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How Much Denial Can We Muster Up for the LeBron-to-Heat Story? Let’s Give It a Shot

Boy, yesterday was fun, wasn't it? It really felt like everything was breaking in the Knicks' favor, at the last minute. Random weirdo athletes kept saying LeBron was coming. The Bosh-Wade Miami hookup seemed to take the Heat out of the picture, and the Bulls and Nets appeared to have faded. LeBron chose Greenwich as the spot for his announcement and readied himself for a weekend of fawning in the city. Even the stock market was leaning in the Knicks' favor. Knicks fans were quietly confident. They are decidedly less so this morning.

It all changed with Alan Hahn's tweet — HAAAAAHHHHHHHHNNNNN!!!!! — and suddenly what was supposed to be this deeply mysterious and bizarre event tonight has turned into something of a formality. We have to say: These reports will significantly reduce viewership of "The Decision" in northeast Ohio this evening.

(Oh, side bonus for Knicks fans: If LeBron does sign with the Heat and breaks Cavs' fans hearts, you can pretend that you were with the Cavs' fans all the time, that you can't believe he would be so horrible to his home-state fan base. You can act like you sympathize with them via your booing of LeBron. Because it'll be okay to boo him when he comes to the Garden next year. We feel your pain, Cavs fans: He left us too! Totally!)

Anyway, John Hollinger of ESPN says a LeBron/Wade/Bosh triumvirate — surrounded by Mario Chalmers and eight D-League guys vaguely similar to Patrick Ewing Jr. — would win 60 games or so, which is just great. It's worth noting that, as of this moment, the Heat actually can't sign LeBron: For James to announce he's heading to Miami, unless he's taking significantly less money, the Heat need to trade Michael Beasley, like, immediately. (Knicks fans: Want him for cheap? Hmmm.) And that still leaves a team with four players and no one else. Also: No one cares about non-football sporting events in Miami, lack of income tax or not.

But we're just pouting now. Barring a "last minute change of mind" — because LeBron is freaking Hamlet — this Heat thing appears to be sticking. It has certainly changed everyone's perspective on tonight. It's possible it's just LeBron's people messing with everybody one last time: They've clearly been doing a lot of that. (Plus: Have faith in Diddy!) But there's more smoke this time, than any of the others.

As a choice, Miami is a total bummer. If LeBron stayed in Cleveland, you would at least respect his loyalty, even if you wondered why it took him a whole hour on national television to display it. If he went to Chicago, you would at least respect his willingness to take on the mantle of Jordan, and play for one of the league's signature franchises and most excellent fan bases. If he went to New Jersey, you'd be annoyed, but man, it sure would be fun to watch. But Miami? Just to go to a free-agent cabal on South Beach, with Pat Riley winning yet again? (Everywhere but New York, that guy.) Because of property value and state tax? In Florida? There's something sad about that. LeBron, Wade, and Bosh: just another strip-mall attraction, in gated communities, removed from everyone, evermore.

It looks like it's Miami. And man, that just stinks, whatever side you're on.

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Photo: Getty Images