The Decision – Live Blogging The Announcement

By Jeff Seemann and Zac Jackson

Fox Sports Ohio
July 8, 2010

We heard the rumors all day (we’re leaving them at the bottom of this article to see who was right and who was spreading falseness).  Now comes the live action.  We’ll be posting our thoughts throughout the night.

8:17pm – We’re at Johnny J’s in the valley.  The staff is wearing t-shirts that read “LeBron Must Stay” (except for Mandy, the manager, who altered hers to read “LeBron WILL Stay”.  The place is getting busier as the moment approaches.

8:29pm – Johnny J’s is buzzing.  The fans seem optimistic, and so are we.  We’re still saying LeBron is staying.  Internet connections are sluggish, and Twitter is getting smacked hard.

8:36pm – A quick survey says he’s staying.  There are no fans of New York or Chicago here.

8:40pm – 90 percent of the latest walk-ins have LeBron clothing on.

8:49pm – What more is there to say?  It’s time.

9:00pm – The buzz has grown and the crowd is ready to celebrate (or throw beer at TVs)

9:11pm – Crowd getting restless.  They expect an answer in the first 15 minutes, and they’re not likely to get it.

9:34pm – Stunned and angry.  The bar has turned the volume off, and are blaring “Cleveland Rocks” by Ian Hunter.

9:59 – Beer poured on LeBron jerseys. Mostly signs of denial and shock.  Beer flowing hard.


As for the rumors, here’s what we’re hearing;

� Contrary to what ESPN was reporting yesterday, the decision might not get announced early in the show;

Mark Dowley, a partner at William Morris Endeavor, who put the show idea

together with Maverick Carter, told CNBC that two companies, University

of Phoenix and Bing, got the most ad time (2 minutes). University of

Phoenix donated its ad time to the Boys & Girls Clubs. None of the

other companies with ads are running any new creative specific to

LeBron. Dowley did say, contrary to what ESPN had said yesterday, that

LeBron won’t announce what team he is going to within the first 15

minutes of the show.

� Ric Bucher has just tweeted an interesting take;

FWIW: disparate opinions among gms, agents, league

HQ officials today about where LeBron is going, but consensus on 1

thing: it’s not Mia.

Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated says it’s all a smokescreen and that LeBron will stay in Cleveland.  Zac Jackson and I still concur with him.

Mark Cuban agrees – He says LeBron is staying in Cleveland.  He also envisions what happens if James selects Miami tonight;

Just as quickly  Art Modell is placed  on par with Mother Theresa when 

compared to Lebron.  Lebron and his family will most likely have more

security concerns than is imaginable. His kids going to school ? Heck,

my 6 year old has gotten looks and comments when the Mavs lose� For what

its worth I heard somewhere that Art Modell is still afraid  to show

his face in the state and Art Modell never had to face twitter, facebook

and  bloggers spewing worldwide hate.

� Bath police have begun tightening security around LeBron’s home.  That can’t be a good sign.

� Brian Windhorst, via Twitter, says that;

Several GMs &

prominent agents are defiant, insisting LeBron will stay in CLE.

They can’t see the rationale of leaving $ and this process.

ESPN is reporting that LeBron will choose Miami tonight and join up with his friends Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.  Chris Broussard says that “sources close to the situation” have informed him that LeBron will leave Cleveland.

UPDATEA source has told Heat have offered Mike Miller 5-year deal worth 27-30 million with deadline tonight.  If this is true and Miller agrees, the Heat will likely not have enough to sign LeBron James.

� ESPN’s Bill Simmons says there’s something way too fishy about the LeBron-to-Miami story.  He’s got a fistful of red flags to read.

� Vegas has apparently changed the odds on LeBron joining the Heat.  He was at 72 percent, it’s now drastically dropped to 50. (Fear The Sword)

� The Cavs are currently working on a trade for Minnesota point guard Jonny Flynn.  Flynn has the same agent as LeBron and is represented by LRMR. (Brian Windhorst)

Us Magazine (yes, you read that right) is reporting that LeBron James has rented six cabanas at the W Hotel in South Beach this weekend.
  Of course, the article has pink links and is accompanied by a picture of Kim Kardashian looking at herself in a mirror, so you be the judge.

UPDATE – The supposed South Beach party is scheduled at the exact same time as Carmelo Anthony’s wedding in New York…which LeBron is a part of.  I call misinformation on that.

From a genuine insider, LeBron’s DJ;

By the way, I’m about to start favoriting some if you guys tweets and show them to you again tomorrow.