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Thursday, July 8, 2010
Report: ESPN to air LeBron's decision Thursday
AKRON, Ohio (AP) LeBron James' dramatic and historic free agency will have a fitting conclusion — on TV.
ESPN reported Tuesday night that James will announce his future NBA plans during a one-hour special on its network at 9 p.m. Thursday. ESPN's Chris Broussard said James' "representatives" contacted the network and asked for the unusual arrangement.
It is not known which team James will join or where the announcement will take place.
The two-time MVP and marquee name in a stellar free-agent class also featuring Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, recently met with six teams — the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets.
Both James' publicist Keith Estabrook and ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz declined comment.
Citing anonymous "independent sources," Broussard reported James' group requested they be allowed to sell sponsorship for the special with proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
James' agent Leon Rose and business manager Maverick Carter did not return phone calls and e-mails seeking comment.
Earlier, all his fans got was a tweet out of James.
With the Summer of LeBron trudging along, James opened a Twitter account and posted his first message on the social networking site. Although he provided no information about his future plans, he offered something as the NBA awaits the decision on where he'll play next.
"Hello World, the Real King James is in the Building," said the tweet from KingJames, which by 11 p.m. had more than 187,000 followers.
After arriving for the second day of his skills academy on Tuesday four hours later than expected, James spent six hours at Rhodes Arena in meetings and playing ball with several Cavaliers teammates against high school campers before heading home. He didn't speak to reporters before pulling away in his customized Dodge pickup.
"That's the question," Cavs teammate Daniel Gibson said when asked what he thinks James will do. "I don't know. I'm here with the hanging-out, having-fun LeBron. I'm not out here with the business LeBron."
Estabrook confirmed the superstar joined Twitter, a place where Wade and Bosh often post details about their public lives off the floor.
In the past, James poked fun at athletes for giving details of their daily routines on Twitter and Facebook, but at the prodding of New Orleans guard Chris Paul, his U.S. Olympic teammate and closest friend in the league, the two-time MVP decided it was time to join the fun.
Now, if he would only announce which team he's going to.
Clippers hire coach
LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Clippers reached an agreement in principle with Vinny Del Negro to become the team's head coach.
Del Negro was fired by the Chicago Bulls in May after going 82-82 in two seasons and making two postseason appearances.
Mike Dunleavy quit as Clippers coach in early February to focus exclusively on his general manager duties, then he and the team severed ties completely on March 8. His assistant, Kim Hughes, finished the season as interim coach before being dismissed on April 15.
The Clippers had a 29-53 record last season, missing the playoffs for the 15th time in 17 years. They were 8-33 on the road, their worst away record since 1999-2000.