Mon Jun 28 10:35am EDT
This Thursday, every NBA team you've ever heard of, including something called the Los Angeles Clippers (probably made-up), will be trying to get LeBron James(notes) to hold up a No. 6 jersey at a press conference down the road. Each of these franchises will sell James on why they're the best. However, if you listen to a number of well-connected journalists, LeBron James has already made up his mind and will be playing for every franchise in the NBA.
Let's start 10 days ago, with the Philadelphia Inquirer's Stephen A. Smith who boldly declared, and likely screamed, that LeBron James might be wearing orange and blue next season. From the New York Post:
"From what my sources tell me, he still hasn't made a final decision, but he's higher on New York now than he was a month ago," Stephen A. Smith told ESPN Radio on Friday. "And the reality is that he is leaning more towards New York than he is towards returning to Cleveland." [...]
Smith added that the sources said James' advisers have been asking "very in-depth questions" about the Knicks organization and that the superstar may not sign with Chicago because he doesn't want to compete with Michael Jordan's legacy.
Oh, cool. LeBron wants to be a Knick. That makes sense. I am glad this is all settled and we can all enjoy our summer vacations.
But wait, there's more.
If LeBron is that interested in the Knicks, then how will he be playing for the Bulls? Supposedly, that's a "done deal," so I'm sure he can figure it out. From the New York Times' Jonathan Abrams on June 26:
The executive, who did not want to be identified discussing a player who is not yet a free agent, said he had gathered from discussions with his fellow N.B.A. executives that James was strongly leaning toward joining the Bulls in tandem with another free agent, Chris Bosh(notes) of the Toronto Raptors.
"I think it's a done deal," the executive said.
OK, great. LeBron James will be a Chicago Bull next season. Plus he's bringing along his buddy Chris Bosh. I am happy about that, even if it means my favorite player signs with my least favorite team. But he will also be a Knick, so that is weird. Must be some kind of loophole in the collective bargaining agreement.
It doesn't make much sense, but whatever. LeBron James is so good that he can play for two teams, I guess. Heck, might as well make it three. Stephen A. Smith agrees. He was totally right about the Knicks thing just 10 days earlier, so he knows what's up.
LeBron's going to be busy, you guys! That's three teams he's going to sign with, and that's before these teams have even had a chance to pitch him on the merits of their franchises. And this one, we should definitely believe. I mean, a general manager said that Bosh to Miami had been "planned for a long time," so that definitely means this is happening even if Bosh is already going to be a Bull.
So far, James will be a Knick, Bull and Heater. It seems like he's doing the fair thing and playing for all the teams that cleared cap space to sign him, so that's pretty nice. And hey, one NBA player says that the team LeBron is "most likely to go to" is the Nets, so let's add them to the list of teams LeBron James will be a part of next season. Oh, and the Dallas Mavericks are considered a "dark, dark horse" to land the two-time MVP, so it's safe to say he'll be playing there next year too. And, of course, there's still the chance that LeBron could re-sign with the Cavaliers, even if Jalen Rose says it's "almost certain that LeBron James will not be returning to the Cavs." I like Jalen, but if LeBron is already going to five other teams, why not a sixth? It just makes for an easy 492-game schedule for the next six years. James is in great shape, so that shouldn't be a problem.
It's blatantly obvious that LeBron James will be a Bullcavanetheatknickerick next year. Might as well start sewing your Frankenstein jersey now.