It's kind of incredible to think that we are less than one day away from LeBron James's free agency, and still have next-to-no concrete idea where he will end up playing next season. And it's also a little bit sad to think that the Knicks have been planning for this day for over two years, and can only be considered an outside reach for LeBrons' affections at this point. Anxious optimism (Lebroptimism) has flowed as freely as sewage runoff and as plentifully as discarded tires down the East River, but the myriad number of recruitment videos and desperate pleas don't seem to have been enough, nor was hiring a “guy in charge of showering love on LeBron James".
So, for what will hopefully be one of the final roundups of LeBron gossip, the Wall Street Journal serves up a pretty neat summary of all the recent rumors and proclamations by sports writers of LeBron's intentions. Like most outlets, they place Miami, Chicago and Cleveland as the front runners, and the Nets, Knicks, LA Clippers and Dallas as the outside contenders (still, we'll always have the photoshopped memories). ESPN lays out the strategy of the Knicks: they'll try to sell the glamour and glitz of Manhattan and the Garden, the possibility of turning the Knicks into a championship contender, the flexibility of their supporting cast, and their ability to let James decide who his preferred max-salary teammate should be.
The Nets, led by outgoing President Rod Thorn, owner Mikhail Prokhorov, new coach Avery Johnson, and Jay-Z, will be the first team to meet with LeBron after the stroke of midnight tonight; the Knicks' recruiting team, which includes President James Dolan, Coach Mike D'Antoni, GM Donnie Walsh, Allan Houston and MSG president Scott O'Neil, will get their sit-down later in the afternoon. Coach D'Antoni appeared on last night's The Colbert Report, during which Colbert posits about LeBron, "Whats to talk about? He's not that good, it's all hype. It's just graceful athleticism, aggressive desire to win, giant stadium-filling dunks, but that's it. After that, he's kind of an empty suit."