There was a report that LeBron James might make his free agency decision announcement on Thursday at 3:30 PM Eastern.
Unless you’re a time-traveler stuck in a moment before that time — and you can’t get out of it — you know that this did not come to be. At 3:30 PM Eastern on Thursday, July 10, 2014 CE, and LeBron James did not in fact make his announcement about whether he’d sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Miami Heat.
The rumor of James’ decision being announced at that time came from a report that police officers near his home had been informed to be ready for a decision at that time; suffice to say it was never the firmest source to begin with, but that didn’t prevent skeptic and hopeful believer alike to bond with their twitter feeds like industrial adhesive at that moment.
Sam Amick of USA Today said the decision wasn’t coming within the next 60 minutes, either, and Chris Broussard reported that LeBron wasn’t done speaking to family members:
LeBron James won't be making an announcement in three minutes, or the next hour, for that matter, I'm told.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) July 10, 2014
LJ Rumors running rampant. Here's something definitely true: LJ still has family he wants to talk to before announcing decision
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 10, 2014
And on top of all of this, lebronjames.com, the apocryphal site of The Announcement, crashed shortly before this supposed 3:30 PM Eastern deadline for LeBron’s declaration. An overload of traffic seems the likely culprit, but I’m not ruling out cyberterrorists trying to destroy the American way of life.
That way of life, my friends, is the state of being completely and utterly laser-focused on everything even remotely related to NBA Free Agency. Throw in LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony or any other top-notch superstar, and the fever pitch gets to a level so hot that no amount of cowbell could ever hope to cure it.
A lot of people have bemoaned the insanity and nonstop fervor surrounding James and his free agency decision. And there are undoubtedly creepy elements to this whole thing that border on stalking.
UPDATE: Okay, this is not all right, people.
— Jon Bozeka (@JonBozeka) July 10, 2014
But the drama and the spectacle and the overreactions and the amateur detective work — I don’t know, it’s all ridiculously fun if you ask me. It’s a bunch of basketball nerds putting their overabundance of energy and resources to the ultimate test, trying to suss out what’s going to happen before it happens just for the sake of the journey of discovery. It’s not entirely unlike the current state of professional wrestling, where often more attention is lavished on the backstage machinations than on the actual in-ring (or on-court) product.
Everyone enjoys a good bit of theater, and the NBA offseason — and this free agency period in particular — has already delivered a hundred times over in that regard. End the nonsense? No thanks. Give me more.
I mean, if LeBron James wants to make The Announcement from the moon, I’m okay with using taxpayer dollars to fund that. That’s all I’m saying. And if you disagree, you’re a commu-
…community-minded person with the greater good in mind, my lawyers are advising me. And good on you. (Seriously, LeBron, go to the moon.)