My boy Leitch (who recently made his own commitment, for slightly less dollars) has been all over the King James beat for NY Mag. This comes a couple months after he co-authored the Magazine's cover story/pitch (where the image comes from). So you could do worse for a one-stop shop on all the nuts and bolts...
But it's not like you necessarily need a one-stop shop since everywhere has a little something-something to offer. Last night Julianne Moore was on The Daily Show, promoting her new movie "The Kids Are All Right". It's a movie that some might regard as important, offering as it does a modern take on the au courant issue of gay marriage and gay parenting in America. Still, the main topic of conversation was LeBron's Choice. And the best part was Julianne Moore being so eager/earnest to discuss it despite being somewhat ignorant to the nuance and variables of the story (for example, zero awareness of how signing Amar'e helps, not hurts, with LeBron). I suspect this means her native NY'er hubby might be paying more attention to #LeBron twitter alerts than his stunning Hollywood wife with a new movie out, and she's just trying to keep up with the slang of it all.
But maybe not. Maybe she's just got the fever like everyone else, but doesn't care enough to read every link and article. In any case it's further testament to how big the story has become. And it is amazing in terms of the simple reality: a 25-year-old kid is choosing where he's going to play basketball. That's all.
Of course, that's not "all". I personally can't help but look at the LeBron story with a Clay Shirky-like eye for broader psychological, sociological, and technological narrative takeaways. This tweet about LBJ representing "youth resiliency, free market capitalism, and socieconomic-ethnic ascendancy" from Slam Magazine columnist Sandy Dover (via Michael Tillery) frames LeBron as an American Hero the way you might look at an Oprah or a Jay-Z. And in the face of some beat writer backlash, it offers an alternative don't-hate-the-player-hate-the-game rational for cutting LeBron (and his "ego") some slack. Should he not play the media pick-and-roll game when it generates all this hype? More important: it's not just hype, or rather, this "hype" leads to very real money and opportunities, presumably for good and evil.
Seems to me this player who would call himself "King" is just playing ball to the best of his ability. Abiding by his ambition. Plus, all this hype is partially about the player, and partially a sign of the times. As J.A. Adande writes, "We've spent so long focusing on this summer of 2010 that we forgot the significance of the calendar year. It's the age of Twitter, iPhones and Slingbox." This after reminding us that LeBron is our first "Real World" superstar athlete:
"The Real World" has been on for 19 of LeBron's 25 years on the planet. He practically doesn't know life without it. He doesn't know an existence when private matters were just that, before every kiss and every spat were played out in front of the cameras. So it only makes sense that he would create a show to reveal his choice, that he would drag teams and fans along until the camera's red light comes on at 9 p.m. ET.It's a spectacle worth watching and mulling on, even after the buzz inevitably fades (like, by this weekend). I'm sort of blogging one-handed this week with a few deadlines on the table (finishing the book, yay!), so I prob won't have more to offer on "The Decision" besides these few links and notes. But luckily every single sports writer/journalist/blogger person (and their significant others) is on the case! And maybe the story will prove sturdy enough that there'll be more to talk about after the sun sets on LeBronageddon.
LeBron Watch Links:
Leitch at NYMag
The Knicks Blog
Cavs Insider Brian Windhorst, Twitter
Chris Broussard (ESPN), Twitter
Frank Isola (NY Daily News), Twitter
John Hollinger (ESPN), Twitter
Ian O'Connor (ESPN NY), Twitter
Posting and Toasting
Adrian Wojnarowski (Yahoo!), Twitter
Darren Rovell (CNBS Sports Business), Twitter
extra credit: The Ballad of Dontrevius Winters