Mark Cuban has thought long and hard about LeBron’s impending decision, and though he still doesn’t know how to spell The King’s name, the Mavs owner has an idea of where he’ll go.
In his latest blog post, Cuban said he a p.r. firm this afternoon tell some media outlets that “Lebron” was Miami-bound. But that scenario alone should raise red flags, he argues: Why would a p.r. firm, whose sole purpose is promote an event or client, ruin the impact of a one-hour TV special?
But just imagine if it’s true, he continues. Imagine the reaction if LeBron chooses Miami. Think of all the cabana parties all along South Beach, while his (former) fans in Cleveland sink into a deep depression. LeBron will instant go from Cleveland God to Public Enemy No. 1.
Now, imagine if he stays in Cleveland. Imagine the parties on the streets, the kids laughing and playing, the quaint setting that will invevitably follow as LeBron utters the words “I’m staying home.”
“…tonight means everything,” writes Cuban. “Which is exactly why I think he is going back to the Cavs. The sports world is full of uncertainties. When in doubt, go for the love. Which is what you do when you make the mistake of not coming to the Mavs
Note: Cuban put the smiley face at the end of his post. Not me. [BlogMaverick.com]
Because an SI Swimsuit editor has cordially invited you to the Swimsuit party if you join the Knicks tonight. Yep. You’d have a chance to mingle with all the SI Lovelies. Quite the offer, if you ask me. Here’s a little sumthin, sumthin to think about while you continue mulling your big decision.
If this LeBron madness was going to end as soon as he announces his team of choice tonight … you couldn’t be any more wrong.
Tonight, during his hour-long “Decision” on ESPN, The King himself will answer questions from his hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers (which he acquired in just 48 hours) regarding his announcement. Now, if the King really wanted to make this a special affair, he’d field questions from @LeBronJamesEgo and @LeBronsElbow.
Yesterday, LeBron‘s city of choice was Cleveland. The day before, it was Chicago. The day before that, was it was New Jersey.
Today, however, according to Newsday‘s Alan Hahn, LeBron has agreed to join Dwyane Wade in Chris Bosh in Miami. “The Big Three is here,” he tweeted.
ESPN’s Chris Broussard confimed Hahn’s claim by tweeting early Thursday: “Sources with knowledge of the situation indeed saying LeBron will join Wade and Bosh in Miami, barring a late change of heart.
Even with the new salary cap for next season — $58 million — LeBron and the other two stars would have to take a paycut, which has rarely happened in pro sports. And then the Heat would only have four guys on the books, with Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers potentially on their way out if the team engages in a sign-and-trade to give the big three more money. Even still, the Heat wouldn’t be able to offer all three max contracts. Per Chad Ford:
If the Heat can’t clear the cap space, each player could sign for slightly less than the max and likely lose roughly $7 million on a five-year contract. That number could be adjusted based on the league’s final cap numbers.
Alternately, the Heat can work with the Raptors and/or the Cavs to do sign-and-trades for Bosh or James. Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo has indicated that he’s willing to talk sign-and-trade with the Heat but so far has balked at the idea of taking Beasley in any such deal. Cavs owner Daniel Gilbert has been steadfast that the Cavs won’t participate in a sign-and-trade for James.
If the Heat cannot work out a sign-and-trade with the Raptors or Cavs, James and Bosh could each leave an additional $30 million on the table thanks to collective bargaining rules that allow their home teams to offer higher raises and a sixth year on their contracts.
Of course, if LeBron does move to South Beach, the biggest winner would be Stephen A. Smith.
Wall Street was bullish today … and not for Chicago.
Thanks to all the LeBron-New York speculation, shares Madison Square Garden Inc., the owners of the Knicks, jumped $1.30, or 6.4 percent, to close at $21.57 Wednesday, adding 3 cents in extended trading. Volume was up dramatically at 1.7 million trades, more than five times the daily average of 311,000.
James’ potential arrival in New York would boost the value of the franchise by “hundreds of millions of dollars,” Gabelli & Co. analyst Christopher Marangi told the AP.
If LeBron, who will announce his decision Thursday on ESPN, signs with the Knicks, the team could see about 10 percent more revenue, while the MSG network could get 10 percent more advertising revenue, he said.
“Would landing LeBron add to the economic value of the enterprise? The answer to that is unequivocally yes,” he said. “The second question is what are the Knicks’ chances of actually getting him? The market is saying it thinks better of the chances today than it did yesterday or before the weekend.”
Feuling the speculation of LeBron going to New York was Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh‘s announcements Wednesday that they would play for the Miami Heat. Marangi said those decisions instantly made Chicago (who agreed to terms of a five-year, $80 million with free agent power forward Carlos Boozer on Wedesday, too) a less-attractive option for James while Miami’s chances of winning the NBA Finals would go up dramatically with all three stars on the team.
But the Knicks entered the free agency shopping spree with the most salary cap room in the league with $34.1 million – enough for two players earning the maximum salary. After the team landed Amar’e Stoudemire for $100 over five years, it still had $17 million to spend on James. [The AP]
Phoenix Suns forward Jared Dudley tweeted that he has the scoop: “My sources tell me Lebron will announce that he will be goin to the NY KNICKS tomorrow on ESPN.. This is serious.. WOW!!!!”
For confirmation, Steve Nash retweeted Dudley’s post. Of course, Nash also retweeted this comment out: “now only if anyone knew who Jared Dudley was then maybe it would be a story(that’s cold bro. Shake it off Dud).”
Norby Williamson, ESPN’s vice president of production, said in a conference call Wednesday that LeBron‘s long-time manager Maverick Carter presented the idea to the network late last week and requested Jim Gray to be the interviewer. The broadcast will be done from ESPN’s campus in Bistol, Conn., with LeBron and Gray on camera via satellite.
The King’s decision will be announced in the first 10 to 15 minutes of Thursday’s show, and ESPN said it will have control over how they will cover the announcement, with analysts Michael Wilbon and Jon Barry joining host Stuart Scott to ask LeBron questions throughout the segment.
Said Williamson: “We have complete editorial control and direction, with the exception of what will come out of his [LeBron's] mouth.”
Though Williamson would not disclose the location of where Gray will interview James, Newsday‘s Alan Hahn reported that James will be shooting out of Greenwich, Conn., where James’ friend and part-owner of the Nets, Jay-Z, owns a home.
While the network has signed on for the special, it won’t hesitate to report news of LeBron’s decision if someone else breaks it. ESPN will report news if someone else breaks it. [@richarddeitsch, Newsday]
As reported by the AP: The White House says President Obama is still hoping The King will be a Bull next season.
After much speculation, James, a two-time MVP with the Cleveland Cavaliers, is set to announce his future NBA plans Thursday night. The Bulls are among those James has met with during his highly anticipated free agency period.
Many in Cleveland, the economically depressed city near James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio, are hoping James will stick with the Cavaliers. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says that while the people of Cleveland may disagree with Obama’s desire to see James play in Chicago, he believes they’ll respect that the president rooting for his own hometown team.