Sports Section – It’s All About LEBRON(tm) to Miami

Stuck at work, logged onto ESPN’s “The Daily Dime Live” webchat, listening to the annoying click sound of the chat forum (addendum – there is a sound button, which I used to turn off the sound effects, but only after becoming severely annoyed after 15 minutes.  Luckily, Prince is singing “Let’s Get Crazy” and my mood is saved).

So, as soon as ESPN announces where Lebron is going, you’ll have the news here on the Standard Standard sports service.

While we wait, here’s my opinion: if Lebron goes to Miami, the Heat will have three premiere players and a whole lot of nothing on the bench.  If he goes to the Knicks, he’ll play with Amare Stoudemire and possibly David Lee, and a whole lot of nothing on the bench.  If he goes to the Nets, he’ll have some fun young players as well as a billionaire Russian who will make Lebron a household name in Siberia, or at least Yakutsk (thank you, Risk the boardgame).   There are other possibilities (back to the Cavs, off to the Bulls, or a surprise move to the Clippers) but one thing is for certain: Lebron has inflicted some PR damage to himself with this method of announcing his free agent decision.

An hour long spectacle to announce his decision is like an hour long program by Warren Buffett to announce the next company he’s going to purchase.  It’s a completely baffling decision to try to bring attention to a decision making process made by cold, calculating millionaires (Lebron, the team owners, other players, David Stern, ESPN executives).  Regardless of his choice (and it’s been announced that he’s joining Wade and Bosh in Miami), he’s making this all about him.

I understand that Lebron the industry wants to become Michael Jordan the industry.  He wants to be the most important thing, news worthy, etc.  However, I don’t think holding a prime time televised press conference as you stab your hometown team is especially endearing.  Look at Kevin Durant as an example: he quickly announces that he’s signed a contract extension and everyone applauds.  Look at Kevin Garnett, when he signed with the Celtics, making an announcement, letting the news swell around his decision and not forcing the issue.  Of course, it’s easy to argue that a decision by the biggest name in the NBA right now is much more significant than an aging power forward, but ultimately, I think this method of announcing a free agent decision will be judged as a bunch of sound and fury, ultimately signifying nothing.

Sour grapes, I know.  Regardless, the decision has made the Heat the presumptive favorites in the East, even with only four players on the roster officially.  The team will need to fill out its roster, since we’ve seen that the Celtics, even with their big three, needed significant contributions by their bench and role players.  How the Heat will improve their roster with only roster exceptions is beyond me, though I hear some good things about their drafted players.

There you have it, folks, the King has joined a new court.  Just to have it on record, barring injury, the Heat make it to the playoffs and lose in the second round.  Sources close to the team say that Wade and James have been feuding, resulting in Wade demanding to be traded in the off-season.  With all their cap room, the Knicks engineer a trade and get D-Wade to the Knicks, where he joins with Amare and Carmello to create a new Knick dynasty. 

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