Let’s get this out there ’cause it’s free agency season and everything needs to be repeated at least 1000 times: LeBron James and his people made a mistake by broadcasting his ego stroke in a one-hour, nationally televised, flop. Now, I don’t agree with the statement that any publicity is good publicity, but during that pitiful joke of a television program, I received more texts and calls from casual fans than I have during any actual game. You don’t think David Stern was smirking when he found out “The Decision” was the third-most watched program on cable this year? I know Stern basically owns a perma-smirk, but he knows there will undoubtedly be more people watching basketball next season because of that prime-time mess.

“The Decision” does not have to be done as douchey, it does not have to feature a hated figure in LBJ, and it doesn’t have to contain an hour full of garble-garble-garble. Let’s say Kevin Garnett was a free agent back in 2007 when everyone liked KG and was rallying for him to find a new basketball home. From July 1st – July 7th, championship caliber teams sell him their pitch, then on July 8th, a half-hour program stars with a four-minute vignette of Garnett’s career. Followed by a couple interviews with his high school / professional coaches who tell us about that time he carried an elderly person on his back for eight blocks to the pharmacy, and we’re all in love. A commercial break takes us to the 11-minute mark. Next, the much-hated predictions from broadcasters or current / former ball players take us to the 14-minute mark. Then, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting 15 minutes for – Mr. Garnett’s decision. He lets us know, one more break, he comes back for interviews, another montage or two, couple reactions, annnnnnnd, scene.

See? That was easy. Of course, a scenario like Garnett’s doesn’t occur every year, but that’s the point: marketing teams need to be selective in their choice. I don’t see how a less obtrusive production and more likable character wouldn’t go over well with the public. To the folks that say only a LeBron-type would attempt something like this, players can look at it as a press conference which they go through every day. This will happen again, and we’ll all watch it, again.

Comments (7)

  1. This has already been written about here if you wanted another perspective.

  2. Garnett would carry an elderly person 8 blocks to the pharmacy yelling at him the whole time.

    Yeah, we’ll see more of it, and the LeBron haters need to keep in mind that we’re all complicit here. We watched LeBron on ESPN in high school, saw him on the cover of SI as a teenager. So while we should rightly criticize “The Decision,” the TV special, we need to understand why and how this person felt so entitled and enabled.

    Well, hey, it’s essentially the same socioeconomic fan base that enables and supports someone like Kobe Bryant. And you think MJ was nothing like LeBron? Come on.

  3. Will there be a roundup of the Summer Leagues any time soon? This Lebron talk is really getting old.

  4. Well put, Tas. As Travis suggests two comments above me, as long as there’s an audience, there will be a show.

  5. Perhaps next year we can have Tas Melas hearing a ‘decision’ from Matt Bonner.

    Should tomato be the first thing that goes into a sandwich or not?

  6. random thoughts:
    I like what MJ said today about the situation in Miami

    Just imagine MJ calling bird or Magic or isiah..

    Or Kobe calling Duncan and KG after Shaq left..

    Lakers will go back to back to back, as long as they stay healthy. they have easily the best player and team chemistry, exxperience of any team.
    Kobe has mastered the game of basketball..been playing on a different level for 2 years.and he will be better next year..i know ..scary thought!

  7. Hey, guys! I don’t know if, and probably you dont, you have any knowledge about soccer here in Europe, but there is a simillar thing in Spain – Real Madrid. Their goal, pretty much all the time is to go after the highest paid superstars like Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Ronaldo, David Beckam, Christiano Ronaldo (I know the names may sound distant but these are all superstars, FIFA Player of the Year winners, etc.) and doing all they can to get them all to play for one team.

    The result – a title here and there, but in the big picture no dominance, no dynasty, no nothing. Sagging coaches pretty much once a year, since you can hadrly keep in check so much egos, players eventually decreasing their values significantly and eventually signing for less with inferior teams after a Real Madrid fiasco, superstars coming of the bench for handfull of minutes in meaningles matches, team image being twisted form a contender and a class football/soccer act to just a money machnie. These are just a few of the downsides of what this type of thinking leads to.

    I really really hope, and this not out of spite, that the chemistry isn’t right and a part of the Superfriends leaves for another team so I and maybe a lot of other Heat fans could once again like the team, cheer for it and be genuinly happy when the Heat win, and not have to deal with the “So what” reactions of being an almost favoured side all the time. As a fan I would have been content with Wade getting some help from Amar’e Stoudamire and a couple of role players than him taking the easy way out. I think that players missunderstand the Dynasty concept. The keyword for me is BUILDING. And not getting it done for you by management. Build a reputation, build a loyal fanbase, create an image of a high level contender and help will come. I honestly think that Amar’e was a better fit for Miami

    I play with a few friends and it is never fun to get all the best players on one team, I know this way we will probably winn 98% of the time but really, so what?? Where is the fun in that, where is the challenge?

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