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Posts Tagged ‘Free Agency’

I’ll Celebrate Michael Jordan, Instead

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Jordan Cover
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Today is being branded as “LeBron James Day” or, as the ESPN and James are calling it, “The Decision.” All of this hubbub has to do with James’ impending free agency decision, and the day culminates with an hour-long ESPN special where James will announce his intentions.


For my act of rebellion — sorry, I’m not moved by unmitigated egotism — let’s focus on the recently-debuted NBA 2K11 cover, featuring a truly great basketball player, who, like Jason Whitlock says, didn’t call himself “Air.” Yes, it’s true Jordan has(d) an ego; what truly great superstar doesn’t? However, Jordan handled his business on the court. He didn’t hijack the sports world with hour-long specials, announcing his decision to play baseball or retire because his father was tragically taken from him.

He simply held normal press conferences — ones that did not require ESPN specials — announced his intentions and moved on. Obviously, in today’s world of star-f**kers enabling these “stars,” coupled with an ego that’s been placated at least since middle school, something that simple and benign is out of the question. Whatever the case, instead of hand-wringing over LeBron’s decision, I’m going enjoy having Michael Jordan in a next-generation video game.

Good thing it’s coming out on the PC as well because I’m still not ready to make the leap the PS3.

H/t to Kotaku for the find.

What’s Next For Miami?

Wade and Bosh

The Miami Heat roster got a lot stronger with the announcement of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh agreeing to sign with the South Beach squad, however, a quick look at the Heat roster reveals, with the inclusion of Wade and Bosh, only four players are apart of the team — Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers are the other two under contract. That leaves about 10 or so roster spots needing to be filled, and with that in mind, what’s next for the Heat? Who do they sign to compliment the Big Two?

Operating from the idea the Heat won’t be signing LeBron James, who else is out there capable of helping the Wade-Bosh two-headed monster? A quick glance indicates the Heat clearly need a shooter and another, dirty-work-style post player. A dependable point guard would be nice addition as well.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, because Bosh signed as free agent instead of relying on a sign-and-trade, the Heat have more cap space to work with.

In South Florida, A Bosh-Wade pairing leaves the Heat in excess of an additional $10 million in salary-cap space… That means if Miami Thrice is out with James, it would push the Heat toward several lesser-tier possibilities… That extra cap flexibility would mean the Heat would not have to renounce its rights to all of its 2010 free agents, possibly putting Udonis Haslem, Dorell Wright, Jermaine O’Neal and Quentin Richardson back into play for roster spots or sign-and-trade transactions.

While Haslem looks like a great fit for the Wade-Bosh monster, I’m not sure Jermaine O’Neal fits. Here are some that would, however:

Brad Miller
Ray Allen (Tony Allen, too)
Raymond Felton
Steve Blake
Jordan Famar
David Lee
Matt Barnes
Kyle Korver
Mike Miller

If the Heat retain Haslem and sign three or four players from the above list, Miami could very easily be one of the serious contenders for the NBA crown, and not just in the Eastern Conference either — regardless of where LeBron James signs. Of course, if the Heat do indeed sign James, then it probably won’t matter who they fill out the roster with.

LeBron Joins Twitter, Followers Flock

LeBron Fans
Image courtesy

The King of NBA Basketball has joined the rank and file of the Twitter universe, and while there isn’t anything at all on the kingjames account, it’s picking up followers at an exponential rate. As a quick, little test, I took two screenshots of LeBron’s Twitter account, separated by one minute. In the time it took me to hit “Print Screen,” twice, James’ followers jumped from 35,777 to 36,440.

That’s almost a thousand more followers in less than a minute. I don’t think even Britney Spears picked up followers that quickly back when she was a relevant figure of society. Here are those screenshots.

Click for bigger images. After the jump >>

LeBron: More Than A Player

LeBron James

The Cleveland Cavaliers are pulling out all the stops in their efforts to re-sign their King, and seeing how fan-made videos that plead with the desired player to stay with the team they root for are all the rage right now, the Cavaliers decided to follow suit and release a video of their own.

If that’s the straw that convinces James to stay in Cleveland, he wasn’t that serious about free agency to begin with; and no, that’s not attack on the video. If, after all the reasons why James wanted to keep his options open — better team, more opportunity to expand the “Team LeBron” brand — a highlight video is the straw that breaks camel’s back and keeps LeBron in Cleveland, then the entire “LeBron James Free Agency Tour” was nothing more than a farce.

