Gibsons Steakhouse Holds the Key for LeBron in Chicago

Posted: July 1, 2010 in Chicago Bulls, NBA Basketball, Sports
Tags: , ,

The Chicago Tribune had a drawing of LeBron James dressed up as Santa Claus with the headline “Christmas in July” on the front page of today’s sports section, but since we’ll have 8 full days of speculation before any NBA free agent can officially sign with a team, it’s a little more appropriate to call this once in a lifetime holiday “LeBronukkah: Where Joe Johnson Gets $120 Million Because Teams Get Trigger-Happy Happens”.

As far as sports blog topics go, speculation about where LeBron and other of the top NBA free agents end up is right up there with Big Ten expansion.  My personal connection to all of this is that Henry Thomas, my old sports law professor, is representing both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the NBA free agent sweepstakes.  Thus, he’ll be receiving what will likely be the largest sports agent haul in history over the next few days.  Thomas is a classy guy that built up a Chicago-based agency over many years and put himself in a position to join the Hollywood sports and entertainment super-agency CAA last year while steering clear of all of the Jerry Maguire stereotypes, so kudos to him.  I hope that he remembers that he gave me an A on my paper analyzing the line of cases pitting the Bulls and WGN against the NBA regarding national TV rights and cable superstations and maybe send me a little of that 4% commission that he’s going to bank.

As many of you know (and probably to the chagrin of many of the Ohio State readers out there that double as Cavs supporters), I’m a massive Bulls fan that will be partying for the next 10 years if LeBron ends up in Chicago.  Personally, I believe that he’s going to choose the best long-term basketball situation when push comes to shove, which points to the Bulls (who happen to also offer a massive media market), although no one (including myself) can discount the power of him wanting to stay close to home.  On that front, I’m just another Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer with an opinion.

However, I can’t accept the main argument that I continuously hear being brought up as the main reason why LeBron wouldn’t go to the Bulls: Michael Jordan’s “shadow”.  Supposedly, LeBron wouldn’t want to deal with the legacy of MJ and wants to make his own mark somewhere else.  Well, ESPN’s Chad Ford presented one of the more intriguing (or at least different) stories from this free agent period on a Bill Simmons podcast (near the 39 minute mark) which Deadspin also picked up on:

Michael Jordan, after games in Chicago, would go down to Gibsons Steakhouse on Rush Street, and he had a particular table that he would sit [at] in the back, and he would smoke cigars, and he would eat, and he had his own waiter and everything else. … When LeBron had heard that story — when he’s in Chicago, he goes to Gibsons, sits at the same table, has the same waiter. … When I was [at] the draft camp in Chicago, I went to Gibsons, and I heard this story from I think a pretty good source. So I started asking around: “Who was Michael Jordan’s waiter?” And I found him, and I came to ask him, “Whaddya think?” Because this guy was apparently a confidant to Jordan. Jordan knew him well. … I said: “Whaddya think about LeBron. Is he coming to Chicago?” He said, “He’s coming to Chicago. He already told me to reserve his table.” So a waiter is going to scoop the story.

Now, Ford told this story in a light-hearted manner and doesn’t actually believe that this is concrete evidence of where LeBron is ultimately going to end up.  However, it does provide a lot of insight into the mentality of the King.  First, he has some great taste: Gibsons is a fantastic steakhouse and if you ever go there, be sure to get the twice baked potato as a side.  Trust me on that one.  Second, and more importantly, this shows that LeBron worrying about MJ’s supposed shadow is not only ridiculous, but James actually WANTS that shadow to the point where he copies the postgame routine of his childhood idol in a way that makes Kobe Bryant look like a wannabe Jordan stalker.

Think of it this way: I was fortunate enough to have spent virtually my entire childhood growing up in the Chicago area during the Michael Jordan era.  MJ’s rookie season was when I was in first grade and his shot over Byron Russell in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals was right after my sophomore year of college.  Basketball was the sport that I loved to play the most by far and I dreamed of BEING Michael Jordan.  Never mind that I eventually topped out as a 5′ 11″ half-Polish/half-Chinese guy whose best skill was a streaky long-range jumpshot.  I, along with millions of other kids in Chicago and across the world, wanted to be all things MJ: the basketball domination, championships, Nike shoe line, commercials, house, cars, clothes and movies with Bugs Bunny and Newman.  In fact, this dream of an entire lifestyle was encapsulated in the classic Gatorade commercial with the song, “Be Like Mike”.

