Blog Entry

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:38 am
About 12 hours after Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in committing to the Heat, two reports emerged Thursday morning saying LeBron James was leaning toward joining them.

Newsday first reported via Knicks beat writer Alan Hahn's Twitter account that James "has decided to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami." The Long Island newspaper followed up with a published report saying that James "is expected to choose the Heat," citing multiple NBA sources.

ESPN's Chris Broussard, who first definitively reported Bosh's decision to team up with Wade on Wednesday, followed up about an hour later on Twitter, saying that James "will join Wade and Bosh in Miami, barring a late change of heart."

James' agent, Leon Rose, did not return a call from early Thursday. A high-ranking member of the Cavaliers organization was unaware of James having made a decision.

On ESPN News, a sister station of the NBA rights-holding network that will air the announcement of James' decision at 9 p.m. ET Thursday, Broussard said James "still has time to change his mind" and called it "a fluid situation."

Even with the higher than expected $58.044 million salary cap announced Wednesday by the NBA for the 2010-11 season, the Heat don't have the space to fit two max contracts starting at $16.57 million next season under their $31.4 million in cap space after accounting for Wade's deal starting at the same amount. With only Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers under contract heading into the signing period that began at 12:01 a.m. ET Thursday, that leaves only three options for Miami to form its Dream Team: 1) Send Beasley to Toronto in a sign-and-trade arrangement for Bosh, which sources have indicated is highly unlikely; 2) trade Beasley to another team with cap space, such as Sacramento, Minnesota or Washington; or 3) persuade its new Big Three to accept less than maximum salaries -- a shade less than $16 million in the first year of the deals would work -- for the right to play together.

The $1.944 million increase in the league salary cap above the most recent estimate of $56.1 million given by the league in April meant that the superstar triumvirate wouldn't have to leave as much money on the table as previously thought to fit into the Heat's space. Plus, Florida's lack of a state income tax would mitigate any losses the three superstars would incur.

It's a fluid situation, indeed. The buzz among NBA front office executives Wednesday pointed toward the Knicks making a late push to persuade James to join Amar'e Stoudemire in New York. Another executive within the league -- who has ties to all three of the top free agents -- said the most likely scenario was for James to announce Thursday that he's returning to the Cavaliers. Front office sources with teams in pursuit of James still were in the dark Wednesday about what team James would choose.

"Everyone is on the LeBron yo-yo a little bit," one front office executive said.

Ya think?


Since: Mar 28, 2008
Posted on: July 8, 2010 3:10 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

i just talked to lebron on the phone ... he said hes retireing

Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: July 8, 2010 3:06 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

This is all crazy!  I really dont understand how ANYONE thinks that if he goes to Miami we wont have a legacy!  ARE YOU SERIOUS?  This Miami team will be the best in the NBA and create the best team since The Jordan/Pippen Bulls.  This team will go down in history as the "Dream Team"  and the rings will start coming.  The Big Three will be unstoppable, I love the Idea of James going to Miami.  People are just mad because Kobe would never do that because he is NOT a team player, these three will work out great!

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: July 8, 2010 3:04 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

No doubt the Heat will win championships. The Celtics bought theirs in 2008 with assembling a team based on star power. Same goes in LA with the Lakers, although less obvious than what the Heat did earlier this decade. Very few teams have built dynasties thru the draft in the NBA.

Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:54 pm

If true, then The King becomes The Clown

There's only one "wrong" choice in this discussion - and going to Miami is it.  If LeBron is truly thinking about his legacy, how he'll be remembered, then joining the team that has already signed the next two biggest FAs is such a poor choice.  Most of us - myself included - will recognize this as him wanting to put the rings on his finger without earning it.  It's ok to join a team with two in-their-prime stars when you're at the end of your career looking for that first ring - but it's not ok to do it when you yourself are in your prime.  He won't be able to touch Jordan or Kobe now -- and he's too talented and has too much of his career left to put himself into that situation, where there's no way to reach the same rare air as those two.

If this happens, it will turn the rest of us towards rooting against him, because he will become the big bohemoth that now "should" win, and that everyone wants to take down.  And if he doesn't win, it will be how the rest of us feel when the Yankees, who stack the deck each year, don't win - he'll become the subject of scorn.  "Why can't LeBron win even when he's paired with two all-stars?" will be the headline.  And if he does win?  It's "LeBron wins... but so what?"

It will also reek of collusion - among three f"ree agents that are trying to control the game."

I just can't believe he and his advisors are even seriously considering this route, and ruining what should be one of the NBA's great historic legacies.  I have to believe he's smarter than this, and that it's a hoax.  At least, I hope it is for his sake.

Since: Oct 7, 2007
Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:52 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

I am not necessarily a LeBron James fan nor am I a Cleveland Cavaliers fan.  However, similar to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 when they signed Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the NBA needs James to sign with Cleveland in order to save the league.  In 1969 the entire league assisted the Bucks in paying for Jabbar to play there.  I fear that if Cleveland is unable to retain LeBron James it will be one of the worst things to happen in professional sports.

Since: Jul 8, 2010
Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:37 pm
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Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:35 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

Michael Jordan being the greatest player of all time and Kobe Bryant being the 2nd, these players did not win all their championships by their self.

Michael Jordan was in his own world, I certainly wouldn't put anybody that's played since in the same category.  The only person approaching Jordan status but still probably never get there is Kobe Bryant.

Michael Jordan's supporting cast was similar to Wayne Gretzky's helpers at forward.    They were good players, but these guys turned them into stars.  Look at Scottie Pippen's career before and especially after Jordan left.  He decreased suddenly and dramatically statistically and in any other way you could think of.

Jordan was a pretty special player and so was Gretzky.  I don't think there are players in either sport today that are quite at that level and there may never be another player in either sport that changes how their respective games were played like those two guys did.

Since: Jul 8, 2010
Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:35 pm
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Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:33 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

I don't get all the hate for LeBron.  If he stay in Cleveland, he won't win.  If he leaves and goes somewhere else, for LESS money because he wants to win, he isn't winning the way fans want him to.  The guy can't win with all of the haters.  I hope he goes to the Nets, but that isn't happening.  So, wherever he goes I will be a fan and if it is Miami, for LESS money, to WIN, who cares HOW he wins.  Fans think it means less to the Yankees to win the World Series because they buy all the best players?  I feel bad for LeBron, he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.  The good thing is he doesn't care what we think and will do what he wants, and I will continue to marvel at his talent.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: July 8, 2010 2:30 pm

Reports: LeBron 'leaning toward' Miami

Michael Jordan being the greatest player of all time and Kobe Bryant being the 2nd, these players did not win all their championships by their self. So the argument of if they won it would be because of all 3, that's true not one player can win it by himself. That's why Lebron may be going to Miami because they he would have a bettr team around him than at Cleveland. Remember Kevin Garrett did the same thing when he went to Boston, he wanted a championship.

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