If you watched the 2009 NBA Slam Dunk contest tonight, then you already know that LeBron James announced his preliminary intentions for being in the 2010 event. If not, then, well, you just found out.
I'm not sure why it didn't hit me at first, but the announcement wasn't some spur of the moment or spontaneous move by James; he's been planning this for a while. LeBron's big move is coming in the summer of 2010, like so many NBA fans already know, when James and several other superstars (Wade, Bosh, Joe Johnson, Ginobili, Nowitzki, Redd, etc.) will hit the free agent market.
When I first heard LeBron's statement on TNT during the competition, I thought, wow, maybe he's changing a little. Maybe he's going to do something just for the hell of it. But no, he's not.
My beef with James has never had anything to do with his talent. There isn't anything on the basketball court he can't do. He's going to end up being one of the best players of all time, no question about it. But fans have wanted to see him in the slam dunk contest for years, and he always brushed it off for no reason. He always acted above it, like he was too big for such a thing.
And now, when it benefits him most to be involved, he makes the announcement as if he just thought it over real quick on the sidelines.
It may be a genius move for him, his bank account, and his overall popularity as a player, but the timing of the move is pretty weak when considering the rationale for it.
Thanks again, LeBron. Maybe you won't be so lame in the future.