LeBron James gets ESPN special to announce team pick


NBA superstar LeBron James, now a free agent, is being courted by numerous teams to join their roster. He’ll make his pick Thursday evening in a live special, “The Decision,” on ESPN.

The special will air at 9:00 pm ET on July 8th. James has made the event a charity fun draiser, with proceeds from the broadcast to be donated to Boys & Girls Club of America in support of James’ vision to construct basketball courts for youth across the country. The program will be co-presented by University of Phoenix and Bing. vitaminwater and McDonald’s will also sponsor the program. In addition, Nike and Sprite are making contributions in support of the charitable initiative. ESPN said LeBron James and his marketing company, LRMR Marketing, were responsible for securing the sponsors for the event.

ESPN’s Stuart Scott will host “The Decision,” and will be joined by ESPN NBA analysts Michael Wilbon and Jon Barry. Freelance reporter Jim Gray will conduct the first interview with James in which he announces his decision. Wilbon will also have an extensive interview with James.

“LeBron has a longstanding commitment to giving back to the community and has worked with Boys & Girls Clubs in cities across the country. With the unprecedented attention and interest surrounding LeBron’s decision, we decided to make this announcement on national television and donate the proceeds to Boys & Girls Clubs. We very much appreciate the cooperation and generosity of our sponsors,” said Maverick Carter, CEO of LRMR.

“We were thrilled to hear from LeBron’s organization over this past weekend with this most generous gesture. Taking time out of what I am sure is a most difficult decision, and creating an opportunity for our Clubs and members to benefit, is just tremendous,” said Roxanne Spillett, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

ESPN’s 6:00 pm ET “SportsCenter” will expand to three hours leading into the hour-long “The Decision” at 9:00 pm.  Following “The Decision,” ESPN will televise an expanded SportsCenter from 10:00 pm-midnight (9 pm PT).  SportsCenter’s coverage throughout the evening will provide news and information associated with the decision, an overview of the NBA free agency landscape, and a recap of the other sports news of the day.  ESPN will also have reporters at the team headquarters of several teams which have been most active in free agency.