LeBron James Joins Twitter Just In Time for His Big Announcement

It's curious timing if it isn't related to his big decision

By Josh Alper
|  Tuesday, Jul 6, 2010  |  Updated 9:46 PM CDT
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The nature of the 24-hour news cycle is such that any small piece of information about a hot topic gets blown wildly out of proportion until some other story trumps it or viewers become fatigued by the overload of meaningless information and the story dies a slow death as they stop paying attention. 

That isn't happening with the LeBron James watch, mostly because there has not been one iota of information coming out of the James camp. There have been plenty of speculative pieces from beat writers in Cleveland and elsewhere but no one knows anything about where James is going to end up because he and his team have successfully closed off all communication while he makes the decision. 

We're starting to get some idea about how James is planning to let everybody know where he'll be playing, however. James opened a Twitter account on Tuesday -- his publicist has confirmed that @kingjames is the King James we all care about -- that has already picked up more than 50,000 followers.

The account also links to a new website which features a pixelated picture of James's face with the slogan "Getting Closer." If you sign up for alerts from the site, it jumps to a page that reads "you'll be the first to know." 

Expect that number of followers to multiply at least three or four times that by the end of the day as Twitter campaigns inevitably crop up in Chicago, Cleveland and New York with the intent of convincing James to come play for their hometown team.  

Would such a campaign actually work? The gut feeling is to say that it wouldn't but it's pretty clear that James has a desire to be looked at and loved by the masses that borders on something you'd see from an epaulet-wearing dictator ruling a banana republic with an iron fist.

James certainly seems like somebody with plans on controlling the announcement of his future on his own terms, doesn't it? It fits with the idea that James is fascinated with the idea of creating his own brand as part of this free agency process, something that he'd help accomplish by hosting his own video announcing where he'll be playing basketball next year.

He can do it in front of a backdrop festooned with logos of his sponsors, not the sponsors of whatever team he will play for, and he'll have every basketball loving eye in the world trained on the site at the moment he does so.

Or maybe it's all just a coincidence. Again, we don't know anything because James isn't telling anybody anything. It definitely feels like an odd bit of timing and phrasing to just have the Twitter account and website pop up in the middle of the free agency feeding frenzy with absolutely no correlation between them.  

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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