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Lebron James' 'orgy of self-glorification'
LeBron James is going to Miami — but after his widely panned ESPN announcement special, he may not have many people cheering for him there
LeBron James.
LeBron James.
Getty
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t the end of an hour-long prime-time special on ESPN, basketball superstar LeBron James announced yesterday evening that he will be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and joining the Miami Heat next season. (Watch LeBron James announce his pick) The show brought to a conclusion years' worth of fan speculation and jockeying by NBA franchises over the future the sport's foremost young player. But the overwhelming sense expressed afterwards by commentators has been disappoint and disgust with James' choice (abandoning his home city of Cleveland for a synthetic "superteam" in Miami) and how it was handled ("an orgy of self-glorification"). Here are three of the more vociferous and pungent critiques of ESPN's "LeBron-a-thon":

Like being eaten alive by maggots: LeBron James' "phony" ESPN announcement "was nauseating," says Rick Telander in the Chicago Sun-Times. It "made me feel dirty, foul, infested with tiny crawling things that want to creep into my ears and eat my brain." And because James chose to make his team pick on a "silly carnival show," without a dash of remorse for the Cleveland fans he crushed or an ounce of humility, he put the "sham side of sports" front and center. He should be ashamed.
"That was naseating"

A new nadir for all television: This wasn't just a low for sports, says David Zurawik in the Baltimore Sun. This was a low for television in general. "The hype was shameless, the lack of perspective colossal in the cable channel's LeBron James spectacle." And rather than the "'real life stuff'" ESPN co-host Ryan Burr claimed the "extravaganza" to be, it was "an exercise in ego on the part of a talented and self-absorbed athlete." Remember, sports fans, "real life stuff is the war in Afghanistan" and "people losing jobs" — not this charade.
"ESPN and the sorry hype of LeBron James special"

It destroyed us all: Never has the "ultimate ludicrousness" of sports been "laid more bare" than it was Thursday night, says Will Leitch in New York Magazine. And because of this "debacle," LeBron James and ESPN "will never be the same." But neither will the rest of us — "we've truly seen the ugly, dark heart of sports, and we won't be able to come back" from this collective loss of innocence. But "perhaps this is what we deserve" — after all, "we allowed this to happen."
"LeBron react: Never has being a sports fan felt so stupid"

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