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LeBron Not on Same Page with Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade?

This isn’t even coming from me — it’s coming straight from Bosh who posted a telling message to his twitter account. Here’s what Bosh tweeted on Thursday night as the first day of free agency was wrapping up: “Just had dinner w @dwadeofficial. Great way to end day 1 of #freeagency although it feels like someone is missing……” And of course Bosh linked to a picture of himself and Dwyane Wade eating together (something we’ve gotten used to seeing over the past few weeks). As you can see, there’s a seat open between the two gentlemen. I wonder for whom that could be?

Sometimes the best clues can come from the players themselves and this seems to be a pretty good indicator to me. While Wade and Bosh are meeting with teams in Chicago, LeBron is holding his private meetings in Cleveland. We noted how the idea that had been floated suggesting the three would split money and all join the Miami Heat. Bosh said the notion seemed “pie in the sky.” Now I have an idea why he said that; the whole thing seems improbable at this point and it’s mainly because LeBron is doing his own thing right now.

Sources:
Chris Bosh on Twitter

Doc Rivers is Staying: What it Means

Less than 24 hours after Paul Pierce‘s agent announced he would opt out of the final year of his contract with the Boston Celtics, word is surfacing that head coach Doc Rivers will return to the team and, at the very least, finish out his current contract.  For those of you who are interested in the Celtics and wondering what this means for their off-season plans, the answer is a lot.

The fact that Doc has chosen to return probably answers most of the questions that Boston had after the playoffs ended and is an indication that they plan on keeping their core in tact for at least another year.  Rivers has at times been given a bit too much credit as a coach when you consider the roster he was handed a few years ago, but there’s something to be said for being a players’ coach that a team responds to.  Let’s go over a few implications that the return of Rivers has for the reigning Eastern Conference champs.

1. Paul Pierce’s opt out doesn’t mean he’s leaving Boston.

The reason players have been opting out of the final years of their deals, regardless of where they want to play, has to do with the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.  The current CBA will expire after next season and it’s pretty much a certainty at this point that it will result in the league’s top players making less money.  The ceiling for a maximum contract players can sign is going to be lowered, therefore players are opting out (when able to) and seeking a long-term deal under the current CBA rather than waiting until next off-season.

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Tim Duncan Really Likes His Wendy’s

Free agency in the NBA is heating up with July 1st marking the beginning of the period. The biggest name in this year’s class is of course LeBron James. Rather than take a trip to each city he’s considering, The King will remain in Ohio and allow the jesters to come to him. That’s not normally how it works; generally the highly sought after free agents are recruited by interested teams. With that in mind, I read this great story by current Magic VP Pat Williams in the latest edition of Sporting News Magazine. Williams, who was the team’s president at the time, gave this hilarious account of his attempt to sign Tim Duncan and how they screwed up the food order:

With Tim … we had a good read on him, and we knew he would have been highly offended if we had a ticker-tape parade through town or put him on a float and rolled him through Disney World with Mickey and Minnie. We wanted to have a situation that was more low-key, more suited to his personality.

We tried to take care of every detail. Hotel room, car service, all first-class. We had cold cuts out, for lunch. We had a buffet, and Tim didn’t like what we had. He really wanted Wendy’s. So we hustled to get someone out there for some Wendy’s. All the studying we did, we did not know he liked Wendy’s. You really have to know your target, I guess.

Whether or not the Wendy’s snafu played a part in it we can’t be sure, but we do know that David Robinson hustled back from a Hawaiian vacation to convince Duncan to remain in San Antonio. Duncan of course re-signed with the Spurs and went on to win three more NBA titles. The Magic got Grant Hill, their second choice in free agency, and Tracy McGrady, their third choice, and never got out of the first-round of the playoffs. Who knew Dave Thomas’ favorite girl would have such an impact on the NBA?

LeBron Watch: The King, D-Wade, and Bosh Willing to Split Cash?

The talk of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh joining forces in 2011 is really starting to heat up — no pun intended.  Stephen A. Smith seems to have called it first on his radio show, so as fun as this would be to watch I’m almost hoping it doesn’t happen.  I’d hate for him to be able to say, “I told you so,” and I’m sure plenty of others are with me on that.

Sports by Brooks has drawn my attention to an Ira Winderman report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that claims the three superstars have gone so far as to discuss the financial shuffling that would need to take place in order for all three to be signed by the Miami Heat.  Winderman reports that a source has told him that the free agents are aware it may be impossible for the Heat to start them all out at the $16.6 million for their first season that the maximum contract would allow.  The source told Winderman that they have discussed a plan to “split the money up” if that’s what it takes to make it work.

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LeBron James and Chicago a Great Mix

Let me start out by saying yes, this is a little biased. I’m a Bulls fan from Chicago, but there are plenty of reasons why LeBron James would be happy here running with the Chicago Bulls. Free agency begins at midnight on Thursday and the biggest question is where The King will sign. I say it should be Chicago.

A few weeks ago I made the prediction that Tom Izzo would leave Michigan State and that LeBron would be staying in Cleveland. Well, I was wrong. With Izzo’s decision to stay, I think it’s obvious that King James isn’t staying with the Cleveland Cavaliers.  So here’s why I think that LeBron would be happy in the Windy City:

1. The talent is already here: Despite the Bulls’ mediocre season, they do have a very talented bench. Derrick Rose will be a superstar and I believe would compliment LeBron quite well. Unlike other “face of the franchise” players, Rose isn’t a ball hog. Although Rose won’t be directly in the spotlight with The King around, they would make an almost unstoppable combination on the floor.

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LeBron Watch: Stephen A. Smith Makes a Prediction, Jay-Z Says Very Little

If nothing else, Jay-Z has made it tough to get a read on what his approach will be in trying to land LeBron James.  Publicly, he’s come out and stated that he would not try to convince LeBron to sign with the Nets, although we all know that’s completely false.  With July 1 only days away, the LeBron James free agency rumors are in full swing.  It’s already been said that Chris Bosh and LeBron to the Chicago Bulls is a done deal.  Stephen A. Smith disagrees with that prediction and has made it clear that he believes LeBron and Bosh are both headed to Miami to team with Dwyane Wade.  If that’s true you can go ahead and cancel the season, but we’ll get into that after.  First, have a look at the video of Jay-Z talking about LeBron James with David Letterman, courtesy of Waiting For Next Year via Sports by Brooks Live:

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Gordon Hayward’s Barely Legal Girlfriend

The NBA Draft was pretty boring as a whole and about the only upside is at least we didn’t have cameras on the players showing they were selected prior to the announcement at the podium. If there was one notable aspect of the draft, aside from David Stern laughing at the Bulls’ pick, it was Gordon Hayward bringing his girlfriend along to NYC.

Hayward is 20 years old and he just completed his sophomore season at Butler. He’s a young looking guy, which means his young looking girlfriend, Kolbi Killingback suits him well. Oddly, though, Killingback just graduated from high school according to her Facebook page. The two went to high school together so it makes the situation whole lot less creepy but it’s still somewhat uncomfortable. It definitely reminds us how young most of these players are.