With local fans having watched the NBA Finals from their televisions — as opposed to in Toyota Center, with the Houston Rockets vying for a title — all eyes are now on the team’s offseason moves. In Houston, that means two words: LeBron James.
Sports analysts, gurus, and Sports Radio Caller Guy are pushing for the greatest basketball player on the planet to take his talents to the Bayou City. (Adding the the frenzy: Unverified reports even had James in Houston last week touring a famous Houston private school.)
Hoping to sway King James, local businessman and self-described “NBA superfan” Greg Andrews of S&S Industries is sponsoring what he calls a “full-court-press communications campaign that will center around how amazing Houston is, and the benefits for LeBron James and his family — if he chooses to play for the Houston Rockets.”
Andrews’s welcome wagon includes a series of six billboards that will be unveiled around town on June 22. He’s also pushing a social media campaign that’s tailored to local personalities, civic leaders, influencers, fans, and all Houstonians with the tag @striveforhtown on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Fans can also look for videos with the hashtag #HTOWNCROWN that “will be used as a gathering point for people to share their love for LeBron, LeBron’s family, and Houston,” according to a statement. Plans for a kickoff party on June 29 are also in the works.
“The campaigns that have been launched so far have been very amateur, small, and frankly a waste of money,” Andrews tells CultureMap — throwing a little shade at other grassroots campaigns he’s seen that were meant to woo free agents. He notes that if he was James, he would “come to a city that has the biggest campaign, a basketball team that already has some of the key pieces, and one of the most aggressive owners and general managers in the NBA.”
So if James lands in Houston, will Andrews want some love? “I can’t take all the credit, but I would like to think I played a role in the NBA soap opera or drama.”
And if James chooses — gasp! — Los Angeles, will Andrews turn his attention to another notable free agent, say, current Texas resident Kawhi Leonard? “No,” says Andrews plainly, “it’s LeBron or bust.”