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So, Are the Knicks Still in This LeBron Thing, or Not?

Our mantra throughout this LeBron James wooing process has been, consistently, "nobody knows anything." This is far too fun of a story to follow and hypothesize about to just end it there, though, so we've been riding the same demented calliope of "no way, everyone's laughing at the Knicks" and "so you're saying there's a chance?" over the July 4 weekend that the rest of you have. So let's play Good Sign/Bad Sign.

LeBron is now unlikely to say anything until after his Akron basketball camp ends Wednesday, so all we can do is read tea leaves.

Good sign. LeBron hasn't signed yet. The Knicks are close to signing Amar'e Stoudemire ... probably. With one of the few free agents signed and onboard, the Knicks can make a concrete pitch with real players, rather than living in hypothetical land. (Amar'e spent July 4 with Jim Dolan, which doesn't sound like a lot of fun to us but was apparently right up his alley.) Yahoo! Sports is reporting the deal is very nearly final. (UPDATE: It's now official and final. The Knicks are having a press conference at 6:30. We'll talk more about this tomorrow.)

Bad sign. Maybe LeBron doesn't want to play with Amar'e, or would rather play with Chris Bosh? (Or, you know, stay in Cleveland?) The Knicks all along had (reportedly) told Amar'e they'd give him the max — something most teams aren't willing to do — but that the offer could be pulled off the table if LeBron said he'd rather bring in a different big man. Is the fact that the Knicks are willing to solidify the deal a sign that they think LeBron isn't signing?

Good sign. The Knicks got James Gandolfini and Edie Falco to reprise their roles as Tony and Carmela Soprano in their pitch to LeBron.

Bad sign. He might like Family Guy fart jokes more.

Good sign. The Knicks had a tentative second meeting with LeBron's people, supposedly to explain what was going on with Stoudemire. Also, Carmelo Anthony, a free agent next year, is keeping an eye on what the Knicks are building, with the idea that maybe he could hop in next season.

Bad sign. Everyone remains incredibly cynical about LeBron coming here, from the Daily News sources saying it's "extremely doubtful" to the ESPN folks who agree "no one thinks the Knicks are high on LeBron James' list."

Good sign. Everything the Knicks Blog says. Labeled "The One-Stop Shop for Hopeful Knicks Fans," Tommy Dee is living up to the subtitle: Anytime we lose faith, this site gives us a little more hope.

But nobody knows anything. And no one's going to know anything until the end of this week. If then. So if you didn't pay attention over the Fourth ... truth is, you didn't miss all that much.

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