The Wait For LeBron James' Decision Is Almost Over
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
With us on the line, is ESPN commentator and sportswriter, Kevin Blackistone. Good morning.
KEVIN BLACKISTONE: Good morning. How are you doing?
MONTAGNE: Fine, thank you. I just have to say, really quickly, at the top, is this not a little over the top? I mean it's not just an announcement.
BLACKISTONE: A little, you think?
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
MONTAGNE: It's an hour-long special on LeBron James.
BLACKISTONE: Yeah, this is pretty outrageous. I don't think there's any precedent for it. I don't think there's any need for it. And it's kind of disturbing, as a journalist, how ESPN, from whom I garner a check, has gotten into bed with LeBron James to do this deal. They've allowed him to choose the sponsors for the show, with the exception of one. They've allowed him to choose who will interview him on the show. And I think it's a really bad trend.
MONTAGNE: Well, since it's happening - that is at least his decision is happening, and it is news...
MONTAGNE: ...in the last hours of LeBron madness this morning, tell us what teams he is seriously considering.
BLACKISTONE: After that you can throw Chicago in the mix. You can throw the New York Knicks in the mix, who just landed Amare Stoudemire - another one of these premiere free agents. And maybe a couple of other cities, but those would be the primary places he may well wind up.
MONTAGNE: And what about the team - the team that he picks. How much might it affect the team that he signs with?
BLACKISTONE: Clearly, wherever he goes, that team will become an immediate contender for the NBA Finals, just like Cleveland Cavaliers where he is right now. Certainly those fans will be a lot a happier, certainly there'll a lot more ticket sales and T-shirt sales, and maybe some sales for nearby restaurants and that kind of thing. But I think, other than the happy meter with the fans, I don't think some of the estimates of his impact are going to be that much realized.
MONTAGNE: So, real quickly, and we only have, literally, a couple of seconds here. Any word as to - any sneak, you know, any news, I mean that you could make right now?
BLACKISTONE: You know, Mike Wilbon is a good friend of mine and I ran into him in the studio yesterday, after he interviewed, on air, Chris Bosh and Dewayne Wade, and he swore he didn't know an answer...
BLACKISTONE: ...to where LeBron was going to go. So I don't think anybody does, except LeBron James.
MONTAGNE: And this in studio discussion NPR News.
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