Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Notes and Links: Who Will Be LeBron James's Next NBA Franchise?

"The Decision". LeBronapalooza. LeBronageddon. Whatever you want to call it, it's impossible to escape.

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


  1. And to think...he probably/might wont/not go anywhere. I've followed this drama for too long...i want some more drama

  2. more, or different?

    I do think the latest developments are good for the KNicks. how can lebron re-sign with cleveland with miami raising the stakes? he needs to shake it up ....

  3. Cavs FTW7/07/2010

    On the flip side, how can LeBron leave his hometown crushed via national television? A donation to the Boys Club would not be enough to clean up that PR mess.

  4. That's true. But that would imply he could never leave Cleveland, because there's no way to depart without making the entire state of Ohio cry. And at 25 it might be easier to attribute that to growing pains.

    I'm also encouraged by the dour tone of the cavs beat writer. he (lebron) just got on twitter, relaunched his website. feels like someone packing his bags and getting his business in order, not settling in for another home-cooked meal.

  5. I want him to change squads...w/ Boozer to Chicago- I think he needs to make that move-best opp to win now.

  6. the Boozer move is scary. certainly for the Cavs. everyone is getting better, and the Cavs can't get better. not with studs like the other teams are adding.

    but i feel with all the "Event" planning, seems like the boozer signing would be late in the game to force a change of mind. i don't think Lebron's going to bed tonight still pondering his choice for an event he scheduled days ago (and possibly long before that). the bulls are probably making the hail mary play to get lebron's attention again (and sure, it could work). but they still don't have a shooter to stretch the court, and don't think they'll have $ to add one with james and boozer aboard. they might actually be better off with boozer and someone like Ray Allen or Miller at this point. which is to say boozer is good for them regardless.

    i still think amar'e makes the knicks a great basketball move, in addition to the other NYC stuff. STAT's the most talented teammate he's had, plus a young shooter in galinari, plus flexibility to shape the roster. bulls don't have a shooter, miami won't give him the same credibility, cavs have no flexibility.

  7. Lebron
    ...Not a bad core unit-.500 team last yr despite injury bug

    ...promising? who else they gonna get to convince the king? I feel the NY vibe but this doesnt make bball sense. $$$sense = Yes

    ...good team, good regular season team, not gonna beat C's,Magic and definitely not LA.

    He should jus go to LA...clip show baby!

    *im over analyzing this ...hve to wait till tomorrow..gotta gt back in class.

    besides, is anyone/team gonna f w/ my lakers?

  8. Gasol/Kobe is tough to beat.

    It's a good "What If" comic to imagine what if Gasol wasn't given away to the Lakers. Wasn't Kobe imploding before that happened? in the same position Lebron's in since the post-shaq era. Now he's the contemporary gold standard...

    your analysis is about right though. but it's about skill sets, not just players. lebron and rose are somewhat redundant in terms of how they play. as are boozer and noah. and still no shooter, and they're locked in as well.

    the knicks have a question mark that can be converted into a stud next year should lebron join. carmelo's been mentioned. this case i think a ? is as good or better than what the bulls got.

  9. back one last time:
    Lebron 2 MIA- absolutely nuts, yet probable
    Lebron 2 CHI- makes most bball sense(sticking to my guns here)
    Lebron 2 NYC- make 30 mil people jizz in their pants
    Lebron anywhere but CLE- suicide rate increase in Ohio

    To do this all on LIVE TV- wht a joke, im startin to turn on LBJ like when MJ spoke at his hall induction.

    this is crazy...tonight @ 9 it'll b crazier

    if u had to call it, only one way, where does he go?

    bill simmons breakin it down:

  10. re. simmons: Yeah, that one and the original Lebron's Choice piece were great profiles on the situation.

    but I wouldn't put money on anything here. Just keeping the faith. I'm happy with Amar'e and having a watchable team.

    I guess it feels like that Eddie Murphy bit. he talks about if you haven't had crackers in a while, and someone gives you a ritz, you're gonna -- *feverishly eats ritz cracker, wide maniacal eyes, obsessively picking at the crumbs in his teeth* -- be all enthused about a "Regular ol' ritz cracker" ...

    I'm good on some eatable crackers. a foundation, something to build on. i was 'cosmically sobbing' on freedarko about the Thomas era a few years ago --
    (for those just passing by, I'm a big fan!) -- I'm just happy to be in some clear air space. able to see light. etc.


Related Posts with Thumbnails