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A King in His Own Eyes

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The LeBron James saga just seriously crossed the line into the “beyond ridiculous” zone. Who exactly does LeBron think he is? Does he really need an hour special to announce what franchise he will grace his royal presence with next year? A full hour? Is this like the State of the Union? Is this going to be some crazy cross between the Bachelor, Survivor and American Idol where teams are voted off? Is Ryan Seacrest going to be involved?

This is one last final chance for LeBron to stand in the spotlight, point at himself and declare how important, humble and awesome he is. I know some people will be conned by the clever PR ploy to give some money to the Boys and Girls club, but I’m not. It’s a nice gesture, but when it comes down to it, it’s dressing to an event meant to benefit one person: LeBron James.

There’s a theory in Cleveland that this entire free agency process was nothing but a huge PR ploy by LeBron, his people, Nike, and whoever else is connected to him to garner him more attention. This whole process has given him more national exposure to casual fans than what he’s done on the basketball court. The theory goes that LeBron knew all along he was going to stay in Cleveland, and went through this entire process just to raise his Q-Rating. I’m starting to buy into it.

And of course, what outlet is going to give LeBron the opportunity to self-aggrandize himself? ESPN, of course. I wonder if they will actually put him in a crown, robe, give him a scepter and put him on a throne. Then all the ESPN executives, anchors and everyone else at the network can walk up to him and kiss his feet. It’s just one more big step for ESPN out of the realm of journalism and into the land of athlete ass kissing. The precedent this sets for other athletes to pull garbage like this in the future is scary.

Also understand that this means LeBron already knows where he is going. And if you read into it, there’s absolutely no chance he leaves Cleveland. If LeBron really loves his hometown the way he does, would he really go onto television and embarrass them by announcing he was leaving during a one hour special? Unless he is really a complete self-absorbed jerk with no other loyalty than to himself, he is staying with the Cavaliers.

Is this going to be some crazy cross between the Bachelor, Survivor and American Idol where teams are voted off? Is Ryan Seacrest going to be involved?

Don’t expect any real leaks either. For this special to be effective in its self-promotion, there needs to be some doubt as to where he will end up. In fact, people should expect every team BESIDES the Cavs to be rumored to be his destination before Thursday. Expect the Knicks to be the hottest rumor, to draw in the biggest media market. It will get more people interested, and hence get him more attention. Never forget that’s the whole point to all this.

The worst part is that I’ll be watching it along with every other basketball fan of the teams with a chance to land him. He’s treating all the people who want nothing more than for their basketball team to be good again as suckers. We still want him because he’s just THAT good. He’s using everyone to make himself seem bigger and more important than he is. This isn’t class and substance. This is flash, spectacle, and nonsense. Say all the bad stuff you want about Kobe Bryant, and I have, but he would never do this. Neither would guys like Jordan, Barkley, Malone or Ewing.

Adrian Wojnarowski had a great story last week that team executives were getting the feeling that they were just dealing with a bunch of immature 25 year old kids and it was frustrating them. To me, this proves it. LeBron and his group of lackeys are nothing but a bunch of spoiled kids having fun at everyone’s expense. It’s like since LeBron never had a signing day for college, so he’s doing this instead.

I can imagine the hour special now. Maybe he’ll start the show with Miami, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland hats on the table and every time he goes to break he’ll throw one away. Or maybe he’ll call each team live on television to tell them that they are no longer in the running. I wouldn’t put anything low class past him now, not after this.

We’re all suckers and we can’t help ourselves. LeBron James knows this and is taking advantage of it. Instead of showing maturity, class, and dignity, LeBron has chosen to make a fool of himself. We’ve all been made fools of and LeBron will be laughing all the way through his ridiculous one hour special on Thursday night. He is the King of his own mind, and right now the world of the basketball fan. After Thursday, he will once again be limited to his own imagination, and the state of Ohio. I can’t wait.

Follow me on twitter as a track NBA free agency at: http://twitter.com/Schmeelk