your hero?

  4. McDaddy - Sep 14, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    I think I have missed the obvious on the whole ‘Kobe is one of
    the most hated but sells the most jerseys’ paradox. Could it
    be that is has do something with L.A. being a huge jersey
    market? There are a lot of Laker fans out there – even outside
    L.A.? You are probably right. Basketball fans, who are Laker
    fans also, especially younger people who are not as racist,
    buy Kobe’s jersey because he is the best player. Paradox solved.

  5. Tom B. White - Sep 14, 2010 at 3:47 PM

    Notice how they’re all Black males. I say hatred is about fear.

  6. ALLOVER lbj nutz - Sep 14, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    Dude… LBJ is going to put MJ and KObe legacy to shame…20 yrs from LBJ will be the most popular sports figure in the country hate all you want but your kids will be fantasizing about LBJ… PEACE HATERS!

  7. effhaters - Sep 14, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Does wishing bad apon James make you any better? hell no. does hating him make him play any worse? no. keep talking the unnecessary trash. athletes FEED off haters… it getting you NO WHERE.. that is all! (:

  8. JR in OHIO - Sep 14, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    He has every right as you stated. It is my right to hate him.

  9. RaiderRow - Sep 14, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    Come on, nobody watches basketball anymore anyway. Who has time to watch an 82 game season where losing 10 games in a row means nothing. That’s why we have the NFL. You only watch basketball from the conference finals onwards. I never liked lebron, he always made too much of an effort to hide his arrogance. He’s going to lose out on a bunch of sponsorship deals, that’s for sure!

  10. cant-wait-for-new-season - Sep 14, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    I don’t hate LaBron. Honestly, I think the media is creating a story again.

  11. Patrick - Sep 14, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    well said

  12. C - Sep 14, 2010 at 6:22 PM

    Help? He wanted help? Where did the Cavs finish in the standings? He didn’t want help, he wanted the easy route. He wanted the pressure off of him and on others. Miamia is, and always will be, Dwayne Wade’s team as long as he is there. LeBron’s shoulder’s couldn’t handle the expectations!! No worries, I know Dwayne Wade can…he’s been there, done that against my Mavs. Go ahead, give LeBron a paper trophy and let him parade around thinking he won something. Heck, we could just let his Heat play a division II schedule to make it even easier on him!! Thank goodness he doesn’t do the NBA schedule or they probably would.

  13. WORK-A-HOLIC - Sep 14, 2010 at 6:44 PM


  14. William Hansen - Sep 14, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    How silly can people get to be. I don’t know James, but I don’t hate him, only the ass holes hate him, so I;m sure he doesn’t care, most of the haters must belong to the Tea Party, their the dumb people of America, thank goodness there are so few of them.

  15. LBJDOUCHE - Sep 14, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    Who cares about Leboring James….or for that matter pro basketball. Its glory days are far behind. Tattooed punks with a great deal of wealth ho won’t play if tey have a hangnail. It is a waste of time to tune in and certainly a waste of hard earned money to watch them play in person.
    The prioritesin this country are very skewed when owners pay million for pople to put a ball in a hole… while there are so many socal problems.
    Lebron James did what he thought was right… i applaud him for that. However, he traded his legacy of a a great player for championships.. it will not matter now how many championships he wins, how many scoring titles, how many MVP’s …he will go down in history as a person who sold ut to win all of those material things and therefore will alwyas be know forever and all time as a self centered loser with lots of hardware….the world will be better off when he finally contracts an incurable disease and passes from the face of the earth!
    thank you and good night!

  16. whuteva - Sep 14, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    actually you guys are forgetting another major market that sells a boatload of kobe jerseys “ASIA” kobe is considered an icon there and as a marketing analyst i can tell you that market is a gold mine for the NBA over there they dont care white black purple or green they love kobe and they buy his jerseys like they are going out of style

  17. McDaddy - Sep 15, 2010 at 8:29 AM

    Good point. Myself, I have never understood why Kobe is so hated.
    He may come off as arrogant. I would say he has confidence and no
    reason to hate him. He is a worthy opponent for the Celtics.
    Have enjoyed the two L.A. – Boston finals immensely.

