June 02, 2010
To recap: LeBron James(notes) will be a free agent July 1, a lot of teams are trying to sign him, fans are doing some wacky things to encourage him to sign with their favorite team. Now you're up to speed. It's been a crazy ride, and we're just getting started.
And while we've been talking a lot about LeBron's free agency, where he'll sign and things like that, LeBron has been pretty mum on the subject. Well, totally mum, to be honest. The two-time reigning MVP hasn't said a word since promising he'd "talk to his team" following the Cavaliers' elimination by the Boston Celtics a million blog years ago.
But maybe LeBron was just waiting for the right time to start talking about free agency. Maybe he wanted to speak up when the lights were the brightest on the NBA — during finals week. Now that we're nearing the end of the season, and even the most casusal basketball fans are getting excited about the league, LeBron is talking. In an interview with Larry King that will air Friday, James gave his first hint about his intentions.
King, who interviewed James at the two-time MVP's home near Akron on Tuesday, asked the superstar if Cleveland has "an edge going in?"
"Absolutely," James said in a portion of the interview released by the network. "Because, you know, this city, these fans, I mean, have given me a lot in these seven years. And, you know, for me, it's comfortable. So I've got a lot of memories here. And so it does have an edge.
"It's going to be a very interesting summer and I'm looking forward to it."
Hey-o! How about that Cleveland? You've got an edge. Just don't screw it up. The beards will help, I'm sure, but you'll definitely want to step your game up because, as LeBron says, he's "far from close" to making his decision.
And when he does make his decision? Whoa boy. It's going to be big-time. One economist estimates that James signing in Chicago could net the city an extra $2.7 billion over six years, which is a lot of Salma Hayeks from Hot Doug's. According to another study, if LeBron became a Knick and led the team to a championship win in seven games, he'd make New York City $58 million, just for that season. He's a stimulus package wrapped in a super-sized basketball body that is shaped curiously similar to that of Will Smith's in "Ali."
That's probably why everyone from "The Real Housewives of New York City" to President Barack Obama are chiming in on where LeBron should go. And while Clevelanders are preparing for the worst and already claiming that if LeBron were to leave he "could replace Art Modell as the most hated person in Cleveland," they have to be pretty happy he said the Cavs have an edge, even if it's minute.
Then again, are Clevelanders ever happy? They are in Cleveland, after all. I've heard there's nothing to do there.