Is Amar’e An Improvement?

Amar'e Stoudemire

The New York Knicks made the second major move of the NBA Free Agency season by signing ex-Phoenix Suns power forward to a five-year contract worth close to $100 million. The move creates a number of questions, including the concept of “is the signing really an improvement over David Lee?” Others include: Who is going to pass Amar’e the ball? In Phoenix, he had Steve Nash essentially making him the offensive player he is today with deft passes that gave Stoudemire the opportunity to attack the rim. Where are these passes going to come from now that Amar’e is with the Knicks?

As of today, the only point guard on the Knicks roster, thanks to Chris Duhon’s signing with the Orlando Magic, is Eddie House. While House is an amazing shooter, that’s about all he brings to the table for an NBA team. He’s not a player who will make others around him better with nifty passes out of the pick and roll.

Without a point guard, the Knicks plan for replacing the dirty-work-doing David Lee is with a player who needs others passing him the ball to be an effective scorer; one that doesn’t rebound as effectively as Lee either. If the Knicks don’t sign a point guard of note — think Raymond Felton, perhaps — then they just paid a whole lot of money for an incomplete player who needs a set-up player to make him the offensive threat he was in Phoenix.

So far, the Knicks are very much a work in progress. As for Amar’e being more effective than the apparently-outgoing David Lee, thoughts aren’t clear here, either:

Continue reading after the jump >>

LeBron To Decide By Monday?

Serious LeBron

Could the becoming-quite-tedious “Summer of LeBron” be thankfully over before it has a chance to permeate for the better part of a month of two? If rumors are to be believed, perhaps there’s hope things like the “LeBron Tracker” will only be around for a couple of weeks. While James has already begun the process of letting potential suitors court him, he’s apparently made it clear he doesn’t want the free agency process to drag out.

That makes two of us.

With that in mind, and if an expeditious decision is truly coming from America’s current hostage-holder, does this potential news change your views about where James will play next season? Do the Cavaliers now look like a more attractive option, or is the Miami super-team still in play?

If LeBron is a man of his word, hopefully, we won’t have to wait until August to find out.

Is This Really Necessary? (LeBron James)

LeBron Tracker

Not only is ESPN loving the hype surrounding LeBron’s impending free agency (In less than NINE HOURS!!!!), they’re also one of the biggest drivers of the Lebron-hype bus, something their “LeBron Tracker” page indicates quite nicely. Obviously, ESPN is no longer satisfied with crushing local sports reporting with the invention of their city-related pages (ESPN NY, Boston, Chicago, etc), now they are looking to determine the outcome of the NBA free agency market, or at least play a major, major role.

The LeBron Tracker page is an exercise in excessive exposure. For example, the page features an “Inside the Brain of LeBron,” complete with nifty, interactive graphics that offer such gems like: “Note to self: Call Phil Jackson as soon as the playoffs end,” complete with a mental image of Mike Brown.

This makes perfect sense because it’s clearly Mike Brown’s fault when his star player essentially quits against the Boston Celtics and the rest of his would-be lottery team has to pick up the slack.

Other sections include a free agent slot machine and images of James in both Chicago and New York jerseys. Obviously, ESPN is trying to corner the market in getting the hopes up of fans everywhere.

Here’s my question: Where’s Dwyane Wade’s page? You know, the only player out of the “top free agents” who actually won an NBA title? While it looks like Wade’s staying in Miami, if James has a his own page at ESPN, Wade certainly should as well. Another thing, does this pave the way for future big-time free agents? Tom Brady’s contract is up next year. Will he be getting a page too?

Is LeBron Moving To Kansas City?

LeBron Mail

This little gem was found at my apartment complex’s mailboxes, and it leads me to believe King James is saying “Damn free agency. I’m moving to Kansas City and starting my own NBA team. Maybe I’ll resurrect the Kansas City Kings, Maloof Brothers be damned.” One thing though, I’m surprised he’s moving into an apartment complex. Maybe he’s trying to save money and keep a low profile. Or maybe he’s just going to buy the property; although, I have to wonder what his 3-14 Game 5 performance would translate to as an apartment manager. It sounds like I’d get lots of days of great service, but in crunch time — perhaps my heat failing in the middle of winter — James wouldn’t produce like his fans residents expected him to.