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Report: If LeBron's friends get jobs with the Heat, the NBA may investigate

Jul 17, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for bosh_wade_james.jpgIn Cleveland, LeBron’s posse had the run of the place. They were VIPs in the arena and in the city. Some of his friends even got jobs within the Cleveland organization.

It is rumored that one of the things that really hurt Chicago in talks with LeBron James was a clear line in the sand from Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf on just that — if we didn’t give Michael Jordan’s friends all jobs, we’re not doing it for you. It may or may not have been a big deal with James himself, but you can bet the friends that have his ear talked to him about it.

In Miami, Wade met with members of LeBron’s inner circle a couple of times, according to a long report on the inner workings of LeBron’s decision by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

If jobs were promised to LeBron’s friends, the NBA may investigate, he reports.

“The bigger issue is salary-cap circumvention,” one top NBA front-office executive told Yahoo!. “You can’t promise jobs or preferential services outside of a contract or a job for a friend. If that’s part of the deal, it’s a violation.”

It’s also very, very hard to prove. These friends had jobs in the Cleveland organization, or may have other skills the Heat can say are useful to them in whatever capacity. If a person had a job with one NBA team, it will be very hard to legally prove they were hired by the Heat just because of LeBron.

That is just one of the interesting tidbits from Wojnarowski’s opus. It is long, it has a lot of details, and it is worth reading.

It is also worth taking with a grain of salt. While Wojnarowski is as plugged in as any reporter out there, nobody has the entire picture. Nobody has all the people on the inside of the decision talking. The report talks about how LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh came up with this idea at the Beijing Olympics two years ago, but other people who traveled with the team said that while the three talked they were really in different cliques of the team much of the time. We could try to poke holes in other parts of the story as well, but nobody really knows. Again, just read everything with a critical eye.

Three other things of note. One is saying that current Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has to win a title this season, or he will be gone.

Nevertheless, the pressure on Spoelstra to win a championship in 2011 promises to be immense. To keep his job, he’ll probably have to win it all, especially because Riley has his eye on Doc Rivers to someday coach the Heat. Rivers has one year left on his Celtics contract, and has been heavily affected by the distance between him and his family still living Orlando.

I’m not sure I totally agree — what matters most this first year is that he gets total buy in from all three stars. That he gets them really working together. I can see a scenario where he does that and they still don’t win a title — because Joel Anthony is not a center who can stop Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum deep in the playoffs, for example. It may take another year to get all the pieces around the big three to make it really work.

Another was just how big an impression Riley made on LeBron. How it was Riley that brought this deal together.

Riley never did pitch James on his own return to coaching, and yet bringing those five championship rings into the meeting were his way of selling James on the fact that Riles’ prints would be all over the team. No other basketball executive in the process could tell James they understood what a title team needed, what it looked like and how they had already done it like Riley could. Riley had such credibility, such presence and he completely captivated James.

That I believe. Riley does carry that aura.

Finally, there was the other reason Chicago fell out of favor — Derrick Rose.

For everything the Bulls tried to sell – from owner Jerry Reinsdorf to GM Gar Forman to coach Tom Thibodeau – there had been one thing that troubled James’ about the Bulls pitch: Derrick Rose(notes) never called and tried to recruit him.

Chicago officials never directly requested Rose to reach out with a call, and the young point guard felt James could’ve always reached out to him had he wanted to discuss the possibility of playing together. James needed to be courted, needed to be wooed and apparently it surprised him there was a star who wasn’t falling over himself to do that.

  1. Josh - Jul 18, 2010 at 4:02 AM

    Oh and just to mention, the “Kobe rape allegations” were completely false. 3 semens in the underwear, none of them Kobe’s, plus witnesses and text messages saying how the girl was happy and bragging to everyone about “doing” Kobe, plus much more evidence, plus character evidence == totally obvious to everyone that Kobe was innocent, that the charges were bogus, and that the Colorado DA was a bitter racist. HELLO that is 100% the truth. That Kobe made that girl a millionaire instead of dragging her through her own mud in court was as much a courtesy on his part as it was a legal formality between the two legal teams. Anyways, if you like basketball, you like Kobe, and you like Lebron. If you like to complain about rich athletes, then I recommend some angry hater sites or something.

