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LeBron James, Miami Heat media attention will be incredible

The Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder play Friday in a preseason game at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The media attention the Heat is already attracting is astounding.
By John Rohde Modified: October 2, 2010 at 11:06 pm •  Published: October 2, 2010

A sellout crowd is expected Friday night for the Thunder's exhibition game against the Miami Heat in Kansas City, Mo.

There's no telling how big the media crowd will be at the Sprint Center, but the Heat no doubt will lead the NBA in overall media attendance this season.

The instant LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to join Dwyane Wade in Miami, national media coverage has tilted toward South Beach.

"This team wasn't built to go under the radar," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has said. ''That's a good thing. The expectations are there. We won't run away from it.''

The Heat could have as many as 30 media members requesting full-time travel credentials.

By comparison, the Thunder will have nine credentialed people full-time on the road, which includes four people sitting in the television production truck.

An astounding 350 media types were at the Heat's media day compared to 60 a year ago. Roughly 150 traveled to a military base in the Florida panhandle for the Heat's training camp and had to pass a military criminal background check to be allowed on base.

By comparison, roughly 75 people were at the Thunder's media day and a half-dozen have been at training camp every day.

ESPN has been doing live television remotes with a team of reporters at the Heat's camp. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City's three biggest local TV affiliates have yet to make an appearance at Thunder camp.

In addition to Miami's three ringleaders being on hand Friday night, there will be a local flavor inside the Sprint Center. Heat point guard Mario Chalmers, who hit a game-tying 3-pointer to send the 2008 national championship game into overtime, played collegiately at Kansas.

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NBA players and fans are all atwitter about Twitter, with more than 23 million followers among 165 player feeds. The NBA announced its own Twitter account surpassed two million fans.

Shaquille O'Neal is the unquestioned Twitter Daddy, not only of the NBA but all pro athletes.

The Thunder's Kevin Durant (337,469) is inching toward the league's Top 10, but curiously trails free agent Fabricio Oberto (373,015) and Miami's Mario Chalmers (359,656).

The Thunder and Boston Celtics lead the NBA with 12 active player accounts each.

And as you will see by the list of followers below, Twitter is big among foreign fans.


1. Shaquille O'Neal, Boston (3,242,015)

2. Dwight Howard, Orlando (1,708,920)

3. Paul Pierce, Boston (1,628,425)

4. Lamar Odom, LA Lakers (990,268)

5. LeBron James, Miami (843,625)

6. Dwyane Wade, Miami (653,872)

7. Derek Fisher, LA Lakers (583,230)

8. Jason Terry, Dallas (394,960)

9. Carmelo Anthony, Denver (394,280)

10. Quentin Richardson, Orlando (387,107)


1. Fabricio Oberto, free agent (373,015)

2. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio (340,825)

3. Francisco Garcia, Sacramento (335,332)

4. Johan Petro, New Jersey (329,567)

5. Steve Nash, Phoenix (253,347)


Kevin Durant (337,469)

Russell Westbrook (58,692)

James Harden (34,969)

Jeff Green (24,345; inactive)

Eric Maynor (18,834)

Nick Collison (15,784)

Morris Peterson (12,311)

Cole Aldrich (8,742)

Thabo Sefolosha (7,113)

Serge Ibaka (6,034)

Royal Ivey (5,391)

Daequan Cook (4,032)

TOP OWNER: Mark Cuban (233,559)

TOP ROOKIES: John Wall (95,955) and Blake Griffin (67,484)

TOP TV ANALYST: Rick Fox (40,443)

TOP COACH: Alvin Gentry (11,755)

TOP RETIREE: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,209,293)



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