The biggest soap-opera of the NBA offseason will be resolved on Thursday night as Lebron James plans on announcing his decision during a one-hour infomercial on ESPN. There are many questions that should be answered, not the least of which is how the hell is Lebron going to fill an hour of time? Well, luckily for us, I've gotten my hands on a top secret advance script for Lebron's big special.
Fade in on podium at the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, Connecticut. Pan across the stage as six lucky boys and girls are sitting in front of the podium, anxiously awaiting Lebron's entrance. The kids are each wearing different NBA replica jerseys, representing the six teams in the Lebron Sweepstakes: Chicago, Cleveland, L.A. Clippers, Miami, New Jersey, and New York.
Lebron walks on stage and exchanges high-fives with each of the kids, pausing and hesitating before acknowledging the one wearing the Cleveland jersey.
LEBRON: Thank you everyone for coming here as I prepare to make the biggest decision of my life. I want to thank ESPN for agreeing to pre-empt their coverage of the World Series of Bull Riding so that I could make, what is sure to be, one of the biggest announcements of all time, one that is sure to dwarf their ratings for the World Cup. I also want to thank the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, Connecticut for allowing me to use their gorgeous facilities. I strongly believe that the Boys and Girls Club of America performs a vital service to our youth, and the Greenwich branch is a shining example of how, with a just a little bit of time and energy, we can keep our children out of trouble and prepare them for lives as productive adults. I'm proud to say that this Boys and Girls Club has done a great job keeping the children of Greenwich off of its mean streets, and I'm also proud to report that there have been no incidents of vandalism or theft at local yacht club or the country club since 1994! (Holds for applause). Also, congrats to the equestrian team for winning their fourth consecutive state championship! (More applause).
LEBRON: Anyway, before I get down to business, here's a quick programming note. Due to the unprecedented amount of attention that has already been lavished on this announcement, ESPN has decided to produce one-hour infomercials for the remaining free agents. Tune in tomorrow for two-time champion Adam Morrison's big announcement, which will take place at the Los Angeles homeless shelter where Adam spends most of his free time. Here's a look at what's at stake tomorrow night:
Video Promo #1:
LEBRON: I'm here to announce what team I will be playing for next year. There were many wonderful suitors and each of them provided me with an excellent opportunity to accomplish everything I've always wanted. Championships. MVP awards. Enough endorsement money to make Peyton Manning look like an amateur. It was a difficult decision and one that I did not undertake lightly. For my critics who think that holding a one-hour special to announce my decision is selfish and self-indulgent. I would like to remind them of what's at stake.
Video Promo #2:
LEBRON: And that doesn't even include all the breathtaking dunks I've thrown down since entering the NBA in 2003. The idea that someone like me can hit the open market like this is unprecedented and a once-in-a-lifetime event that needs to be commemorated with a one-hour special that's sure to dwarf the ratings for anything ESPN could offer at this time slot, not to mention what NBC got for "The Jay Leno Show." Speaking of NBC, did you catch my recent appearance on "Saturday Night Live?" In case you didn't, here's a taste.
Video Promo #3:
LEBRON: That was a special moment in my life. But not nearly as special as this one. It is truly an honor to stand before you, today, as the very first person in the history of sports to merit a one-hour infomercial during prime time rather than a perfunctory press conference in the middle of the day and a boring interview with the likes of Michael Wilbon or J.A. Adande on "Sportscenter." I'm happy to say that I've made my decision and without any further ado, I will reveal my choice - after a word from our sponsor.
Commercial Break #1:
Cut to kid wearing the Cleveland jersey who looks worried.
LEBRON: Uh- don't read anything into that. They were the first ones to buy the time, so ... Anyway, while I'm on the subject, I want to thank Cleveland for everything they've done for me over the years. They took me into their hearts and allowed me to develop into the multi-talented superstar I am today. And not just in the basketball arena. I've blossomed into a charismatic, funny, and well-rounded entertainer. Look no further than the rave reviews I got hosting the ESPYs in 2007.
Musical Interlude #1:
LEBRON: So, I've decided that only one place will provide me with the opportunity to spread my wings and fulfill all of my goals. Only one place will allow me to reach my full potential. Only one place that will serve as the perfect kingdom for King James. The time has come for me to reveal my choice. (The children all rise to their feet in anticipation - except for the kid wearing the Cleveland jersey, who simply buries his face in his hands). But first, a word from our sponsor.
Commercial Break #2:
Cut to the kids, who are still standing on their feet, waiting with bated breath - except for the kid wearing the Cavs jersey, who is looking at advertisements for grief counselors.
LEBRON: (looking nervous) Uh - once again, don't read anything into that. Man, who's in charge of the commercials? That last one wasn't even selling anything. Anyway, I'm sure that the fans, the media, the teams, the players, the entire civilized world are waiting for my decision. It's been a difficult few weeks for me as I've had to weigh wonderful offers from all over the country.
LEBRON: There's the chance to play with my friends D-Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami (pan to kid wearing Miami jersey who mugs for the camera).
LEBRON: There's the chance to follow in the footsteps of my idol, Michael Jordan (pan to kid wearing Chicago jersey who smiles happily).
LEBRON: There's the chance to move across the country and join an exciting young team and go head-to-head with the world champions in the same city (pan to the kid wearing the Clippers jersey who jumps up and down while pointing to his shirt).
LEBRON: There's the chance to play for a Russian billionaire who has big plans to build a contender in Brooklyn (pan to the kid wearing the Nets jersey who starts doing a Russian Kalinka dance).
LEBRON: And, of course, there's the chance to play for a storied franchise in the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden (pan to the Knicks' kid, who smiles confidently).
LEBRON: Um - I think that's it. Am I forgetting one? (Counts silently on his hands). No, I think that's it. (pan to the kid wearing the Cavs jersey, who looks like he's ready to end his misery). Don't worry, I won't keep you waiting. But, we still have some time to use up, so here's another musical number.
Musical Interlude #2:
LEBRON: Excellent job, Rock. (pan to children who are bobbing up and down, nervously, on their toes - except for the Cavs' kid, who is busy tying a hangman's noose with a piece of rope) Anyway, the time is finally upon us and I will announce my decision. I've done a lot of soul searching and I really wish there was a way I could play with all six of these wonderful teams next year. However, the bottom line is that there is only one team that will have me in their lineup next year. (Cue background music: "Don't Stop Believing," by Journey) It's been a long journey for this small-town guy from Ohio, and I've traveled many long and winding roads to get to this point. I never thought I would be here, today, with the world watching me as I plan my future. It's truly been an honor for me and I look forward to taking on this next challenge in my life with the same kind of determination that's characterized my career up to this point. As such, I am proud to announce that, as of this day, I am a proud member of ...
Screen cuts to black