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Please welcome the flood of LeBron speculation

Mar 3, 2010, 11:32 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for nba_james1_250.jpgThere have been discussions of it for years. It’s slowly been increasing; a major article here, a random rumor there. But now, with July and the free agency period just four months away, we’ve finally come to it.

Everyone and their momma has an idea on what LeBron’s going to do.

Now, to be clear, I think fan speculation is great. I’ve waxed on elsewhere about the opportunity that the Nets offer him (a blank slate in a new part of the biggest city with a ‘pick-your-coach-and roster’ in short). And I think for people to say “Don’t talk about it because we don’t know” is ridiculous. It’s fun for the fans, and there’s simply no way to avoid talk about arguably the biggest free agent signing in the history of sports. So it’s going to be talked about.

That said, you also need to steel yourself against the now increasing flood of reports of sources claiming to know exactly what LeBron will do.

First we had Roland Lazenby’s talk of LeBron headed to Hollywood. Now we have the New York Post speculating that LeBron is considering a three-year deal instead of a long-term one, and they go on to speculate that New Jersey is clearly out of contention, given their uncertain status. This despite the fact that all prior legal hurdles have been cleared for the arena in Brooklyn, the high likelihood of the new owner being approved, and the massive ability for the Nets to improve quickly, which quite frankly, dwarfs that of the Knicks. But there I go again, speculating.

Speculation is fine, if baseless. What’s important is to remember that no one knows what LeBron’s going to do.  There is no inside track. It’s too big of a decision, from a management team that knows the best thing about the decision is the increased attention it garners his brand. He very well could sign a three-year deal as the Post suggests, giving him the power to do all of this over again in three years. Or he could realize that this is an enormous opportunity given the fact that the league’s CBA will be restructured next year and could leave him with a significantly smaller contract in three years.

Tracy McGrady, who I jokingly referred to as ‘delusional‘ (boy did that piss off some Knicks fans) a few days ago, actually had the best perspective on this. No one knows, not even James’ inner circle.

It’s fun to think about, to talk about, to debate. But keep a guarded eye up in regards to ‘inside reports.’

  1. brian vargo - Mar 3, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    Being a Cavs fan i have to laugh everytime i hear about other teams and their fans drooling about getting lebron. I mean did you watch that shamockery of a game the other day where it seemed like the cavs were playing a JV team and not the Knicks? Who in their right mind would want to play there, or for the clippers, or the nets for that matter? The man wants to win a championship, he’ll be rich wherever he goes, even if he stays in Cleveland. If he wants a title, New York won’t be his first choice, get over it New York, you are irrelevant in basketball right now, quit whining and try and win some games.

  2. Mary - Mar 3, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    How is it that the only discussion is where he is supposedly going to be and not in Cleveland? I’m just wondering why everyone is so certain he won’t stay? Why wouldn’t he? Yes he wants a championship and that only makes sense. I think he will get his championship in Cleveland. I think he wants to be in the area and I believe he will stay with the Cavs…

  3. chuck - Mar 3, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Lebron is a Cav and will remain a Cav. His home, family, and entourage are here, along with the a great chance to start a dynasty. That is unless of course Doc’s thugs like cry baby davis try to take him out like they did Shaq last week.

  4. anthony - Mar 3, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    Good Lord they pay you to write this stuff? You are truly a complete idiot. The Nets “massive ability to improve quite frankly dwarfs that of the Knicks”.
    I’m no Knick fan and sure the Knicks are terrible but the Nets are getting ready to hit a pace of futility never known to an NBA team in history…where the F have you been?
    The Knicks have more cap space than any team this summer and are, quite frankly, a much more desirable free agent destination so your article just shows how clueless you are.
    “Massive ability to improve” LMMFAO what free agent is going to sign with Jersey this summer?
    Good God your Father must have a high seat within NBC for you to have gotten this job. I can’t stop laughing at you…

  5. Frank - Mar 3, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    “Massive ability to improve” = the team is so pathetic and void of talent that it can’t possible get any worse. Of course, after watching that pathetic excuse for a NBA franchise that calls that cesspool, MSG, home, the other night against the Cavs, the Knicks also have “massive ability to improve.” Have fun being irrelevant for another decade, NYC.

