My column on the Lebron James announcement in today’s paper focused on what I felt was the key aspect of all of it — the regrettable decision to announce it in a scripted one-hour ESPN special after 48 hours of hype.
Everyone — from James to ESPN to the rest of the media — came off looking bad, to some degree.
I didn’t write a column recapping the actual night. For that, I turned to the old journalistic standby. Twitter. My blow-by-blow from last night. Earliest comments are first. (Note to those not experienced with Twitter. The letters RT denote a “retweet,” or where I have passed along something posted by someone else.
Here are the tweets:
6:15 p.m. — Glad the Univ. of Phoenix is a sponsor for Lebron’s special. No main campus, no sports teams, but the guts to pay a player above board.
8:16 p.m. — Report: Brett Favre to announce decision on next season in ESPN mini-series.
8:18 p.m. — Paul the Octopus predicting #LeBron will reach final minutes of his “Decision” special, then refuse to take the shot.
8:24 p.m. — Report: Last-minute offer to join Big Ten Conference clouds James’ “Decision”
8:55 p.m. — Waiting to see who has the most cap space? RT @rickbozich: NBA fans getting a taste of what hoops signing day is like in the state of Ky.
9:02 p.m. — Agreed RT @HowardKurtz: ESPN begins LeBron special by asking, what’s the latest? The network *knows* the latest–it’s cooperating with him!
9:10 p.m. — Following the LeBron special on Twitter. Kids refuse to change the TV from Harry Potter Part something.
9:12 p.m. — This is the national signing day #Lebron never had.
9:15 p.m. — Broussard soon to report that he might go home after work tonight. Or to a bar. Or to the grocery.
9:18 p.m. — RT@buzzbissinger Wilbon’s sources are Broussard and that little pink handkerchief he is wearing in his breast pocket.
9:22 p.m. — At least if Larry King were hosting this, we could have enjoyed the first 20 minutes while he figured out who James is and what he does.
9:23 p.m. — RT @sethmeyers21 Foreplay from Jim Gray just as satisfying as I’ve always imagined it would be.
9:24 p.m. — You gotta like Cousins calling out LeBron RT @boogiecousins: Man just announce damn!
9:46 p.m. — “Bring him away. O that I had been writ down an ass!” Shakespeare, “Much Ado About Nothing”
9:50 p.m. — Better than Cousins’ tweet … RT @TheRealTWill: I def will be playing with the heat on 2k11 tho
9:56 p.m. — RT @HowardKurtz: Good for Wilbon – he conducted an actual interview with LeBron. Even asked him about Clevelanders burning his uniform.
10:20 p.m. — After impressive commercial performance, University of Phoenix drawing interest from Pac-10.
10:30 p.m. — Prescient. RT @darrenrovell1: Betting on ESPNMiami.com
10:36 p.m. — Wish I’d bought stock in lighter fluid today.
10:37 p.m. — Report: LeBron’s basketball camp in Akron now resembles “Lord of the Flies.”
10:46 p.m. — A new kind of Witness Protection RT @GaryParrishCBS: The police are protecting the “Witness” billboard downtown. I wish them luck.
11:22 p.m. — Holy —-. … Cavaliers: Open Letter to Fans from Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert: http://bit.ly/ddsICw
11:30 p.m. — James leaving wasn’t “heartless.” The way he did it was. Gilbert was over the top with his Comic Sans scorcher, but it’ll play well.
11:48 p.m. — Facebook report: Dan Gilbert “unfriends” LeBron James.
11:54 p.m. — Prediction: Gilbert gets $100,000 fine for his letter ripping LeBron James, $250,000 for using Comic Sans.
12:13 a.m. — Report: Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert has keyed LeBron James’ car and thrown all of his clothes out of a window at Quicken Loans Arena.
12:14 a.m. — RT @WojYahooNBA: In phoner w/ AP, Gilbert says “People have covered up for [James] for way too long.” People like…Gilbert.
12:36 a.m. — Talking about James in the Boston series:, Gilbert tells AP: “He quit. Not just in Game 5, but in Games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. “
1:04 a.m. — Preview of Cavs jerseys for 2010-11. http://yfrog.com/3mj0uhj
And, finally, a link to the obligatory Facebook discussion thread that ensued after linking to Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert’s angry open letter to Cavs’ fans.