If you have not heard LeBron James is going to announce which team he will sign with live on ESPN on Thursday July. 8th at 9pm eastern in a one hour special. The ESPN article linked below says that LeBron will make the announcement within the first 10 minutes of the special. I am not quite sure what to make of this special that LeBron is having on ESPN. Certainly a first of its kind in terms of announcing where a high priced free agent will sign. To me it seems like a a press conference would have done just fine, but the this type of special just shows again to me how society, in this case sports, has become even more media obsessed.
Granted LeBron has worked out a deal to have the revenue from the special go to the Boys and Girls Club. But the special itself to me seems that it kind of comes of as just an hour long infomercial for LeBron. As the quote below shows, people in the NBA are also skeptical about the one hour special.
Not everyone plans to watch the big announcement. The story has dragged on and dominated the headlines for months. It’s no wonder some have been turned off by his need for the spotlight and consider him a bit of a drama King.
“It’s gotten ridiculous,” Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy said. “It’s almost like a parody of itself, this whole situation now. Come on, an hour long? It takes 15 seconds to say I’ve decided to stay in Cleveland but we’ve got another 59 minutes and 45 seconds to, what? Promote LeBron James?
This quote from a piece from USA Today also highlights a bit of the problem I have with all the attention paid to where LeBron will go. How it is not being treated as news, but as endless coverage of this “saga”.
Long ago, this got out of control, a circus fanned by a communication age that can’t pause long enough to tell the difference between perspective and endless prattle. Or understand that some people — a lot of people — don’t live and die with where a basketball player’s next $100 million will come from. Not live and die 24/7, anyway.
This is not to suggest the future of James’ future isn’t fascinating news. Or that of Dwyane Wade. Or that of Chris Bosh. But it has not been treated as news. This has been presented and packaged as a national obsession, where a handful of free agents — and their camps — supposedly hold the fate of the NBA in their hands.
To really evaluate this special, guess will have to wait and see how it how it all comes across. For what it is worth I am not sure if I will watch it or not yet.