When LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers, he did so with just a 39-word press release tweeted by his agency, Klutch Sports, continuing a trend of his free agency announcements getting more low-key since “The Decision” broke the hearts of Cleveland Cavaliers fans and destroyed James’ Q-rating (at the time, at least).
James learned his lesson, as his announcement was a far more understated coming home letter co-authored with Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated.
When announcing he would take his talents to Los Angeles, James went even more casual before hopping on a plane to head on vacation.
Seriously, look at how nondescript this press release revealing the biggest free agency news of the year is:
July 2, 2018
The didn’t even put a caption! What if everyone just scrolled past it on the timeline! We still might not know James had committed.
In all seriousness, though, it would be hard to explain to someone who wasn’t a basketball fan or was too young to remember “The Decision” just how bizarre the ESPN TV special (and the process leading up to it) were, so on that front, SB Nation put together this deep look back at the weird the summer of 2010 was, so let’s take a look back on the eight-year anniversary of James’ free agency extravaganza:
For those that can’t watch until later (no, don’t tell me you can’t watch. I don’t care if you’re at work, bookmark it for later), looking from James’ Bachelor style recruiting process in 2010 to how he announced his decision this time while not even taking in-person meetings in free agency— outside of clandestine visit from Magic Johnson — is enough to give one whiplash.
James has changed a lot since then, clearly, and given how much he cares about setting his own narratives, it will be fascinating to see if him continue to evolve in a Lakers uniform.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.