ESPN reveals ‘The Decision’ was a fan’s idea

Photo: USA Today

In 2010, LeBron James announced on live TV that he will “take his talents to the South Beach”, leaving Cleveland after 7 seasons.

For LeBron and the league that was a player’s empowerment move that showed the way to other stars and confirmed that the NBA was becoming steadily the players’ league.

According to ESPN, ‘The Decision’ idea was first appeared in a Bill Simmons mailbag “from a 38-year-old Detroit Pistons fan from Columbus, Ohio, identified only as “Drew”.

Per ESPN:

“What if LeBron announces he will pick his 2010-11 team live on ABC on a certain date for a show called ‘LeBron’s Choice?'” wrote Drew, with no last name published. “What type of crazy ratings would that get?”

Simmons replied, “If LeBron were smart, he would market the event through his company, sell the rights to a network and reveal his choice on that show … He could even make it pay-per-view … I’m pretty sure they’ll pony up for $44.99 for “Decision 2010: LeBron’s Verdict.”

“Until Friday night, the identity of 38-year-old Drew Wagner as the person who first pitched the idea wasn’t known to anyone but his wife, Jennifer, and his circle of friends. But as they listened to multiple national radio shows Friday previewing a new Backstory episode on The Decision, which debuts Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN, they learned that Simmons pitched the “Drew from Columbus, Ohio” mailbag column idea directly to James’ inner circle and ESPN executives in February 2010.