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Teams, some in LeBron James camp caught off-guard by television program

Jul 7, 2010, 9:59 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for LeBron_solo.jpgYou thought the LeBron James television special idea came out of the blue, imagine the teams that have been courting him?

According to Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, officials from the teams that met with LeBron did not know of the television special until the word broke on ESPN last night. Here is his tweet:

Teams & even several people in James own camp were blindsided when hearing about ESPN show.

I’m told none of LeBron’s suitors know his decision. It seems possible of all them could remain in dark leading up to tomorrow night.

ESPN will broadcast LeBron’s decision as part of an hour-long special Thursday night. The idea was hatched by LeBron’s shrinking inner circle, who took it to ESPN. As part of the deal, LeBron’s team will sell sponsorships to the show, with the money going to the Boys & Girls Club of America.

It seems impossible — and even more egomaniacal — to have Cleveland learn if its heart is broken on national television. Same with the other cities that will feel shunned if and when James turns his attention to whatever city he chooses.

This all has the potential to be a public relations disaster for James.

  1. Josh - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    If it’s a public relations disaster…all will be forgiven (except teams he spurns, but come on, who is positive he’s leaving Cleveland?); when the season starts and everyone is in awe of what he’s doing, everything will be OK for him.

  2. who cares - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    really who cares….what an ass….

  3. kevo - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    So what thats how he wants to do things let him he is a big boy he can make grown man decisions what if he really is having a hour long special because hes leaving the NBA to join the NFL as WR 6’9 250 fast hops like that he would kill out there hahaha

  4. chung - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    nobody gives a damn until he wins a championship. and definitely not happening in Cleveland. Maybe NBA gives him a special champions trophy during all star game for hyping up NBA. what a loser

  5. Craig - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    I hope no one watches this circus on ESPN. I’m beginning to think that the team he picks will be the ultimate loser.

  6. who cares.... - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    i am so disappointed in lebron….lebron you suck

  7. Shel - Jul 7, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    I think it is brilliant! He is using is fame to raise money for a wonderful organization. I can’t see how that makes his a loser or an ass. I love the Cavs and I hope he stays…..but life is so much more! It is about giving and he has done a lot for the Cleveland area. Good Luck to Lebron with whatever he decides.

  8. k - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    lol, good for him for milking it as much as he can. too bad it makes the nba (and everyone, including himself) look stupid in the process

  9. Zack - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    While it’s great he’s raising money for charity- let’s be real, it’s for his own publicity and face time.
    What other pro athlete ever needed a 60min ESPN special to announce where he’s signing? It’s him just building up his ego even more, announce it and get it over with.

  10. Basically - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    When morons drive the train, there is usually a train wreck.

  11. Rahul - Jul 7, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    I agree with Shel. This is the first balanced comment I’ve read. No matter his intentions – public relations, further building his ego, whatever – at the end of the day he is doing good by raising money for the boys and girls foundation. Even if he’s doing this to buffer an announcement about leaving Cleveland for another team, so what, at least he had enough decency to leave a parting gift. Most, if not all, NBA players would just up and leave, hometown or not. Bosh isn’t raising money for Toronto, Amare isn’t ‘giving back’ to the Pheonix community. I understand these players weren’t born and raised in these areas, but still… give Lebron a break. He’s trying, and given the circumstances and intense pressure he is under, I think he is handling himself quite well. He’s done a lot for Cleveland already, and I would, of course, love for him to stay, but if he doesn’t I have no right to be upset with him. He’s done his fair share…

  12. Zack - Jul 7, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    Again, no one said raising money is bad. Most professional athletes have charities, with the NBA Cares program, it’s guaranteed Amare and Bosh have given back to PHX/TOR, and given back to their own respected hometowns.
    The point of charity is to do something good for other people, not about receiving credit for it. (And not about creating a 1HR special about you)

  13. At Least It Isn't Mutual - Jul 7, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    I have never seen a professional athlete masturbate on national TV before, that that is what LeBron has chosen to do. This is nothing more than LeBron stroking himself for all to see. Have fun withthat.

  14. Kel - Jul 7, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    Jeez. This guy is unbelievable. It’s ridiculous. No other athlete has created so much hoopla for themselves. He’s really eating this **** up isn’t he? I want to know where he’s going, but I can find out online. I don’t want to boost his numbers. He is an egotistical, pompous, self-important jackass. Does he really need to go to all this drama? He loves it. Being the center of attention. You’d think he’s the President giving a state of the union address. If America hasn’t gone completely down the toilet than the numbers for that at least will be bigger than LeBron’s “announcement”.

  15. ray smith - Jul 7, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    Lebron wanted to stay in cleveland Thats why he tried to get chris bosh to come to Cleveland but bosh said no. None of the big stars want to come to Cleveland. You cant blame Lebron the cavs dont have the pieces to beat a Boston or Orlando. ALL the championship teams have great big men. YOU have to have good or great big men and a very good point guard. Thats why i think he will go to chicago. They have decent big men. They are long and play defense and can get rebounds. The cavs had illgauscus who might be the slowest least athletic big man in nba history and an out of shape out of prime shaq. I think he is raising the money for the boys and girls club so people wont be as upset when he announces he’s leaving. He knows its going to crush cleveland and its going to hurt him to because he’s been there in ohio his whole life, but this is purley a basketball decision. I dont blame him the cavs just dont have the pieces to win a championship. Some decisions are hard to make in life dont think he just wants to leave the Cavs cause if he did he wouldnt have tried to get Chris Bosh to come there. Im a Cavs fan but im not going to be mad at Lebron for leaving because im using logic and not emotion. The cavs just dont have it. THe cavs will always be a good team with him but thats it just a good team. Come playoff time they cant match boston, or orlando,and they definatley cant beat the lakers. SO good luck Lebron im not mad at you for leaving us. I would want to win too and if you are being real with yourself the cavs dont have the pieces.

  16. tv Man - Jul 7, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    This guy is toying with all the fans AND team owners, essentially shoving it in their faces. Even more reason to become a college basketball fan. He is hurting his image and that of his league. Very surprised. Everyone should boycott and read it on the web.

  17. what the ...!!!! - Jul 7, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    None of this is really good for the Cav’s organization and the fans of Cleveland. You have Bosh turning down a chance to team with LeBron and make max contract because he doesn’t want to play in this city. If the Cavs can’t bring in big time free agents with LeBron, how in the world is this organization going to sign big time players w/o James. The Cavs and the fans should just be happy to have free agents like NY’s Lee, that’s all they can realistically sign.

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