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free agency shitshow 2010

So What Exactly Will Be Happening on ESPN Tonight?

It's been suggested that staging an hour-long Television Event to make what should be a ten-second announcement is a little excessive, but remember: What will take place on ESPN at 9 p.m. tonight is actually an hour-long program, preceded by a three-hour (!) SportsCenter preshow — one rendered all the more absurd now that the big decision may have already been leaked. So what exactly will happen on The Decision?

Here's what we know: LeBron will appear live from the Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, and not from Allan Houston's house, as one reporter's source hilariously claimed yesterday. There with James will be ESPN's Jim Gray, who was hand-picked by Team LeBron, obviously without consulting with Chad Curtis first. Ad revenue from the special will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club. Expect that angle to be played up, especially if he really is going to Miami, since dwelling on how LeBron requested an hour of prime time to rip the heart out of Cleveland on national television doesn't make James look quite as good on his big night.

Mercifully, James will announce his decision within the first ten minutes of the show, then once he and Gray are done chatting, LeBron will talk via satellite to still more ESPN personalities — Mike Wilbon, Stuart Scott, and Jon Barry — stationed in Bristol. LeBron's also currently seeking questions from fans via Twitter, and he says he'll answer some "tonight." Most likely, this will occur solely in the Twitterverse, but perhaps he'll take a moment to field a few while on their air. If so, expect queries like "How could you do this to us?" (from folks in Cleveland); "We have a basketball team?" (from folks in Miami); and "Go to hell" (from folks in New York). Incidentally, if you're one of the 300,000-plus people who followed LeBron on Twitter this week, this would be an excellent time to unfollow him, as he'll have made the only announcement you'll ever care about him making.

Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images