Red Right 88

Life as a Cleveland Sports Fan

Cancel those dinner plans & tour bus

ESPN’s Chris Broussard is reporting that LeBron James will not be going on tour when free agency starts July 1. Rather, he will speak with teams at a neutral site, cutting down the circus atmosphere that has been fueled by non-stop speculation on his next move.

According to Broussard:

All the elaborate recruiting plans for LeBron James will have to change. James will not go on a recruiting tour, his longtime business manager Maverick Carter told ESPN.com Friday.

“LeBron is not going on a tour,” Carter said. “He never planned to go on a tour and has not been a part of any team’s plans for a recruiting trip.”

Instead, James will visit with individual clubs at a neutral site once the free-agency period begins July 1.

James’ decision throws a monkey wrench in the plans of several clubs that hoped to sell him on non-basketball-related enticements such as the vibrancy of their city, the social life it may afford or the A-list celebrities that support their teams.

James, the most coveted player in this historic free-agent class, wants the focus to be on basketball and doesn’t want it to turn into a spectacle.

Clubs were made aware of James’ decision on Wednesday and many went into scramble mode. The New York Knicks, who were planning a spectacular, celebrity-laden dinner cooked by a world-renowned chef for James on July 1, quickly cancelled it and held an emergency Plan B, according to two sources.

Plan B? More like Plan Z for the hapless Knicks. What a joke.

But if the Knicks really have their hearts (and stomachs) set on food, they can always pick up a pizza at Luigi’s on the way to their meeting with LeBron.

Of course, the mainstream media will find a way to turn this around and make James look like the bad guy for acting like the only responsible adult in the room. But that’s been the norm ever since the Cavs season ended; no matter what happens it’s somehow James’ fault or reveals some type of character flaw.

And Frank Isola did just that in today’s NY Daily News:

There was an Internet report Friday that James had come to his senses and had decided not to make a spectacle of his much anticipated entrée into free agency. In other words, LeBron’s “Summer of I Love Myself” tour will not happen. Instead, prospective teams will have to visit James at a yet-to-be-determined location.

If this was Carter’s idea, then give the young entrepreneur credit for recognizing that his celebrity client was starting to alienate fans. It was getting to the point where James as well as Chris Bosh were celebrating their free agency with more verve than Kobe Bryant showed in winning a fifth championship.

So let’s follow this logic: the media speculates non-stop that LeBron will go on a cross-country tour once free agency starts, which will alienate fans (which fans we don’t know); now that LeBron has said he won’t be doing that – and in fact he never said he would in the first place, it was the media that assumed – it’s LeBron’s people keeping his ego in check.

OK, then.

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One thought on “Cancel those dinner plans & tour bus

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