The Decision: Lebroncalypse, Dan Gilbert and Comic Sans

In case you've been living under a rock the past week, LeBron James announced during a televised press conference last week that he would be playing for the Miami Heat next season. In case you've been living under a rock for the past eight years, LeBron James was such a good basketball player in high school that ESPN televised his team's games. And then he was selected number one in the ensuing NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, his hometown team.

For those of you who aren't NBA fans, which I know is most of the readers of this blog, the 2003 NBA Draft might very well be the best one ever. After James went first, Darko Milicic, who turned out to be a bust, was second, followed by Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, who are all household names by now. Four other all-stars were also picked in that draft. So to be the best player chosen in that draft seven years later is saying something.

The general consensus around the sports world, and I'm on the bandwagon, is that James made the right decision for him – playing with Bosh and Wade gives him a reasonable shot at winning a championship, plus he gets to live in Miami – but he could have done it in a much more classy way.

In fact, it would have been hard for him to do it in a less classy way. See, he had six teams courting him (Miami, Cleveland, the Clippers, Chicago, New York and New Jersey), and with the exception of Miami – whom he notified five minutes before announcing his choice publicly – everyone learned about his choice on national TV.

People started burning James's jersey in Cleveland, and a huge billboard of him came down pretty quickly as well. No, he didn't owe them signing a contract in a city where the team wasn't putting a championship-quality supporting cast around him, but maybe he owed the city a little class. Those other teams? Meh. But the city he grew up in and that made him famous? Maybe a little. But whatever. That's not the fun part of this story.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert rifled off an angry letter to Cavs fans. You might notice that, apart from promising a championship before James wins one (1. you don't promise a championship to your fans anyway, but 2. the Cavs have no championships in their 40 seasons; the Heat have one in their 22, and it was with Wade on the team), Gilbert wrote the letter in Comic Sans font.

This won him a fair bit of mocking. It's a fun, curved, spacious font that just doesn't get the angry vibe across, even in all caps. Once the letter came out, the font choice was trending higher on Twitter than James was.

I'm not going to hate on Comic Sans. After all, its creator, Vincent Connare, designed it from comic book lettering, figuring that it would appeal to kids.

It comes down to professionalism. Gilbert had the opportunity to take a more professional route than James did. He chose not too (and got slammed for $100,000 for it). And in making that choice, he opted for a, shall we say, less than appropriate design for his anger. James didn't sign his contract in crayon (I'm assuming). If you own a limo company aimed at corporate execs and formal occasions, you're probably not going with a pink-and-purple color scheme, dancing babies and curlique fonts for your website. If you're trying to get a C-level position at a Microsoft, your email address is probably not RainbowsNBunniesNDrugsOhMy@yahoo.com.

» For fun: Important U.S. documents in Comic Sans
» On James: Never Has Being a Sports Fan Felt So Stupid
» On Personal Branding: What do do when branded employees leave