These days in sports, forget about the actual season. It's all about the offseason.
That's where the important game is played. In the 24-hour news cycle, there is intense competition for our short attention spans. A sport must stay relevant in the information overload. You snooze, you lose.
Wednesday was a chaotic reminder. It was a lot of things, but most notable it was the first day of NBA free agent season. All day long, Twitter was a five-alarm fire of 140-character bursts concerning signings, speculations and astronomical dollar figures.
Wednesday was the day we learned:
Never miss a local story.
■ The man who was once a skinny 6-foot freshman on an awful Chicago high school basketball team will earn approximately $145 million over the next five years with the New Orleans Pelicans. Anyone want to ask Anthony Davis for a loan?
■ Kevin Love broke the news of his return to the Cavaliers the same way LeBron James did last year — by writing his own story. James did it for Sports Illustrated. Love did it for something called the Players Tribune. Both are Cavaliers.
■ The favorite for Portland point machine LaMarcus Aldridge is Dallas; no, the Los Angeles Lakers; no, the San Antonio Spurs; no, fact is we have no idea, sources say. But we do hope LaMarcus enjoyed his dinner with Jamie Foxx.
■ Former Kentucky guard Brandon Knight will cash paychecks for $70 million over the next five years from the Phoenix Suns, who lead the free world in ex-UK guards currently playing professional basketball.
■ Former Kentucky guard Rajon Rondo has slipped so far down the likability ladder he might have to sign with the (ugh) Sacramento Kings.
These news nuggets seamlessly followed last week's Big Event, the NBA Draft, which had controlled much of the information highway leading up to Adam Silver's grip-and-grins with sharply dressed one-and-doners.
It's all part of a master strategy to keep pro basketball in the public eye well after they've stopped playing pro basketball for the season.
It's working, too. Television ratings for the Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals were the best since Michael Jordan won his sixth title with the Chicago Bulls in 1998.
Back in April, The Washington Post reported that over the last 10 years the median viewer age for Major League Baseball has risen from 46 to 53 years old. The median viewer age for the NFL has risen from 43 to 47. The median viewing age for the NBA has remained at 37 years old.
True story. During Kentucky Derby week, I was eating lunch in Louisville when I overheard the discussion among four older gentlemen dining at a nearby table. They were criticizing ESPN. Their beef: The network wasn't giving enough baseball news. Too much NFL and NBA.
College sports don't want to be left behind, either. Another of Wednesday's "breaking stories" was Tennessee's first official day as a "Nike school." The Vols have ditched Adidas for the swoosh and spent the day tweeting out pictures of their new Nike uniforms.
Meanwhile, here in town, UK has fed its fans a steady supply of tweets, pictures and videos updating the progress of the renovations going on at the "new" Commonwealth Stadium. Hint, hint, football season is around the corner.
On Monday, the SEC held a summer basketball coaches teleconference to drum up some summer hoops news. The most interesting item occurred when UK Coach John Calipari was actually caught off guard by a question about the Confederate flag. His response — take it down — made news.
Of course, it was Master Marketer Calipari who started lobbying last season for the NCAA to allow college basketball teams to take as many preseason foreign trips as their hearts desire and pocketbooks would allow.
"College basketball would own August," said the Kentucky coach.
"Owning" the offseason is now what it's all about.