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ESPN's Lebron James Free Agency Obsession is Sickening


water cooler         logoRaise your hand if you're sick and tired of ESPN's  endless Lebron James free agency coverage. 

It seems that every time you tune into Sportscenter they show that ridiculous Lebron Tracker. ESPN also has a Lebron Tracker page on their site for those of you who were fortunate to not have seen the segment. At the heart of the segment is a graphic of Lebron James with a counter that counts down the time to free agency. Fifteen years ago when ESPN still was a top-notch, objective network; if you mentioned them doing something like this it would have been shrugged off as a joke. It seems that the quality of the NBA isn't the only thing to have gone down the toilet in the past 15 years.

The cheerleaders at ESPN are drooling at the prospects of Lebron James being paired up with another big-time free agent. On the Lebron Tracker page they ponder who Lebron could be paired with. Naturally they have a photo of James and Dwyane Wade as the headliner photo on this page.  ESPN's ultimate fantasy is that Lebron and Wade end up in Chicago. 

Each day ESPN has something new to report on the biggest NBA revolution since the 24-second clock was institutedlebron james in the 1950's.  What is Lebron saying? What teams are hot after Lebron? Will Lebron and Dwyane Wade go to Chicago together? Next, ESPN will be reporting on Lebron James' next gourmet dinner when he's out on the town.

ESPN's credibility is in serious question over the Lebron love affair.  It's one thing to cover free agency, put rumors out there, and throw out possible scenarios as to where players can land. Heck, everybody does it. It's a fact of life. People love rumors and "what ifs." However, it's absolutely disgusting for a company, which calls itself the "Worldwide Leader in Sports" to fawn over Lebron James in the matter they are. 

Even President Obama is commenting on Lebron James' free agency!  The world has gone mad it seems. Could you imagine CNN putting an "Obama Tracker" on their website? Absolutely not. Would Fox News ever dream of putting a "Sarah Palin Tracker" on their website? Hell no.

ESPN's credibility and legitmacy as a news organization is put into serious question over this whole love affair. They have a huge stake in this since ESPN and ABC are tied to the hip with the NBA. And, clearly their objectivity as a network is compromised. Certainly Lebron James is the biggest star in the NBA and the biggest NBA story this summer will be where he lands. Even when a nasty rumor is out there about him (i.e. the Delonte West-Gloria James rumor) it's a big deal. With all of that said, it's still no reason for ESPN to prostitute themselves for Lebron James. At this point they look like PR agents for him as opposed to reporters. 

What is perhaps equally annoying with the "Lebron-saga" is the so-called free agency summit involving Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, and Joe Johnson. Great-so now NBA superstars can publicly say they're going to meet up (collude) and get away with it? What next-maybe they'll demand 15-year guranteed contracts in the next CBA? Dwyane Wade's agent is doing some PR work and denying that Wade is organizing this free agent summit. Anybody with half a brain knows that athletes get together and talk about what's in their best interests anyway, but to admit it is just flat out insane.

A long time ago ESPN was the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Now they are shameless promoters for pampered overpaid superstars. They should change their name to the Worldwide Leader in Superstar Cheerleading.

Photo of Lebron James from http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/