If LeBron James is looking to build on his supporter base, he is not doing himself any favours.
During the Cleveland Cavaliers convincing loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, the Cavs forward made a pledge for the best theatrical performance of the NBA playoffs to date.
Coming to the end of the first quarter in Game 3 of the Raptors-Cavs series, a scuffle between Cleveland's Tristan Thompson and opposition centre Bismack Biyombo prompted James to heroically rush to his teammate's defence.
However, when Toronto's DeMarre Carroll stepped in, it was James who appeared in need of assistance.
As Thompson turned to walk away from the dispute, he threw his arm back in an attempt to free himself from grabbing hands of the Toronto players, only to connect with the side of LeBron's head.
When did LeBron turn into Cristiano LeBron-do?!?!?— Tim Micallef (@tim_micallef) May 22, 2016
The 12-time NBA All Star, clearly under the impression that Carroll had struck him, then reacted with a performance even the king of dives, Cristiano Ronaldo himself, would have been proud of.
While he may have received a stern knock from Thompson's forearm, it would take a significant amount more force to warrant the 113kg LeBron's propulsion 10 metres across the court. The ref however, failed to call his bluff, slapping the Raptors with a technical foul.
Shortly after the incident, fans began to mock the two-time NBA champion on social media. While some were amused by his animated performance, others were just plain annoyed.
LeBron James quotes Jay-Z's "Streets is Watching" in regard to hard fouls pic.twitter.com/gORaViBclf— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) May 22, 2016
James wasn't making things any better for himself in the post-game interview, using a Jay Z quote to reference his own attitude to retaliation when things get heated on the court.
"At the end of the day I'm important to this team. I can't afford to react in any way that will get me thrown out of the game, but I will protect myself," James said.
"I always think back to the Jay Z phrase and a line had of 'If I shoot you, I'm brainless. If you shoot me, you famous'.
"What am I to do? So that always plays in my head anyway time I feel like I want to react, I've got to keep my brain."
Is it any wonder people struggle to take a liking to 'King James'?