Tuesday, July 06, 2010

This is embarrassing

LeBron Watch 2010! Or the only thing that could make me nostalgic for Favre Watches 2008 and 2009.
Apparently this has gotten so big that ESPN.com is citing an ESPN the Magazine report quoting anonymous sources saying that ESPN (the channel) is hosting a one-hour special so LeBron can announce what team he will sign with. ESPN is breaking news about it's own programming from anonymous sources! Yes, seriously.
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.
Based on the stuff I've seen real journalists do when it comes to the really important things like war and politics none of this surprises or really even bothers me at all other than to just roll my eyes. ESPN likes to try to maintain some sort of journalistic integrity but they're still relying on these athletes and broadcasting deals to bring in viewers. They benefit just as much as LeBron does by hyping this up into the big story of the summer. No doubt LeBron is a great talent but wasn't everybody just killing the guy for disappearing in a key playoff game? Has he won anything yet? Does he think he's really done anything to deserve a full hour of ego stroking before he announces what team will have the privilege of playing him tens of millions a year to play basketball?
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.
Proceeds will also go to Nike, Vitamin Water, McDonald's, LeBron's ego, the Walt Disney Corporation, LeBron's entourage, LeBron's entourage's entourage, and Stephen A. Smith.

The article continues by talking about Chris Bosh and LeBron:
The Cavaliers are hopeful that will change, because in Cleveland, Bosh can meet two of his top priorities: playing with James, and getting a six-year, $125 million contract.

If Bosh joins a team without doing a sign-and-trade, he will be able to sign only a five-year deal worth $96 million. He is determined not to leave that $29 million on the table, sources told Broussard.
Atta boy, Chris. Not that I blame him at all (I mean, when billionaire owners are crying poverty in order to get more tax breaks there are certainly worse scumbags out there) but it all seems more than a little absurd. Although perhaps not nearly as absurd as the Timberwolves signing freaking Darko Milicic to a $20 million deal! Yeesh, that's a post for another time.

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