To prepare for this season, LeBron James went on a special diet to lose weight and gain a sleeker frame. James said he went 67 consecutive days eating only meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.
No mention of McDonald's.
That was a contrast to his eating habits when he entered the league as an 18-year-old. Asked before Tuesday's game in Detroit about how old he was before he got serious about lifting weights, James, according to Cleveland.com, said: "Umm, 24. I ate McDonald's my first couple years in the NBA. I didn't stretch. It didn't matter. I was 18 and I could do whatever I wanted to."
Many men, particularly after turning 30 as LeBron did in December, can appreciate what he's saying. The metabolism just doesn't rev the way it used to, and cutting back on the Big Macs is just a matter of being practical and aging wisely.
But most men don't have a multi-million-dollar sponsorship deal with McDonald's like LeBron does. While LeBron hadn't explicitly dissed McDonald's in his answer about fitness and nutrition, it hardly cast his sponsor in a favorable light.
Give credit to LeBron for scrambling quickly to repair the damage. When a reporter followed up by asking when was the last time he ate at McDonald's, LeBron went into full pitchman mode:
"Every day. Every day. Every day. I had it this morning. Egg and sausage McMuffin. All day."
This McDonald's incident isn't quite as embarrassing as the one James had last spring with Samsung, another of his sponsors.
When he experienced trouble with his smartphone, LeBron posted a tweet to vent: "My phone just erased everything it had in it and rebooted. One of the sickest feelings I've ever had in my life!!!
Realizing this wasn't the smartest move for one of Samsung's most recognizable spokesmen, James deleted the tweet, but not soon enough to avoid it being screengrabbed.
In each case, LeBron was able to laugh it off. Short of doing a blatant plug for Burger King or Apple, James is going to be on solid ground with these sponsors.