Powerade billboard allows LeBron James to haunt Boston-area drivers from on high

Dan Devine
July 12, 2012

It's a good thing driving into Boston on I-93 is always such a pleasant, painless, traffic-free experience (especially in the summertime!) and that Massachusetts drivers are celebrated the world over for having the patience of saints. Because if neither of those things weren't 100 percent true, the sight of a Powerade billboard congratulating LeBron James on winning his first NBA championship might irk some Commonwealth motorists.

Especially, you know, after James' Miami Heat got to the NBA finals by dispatching the hometown Boston Celtics (for the second straight year) in a grueling, seven-game Eastern Conference finals slugfest.

Especially after that series saw LeBron turn in one of the best single-game playoff performances in recent memory in Game 6 on the road at the TD Garden — a building, by the way, that sits just three miles away from the electronic billboard's Medford, Mass., location, according to Matt Burke of Boston's version of the free daily Metro newspaper, who spied the ad Wednesday.

And especially after watching James' Heat pick up one of Boston's top guns — former All-Star shooting guard Ray Allen, who teamed with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to usher in a new "Big 3" era in Boston that resulted in five straight playoff berths, two trips to the NBA finals and a world title in 2007 — for the low, low price of $9.5 million over three years. That's a discount rate amounting to roughly half the annual salary the C's were reportedly prepared to offer the NBA's all-time leading 3-point shooter, which, again, is the kind of thing Boston fans might get steamed about if they weren't generally placid and hadn't been hearing about it on TV, on local sports radio and on the Internet constantly for the past week. A little salt in a still-open wound, yes?

As Galen Moore of the Boston Business Journal noted, Powerade's a Coca-Cola company. Maybe it's time for the Hub to become a Pepsi town?