Thankfully, the over-the-top hype surrounding the “LeBron James Watch” will end tonight, fittingly, in an hourlong special on ESPN.
Seemingly anyone with Internet access has speculated on the future of the prized free agent, including blogger Tom Lorenzo, who sought out a sports astrologer, a body-language expert, a handwriting-analysis expert, a tea-leaf reader and a psychic/tarot-card reader for their predictions.
The astrologer forecast James will sign with either the New York Knicks or New Jersey Nets; the body-language and handwriting-analysis experts said he won’t return to Cleveland; the tea-leaf reader said he’d join the Chicago Bulls; and the psychic predicted it either would be the Bulls or the Knicks.
James could make the most money in his lifetime in salary and endorsements if he went to New York, according to a study commissioned by the Knicks from marketing consultant Interbrand.
It estimated James could make close to $1 billion in New York, $700 million in Cleveland, $690 million in Chicago and $600 million in Miami.
Guess that rules out the Heat. As Latrell Sprewell would say, how’s a guy supposed to feed his family on $600 million?
■ BOOBY PRIZE — When Spain eliminated Paraguay from the World Cup, fans of the South American squad no doubt were disappointed — but probably not as much as fans of Paraguayan lingerie model Larissa Riquelme, who had promised to run nude through the streets of her country if it won the World Cup.
But Riquelme’s fans can rejoice now that she has decided to follow through on her pledge despite the loss.
In what she said “will be a present to all of the players and for all the people in Paraguay to enjoy,” the stunning model plans to run naked through the town of Asuncion at a date to be determined.
Argentina coach Diego Maradona also vowed to run nude through the streets of his country if it won the World Cup.
It lost to Germany in the semifinals, but let’s hope he doesn’t decide to give a similar “present” to his people.
If he did, we’d definitely have to cry for Argentina.
■ BETTER THAN FREE FOOD — Whenever the Las Vegas Wranglers scored at least five goals in a game at the Orleans Arena last season, each person in attendance was rewarded with a free taco. Likewise, Los Angeles Lakers fans received free tacos whenever their team tallied at least 100 points in a home game.
But a certain erotic film actress in the Netherlands is offering much more than free food if her country upsets Spain in Sunday’s World Cup final.
In an extreme, risque promotion of her own, Dutch porn star Bobbi Eden tweeted that she will perform oral sex — with the help of a couple of fellow “actresses” — on all of her more than 23,000 followers on Twitter if the Netherlands can capture its first World Cup crown.
COMPILED BY TODD DEWEY
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL