MSG Stock Soars on LeBron James to Knicks Rumor

Reports surfaced on Wednesday night that LeBron James would have a one-hour show on ESPN to announce where he’s going to sign in free agency. Details have emerged that James’ announcement will take place in Greenwich, Connecticut, outside of New York City, making people believe he’s going to sign with the Knicks. On top of that news, Reds Army brought it to my attention that both Ocho Cinco and Jared Dudley have said on twitter that LeBron James is going to the Knicks. Even though nothing is official, the speculation has already resulted in heavy financial implications.

CNBC business reporter Darren Rovell pointed out that MSG’s stock was up towards the final hour of trading on Wednesday because of the rumors that LeBron’s going to NYC. MSG is Madison Square Garden, the cable company that airs Knicks games. As if the stock rising 6.5% for the day wasn’t enough, the trade volume has been up almost six times its normal average. Additionally, the options market for MSG was buzzing with thousands of calls contracts being purchased, all in anticipation that MSG’s stock will go up in the future.

If I were the SEC, I would be taking an extra careful look at the buys on Wednesday to make sure there was no insider trading going on based on the LeBron rumors.

Did Ochocinco and Dudley just ruin LeBron’s “Look At Me” party? [Reds Army]
Market Bets LeBron Will Be A Knick? [CNBC]
MSG Stock [Yahoo! Finance]

LeBron James Is a Charitable Type

As the free agency frenzy rolls on throughout the summer, it appears as if we may have a key announcement coming in the near future. LeBron James supposedly is negotiating with ESPN to create a one-hour LeBron James selection show special. Putting aside how odd it is that an ESPN writer is reporting a story about the plans of his own network but can’t get confirmation all the while he’s talking on their airwaves, there are a few positives to come of all this. It’s not just that the media, fans, and cities involved will finally learn the answer to the question they’ve been asking the past two years, it’s that, to quote Cher from Clueless, LeBron James is using his popularity for a good cause.

According to the report, LeBron wants his marketing team to have the ability to sell the ads on the show. The reported intention is to give the proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club. Call me a sucker if you must, but I actually think that’s a very cool thing to do. You might despise him because he has kept us all hostage to his announcement but LeBron does not have to share that money with anyone. Instead, he’ll be indirectly running one of the best telethons possible.

With LeBron’s marketing team creating a twitter account on Tuesday, revamping his website, and the NBA using him to promote their product through social media, I’m actually surprised they’re trying to schedule this thing to go down so quickly. If I were running his P.R. squad I would let the whole situation marinate for a few more days before announcing things. I guess you can say they’re doing a favor to MLB by not stealing the All-Star Game’s attention. Not to mention, they’ll be doing great things for an excellent charity, which is something most athletes wouldn’t think to do.

Sources: LeBron decision Thursday [ESPN]

LeBronathon (Further) Invades Twitter

What will soon become the most closely watched Twitter account in the universe is a mere one Tweet old.  We’ve already given you our opinion on the NBA milking this year’s free agent class to gain publicity.  On Tuesday, we saw another perfect example to support our argument when LeBron James created a Twitter

I wonder how many Twitter followers his marketing team has decided they need to rack up before announcing a decision.  Chris Bosh’s Twitter is already racking up followers at an incredible pace and the NBA is using it’s players’ Twitter accounts to create as much hype as possible. King James’ brand new Twitter account is nothing but the latest publicity stunt in a world that’s full of new technology.  I think I speak for a lot of people when I say these guys can’t make up their minds about where they’re going to play soon enough.

Free agent LeBron James finally joins Twitter [Tom Withers/AP]
LeBron James on Twitter

NBA Is Milking Free Agency for Publicity

While superstars like Darko and Drew Gooden were busy agreeing to contracts on the first day of free agency, also-rans like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh have been taking their sweet time making a decision. Even though this is a momentous choice for these players and there are many factors to examine before signing with a team, I can’t help but feel like the players and the league are dragging things out on purpose. While would they do such a thing? Delaying their decisions keeps the buzz going and the free publicity rush moving. Allow me to explain.

Every day that goes by and one of the three stars of the class doesn’t announce a decision, it’s another day that the news cycle spends speculating on their futures. For someone like Chris Bosh who had to produce a used car salesman video in order to make it into the All-Star Game two years ago, you can’t buy the type of attention he’s been receiving. Don’t think this free agency period has raised his profile? Think again.

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Chicago Challenges LeBron James to Play for Bulls

It’s only been five days since the NBA’s free agency period began and I’m already pretty tired of hearing about it. The one thing that did get my attention this weekend was the “challenge” that was dished out to LeBron James.  In short, he was being asked to step out of Michael Jordan‘s shadow and cast a bigger one upon the city of Chicago. It was the work of a Chicago based ad agency called Leo Burnett Worldwide that obviously wants LeBron in a Chicago Bulls jersey. They presented their challenge with a series of four items sent to LeBron beginning on Monday last week and ending on Thursday, the first day of free agency.

On Thursday, a two page ad ran in the Akron Beacon Journal, LBJ’s hometown paper, with a question addressed to him. It was a picture of the Chicago skyline with a very familiar shadow cast over it. The shadow looked like Chicago’s most famous superstar — Michael Jordan, of course. It said “LeBron, the fans of Chicago have a question for you. Can you cast a shadow this big?”  Personally, I think that’s awesome. It’s telling LeBron that yes, you would be coming to the city where thee greatest player ever spent most of his career and that you shouldn’t be afraid of his shadow. But that wasn’t all that LeBron got.

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LeBron Not on Same Page with Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade?

This isn’t even coming from me — it’s coming straight from Bosh who posted a telling message to his twitter account. Here’s what Bosh tweeted on Thursday night as the first day of free agency was wrapping up: “Just had dinner w @dwadeofficial. Great way to end day 1 of #freeagency although it feels like someone is missing……” And of course Bosh linked to a picture of himself and Dwyane Wade eating together (something we’ve gotten used to seeing over the past few weeks). As you can see, there’s a seat open between the two gentlemen. I wonder for whom that could be?

Sometimes the best clues can come from the players themselves and this seems to be a pretty good indicator to me. While Wade and Bosh are meeting with teams in Chicago, LeBron is holding his private meetings in Cleveland. We noted how the idea that had been floated suggesting the three would split money and all join the Miami Heat. Bosh said the notion seemed “pie in the sky.” Now I have an idea why he said that; the whole thing seems improbable at this point and it’s mainly because LeBron is doing his own thing right now.

Chris Bosh on Twitter

LeBron Watch: The King, D-Wade, and Bosh Willing to Split Cash?

The talk of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh joining forces in 2011 is really starting to heat up — no pun intended.  Stephen A. Smith seems to have called it first on his radio show, so as fun as this would be to watch I’m almost hoping it doesn’t happen.  I’d hate for him to be able to say, “I told you so,” and I’m sure plenty of others are with me on that.

Sports by Brooks has drawn my attention to an Ira Winderman report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that claims the three superstars have gone so far as to discuss the financial shuffling that would need to take place in order for all three to be signed by the Miami Heat.  Winderman reports that a source has told him that the free agents are aware it may be impossible for the Heat to start them all out at the $16.6 million for their first season that the maximum contract would allow.  The source told Winderman that they have discussed a plan to “split the money up” if that’s what it takes to make it work.

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