LeBron James reportedly still bothered by Dan Gilbert letter

Dan-GilbertCleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was not wise to burn bridges with LeBron James four years ago. Rather than looking at the bigger picture and realizing that LeBron would be a free agent more than once during the prime of his career, Gilbert reacted by attacking LeBron’s character and making promises he could not keep. And now, it may cost him.

Chris Broussard of ESPN reports that Gilbert’s infamous comic sans letter is one reason, if not “the major reason,” that LeBron’s decision is taking so long.

“If it wasn’t for that letter, this would’ve been done awhile ago,” a source told Broussard.

Gilbert has never issued a public apology to LeBron. There have been rumors that the two patched things up, but neither James nor the Cavs owner have ever confirmed that. By saying the deal would have been done a while ago if not for the letter, Broussard’s source — whatever that means to you — is basically saying LeBron wants to go back to Cleveland.

LeBron has admitted that “The Decision” was mishandled, and I’m sure he understands how much it tortured Cavs fans. Still, he probably can’t help but keep the words Gilbert used to describe him — like “coward” and “narcissist” — fresh in his mind. If LeBron does return to Cleveland, it won’t be because he wants to play for Gilbert again.

All that said, this is extremely difficult to believe. Broussard threw some stuff in the end of his article about how LeBron was the first player to speak out publicly against Sterling, so some believe it would be “hypocritical” of LeBron to return and play for Gilbert. Are we really comparing Gilbert’s childish letter to a fellow owner’s disgustingly racist beliefs? Come on.

Extra police stationed outside LeBron James’ Akron mansion

LeBron James CavsExtra police and security were stationed outside LeBron James’ Akron mansion on Thursday in anticipation of an announcement about his future.

Thursday was the first day free agents could sign with new teams. Most players are waiting on James’ announcement to decide where they will go, so there has been very little news.

But the police are ready regardless of James’ choice.

Should James choose to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, there will be a massive celebration. If he re-resigns with the Miami Heat, there will be riots. Either way, the police are prepared and surrounding James’ fortress.

See all the photos and tweets below:

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Carmelo Anthony reportedly will re-sign with Knicks

Carmelo Anthony KnicksCarmelo Anthony reportedly plans to re-sign with the Knicks and supposedly will let everyone know of his decision on Thursday.

The New York Daily News quotes a source who informed them of ‘Melo’s plans.

“He will have something for everybody on Thursday,” a friend told the Daily News Wednesday. “He is really torn because this is the biggest decision of his career. But he wants to get it done in New York. He told me he believes in Phil.”

Free agents can sign contracts as early as Thursday. ‘Melo visited with the Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Lakers and Knicks during free agency, but the Knicks were said to be the favorites to retain him all along. Anthony supposedly believes in new team president Phil Jackson and Phil’s plans for the club.

This should not at all come as a surprise. Though being pitched by teams creates intrigue, ‘Melo’s family is in NY and they have had some success since he’s been there. The Knicks also can offer him a five-year max deal, which no other team can. For a guy getting into his 30s, that extra guaranteed money could make a difference.

Cavs reportedly trade Jarrett Jack to Nets, clear room for LeBron James

Jarrett-Jack-CavsThe Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly agreed to a three-team trade with the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics that will send Jarrett Jack to Brooklyn. The Cavs needed to move Jack, who is owed $6.3 million next season, in order to clear the space needed to sign a player to a maximum contract. They’re hoping that player will be some dude named LeBron James.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Nets will get Jack and Sergey Karasev while sending a future first-round pick and Marcus Thornton to the Celtics. Thornton is owed more than $8 million next season, so the Cavs had to involve a third team in order to shed contracts without taking any on. Cleveland also sent Tyler Zeller and his $1.7 million to Boston.

The Cavs facilitated the trade with one goal in mind — creating salary cap space. While we have no way of knowing for sure what LeBron’s future plans are, it is fairly obvious that Cleveland is doing all it can to sign him. The decision is now solely in LeBron’s hands.

Meanwhile, Danny Ainge has parlayed the Cavs’ desperation to sign LeBron into a nice haul for the Celtics. Boston will get a free look at Zeller while also acquiring another future first-round pick. With Ainge reportedly still trying to figure out a way to trade for Kevin Love, could that future first-rounder become valuable? Let’s not get carried away…

Prince Fielder Body Issue Photoshops are even better than the cover photo

Prince Fielder Price is Right

The real reason ESPN asked Prince Fielder to pose for their Body Issue and put him on the cover is because they knew the results would launch a thousand memes. There is no doubt that was the motivation.

And just as you would have hoped, the internet came through for us.

A Photoshop battle broke out on Reddit, giving us all these great pictures of Prince in his naked pose.

First, let’s get the junk food memes out of the way since those were so easy:

Here’s Prince hailing a cab:

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Carmelo Anthony waiting to see if he can join LeBron James in Miami?

Carmelo Anthony LeBron JamesThe Miami Heat are going to need Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to take less money in order to keep their Big Three intact. LeBron James will likely command something very close to a maximum contract, and deservedly so. If the Big Three all return, those crazy rumors about the Heat potentially signing Carmelo Anthony will disappear. But what if Bosh leaves?

Bosh has reportedly been offered a max contract from the Houston Rockets, and there has been word that he may prefer that over taking a pay cut to stay with the Heat. And if he does, there might be an opportunity for LeBron and Carmelo to join forces in Miami. Marc Berman of the New York Post has more:

However, that scenario became trickier with Miami agreeing to terms with Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger on Monday, though not impossible. If Wade takes a significant pay cut, Riley can be creative in fitting James and his buddy Anthony under the salary cap.

The Lakers, too, would have to be creative in fitting in James and Anthony. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak met with James’ agent in Cleveland on Friday and their pie-in-the-sky plan was adding both stars and creating more cap space by dealing Steve Nash’s contract.

Having LeBron, Carmelo and Kobe Bryant on the same team seems way too over-the-top to even consider. However, Anthony could feasibly end up in Miami if he was desperate enough to play alongside LeBron. He would have to take much less money than the New York Knicks are willing to offer, but stranger things have happened and teams are reportedly talking about it.

While I’m sure the thought of playing with LeBron excites ‘Melo, I don’t see why he would want to do that. Anthony was supposed to rescue the Knicks and lead his team to a championship. If he teamed with LeBron, he’d just be along for the ride.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Dan Gilbert removes open letter to LeBron James after four years

LeBron-CavsLeBron James may wind up re-signing with the Miami Heat in the very near future, but don’t be fooled into thinking Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert isn’t trying to bring him back. There are just too many signs to ignore.

On Monday, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst pointed out that the scathing letter Gilbert wrote to LeBron after James left the Cavs in 2010 is no longer up on the team’s official website. It had been available at this link for four years prior to Monday.

The open letter, which was kind of an embarrassment to Gilbert and the Cavs, ripped LeBron for betraying Cleveland and described the MVP as “narcissistic.” It also guaranteed fans that the Cavs would win a championship before James did, and we all saw how that turned out.

In addition to the letter being removed, there is also reason to believe that Gilbert (or his people) flew to South Florida on Sunday. A report from Windhorst and his colleague Marc Stein later indicated that the Cavs believe LeBron is legitimately hearing them out and has not ruled out a return to his home state.

We have said all along that we believe LeBron will ultimately return to the Heat, and we’re not going to change our minds. But as I said earlier, the only thing LeBron could do to better his legacy aside from winning another ring or two with the Heat would be to return home and bring a Larry O’Brien trophy to the people of Cleveland. Just go ahead and admit it — that would be fun.