Saturday, July 3, 2010

LeBron Speculation Is Beyond Silly

This is what I’m thinking:

* Is there anything sillier than all the TV speculation about where Cleveland Cavaliers free agent LeBron James is going to land?

The truth is nobody really knows what James is thinking -- and that may include James.

If you're to believe all the experts wasting TV time and energy predicting the future, James is either going to stay in his hometown of Cleveland or become a Chicago Bull. Or a New York Knick. Or a Los Angeles Clipper. Or a member of the Miami Heat.

I caught the midnight special on MSG Thursday morning to see New York Knicks announcer and Knick legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier act as a recruiter for James, saying the benefits of playing in New York and Madison Square Garden are priceless. We're talking multi-millions in endorsements.

On the other hand, all the speculation on all the ESPNs is worthless until James makes up his mind.

The same goes true for the speculation about the other prized free agents -- Miami's Dwyane Wade, Toronto's Chris Bosh and Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire (who as of late Friday night was supposed to be heading to the Knicks).
Sure, the free agent sweepstakes is news and deserves some time on the SportsCenters of the world. But not this much time.
* The United States’ elimination loss to Ghana in extra time a week ago in the World Cup had an impressive 7.4 rating on Channel 7, the ABC affiliate. That’s as good as many NBA finals games featuring the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics received here.

The low overall ratings here didn’t show that Buffalonians didn’t care about the World Cup. It showed that they didn’t care when the U.S. wasn’t playing. Additionally, Canada’s coverage here gave viewers a second option to ESPN and ABC.

* NBC’s Ted Robinson is a terrific play-by-play man at Wimbledon but I much prefer the enthusiasm of Dick Enberg, who has worked the Big W for ESPN.

* Is It Live or Memorex? Sometimes, you couldn’t tell when Wimbledon matches were on ESPN or NBC because they rarely showed a graphic telling viewers they were watching “prerecorded matches.” NBC gave a pretty good hint Friday afternoon in the men's semifinals when it broke for a commercial when Tomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic were at 6-6 in a set and ready to start a tiebreaker. If the match had been live, there wouldn't have been a break for a commercial.

With all the upsets at Wimbleon, NBC has to be thrilled that ratings draws Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal made it to the ladies final today and the men’s final Sunday, respectively. However, Serena dispatched Vera Zvonareva in straight sets so quickly this morning that NBC has hours to fill before it signs off at 2 p.m.

* NBC’s has run constant promos during Wimbledon featuring Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth that reminded viewers that Sunday Night is football night on the network. Duh. They ran so often they almost seemed more like a warning than a promo. Can’t the network just let us enjoy the summer before reminding us football is around the corner?

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