Jul 11, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT
Brian Windhorst was the MVP of sports media from the time the NBA season ended, right up through the first two weeks of July (and going strong). The beat reporter for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer has been following LeBron James since he was in puberty, following the prolific modern athlete through high school, his decision to go pro, his drafting by the Cavs, his early development, the first time the Cavs made the playoffs, their run to the Finals, and their subsequent repeated heartbreaks.
- Team USA played a huge part in this, as their experiences being together, playing together, and talking were what first brought the idea to them.
- The Knicks were primarily the ones who planted the possibility in Riley’s head and laid out the path to creating the cap room necessarily to pull this off.
- Riley set up a meeting between James and Michael Jordan last November, and talked about how modern players should “pay homage to Jordan.” That was the same night James announced he was switching jersey numbers out of respect. Riley had influence, as much as nine months ago.
- Wade went to meet with James and Bosh the last week of June to sell them on this idea. That would be the week before free agency started, when Wade was still a member of the Miami Heat, basically recruiting them to come to his team. The word you’re looking for is tampering.
- Most interesting from that visit, Windhorst reports that Wade was discouraged from making this pitch by Commissioner David Stern. With the way things have gone down, there has to be discussion of whether or not we’ll be seeing tampering charges brought upon the Heat.
- James was offered the same preferential treatment for him and his friends that he was given in Cleveland, so you can expect the same kind of crony-ism to continue.
- Windhorst also reports on why the Bulls and Knicks didn’t land James, which are predictable but still interesting.
- Reports: LeBron James and agent done meeting with teams 17
- Rockets can’t keep Dwight Howard, James Harden and Chandler Parsons and give Chris Bosh max contract 23
- Donald Sterling in court calls wife “pig,” promises to sue NBA “until I die” 25
- Report: LeBron James leaves meeting with Pat Riley without committing to Heat 79
- Report: Mavericks shake up Rockets’ free-agent plans, agree to offer sheet with Chandler Parsons 33
- Gregg Popovich agrees to extension with Spurs, likely stays past Tim Duncan era 25
- Report: Cavaliers want to swing Kevin Love trade if LeBron James comes to town 48
- NBA salary cap jumps nearly $5 million next year to $63 million, luxury tax line $76.8 million 7