MIAMI—After much deliberation, members of the MiamiHeat.com web team decided today that the featured homepage image should depict Miami Heat small forward LeBron James playing basketball.
According to sources, the choice to go with a photograph of James was made in an early morning staff meeting. Several different image ideas were suggested, including LeBron James shooting a basketball, LeBron James passing a basketball, and LeBron James playing defense in a basketball game.
The selected photo will reportedly replace yesterday's picture of LeBron James standing on a basketball court and dribbling a basketball with one hand while pointing with the other.
"We like today's photo because it's an action shot, it's vibrant, and you can tell the crowd in the background is really enjoying the game," web editor Mark Christie said. "And it has LeBron James in it, as well."
"He's dunking," Christie added.
Christie told reporters that on any given day, his colleagues have a rough idea of which Heat player or players they want to feature on the website. Monday—according to Christie a high-traffic day—is typically reserved for a picture of LeBron James. On Tuesday, Christie said he likes to go with an alternate image of LeBron James. And on Wednesday, the web team typically selects a LeBron James picture that strikes a tone suitable for the site's midweek audience.
Thursdays, however, Christie said he likes to change it up by going with a picture of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James either laughing with each other, staring intensely at the action on the floor, or sitting next to each other on the bench.
Weekends are reportedly reserved for a three-shot of Wade, newly acquired forward Chris Bosh, and LeBron James, in which James is standing between the two holding a basketball.†
"Sometimes that weekend schedule goes completely out the window, though, and we'll just go with a picture of LeBron James," said assistant web editor Jarrod Brewer, adding that single images of Chris Bosh can be found on the website's "photos" page. "Especially if we have a really good photo of him. People would be surprised how often that happens. It's ultimately very fluid around here. Last Friday we were slated to have a photo of Chris Bosh and LeBron James, and then Mark said, 'It feels like a just-LeBron day to me. Let's go with him sweating.'"
Continued Brewer, "Also, I thought Mark's decision to go with LeBron James standing at a podium after a preseason game instead of a picture of Coach, um, Coach—the coach of the Miami Heat basketball team, yeah—was a really good call on Mark's part."
According to Christie, the main goal of MiamiHeat.com is to make the website feel like a unique experience for daily visitors. That is why, Christie noted, he likes to constantly change up the photos of LeBron James. If, for example, Christie uses a picture in the morning of the All-Star forward throwing chalk into the air, then during the afternoon he'll go with a more subdued photo of James sitting on the bench with a towel draped across his knees, drinking a cup of Gatorade.
"Mix is really important to me," Christie said. "If we go two days in a row with LeBron James smiling, then I'm not doing my job."
When asked why a photo of 16-year veteran Juwan Howard was featured in the site's top spot several weeks ago, Christie said that the incident was a huge mistake, that the person who posted it was immediately fired, and that the page was actually intended to feature LeBron James.