ESPN's Bottom Line - Version 2.0

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Decision was a Good Thing

All of the hub-bub around the LeBron "Decision" today is understandable because the Heat tip off their first game with the new "Big Three" in just over an hour from now. There is debate about how evil he is to have dissed Cleveland like that. There is debate about how selfish he is for asking ESPN to put together an hour long show about him. There is even debate about the debates. What isn't being said is that LeBron's "Decision" was a good thing.

What never gets mentioned is that he was able to raise A LOT of money for charity with this simple one hour show. Yes, it did seem over the top. Yes it did seem like some sort of conspiracy that LeBron and ESPN would try to steal him away from Cleveland, the small market with big hearts. That is just because we are trained to be leery of power moves made by big corporations. It doesn't really get much bigger than LeBron, "The King," and ESPN, "The World-Wide Leader." So when The King uses the WWL to sensationalize in an hour long exclusive what for others is a quick tweet, we think something is up.

Well what was up was that LeBron figured out a way to "The Decision" that so many basketball fans and even casual sports fans were interested in more than just a blip on the scrolling headlines. He was able to raise $6 Million for charities! Yes, $6 Million. I admit that the way Kevin Durant handled his contract extension and his "Decision" to stay with the Thunder was certainly less self congratulatory but I didn't see anything about him generating $6 Million for charities. ESPN's show generated that through ad sales and gave all of it away per James' request. The Boy's and Girl's Club benefited the most with around $2.5 Million donated to them.

For those of us that think it was an over the top and ego driven media spectacle, well we can debate all week long. Or off-season, if you are a basketball columnist with nothing else to talk about. However, we owe it to LeBron to show respect for his knowledge and realization that his stardom can benefit people besides himself. After-all he did it for the kids.


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