There are a lot of different ways to describe LeBron James and his popularity, but I think Charles Barkley wins the analogy contest with this. Asked on 106.7 The Fan about whether winning an NBA Title would help LeBron's image, Barkley explained it like so (via Sports Radio Interviews):
"If you’re successful, a lot of people aren’t going to like you. That’s just the way it is. I always used to use this analogy: Everybody hates the homecoming queen because she’s pretty. All the ugly girls hate the homecoming queen. And all the dumb kids hate the smart kids. That’s just the way it is. LeBron James, first of all he has to take some responsibility [for] the way he did the stuff last year leaving Cleveland, the decision, coming on stage talking about not five, not six, seven championships. So he deserves some blame, but like I say, he’s a great kid, he’s a great, great player. … If you look at his résumé right now, the only thing he’s missing is a championship, and he’s gonna get that done [Thursday]. And no telling how many championships they’re going to win. … I wish he had stayed in Cleveland, because those fans in Cleveland, man, they’re fantastic. They don’t even have real fans here in Miami, they’re front-runners. "
It's probably more complicated than that, yeah, but you have to appreciate the image of LeBron at prom, plus the gratuitous shot at Heat fans at the end. Isn't that why Barkley's the best commentator we have now? Check out the rest of his interview here.