  2. Ziggy - Jul 18, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    Any championships in Miami will not be LeBrons championships, they will be Wades championships. Wade needed a sidikick and he got a good one. Wade is a leader, LeBron is not. Wade is a closer, LeBron is not. LeBron IS a choker, Wade is not. If LeBrons ego can accept being a sidekick on Wades team then they will probably win some championships. That is if they assemble a good supporting cast.

  3. Omnius - Jul 18, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    LeBoring James is the King of Choke and just a corrupt self serving jerk who wants too much for his pathetic talents. I’m glad the Bulls showed the proper integrity and told LeBoring his cluless friends weren’t welcome in their organization. Obviously the HeatStroke organization isn’t so honest and I’m disappointed in Pat Riley for falling so low after being such a winner with the Lakers. We all know that David Stern is the most corrupt NBA commissioner of all time and he won’t investigate LeBoring James’s illegal shenanigans because he doesn’t care about integrity, just money. The Repeat World Champion Lakers will crush the cheaters from Miami if they get to the NBA Finals next year, but I’m betting that Boston or Orlando will keep the Three Duds and their pathetic posse from getting there.

  4. Louis - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Lol…All you Haters out there that called yourself fan of the game and fan of Lebron should stop crying so much because you sound like a baby that needs pacifier. How can you not see what this man did was so unselfish..I have never seen or heard of anything like this in my life time. Not one, Not two, but three NBA Superstars in there prime gave up millions of dollars for one “GOLD” and that is to when a championship.. I which these guys the best of luck and i hope to see them make it to the top….

  5. kukf - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    He always thought he was bigger than the game, the make believe movies he would make and pictures he pretended to take at game time.
    I have never saw Jordan, or Kobe do this type of egostical thing , he may win some championships , but there will always be an astrik
    as he could not accomplish this without switching to a team filled with 2 more superstars and not developing a team in Cleveland that would have been his, and there is always injuries to worry about, better get to it L B J you only have about 10 good yrs left to get 6 LOL

  6. Hoops McCann - Jul 18, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Josh – Well Said!
    Two excellent posts in a row. Absolutely spot on!

  7. bullsfan - Jul 18, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Do all Heat fans have writing issues like you?

  8. Louis - Jul 18, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    Why would Rose want Lebron to come Chicago? When he knows he won’t be the main man anymore…

  9. Larry - Jul 18, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    Lebron will never win the MVP award again. In Clev. he had the ball in his hands about 90 % of the time. Also most of the sports writers from around the country will not vote for him.

  10. Anita Whiting - Jul 18, 2010 at 3:44 PM

    You forget LeBron was a superstar in Cleveland. We don’t have many of those and therefore while he was here management as well as the media treated him with kid gloves. Whatever LeBron wanted he got. That was one of the reasons Dan Gilbert felt so betrayed. His star player was spoiled rotten and he had allowed it thinking it would add to that hometown appeal when it was time to resign. There is nothing worse than a spurned owner or fans for that matter. Now it comes out that LeBron was consulted on every player and coach that Gilbert hired. His friends were given carte blanche as well. You can bet that the fans as well as Gilbert have learned from this experience. He was a terrible tipper and even left places without paying his bill. We created a monster here and I don’t think he’s going to change in Miami. National media had some part in that as well fawning on him from the time he was in high school. He has tremendouse talent but the integrity and ethics of a worm. I only hope the next superstar we have in this town will treat those who pay him with more respect.

  11. Greg - Jul 18, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    Kobe tried to. He wanted to be traded but the Lakers wouldn’t do it.

  12. Lakers Fan - Jul 18, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    Derrick Rose just became my favorite player!!!

  13. Lakers Fan - Jul 18, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    Derrick Rose just became my favorite player!!!