  6. Echo - Mar 3, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    You Cav fans remind me of the redsox, they win one world series in too many years to care and they think they’re the best there ever was, in this case the Cavs who have been garbage prior to Lebrons arrival now suddenly think they have the best team, lets not forget that your supporting cast has yet to help King James win a championship. I guess other then Lebron the best thing about Cleveland is the Major League Movies!!!!!

  7. Andrew - Mar 3, 2010 at 6:03 PM

    NETS: Why would LaBron want the pressure and potential aggravation of picking the coach & roster? If the team doesn’t win the championship, he’s the scape goat cause he picked everybody. Just as there is a massive ability to improve, there is a massive ability for the team to keep stumbling and make the wrong draft and free agent choices.
    KNICKS: The owner is so dysfunctional that it’s trickled down to the team. LaBron doesn’t need NYC to help increase his exposure and get endorsements. He’s already on of the most exposed players in any sport.
    LAKERS: Gonna have to compete with Kobe & Phil for being top dog. Is it worth the aggravation? (maybe)
    HEAT: They blew any chance they had of getting Labron by showing they didn’t have the ability to make any moves to improve their team in free agency.
    CAVS: Make the most money, team gets players to try to improve each year, is home, petitioned the NBA to have his number changed (only have to do this to play on your current team.
    To me, Cavs win LaBron in a landslide. Absolutely no logical reason for him to leave.

  8. Phil - Mar 3, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    LeBron filed paperwork with the league to change his number earlier this week. That’s interesting since he can choose any number he wants if he signs with a new team. Hum… Seems like a dumb thing to do if you plan on leaving in six months; and I think we would all agree he’s not dumb.
    Two things are especially interesting about this:
    1. There was a casual week long story six months ago where LeBron said he would give up his number along with everyone else wearing 23 to have it retired. He didn’t say “I am changing numbers so 23 can be retired.” So until his paperwork was filed no one realy knew he was serious about changing numbers. So why make us all aware by fileing paperwork that wont be neccessay if your leaving anyways?
    2. No sportswriter in America is addressing this?? I guess “LeBron probably stays in Cleveland” just doesn’t catch the eye like “Where Will He Go”.
    Personally I think he stays for 1 reason. He said himself he grew up rooting for the Cowboys, Yankees, and Bulls because we Ohioans had no good sports teams. Why would he, a local like me, do that to a whole new generation of kids?
    Please disregard grammatical errors sent from blackberry.

  9. VBLebardo - Mar 3, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Hmmm…. Michael Jordan has just become the major shareholder of the Charlotte Hornets. Lebron James is giving up his jersey number 23 because of his ultimate respect for him. Coincidence?
    If Lebron joins the Hornets, that will be instant publicity for an otherwise unheralded team, which means more media exposure and more tickets sold to see the team. In a year or so, the team will be in the playoffs. With Lebron in the fold, top NBA players will get in line to join him. (Hint: His buddy Dwayne Wade). Michael Jordan the owner plus Lebron James top player: it’s a championship combination.

  10. Tar heel - Mar 4, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    Hey VBLebardo uh the hornets have not played in Charlotte for years and all of us in Wilmington, NC , and for those that do not know is Jordans hometown want Lebron to start a team here in honor of Jordan. LMAO.

  11. JustSaying - Mar 4, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    Hmmm…last time I checked the Hornets play in New Orleans. Jordan just purchased the Charlotte Bobcats…, Einstein. I wouldn’t be so quick to criticize your time-warp mistake (been away for a while?) except that the rest of your analysis is not exactly Einsteinian either. Charlotte is not a large market, something that Lebron is surely going to look for should he decide to move. Why would he move from Cleveland to Charlotte. That’s arguably a downgrade. Further more, Jordan doesn’t exactly have a championship record when it comes to being a GM or owner. Far from it. I don’t think LBJ wants any part of MJ other than his number.

  12. rick - Mar 4, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    I feel, after reading these types of articles about LeBron, that somwhow we all owe him a championship! i am beginning to feel quilty that the King doesn’t have what he wants. This new need for all the Big Names needing to go to a team that can win them a championship is really starting to worry me. Its like watching a bunch of kids not getting their way, and we are all waiting for some the big tantrum! Poor LeBron1 How dare you beat me, or my team, and frustrate me. So there! I won’t shake your hand! Take that!

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