  18. geo59 - Sep 15, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    I hope that you are happy being part of America’s racist club. Your article above is pathetic. You and your media cohorts have spent the last six months trying to discredit and malign Lebron, who’s just a kid who can play basketball, trying to win a championship. Did you happen to notice that all the other six most hated sports figures are black? You, the GOP, the Tea Party, and a whole lot of other Americans are just racists, who hate to see a black person make more money than you do.
    Furthermore, your article above is completely unprofessional. The grammar and syntax is pathetic. You don’t deserve to be paid.

  19. Lion Woods - Sep 15, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Calvin Johnson made the catch and it should have been a TD. Lebron who?

  20. Marcus - Sep 15, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    I am a black male who also is a Kobe bryant fan and i couldn’t disagree more with the statement of white people disliking kobe more. We do buy jerseys and tickets but not more than white people. I live in milwaukee one of the whitest and segregated cities in the U.S. I got to the Lakers-bucks game (in 2008-2009) early and stood near the entrance, a half hour went by before one single person had on a non kobe bryant jersey. in fact it was so bad the local newspaper had an article for the game this past season (2009-2010) litterally asking people where is the support for the home team and players? If you have league pass and watch the LA road games its the same in EVERY city except for Boston. I vivdly remember the last season Michael was with the Bulls and there was always a huge amount of cheers for only him in every city, it is the exact same for Kobe. if you don’t believe me order NBA League pass and see for yourself

  21. Marie - Sep 15, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    Hmmm… so I see Ben Rapelisberger didn’t make the list…. or future KKK Grand Dragon Clay Matthews (haha funny joke)…

  22. John - Sep 15, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    Michael Vick – Hated for dog fighting.
    Tiger woods – Hated for cheating on his wife.
    Terrell Owens – Hated for being a homophobe
    Chad Ochocinco – Hated for being too emotional
    Kobe Bryant – Hated for winning and cheating on his wife
    Lebron James – Hated for switching teams.
    Seriously are these are the worst crimes any athlete has done.
    So bad that they are the most hated athletes in America.
    And there are no other popular athletes out there who have done worse?
    To me the only bad thing (BUT NOT A CRIME) is cheating on your wife.
    Their must be something else that these men are hated for.

  23. Anonymous - Sep 15, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    i dont get it, lebron and kobe r in the most hated sports players, jeez ppl, wat r u thinking?

  24. houva - Sep 17, 2010 at 3:03 AM

    What about the rapist who plays football? Oh yeah! He one of the other guys and he gets a pass. This is pure ande simple you know what! Then there is the other guy with the huge neck who hit steriod laced home runs and who now has a MLB coaching job. Right! He is one of them also and it doesen’t matter to anyone. Also there is the lying pitcher who was injected by his trainer and tried to blame his wife for his steriod use. One of them so who cares! then there is the guys who really hustled when he played baseball in Ohio while gambling on his own team. Right again! One of them and it’s all good.
    what a bunch of horse @#$%!

  25. keith - Sep 18, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    well Jonh i agree with you for the most part but what vick did was bad..killing the dogs and in the fashion he did…most serial killers start killing animals first the move to human…tigers and idiot cuz i f this was back in the day he would be a slave like every1 else…it goes to show u that success does not bring intelligence…kobe i really do dislike cuz the guy snitch on shaq when he got caught cheating…then helped to get shaq kicked out of L.A. so he can get some of the shine in the plays because all three times the won the title,shaq was the final mvp. kobe did all this to chase jordan’s legacy, but when he get shaq off he scores 35 points per game, and even score 81 in a game, but did not make the playoffs….then he threatens the team sayin he will leav if they dont get him help…Pau gasol is the mvp of that team…not kobe. chad and terrell arent bad guys…neither is lebron he left the team because while evey1 was gettin stars like wade gettin shaq,melo gettin iverson then billups, lebron got nobody…i mean dwight howard got vince carter. then that dummy that own the cavaliers didnt want to trade jj hixen to get amare studamire…the guy that score 40+ on the lakers in the playoffs…im not mad…nat mad at all

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