  14. nbafanreg - Jul 19, 2010 at 1:34 AM

    it is funny. I was just watching Sportscenter and at the bottom of the screen it talks about Michael Jordan saying that he would never call up Magic or Bird and say let’s get together and play on the same team. He said that things have changed and he is not saying that is a bad team but frankly, he always wanting to beat those guys in stead of playing with him.
    That is spoken like a competitor. To be honest, I think alot of people expected 2 of the stars to get together, but not all 3. I don’t think that we would have had this conversation if Lebron went to Chicago with Rose and Bosh and Wade played together. Then you would still have your 2 main stars on each team with alot of good players around them.
    Even before all of this happened, I always talked about the way Lebron was. He looks like a young man that has always been the center of attention and doesn’t know anything else. I still haven’t found a like for him because of the way he always displayed himself. I watch him doing those little picture/camera moments and things like that and I shake my head. That is cute when you are in high school, but in the NBA, it is not cute. You can’t blame him because it has been like this since he was young. Maybe one day he will humble himself but I doubt it because he is sooooo ruined. When I heard him talking about the incident of not shaking the players hands last year and his responses around it, I figured he wouldn’t make it too far in this years playoff. It’s kind of like “Karma”.
    The other thing is I would never tell a person how to spend their money, but why is he buying a 49 million home? Isn’t that a little over kill. Crazy. It might be chump change to him but come on is it really necessary. Oh well, I guess you only live once.
    Anyways, I really like Dwayne Wades style so I wish him luck, but I’ve never been a LeBron or Bosh fan. Anyways, the season will start in November and we will see what happens. I just really feel sorry for their coach because he will probably be fired within the 1st year or midway – the second. i hope that Doc Rivers doesn’t go there to coach though. He has good chemistry in Boston.

  15. Freeloaders suck! - Jul 19, 2010 at 4:01 AM

    What do you expect from LBJ’s circle of friends when most of them didn’t even get a college degree? Bunch of freeloaders I say, riding on the coattails of Bron’s marketability. Props to the Bulls’ organization for at least having that part when it comes to integrity and belief in meritocracy…

  16. terry - Jul 19, 2010 at 6:58 AM

    The one characteristic that Magic, Bird and Jordan ALL shared was this – in crunch time they DEMANDED the ball. More often than not they delivered. They were all three primarily known for that trait. It’s obvious that that is not the case for LeBron.
    Sam Smith said that that rumor about the Bulls’ having refused to accommodate Lebron’s friends is not true, but it is well known that such was the case with Cleveland.
    In Lebron’s defense – he has been coddled this way since he was about 14 years old, when his incredible athletic talent became obvious. He just doesn’t know any better, and I kind of pity him. Sooner or later reality will arrive and that will be interesting.
    I can’t see Wade and Bosh being too pleased with the arrangement, not to mention the rest of the peons on the team. This has all the signs of something that will either yield more than a few titles or blow up in their faces, or both.
    I personally hope it blows up in their faces, yields no titles and attendance at Heat games after the initial surge remains low.

  17. fiveiron - Jul 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    Lot of spoiled brats in that league.

  18. candy - Jul 19, 2010 at 6:22 PM

    you are all haters….and I LOVE IT! It amuses me!

  19. candy - Jul 19, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    you are all haters….and I LOVE IT! It amuses me! And…all that hate is unhealthy…jealousy is unhealthy….but it sure is funny to watch…hate on haters!!!

  20. polo - Jul 19, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    I fell sorry for you Cavs fans. will you ever get over LeBron left Cleveland? One thing Lebron get to play with his superstar friends while you guys cannot stop crying.LeBron would have never won a championship without hooking up with another superstar. Like Michael and Peppin, Hakeem and Clide,Shaq and kobe,Kobe and Pau Gasol.Every superstar needs help, so let’s not kid ourself.Kobe coul not win without shaq and vice a versa.Long live the trio(LJ,DW AND CB).

  21. Carmichael - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    No they won’t win nothing not next year they got a long way to go… The lakers will kill them in the post they are way too soft in the hole even with Udonis Haslem…. Bynum and Gasol will destroy Illgauskes and Bosh kobe will outshine wade and lebron will be having to worry about the antics of Ron Artest who will be guarding him if Kobe isn’t going to himself… And for the comment about the bulls… the bulls are a better overall team even without the addition of Wade, Bosh, or Lebron im glad we didn’t get any of them we got our star in Derrick Rose…The Bulls are a solid team and with a couple more moves they are on the same level as the heat…… Yes i am from CHICAGO if you have’t guessed it by now…. and by the way you saying go Heat… Im willing to bet that you all are a borderline fans that hops on the favored side.. You probably didn’t even like the heat until they got Lebron and Bosh… and nobodies hating on the Heat, its they way it was done… Real fans could care less about them teaming up….its yall band wagon fans who hopped on they dick cause they got Lebron…..Where was yall when Wade was running by himself the last coupla years…. and i coulda sworn that there were other teams in the east like Orlando, Milwaukee,Boston, and Chicago that are credible threats to the heat they all got better.. The lakers got better the heat are not a team yet i give it a year or two before they actually win a championship

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