Thursday, July 08, 2010

Courting Lebron James

posted by IntrinsicBent

Unless you've been in jail, a coma, or self imposed World Cup only binge, you know that the hottest sports question right now is where Lebron James will play next season.

Just like the networks clear out time when the president wants a word with the public, ESPN has cleared out an hour of poker it's valuable airtime for King James to let his subjects know where he's setting up court.

Since the end of the NBA playoffs, rumors have run rampant that Lebron could end up in Chicago, New York, Miami, or stay at home at Cleveland.  As of this writing, various Twits are tweeting that Newsweek has heard from numerous sources that he is going to Miami to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

This is not a new rumor, as Stephen A. Smith has been claiming this going on two weeks.  Chris Bosh has already done his deal.  The big question in everyone's mind has been whether or not Wade and James could co-exist long enough to win a ring.

Who really knows?  Lebron does.

I know Old Skool dudes (I am one) that curse 24 hour sports coverage as the cause of everything from the erosion of fundamentals in sports, placing self over team, and the focus on ginormous dollars earned for playing kids' games.

In a world where your sports hero can text you what he/she's having for dinner in 140 characters or less, there's a feast of information for your never ending appetite of news on your favorite player, team, or the gigantic symbiotic industries they have created.

25 year old Lebron grew up in this self promoting, brand building era. His high school had a cable deal to show their basketball team's (featuring Lebron) games.  His entry to the league was the biggest thing since Magic and Bird entered together. The tale of him and his four buddies playing together in travel ball and high school was even made into a documentary in 2008.

He lived up to the hype too, quickly taking his NBA game to a superstar level. He quickly showed he could lead his team and make money promoting his name's brand. Who can forget him going Eddie Murphy and doing all the parts in the successful Nike ad campaign "The Lebrons"?  He even hosted Saturday Night Live. He has his own puppet for crying out loud.

Why wouldn't he commandeer the four letter network and create all the buzz he can?  It's a little late in the game, but here's my help (free, or whatever) for Lebron:

Setup a panel like all the sports show formats do and have the seats filled with Lindsey Lohan, Brett Favre, a Soccer Nut, Justin Bieber, Woody from Toy Story 3, and some of those werewolf kids from the vampire movies.

Go all Donny and Marie variety show meets TMZ on it.

The balance of NBA power potentially shifts Thursday on ESPN somewhere between 9:00 and 9:15 pm Eastern.

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