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How Lebron’s Choice Is Like An Apple Keynote

Tonight, LeBron James will reveal which NBA team he will play for in a one-hour television special on ESPN. “LeBron’s Choice” some are calling it. I’d prefer not to, if only for the disturbing word association it invokes to a film about a unfathomable decision.

Then again, it kind of is a no-win situation for Lebron isn’t it? Choose to stay at home in Cleveland and he gets railed for running to stand still. Choose to go anywhere else and he becomes Ohio’s Judas for All Eternity.

It’s truly amazing that no one has gotten advance knowledge of his final decision, especially in this day and age of twitter, SMS, and instant broadcast media. In fact, one could say LeBron’s been almost Apple-like in keeping his most valued secret. (Well, prior to this year’s BarPhone scandal anyway.)

Think about it, how much speculation does the internet generate before every Apple keynote nowadays? It’s a goddamn free for all out there. Anything within reason gets blogged, tweeted, shared, much like all the different free agent scenarios thrown about with LeBron the past week. Why do we do this?

Because we love this shit.

We love speculation and we love drama. It’s in our DNA as red-blooded humans. We eat it up. It’s fun to analyze every little clue thrown to us. We’ve even made pseudo stars out of the best “detectives” out there. I’m sure Brian Windhorst over at the Cleveland Plain dealer has massively increased his audience lately, becoming the Jon Gruber of the sports media world.

Do you remember what Apple revealed at keynotes prior to the iPhone announcement in 2007? Yeah, neither do I. How about E3′s before the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii were announced in 2006? Mmmhmm.

Now, we expect the spectacular announcment every year during those shows. We want the circus of rumors, gossip, and speculation to culminate in an orgy of event live tweeting and blogging. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if the planned TV announcement special becomes the norm for any superstar free agency decision in the future. As American Idol and reality TV have proven over the years, we’re willing to sit through “results” shows where we watch 59 minutes of fluff to get to content that could be over with in one minute. Why wouldn’t LeBron do what he did? There’s already a precedent for it out there.

Personally, as someone who doesn’t have a particular rooting interest in where LeBron goes, I kind of want him to go somewhere else. I want the NBA landscape to be changed. I want to participate in the avalanche of Twitter posts and comments troll hate. More importantly, I want my fascination over this dog and pony show to have been for something. Because what’s shittier than sitting through an Apple keynote only to find out that they’re just selling faster Macs?


What Happened To Passionate Lakers Fans At Staples Center?

Indulge me a bit for a semi-off topic post.

I really wish you could pick what kind of people you sat with when you buy tickets to a live NBA game. It’s something I think I would actually pay a small fee for the option to pick the type of crowd you are surrounded by.

I don’t know about you but I love to be around rowdy  and fun people at sporting events especially if it’s a game deep into a playoff run. For me, the biggest reason to pay the money to attend a live game is to be around the energy of passionate fans who root for the same home team as you do. I want people to be heckling the opposing team and their fans, standing and cheering at the right times, and throwing out creative chants. If you don’t want to do any of those things, why bother spending the $80-$500 to come out to the game? You’d most likely get a better view at home on your TV plus you get announcers. (Obviously this argument is less effective the better your seats are. I’m assuming a ticket price that average people can afford.)

I’ve been very fortunate to be able to attend two Laker playoff games this year (1 game at each of the Suns and Jazz series) and Game 1 of the NBA finals last year. Now, I had seats in the upper deck because that’s all I could afford. You’d think that’s where the “true” Laker fans would be. The blue collar, rowdy “Laker Faithful” who saved up all year to be able to root for their team during go time. You’d think it’d be a riot zone up there with the heckling and potential drunken skirmishes with enemy fans.

You’d be wrong.

All three playoff games felt like a routine regular season game. There were empty seats around me every time. People didn’t even bother show up to a Western Conference Final game. Everyone around me acted nonplussed for most of the game. I felt almost embarrassed to stand up and actually show emotion after important plays. I was worried I’d have to turn around and apologize to people behind me for having the gall to obstruct their view as if it were the opera.

Now, there were definitely pockets of fun going around the upper deck of the arena. Dudes yelling random shit out, heckling the players, chanting “WE WANT BOSTON,” going nuts after dunks. It just wasn’t happening around me.

Which takes us back to my idea for crowd-type choice when buying tickets. Everyone wins out here. People like me who want to be passionate can be around each other and feed off the energy. The opera-goers can have their sedentary experience with the families who don’t want their kids hearing bad words. The Lakers/Ticketmaster make an extra $5 per person for matchmaking. (It’d be great for this to be a free service, but we know those bastards will invariably want moar moneyhats.) It’d just take some extra web/database tweaking on the ticket sales end.

Bill Simmons over at ESPN seemed to have a different experience than I did. But then again, he had comped tickets in the lower level. Maybe it’s a completely different experienced down there. Hopefully I’ll get to sample it one day when I make my first million. Maybe the upper deck at Staples for the Celtics/Lakers Finals going on now is everything I wanted a game experience to be. For now, though, I think I’m going to just stay home until either A) I get rich enough to sit with the celebrities or B) they let me choose what kind of crowd I want to sit with.


Where Potty Happens

big baby davis nba trophy larry obrien lol

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008 NBA Champion Boston Celtics!

(Pic Credit: LOLJocks)