Marsh, Blair E. “The Emperor and the Little King”, Boston College, 2010. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/1322.
This thesis analyzes the discourse surrounding two of the most celebrated professional athletes in the present generation. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are two highly talented basketball players who have both been hailed within the world of sports ever since they left high school and entered directly into the NBA. This study argues that the media has presented the careers of both Bryant and James in the form of carefully constructed and familiar narratives. The analysis incorporates concepts drawn from Walter R. Fisher, Seymour Chatman, Karyn and Donald Rybacki and Kenneth Burke, in order scrutinize the narrative elements existing within specific artifacts presented by the media. The analysis demonstrates how the selected artifacts uphold plotlines that are already recognizable to the audience. Through influential rhetorical devices, the media frames the careers of Bryant and James so that the two men are featured as the mythological heroes of their tales. This study reveals the power of framing a message as an identifiable narrative as well as the implications the construction has for both the athletes and the audience.