While everyone was wetting their pants over the World Cup, the LeBron Watch rolled on. There are just three days until NBA free agency officially begins, and the dominoes may have started to fall. On Sunday morning, Jonathan Abrams at the New York Times reported that James and Chris Bosh seem to be leaning toward the Bulls, according to an anonymous NBA executive. Our slightly educated guess is that Rod Thorn of the Nets is the exec, since Thorn just announced that he’s heading out the door and Abrams has covered the Nets in the past. If Thorn is the source, that would be bad news for the Knicks, because he isn’t a bank shot bullshitter like many NBA executives.
A few hours later, ESPN.com reported that the Knicks were making plans to hold their first free-agent meetings with Amare Stoudemire and Joe Johnson, former Mike D’Antoni pupils with the Suns. The message from the Knicks seems to be a classic lowering of expectations as they establish a Plan B. Political consultants do it all the time; it doesn’t mean the Knicks won’t get James, but if they do, it will now seem like a Blanche Lincoln–type surprise!
There was one positive development for New York this weekend. Remember how everyone keeps saying James will go to Chicago because it’s closer to Cleveland? Not that true! According to Mapquest, James saves exactly a half-hour of highway time if he commutes to the United Center from his Akron residence instead of Madison Square Garden.
Plus, we’re pretty sure he’s not going to be actually driving.