There was a time when a basketball players stage was confined to an NBA court. When the spot light would be on a solely during games and how they performed in them.
That however was our parents NBA, today's athletes have found a way to keep the lights shining on them well past the end of their teams season, all the while basking in the attention. This summers free agency period has been unlike anything ever seen in pro sports in that it resembles more of a T.V reality show combined with a collegiate athletic recruiting process.
and entered the summer of 2010 as free agents for the first time in their careers. Rather than go about the process as countless other players have before them, they decided to film the entire experience. Through out the last couple of weeks leading up to July 1st there have been public prognosticating comments by the players, private sources offering conflicting reports/predictions and more flip flops then you'd find on South Beach . Dwyane and Chris have thrown countless reporters, league executives and fans for enough spins that they've all been left dizzy.
This leads us to Lebron...the proclaimed "King" that is being courted like true royalty. He has summoned leaders from villages near and far to appear before him. All the while allowing them to state their claims as to why they would be the best suited candidate for the "King" to align himself with. Lebron for his part has stayed behind the curtains since his Larry King interview a month or so ago.
So one has to ask is Lebron in on it with Wade and Bosh? Lebron doesn't need to have a film crew because everyone else is capturing footage of him for them. All he would need is a camera crew inside his house to record moments of deep contemplation and self reflection along with the daily phone conversation with Wade, Bosh or some other player/ league personnel.
If one take's a moment to step off the "Tilt-A-Whirl " ride that has been this entire process you can deduce that this is little more than hyperbole. These three men will are planning on joining forces and will make one team next season fortunate to have their services as NBA players but for now they are all playing the roles of actors on a daily soap opera instead of being basketball stars. The new made for Hollywood athletes are enjoying creating and hiding behind this grand facade. They are stirring the pot to enhance the documentary they are filming. All the while throwing enough twists and turns to make M. Night Shyamalan envious of the script.
This documentary is the primary reason why this has all been so over the top/Hollywood like. I can see the NBA and league commissioner David Stern being all for it too. They have managed to simultaneously keep the NBA on the front page of papers, magazines and websites during the middle of summer and have helped sell season tix for at least 4-5 clubs based on all the rumors of whether they're all going to Chicago or Miami or New York or whether Lebron is going to stay in Cleveland or try to rebuild a franchise in New Jersey or Los Angeles .
Thus to make the entire process (cough cough..documentary) more interesting we've been getting all these conflicting reports and tweets, the "I'm in a New York state of mind" "Chicago is my home" " New Jersey might be in the lead for Lebron" "Lebron goes to a game in Los Angeles and is then linked as a possible part owner for the Clippers." This is all being carefully constructed to leave everyone guessing and to make for one intriguing ESPN 30 for 30 movie.
The risk the players are running in this thing is that a large contingent from a couple of teams is going to be less than pleased with them at the conclusion. That and they are all being perceived as attention hungry Diva's. While many people are feeding off every tweet, comment or picture as a sign of whats to come many other fans have been completely turned off with the process.
The league however see's this as a coup in that off season rumors are swirling around where the 3 "Super Friends " will be playing rather than normal off season news such as warrants for arrests ( ) or child custody battles (Wade) or even worse the annual is " coaching next season". I mean between the World Cup and NBA free agency has anyone even bothered going to their local police station and filing a missing persons report on ??
So here we are the herd of cattle being led for a journey through the minds and ambitions of 3 athletes. Pulling our hairs out after one report saying they're all going there or jumping for joy and contacting all our friends when we hear they're all coming here. Best advice for everyone is to just sit back and relax. Don't feed into the attention hungry machine.
At the end of the day I'd love for all 3 players to join the(my team) but if they don't the Sun will still rise. Adding those 3 players won't make my life any easier, it won't pay my bills or make my wife any prettier (not that its possible with my lady....whew dodged a close one there). From one anxious dying to know die hard fan to another "que sera...sera" "what will be will be".
The one good thing is we'll at least all know where they'll be playing before the documentary airs and will be able to laugh at how this all unfolded......or will we?? They couldn't possibly hold off another month to continue to fuel the fire and allow for the documentary to be edited and completed. If they did it would certainly make for ESPN's highest rated documentary/movie ever. Let's just hope I didn't give them a brilliant idea and in turn created a nightmare scenario for fans from coast to coast.