It is 11:30 in the morning Akron daylight saving time and I, a grown man, am feeling like a star-struck schoolgirl while sitting in front of my computer Googling variations on the phrase “LeBron James wedding.”
You haven’t heard the news?
Akron’s own LeBron James, the pride of St. Vincent-St. Mary, former Cleveland Cavalier and two-time NBA champion with some other team, married Savannah Brinson, his high school sweetheart and mother of his two cute sons, Bryce and LeBron Jr.
The wedding reportedly happened at the Grand Del Mar hotel in San Diego as part of a three-day celebratory shindig that included a Friday night pre-ceremony barbecue and a Sunday morning post-ceremony brunch.
The Grand Del Mar is not just well-known for playing host to massive, elaborately staged events, but also for keeping said events on media lockdown, making employees and any outside contractor sign confidentiality agreements, having guests check their cellphones with their coats and generally keeping the TMZs of the world at bay.
The ever-mysterious group of “sources” revealed that James cut the guest list down to only a few hundred of his closest friends and associates. So the ceremony was not as massively attended as some other celebrity weddings — the guest list at Michael Jordan’s recent wedding was reportedly in the thousands — and Saturday was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, likely shaving a few more names off the list.
We assume the remaining two-thirds of that South Florida team’s Big Three, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, and their wives/dates, including Wade’s actress girlfriend, Gabrielle Union, were in attendance.
Other folks believed to be there were James’ childhood friend and longtime manager Maverick Carter, L.A. Clipper point guard Chris Paul, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and wife La La Anthony, Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra.
There was also speculation that several popular rappers, such as Jay Z, some hip and happening young entertainers, and other celebrity types, as well as many synergistic, strategic marketing business partners of whom most of us have never heard of also joined in the festivities.
Stalking from afar
With the sports department adroitly and deftly avoiding the subject, I was given the task of gleaning information about the big event, which conjures up a few obvious questions. How do you stalk what is likely a late afternoon/early evening wedding on media lockdown that is happening a few time zones and more than 2,000 miles away?
Digitally, that’s how; which means I trolled all of the usual social media suspects such as Instagram, Twitter, Reddit (hey, couldn’t hurt, right?), Facebook (status update: “Chillin’ at King James nuptials, fools!”), TMZ.com, the New York Daily News’ Page Six and any place where one of the suspected guests may have leaked something.
The next obvious question for many folks, even James’ fans, is probably along the lines of: “So, Bron-Bron’s getting married. People or some other publication will probably have exclusive, professionally taken wedding and reception photos available to the world early next week, so what’s the rush?”
Well, we live in a 24-hour, 365-day, blog-saturated world and when Akron's biggest export — no offense to the Black Keys — gets hitched “IT’S NEWS!!!”
Then there is also the basic question that we probably should all be asking ourselves: “Good for them, but who really cares?”
Apparently, we all do.
So at around 3:15 p.m. here/12:15 LeBron wedding daylight time, I learned that super celebrity wedding and party planner Preston Bailey was reportedly in charge of ensuring that King and Queen James had their dream nuptials. The ceremony was reportedly happening in the afternoon and featured cocktails, dinner and musical entertainment provided by both a live band and a DJ!
At 4 p.m. Akron time/1 p.m. LeBron wedding daylight time: TMZ.com tangentially informed me that rapper Gucci Mane was NOT at the James-Brinson wedding, because he was arrested early Friday morning after acting erratic and threatening police offers and was taken to the hospital where he reportedly still resides. So I scratched him off the guest list.
Also, the New York Daily News’ gossip haven Page Six had already moved on to the next Ohio-bred celebrity wedding event, by publishing a slideshow of photos from Springfield-born singer and songwriter John Legend’s wedding to model Christine Teigen in Italy. Congrats J.L. I like the new album!
At 5:28 p.m. Akron time/2:28 p.m. LeBron wedding daylight time: I began to vocally question the validity of my journalistic existence before quickly remembering that there are much, much worse ways to make a living than trolling a superstar athlete’s wedding from my desk. I promptly shut up and quietly Googled my variations of “LeBron James Wedding.” Nevertheless, somewhere in the cloudless realms of day, Edward R. Murrow’s and Walter Cronkite’s spirits were probably shaking their disembodied heads. A few minutes later, I discovered that, for several minutes, “Akron” was the top trending topic on Twitter due to the Zips hanging tough until a last-second loss to Michigan.
Filling in the blanks
At 6:30 p.m. here/3:30 p.m. Pacific time: After going through my LBJ variations and Twitter and Instagram and maybe even LinkedIn, I began to genuinely wonder and speculate about what most of Akron was missing.
I imagined His Royal Jamesness sporting either a white-on-white tuxedo or going really old school like some of the very formally dressed folks in those old James Van Der Zee photos from the ’30s and ’40s (Google him).
I assumed the food was quite awesome as was the presumably very open fully stocked bar (at which I’d like to be sitting). The thoughts got weirder with each pass though the social media gauntlet: I found myself imagining the newly crowned couple entering their surely lavish reception sitting on a throne on the back of an albino elephant while Jay Z and Kanye performed Watch the Throne.
Was the live band Prince and a hologram of Michael Jackson performing Purple Thriller?
Was the happy couple's first dance the theme of the soon-to-be-released video game NBA 2014K, which today — coincidentally, I’m sure — released its player ratings and gave the King a near-maximum 99?
Was there a Soul Train line? Of course, there was a Soul Train line.
How difficult was it to properly twerk in a $1,200, form-fitting evening gown?
Did James do the post-vow white-doves-released-into-the-sky cliche, and how many doves did Chris Bosh grab out of the air with his mouth and swallow whole before his wife reminded him that earthlings don’t behave in such a manner?
How cute did Bryce and Prince James Jr. look in their tiny suits?
Then it happened.
At 7:26 p.m., Akron daylight saving time/4:26 p.m. LeBron wedding daylight time, after checking abevigoda.com again to make sure the former Barney Miller actor was still with us, I discovered that Dwyane Wade Instagrammed a photo of his leg pumps from what looked like a hotel room with the caption: “I take my leg pumps everywhere ... Gotta get these dancing legs ready for tonite ... #imaweddingdanceronly #Normatec.”
I exhaled. We know that Wade and Union were getting down on the floor Saturday night, giving both my professional and personal life new meaning.
Around 8:30 p.m. in Akron, my quest mercifully comes to an end. Readers will have to wait at least a few more days to find out all the intimate and intricate details of the James-Brinson wedding.
Surprisingly, the Earth continues to turn.