Lebromination: a review of the wretched excess, social-media style

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.

8:20 p.m. — RT @TheBigLead How come the Herald & Sun-Sentinel didn’t let the editorial side know that the Heat had bought HUGE LeBron ads? #smellsfishy

8:21 p.m. — RT @EthanJSkolnick Heat pulled its Welcome LeBron ad from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Confirmed.

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!

9:03 p.m. — RT @1070thefan: Mark Montieth: Pioneering James will go to Miami: LeBron James will play in Miami. http://bit.ly/ce44Zx

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.

9:20 p.m. — RT @KeithOlbermann Remind me why I worked at ESPN again? #sharkjump #doTheyHaveESPNTheMuteYet?

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!

9:32 p.m. — RT@darrenrovell1 Forbes says Heat franchise value goes to $400m from $364m. Cavs go down to $370m from $476m (via @

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.

You can follow me on Twitter @ericcrawford or on Facebook by clicking here and submitting a Friend request.


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