Friday, July 09, 2010

Musings on the LeBron-a-palooza

I've never been much of a Heat fan despite the fact that I covered the early years of the team.

But several things jumped out at me as I watched the hyper-coverage of LeBron's decision to pick Miami.
1) Hopefully someone will tell LeBron that the Miami Heat play in Miami and not South Beach.  "I am taking my talents to South Beach and play with the Miami Heat," said James Thursday night.

2) Most absurd local TV moment: Reporter breathlessly setting up a sound-bite by telling viewers that LeBron is surrounded by security but adding, "we did manage to interview him as he came out of the hospital!" The interview? "How do you like Miami, LeBron," asked the reporter as Lebron brushed passed him.

3) Perhaps someone can send the ESPN and CNN commentators a South Florida Atlas. Almost all I listened to said that James was going to play on South Beach.

4) I missed the live announcement but learned of LeBron's decision at my Publix where workers were huddled around a TV just inside the entrance to the store. A wonderful moment.

5)Later as I watched local reaction, I was struck by the ghetto-like behavior of those fans who chose to take to the streets to celebrate. I wondered how many were season ticket holders.

6) I watched in amazement as one Cleveland fan - a young man in his early 20's - bawled into the camera, "This is the worst day of my entire life." Really?

7) I chuckled as TV talking-head after talking-head (outside Miami) used words like egotistical, self-aggrandizing, self-centered, pompous, tacky and pretentious to describe LeBron's behavior before his announcement. Don't they know, I asked myself, that all those adjectives probably describe 95% of the people on South Beach that LeBron will be hanging with this weekend?

8) This morning I was astounded at the ordinary and totally unremarkable front page the Miami Herald came up with to mark the occasion. (13x22" Glossy prints start at $49.95!)

9) I did admire, however, the stunning front page that the losing city's newspaper - the Cleveland Plain Dealer - produced. "This is how you do a front page," Rob Pegoraro of the Washington Post tweeted.

10) Requests for Heat press credentials are sure to spike this year. But one local newspaper probably won't be anywhere near the Triple-A this fall when the Miracle Troika takes to the court. A source at Miami New Times tells me that the paper has been blacklisted by the Heat press office since 1996 over an unflattering story on Heat owner Micky Arsion.

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