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Lebronpocalypse Now

Lebronpocalypse Now

This is my ongoing diary of “The Decision.”  I prefer to call it Lebronpocalypse Now because I think its better and would be a cheap way to get more viewers.  Plus, throw in some Wagner music to give this moment in history an epic tone.

8:56 PM  Literally ran in from the car to get this started.  Sitting on my blue couch with reclining seats.  I’ve never anticipated anything on TV like this since the Seinfeld series finale (ultimately a let down) or any Presidential Election from 2000-2008.  At this point I don’t even know if Lebron knows where he’s going.  Will it come down to a recount?  It all could hinge on old people living in Florida…Al Gore nods grimly.

8:57 PM  In terms of must see TV for non-event sports news, I’m handicapping this behind the OJ Simpson bronco chase and ahead of the OJ Simpson murder trial (only because it dragged on way too long) and ahead of the Tiger “apology.”  Let’s face it, this is prime time television.  Even Tiger couldn’t get this time slot.  The only two people who could steal the 9 PM spot: The President and Lebron James.  The only difference is Lebron can’t launch nuclear weapons…unless Cleveland has worked that into his contract if he stays.

8:58 PM Current Lebronpocalypse Now power rankings: 1) Cleveland, 2) Miami, 3) Chicago, 4) New York

8:59 PM Watching this on ESPN3 (The Tres) which is playing a looped track which seems like it was put together at the last second on Audacity.  This whole thing has an eerie feel to it.  Only a minute left to Lebronpocalypse and I don’t know what to do with myself.  Checking Twitter, ESPN, and NBA for any leaks.

9:00 PM Stuart Scott intro.  Good choice.  And James Earl Jones voiceover.  This is epic.

9:01 PM “The Decision” was a conservative name.  They should’ve named it Lebron Sweepstakes or Lebronpocalypse Now.

9:02 PM The panel for “The Decision” is Stuart Scott, Michael Wilbon, Chris Broussard and Jon Barry.  One thing I’m looking forward is no more Chris Broussard for 3 months.  I wasn’t sold on Jon Barry until he made the “Trading Places” briefcase reference.  I’m never a big fan of  four man panels.  It should be Scott, Barry, and Broussard with Wilbon interviewing Lebron.  I’m still not sure how Jim Gray got this gig and when the Lebronpocalypse Now DVD comes out I’d be interested to hear the director’s commentary on how Jim Gray was included in this.

9:04 PM Michael Wilbon is making the case for Cleveland.  I completely agree that his decision to leave Cleveland will be the toughest one since his entire career has revolved around Cleveland and he’s been portrayed as a “loyal” hometown person.  And throw in the back-to-back 60 win seasons and MVPs to leave for an uncertain situation with any other team (except maybe Chicago).

9:07 PM Lebron wearing a red and white checkered shirt with jeans.  Does that mean he’s dressed comfortable for Miami weather or feeling more at home for Cleveland?  What color red is that exactly?  Cleveland red or Miami red?  Let’s analyze these things…

9:08 PM They’re going through the list of other free agents that have already signed.  That Joe Johnson contract was absurd, which means that if Lebron goes elsewhere, Joe Johnson will make more guaranteed money.  Insane!  Way to overpay Hawks!

9:09 PM Michael Wilbon doing what he does best: explaining without deciding.  Wilbon should be interviewing Lebron.  He’s great at interviewing and terrible at analysis.  It’s like asking Shaq to run a fast break.  Everyone in Phoenix is nodding.

9:11 PM Eleven minutes in and we still know nothing.  Now we’re getting Lebron photoshopped into the different uniforms.  Can it get any more absurd?  Yes it can.  Jim Gray is about to go on television so we’ll top it at some point.  I’m sure of it.  Commercial Break.  Is it just me or has this panel already sucked the life of “The Decision.”   Did we really need a four man panel for this?

9:14 PM Wayne Gretzky ESPN commercial.  Love it.  They should get Wayne Gretzky on more of these commercials.

9:16 PM Two unintentionally funny sponsors: Bing and University of Phoenix.  Bing: “Stop searching and start deciding.”  University of Phoenix is self-explanatory.

9:17 PM  Panel picks.  Broussard: Miami.  Barry: Miami.  Wilbon: Miami.  Unanimous.  Cleveland fans who are holding their breath have already passed out.

9:18 PM Still no decision.  Lebron is on the stage with Jim Gray. Commercial break number two and still no decision.  Stan Van Gundy is no longer watching.

9:22 PM Jim Gray is starting the interview.  Here we go!!!  Lebron looks somber.  Beware Cleveland.

9:24 PM Lebron tells Jim Gray only a few people know and he made his decision this morning after he talked to his mom.  Uh-oh.  Cleveland?  It still looks like he could change his mind.  He looks so uncomfortable on that chair.

9:26 PM Lebron says major factor is winning and winning now (not loyalty).  Oh no Cleveland, its not looking good…prepare to get your hearts ripped out.

9:27 PM Jim Gray is killing me.  “Lebron, are you still a nail biter?”  Bingo.  We’ve topped the previous absurdity levels.  I knew Jim Gray had it in him.

9:28 PM  The Decision: Miami!!!  Did you hear the collective gasp in the room?  The same gasp when Byner fumbled, when John Elway completed the drive, and when Michael Jordan made the shot over Ehlo.  In terms of Cleveland heartbreaks, this goes up there with the Browns leaving town.

