If you remember the faraway time of July 2010 — Inception fever was sweeping a slightly confused nation, and Mel Gibson was teaching the world that there is indeed such a thing as bad press — then you might remember NBA superstar LeBron James made the notable and rather well-publicized decision to leave his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat as a free agent.
People in Cleveland were unsurprisingly miffed about that, and they’re still so upset that they can’t even find the humor in this image:
That is, of course, from ESPN the Magazine’s Marvel-themed NBA preview issue, on sale now. Not only is that a pretty clever homage to Amazing Spider-Man #50, it’s actually drawn by John Romita Sr. himself, the legendary artist who drew the original “Spider-Man No More” cover back in 1967. That is, as Miley Cyrus might put it, pretty cool. But as no less of an authority than cleveland.com reports (which calls the image a “gut punch”), some folks disagree. Well, at least the one folk quoted in this article:
But Cavs season ticket-holder Brian Barney, a downtown ad executive who saw the images online, was upset at what he considered a cheap shot.
“It’s belittling,” he said. “It seems mean-spirited.”
Every team gets a Marvelized pic in the issue, though as that article points out, the Cavs are “the only team report not to have an illustration of a current player or owner.” Other artists participating include Kaare Andrews, Skottie Young and Joe Quesada, an exciting prospect no matter who you root for, or which beloved hometown heroes you’ve lost in the off-season.