LeBron James is supposedly going to the World Cup final this weekend, according to ESPN. Germany and Argentina will play in Brazil. So one would assume he’ll announce his free agent decision before then, right? Whether it’s returning to Miami on a 1-2 year deal, or going back to Cleveland – or Phoenix? – the decision should come today, right? He wouldn’t really wait until returning to announce it, right?
If LeBron waits all weekend, the Rockets will almost certainly lose Chandler Parsons to Dallas (3-year, $46 million offer), because Houston is waiting on Chris Bosh. According to ESPN, the Rockets can afford Bosh first, and then match the Parsons offer, but not vice versa. And remember, Houston needs to trade Jeremy Lin (to Philly?) so it can afford Chris Bosh. Houston, we’ve got a holding pattern.
So we’re all waiting for LeBron, who might be subtly telling everyone: You do what you have to do, I gotta do what I gotta do.
This is exhilarating and exhausting. Outside of the World Cup final, LeBron’s decision is probably the last exciting moment on the summer sports calender until the NFL preseason begins in mid-August.
When Cleveland made a trade Wednesday to move in position to afford LeBron, you could feel, for the first time, a bit of nervousness among Heat fans. And when LeBron met with Pat Riley and didn’t commit to the Heat, they all collectively hit the panic button. Nobody conveys the sense of dread in Miami like Dan LeBatard:
Businesses pay Pat Riley more than $75,000 — plus first-class accommodations — for an hour of his speaking time. That Riley would feel grateful on Wednesday to get the first hour of the King’s free-agent time tells you where we are with this spectacle. Carmelo Anthony is flying to cities for face-to-face meetings; James has not yet deigned to give anyone but Riley an audience … and a brief one at that. Player’s league. Player’s power. And he’s using it like we have never, ever seen.
We have been championing his return to Cleveland since early June. But logic has always crept in and I have steadfastly believed that sadly, LeBron was going to stay in Miami. At this point, I’ve got no idea. My four biggest questions now:
1) If LeBron isn’t taking any more meetings, does that mean he already secretly met with Cleveland? Because if he didn’t/won’t meet with Cleveland, how can the Cavs possibly have a chance, because who takes a job without meeting their bosses?
2) If he was going back to Miami, why didn’t he just commit to the Heat Wednesday in Las Vegas? What can possibly change on Miami’s end
3) Is Flip Saunders holding up this entire situation because he’s waiting for the best trade for Kevin Love, which may come from Cleveland or Boston or Chicago or somewhere else, and LeBron wants to see how that unfolds?
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