As the weekend creeps upon us, Chris Sheridan remains the only one who seems certain about where LeBron James is and isn’t going — a few hours ago, Woj didn’t purport to know — in free agency. The tea leaves that were indicating Cleveland over the past couple days have, gradually and subtly, seemingly shifted towards Miami. He flew back to Miami with Dwyane Wade! And, well, the whole Dan Gilbert letter thing has resurfaced as an issue.
Chris Broussard — who, as an aside, backed off his silly dry erase board prognostication last night — now has a source saying that LeBron’s return to Cleveland “would have been done a long time ago” if not for Gilbert’s letter. There was also this attribution, which has, for whatever reason, since been edited from ESPN.com (the story now concludes at “saying he had no place in the NBA”):
Regarding whether or not LeBron should harbor a grudge over Gilbert’s letter — of which the Cavs owner said he did not regret sending (but would have “re-worded”) as recently as this past February — J.A. Adande and Jason Whitlock had alternately thoughtful takes which disagreed with one another.
Adande described how Gilbert was at the forefront of hardline NBA owners during the Lockout: “A return to the Cavaliers by James would be a tacit endorsement of all he rejected,” he wrote. “It wouldn’t represent just a swallowing of his own pride — it would be a surrender in the battle for self-determination for NBA players.”
Pride should have zero to do with James’ decision. Progress and power should rule which uniform James wears moving forward. Which team — Miami or Cleveland — will give James the best chance of making progress toward his on- and off-court goals, and which team will grant him the most power to shape the franchise?
Whatever the case may be, it’s a complete mystery whether The Decision II will conclude today, or some point in the indeterminate future.
Update: Is this an apology for enabling someone to do just that without his name attached to it?
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