July 07, 2010
Of all the ludicrous things that have been done and said about free agency, possibly the ludicrous-est was that LeBron James(notes) was going to make his decision known this past Monday. Of course he wasn't — it was the day after a holiday when most people would be busy celebrating. There's no way a James decision would have been as watched as he'd have liked. "Oh, LeBron is choosing today. Cool. I'm going to stay in the pool, just let me know who he picks while I eat this delicious pulled pork sandwich" is probably how it would have gone. But now that we're in the middle of the week, there are no distractions. That means it's LeBron time.
And wouldn't you know it, he's taking full advantage of there being nothing happening right now. This Thursday night at 9 p.m ET, the most anticipated conclusion to a drama since "LOST" went off the air will be aired. From ESPN:
LeBron James is planning to announce the team with which he will sign during a one-hour special on ESPN Thursday night, ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard has learned through independent sources.
ESPN would only confirm that active discussions for the special are ongoing. But sources tell Broussard that representatives for James contacted the network, proposing that James makes his announcement during a 9 p.m. ET special.
Those sources said that James' representatives requested they be allowed to sell sponsorship for the one-hour special, with the proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and that ESPN agreed to the proposal but had not been told what James has decided.
Was there ever really any doubt that LeBron James would announce his decision on national television? There shouldn't have been. As friend of the blog Jonah Keri mentioned, this very scenario was raised by a Bill Simmons reader way back in November. If those guys could foresee this, then it's pretty predictable.
And while some people are needlessly cynical about the charity aspect of LeBron's show, at least it's there. At least he's using this display to do something good besides tell people how awesome he is, even if he is telling people how awesome he is. Giving to charity is good no matter what, especially if you're signing a contract for $100 million.
Surely hosting this show is going to get LeBron a few thousand extra haterz. A lot of people are already on the fence with James and commissioning a TV special isn't going to convince those people that he's not the biggest bro in the NBA, which he is. But really, this is such a no duh thing that's happening that no one should be surprised it exists. Of course LeBron James is going to ask ESPN to broadcast his decision, and of course ESPN is going to say yes. It would have been more surprising if it didn't happen.
But the real question is are you going to be watching? I will, but mostly in hopes of a Betty White cameo.