I really hope the New York Knicks figure out a way to sign LeBron James, I really do. Perhaps a little known fact is that this can’t happen until July 1 when free agency in the NBA begins. I bring this up because the fact must be lost on the folks at ESPN and specifically Sports Center.
The incessant LeBron coverage is getting out of hand, this is Brett Favre all over again without the intrigue because at least with Favre the ball was always in his court. In LeBron’s case we know nothing is happening until July 1. This past weekend watching my usual loop of ESPN coverage I was inundated with constant LeBron updates, updating nothing, actually. I get sports media and understand the hype so let’s make a deal, fire up the hype machine one week out from July 1. That will give everyone, the anchors, analysts, teammates, coaches all plenty of time to pontificate on what they think will happen.
In the meantime the rumors of how he will be wooed by the Knicks, the package deals of he and John Calipari to the Nets, Clippers, etc or even the most outrageous thing we have heard, that he is gone because Delonte West and James’ mother have had a relationship. Save all of it, until one week out. Because of this madness we have fictional stories created to make news and then make further news to deny the falsely created stories. Case in point, the Calipari-James situation. Reports came out that somebody was using back channels to try and line this deal up with a few teams. Then a day later reports come out to refute this. Then Calipari sends out a few tweets about his stance on things but he always leaves them ambiguous enough to keep fueling the storm. Then roll out the obligatory Worldwide Wes reference, the Wizard of OZ of NBA maneuvers. The average fan has no idea who this person is and couldn’t pick him out of a crowd but he is apparently pulling the strings on a ton of moves. Boom, you have a LeBron story for the 6pm lead. Just that simple.
It hasn’t been all too sweet the taste. The string of columns by Adrian Wojnarowski on Yahoo just crushing James last week were insightful to the whole process and entertaining reads. Since then it has felt like a pile on effect.
To think there could be another month and a half of this is maddening. If we learned anything from Favre, the average sports fan reaches a quick saturation with these situations. ESPN has figured it out this time around with Favre, he is still in limbo but we hear nothing about it and I love it. Let’s do the same with LeBron and everybody else that will be available. There will be plenty of time to focus on these matters, leave something in the tank.
Believe it or not the NBA Playoffs are actually going on and there have been some pretty good games. We should be focusing on a possible Celtics-Lakers rematch or the Major League Baseball season or the World Cup, wait ESPN has that covered.