9:30 PM Missed the last two minutes due to watching the Twitter-splosion and recovering from that deafening silence.

9:31 PM Lebron trying to rationalize why he left Cleveland.  He based his decision on the chance to win, but he knows that he’s decimating Cleveland.  You can see it on his face and hear it in his voice.  I think you could tell how difficult that decision was.  He looks somber.  He indicates Erik Spoelstra and not Pat Riley will be the coach…well as long as they don’t lose more than five straight games.  Then all bets are off.

9:33 PM Commercial break.  Checking tweets.  Trying to take it all in.  Sorry Cleveland.

9:36 PM They’re showing different city reactions.  Miami erupted.  Cleveland screamed in horror like the youtube video where the best man knocked the bride into the pool. NOOOOOOOO!!!!

9:37 PM Wilbon and Lebron one-on-one.  What are we going to learn that we don’t already know?  At least Wilbon asks better questions.  Why wasn’t he interviewing Lebron in the first place? Flashback to Jim Gray: “are you still a nail biter?”

9:39 PM Wilbon asks Lebron how he’ll handle being the villain.  So far, this is the best question of the night and Lebron fumbles through an answer.  I don’t think he’s conscious right now.

9:40 PM Lebron reminds Wilbon his decision was all about winning.  Wilbon asks about other teams he considered, specifically Chicago.  I think Lebron looked at the roster in Cleveland and looked at the other rosters taking shape in the league and realized he wasn’t winning a championship on the currently assembled Cavaliers.

9:42 PM Lebron brings up the Celtics.  It seems that was at the back of his mind when making that decision.  He knew with the roster they had in Cleveland that they couldn’t make it all the way through to the Finals.  If Cleveland makes it past Boston, then tonight might’ve looked completely different.  If only Biff hadn’t stolen that almanac!

9:45 PM Lebron admitted what we all know: Miami Heat has a 3 man roster and now they have to fill it with minimum contract players.  How is the rest of this team going to look?

9:52 PM Another decision?  What is this Stuart Scott?  No more surprises.  By the way that video montage of Lebron in his Cleveland uniform was salt in the wound.  They should’ve shown Byner, Elway, Matt Williams in Game 7, the shot over Ehlo and the move.  I mean let’s cover all the bases here.

9:59 PM Jon Barry asks the second best question of the night (paraphrasing): At the end of the game, who gets the ball?  Lebron never says he gets the ball.  This tells you everything you need to know.  He’s admitting he’s not the Alpha.  He’s not Jordan.  He’s Pippen.  He’s tired of being the focus and tired of carrying the franchise.  I think he wanted to go to a city where he could play with other stars and have no pressure and have a legitimate shot at winning championships.  This whole thing is not really about where Lebron James is playing next year but about figuring out where Lebron James lies in the spectrum of NBA DNA.  He doesn’t have the Jordan DNA.  He doesn’t have the killer instinct.  If anything he has Magic/Dr. J DNA.

10:02 PM Most absurd question of the night via Vitamin Water: “Who would win in a game of HORSE, you (Lebron) or President Obama?  Watch out Jim Gray.  You may lose your most absurd status.

10:05 PM Lebron announces what we already knew: proceeds from “The Decision” go to The Boys and Girls Club to be split between different cities in the US.  University of Phoenix announces that they’ll donate 5 full-tuition scholarships to underprivileged students.  Actually, this was a classy decision for an otherwise bizarre program.  Cleveland will never recover and Miami will thrive once again.  But in the end…its all for the kids

10:10 PM A tweet I ran across while scouring Twitter.  Dan Le Batard who writes for the Miami Herald and ESPN: “Let’s go BACK to LeBron James….this show has been an epic disaster for James…and ESPN keeps going back to James as if he’s Ed Werder.”  Absolutely agree.  I thought this program was about Lebron controlling the situation and the way the announcement was made, but it looks like he’s caught up in his own sideshow.

10:13 PM The best thing about Lebronpocalypse?  We’re still talking about basketball and its July 8.  We’ll be talking about this until at least Tuesday unless anything else unfolds.  Take notes MLB.  The one thing the NFL does is extend its season.  The NBA is learning how to extend its season with these absurd Free Agent signings.  The baseball season keeps getting squeezed by other sports.  Make your own news (other than steroids) to keep us interested MLB.

Final thoughts:

Short of the OJ Simpson Bronco chase, this has truly been one of the most bizarre and awkward events I’ve ever watched on television.  Lebronpocalypse Now was everything it lived up to be and more.  There have already been tweets of Lebron jersey burnings in Cleveland.  Jim Gray made an appearance.  University of Phoenix donated scholarships.  I’ll never forget Lebron looking like he wanted to be anywhere else other than in that chair and learning forever that Lebron doesn’t have the killer gene.  I rediscovered my love for Wayne Gretzky ESPN commercials and realizing there will never be enough of them.  I would also like to personally thank ESPN3 for filling the void in my life due to my lack of cable.  And anytime I need to make a big decision in life, I know that I can turn it into an hour-long special and people will watch.  Watch out U-Stream and Youtube.  And just like that, Lebronpocalypse Now is over.  I haven’t eaten dinner yet.  This is what happens when you live on the East Coast.

My current Power Rankings for worst all time Cleveland Sports moments:

1.  97 World Series Game 7
2.  Lebronpocalypse Now
3.  The Drive/The Fumble
4.  Art Modell and The Move
5.  Shot over Ehlo

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