There was a lot to like: The immediacy. The breadth and depth of information. Several stories were dead on, including
But there was some misinformation that further
erodes the public’s trust. And throughout June, ESPN’s coverage of
James was over-the-top, dominated by speculation and guesswork in the
absence of hard news.
If ESPN had not agreed to James’ demands to sell ad
inventory during his 60-minute special Thursday — with the money going
But you can blame ESPN for dragging out Thursday’s announcement. James didn’t disclose he would play for the Heat until
And shame on
The answers to those questions would have been more
substantive, more meaningful, if he had revealed the winning team
first. Remember, ESPN executive
the network had editorial control over the show except for the presence
of Gray, who was there because Maverick Carter, James’ business
partner, wanted him there.
And was there really a need for a three-hour,
James-heavy SportsCenter before the announcement? ESPN gave James his
own entry on ESPN’s crawl the past week, even when news didn’t warrant
“It takes 15 seconds to say, ‘I’ve decided to stay in
“It’s gotten ridiculous. It’s almost like a parody of itself. If Wade
just comes right out and says, ‘I’m going back to
you can’t get a film crew to follow him around to do that. Bosh had to
make it look like he considered all these teams so there would be some
suspense and interest.”
One viewer’s media scorecard of how free agency shook out:
—Biggest winners: 1)
Yes, he’s loud. Yes, he scowls as if a kid had egged his house. But
give the man credit. He nailed two weeks ago that James, Bosh and
—Most ridiculous report: Fanhouse saying last month that James would go on a recruiting tour, with
—Oops: ESPN’s Broussard and
the entire time. They stood by that report until Thursday, when
Broussard admitted it was untrue, and that the three players actually
—A bit too far: ESPN’s
Wade strongly considered it, but said this week he always planned to
—Naive report: ESPN, quoting a source, said the
Nets’ meeting with James was “front-runner tremendous.” ESPN shouldn’t
have fallen into that trap — every team said its meeting went
splendidly. (And, by the way, have you ever heard a team announce that
a player underwent unsuccessful surgery?)
—Huh? Broussard reported the Knicks were the favorite to land
—Most overexposed: Broussard and
—Most entertaining candor: From
—Most amusing report:
reporting James, hours before the start of free agency, pulled out of
his mansion in a Black S.U.V. and honked his horn at three fans holding
signs begging him to stay. “That beep meant everything!” said Cavs fan
Justin Sugermen. Or not.
—Unfortunate timing: WQAM’s
—The world is round, ESPN’s
would be higher than projections — three hours after the NBA sent an
e-mail announcing that.
—Most obsessive Twitter use: Bosh, who felt compelled to announce he was eating a Belgian waffle on Wednesday.
(c) 2010, The Miami Herald.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.