Justin Sun, the Founder of the TRON Foundation, has never been one to let a monumental event or a chance to promote his company and digital asset pass him by. However, his latest promotional effort might have gone too far.
Early yesterday, the world was rocked by the death of 5-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant. Considered by many as the best to play the sport, Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash along with his daughter Gianna and seven other passengers on his private helicopter. Condolences have spread in like a flood since then, and Sun decided to weigh in with commiserations of his own.
Cheap Promotion or a Heartfelt Gesture?
Along with a picture of him and Bryant, Sun posted on Twitter yesterday, “Kobe, it was great to have met you in niTROn 2019. Mtg (meeting) you was one of my life’s greatest honor & privilege, I’ll forever remember us on stage discussing the future of blockchain. We’ll have a moment of silence in your honor during niTROn 2020. RIP.”
The TRON Foundation followed suit, announcing that the late basketball icon was a “member of the TRON family” and that they will be dedicating festivities at this year’s edition of their niTROn Summit- which will hold between February 26 and March 1 in Seoul, South Korea- to his life and legacy.
Kobe, was great to have met you in niTROn 2019. Mtg you was one of my life's greatest honor & privilege, I'll forever remember us on stage discussing the future of blockchain. We'll have a moment of silence in your honor during niTROn 2020. R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/oMqU9ZpkKh
— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) January 26, 2020
Crypto Twitter was having none of that. Sun’s tweets seemed to have stoked more negative sentiment than positive. Dovey Wan, a popular Chinese crypto insider and the head of blockchain investment firm Primitive Institute called Sun a “psychopath,” while one of the Business Development executives as the VERGE Currency called Sun a “sick individual” who was trying to drum up cheap publicity over Bryant’s death.
Bryant did interact with TRON while he was alive. As Sun posted, he was a guest at the NiTRON Summit 2019 in San Francisco, where he shared motivational nuggets to inspire young leaders and entrepreneurs at the event. But Bryant didn’t promote TRON or endorse it, at any point in time.
Sun’s Reputation Bites Him
While many people would have probably gotten away easily with such a message, it’s intriguing to think that the only reason this backlash is so prominent is because of the individual involved. The Chinese developer and businessman is known to take every opportunity to drum up any form of publicity for his business. He has ridden off the popularity of legendary investor Warren Buffett and climate change activity Greta Thunberg, going as far as publicizing his $1 million donation to her.
He’s also touted several business moves on Twitter, no matter how seemingly insignificant, to the ire of many. Perhaps had he sat this one out and waited a while before announcing.