I have no idea. To his credit, this has been the best kept secret since the formula for Coca Cola. Talking to owners, GM, players, friends of Lebrons’ , no one knows.
So let me you give you my guess.
This afternoon I heard that a PR firm was telling some media outlets that Lebron was going to the Heat , but they could only be an off the record source. When I put my PR and Media hat on, that approach made no sense at all. Why would a PR firm tell them the plan and ruin the impact of a 1 hour tv special ?
They would if it was a misdirection.
Here is how I see it. Again with my media and PR hat on.
Lebron steps up to the podium. In every home, bar , restaurant and event in the State of Ohio, EVERYTHING comes to a complete stop. Doctors probably put a halt to the surgeries they are doing just to hear what he has to say.
In Miami people keep on doing what they are doing. They look at their watches and notice its past 9pm so they look for a TV or radio,, or turn on their phones and call or text their friends to see what happened with lebron. Then they go back to what they were doing.
At the time of the announcement , the entire state of Ohio is holding their collective breath. Waiting. Hating ESPN for dragging it out. Threatening to kill themselves if Stuart Scott offers even a single Booyah. Wondering why Michael Wilbon cant get right to it rather than talking over way too many LBJ highlights. Feeling like its been an eternity since the show started.
Then the announcement comes.
If Lebron announces Miami, all the sports media who reported the same get to write “i told you so”. The people in Miami smile. Maybe some have a cuba libre and go about their business. The phones ring and the Heat sell a bunch of tickets. Pat Riley buys some hair gel. Erik Spolestra stresses about what happens if they dont win this year. Everyone starts telling lies about how such and such player would love to play for the minimum salary to play with the Golden Triangle.
In the State of Ohio ? Forgetabbout it. People cry. People kick their dogs. They fall into a funk. Lebron instantly becomes the most hated person in the state, and equally hated by anyone close to people who live there.
Just as quickly Art Modell is placed on par with Mother Theresa when compared to Lebron. Lebron and his family will most likely have more security concerns than is imaginable. His kids going to school ? Heck, my 6 year old has gotten looks and comments when the Mavs lose… For what its worth I heard somewhere that Art Modell is still afraid to show his face in the state and Art Modell never had to face twitter, facebook and bloggers spewing worldwide hate.
On the flip side, If he says he is going back to the Cavs there are parties in the streets, horns honking, people kissing strangers. Art Modell sneaks into the state and gets a kiss. Everyone’s wife and husband, boyfriend and girlfriend all the sudden become prettier that night. People are pouring out in the street as if a war had ended. Instead of an infamous picture of a sailor kissing a young lady , there will be a picture of a couple, both in Lebron James Cavs jerseys kissing in the middle of the street. A photo passed through the internet as a momento of a moment in time that in the big picture means nothing, but for tonight means everything.
Which is exactly why I think he is going back to the Cavs. The sports world is full of uncertainties. When in doubt, go for the love. Which is what you do when you make the mistake of not coming to the Mavs :)