LeBron James was just like me and all of those millions of kids that grew up in the ’80s and ’90s.  His favorite team growing up was the Bulls as opposed to the Craig Ehlo/Mark Price Cavs.  He wore #23 and decided to switch to #6 this upcoming year as an honor to MJ (saying that no one else should wear that number).  He took less money to sign with Nike compared to what Reebok offered.  If there’s one thing that we know about LeBron, it’s that he has always idolized Michael Jordan.

However, unlike me and all of those millions of other kids, LeBron is the one person of that entire generation that can actually achieve his childhood dream to BE LIKE MIKE.  He is the only one in the world that saw that Gatorade commercial as a youngster that is now in a position to live it out in real life.  The Gibsons story is an additional tidbit showing that LeBron still wants to emulate MJ in every way possible.  As a result, I don’t believe that the fact that Michael Jordan played for the Bulls is a bad thing in terms of luring LeBron at all.  In fact, it will likely be one of the best selling points for GarPaxDorfTibs on their Saturday recruiting visit with LeBron and his “team”.

Continuing on a tradition of excellence is something that top athletes embrace.  It’s why Shaq decided to sign with the Lakers in 1996, where he didn’t seem to worry about the multiple “shadows” of George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (and those are just the centers that played for that franchise, much less guys like Magic Johnson and Jerry West).  It’s also why top high school players would rather sit on the bench at North Carolina for a couple of years instead of starting right away at East Carolina.

LeBron is no different.  He has an understanding of history and knows that less than a handful of marquee franchises can add to his “brand” just because of who they are: the Lakers, Celtics, Bulls and Knicks.  Other teams might not detract from it (well, except for the Clippers), but they’re not going to provide any multiplier effect, either.  At the same time, LeBron is going to be compared to MJ no matter where he goes, so the only possible way to meet or exceed those monumental expectations is to go to the best basketball situation possible.  (Look at this synopsis of stories about Kobe after the Lakers won the championship this year and note who he’s compared to in every single one despite playing far from Chicago.)  The fact that such situation may be with Jordan’s old team which is still well-known internationally because of the ’90s dynasty is actually a bonus.

There are plenty of reasons why LeBron won’t end up with the Bulls, including but not limited to the fact that the Cavs are closest to home in Akron.  However, let’s immediately scorch the suggestion that he would actually want to avoid the shadow of the player that he has emulated his entire life around (from basketball to business) up to this point.  LeBron’s singular dream has been to “Be Like Mike”, so he’d be the first person to embrace the shadow of Michael Jordan and merge it into his own.

(Follow Frank the Tank’s Slant on Twitter @frankthetank111)

(Image from LayoutLocator)

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Comments
  1. greg says:

    LeBron signs with Hawkeyes.

    Like

  2. M says:

    The best comment about free agency from anyone is from Simmons:
    “Stephen A. Smith reports that Richard Jefferson just walked away from an orgy with the Laker Girls.”

    As a Cavs fan I feel pretty good about LeBron staying. He really does seem to want to bring a championship to his home town and has celebrated his MVP awards in Akron.

    If he doesn’t stay it just might be the worst event ever for professional sports in Cleveland, and that is a rather long and distinguished list.

    Like

    • It is the one thing I feel bad about. I’m certainly no fan of the Cleveland teams, but I’ll give the fans credit there: they continue to care despite being disappointed in every way imaginable. I wouldn’t begrudge LeBron for one second if he stays with the Cavs.

      It would be extremely disappointing if he ended up in New York because that would indicate that all he cares about is the glitz of the location, although at least Knicks fans are legit. Miami is certainly enticing if LeBron, Wade and Bosh all end up there, but that city’s sports fans are the antithesis of Cleveland’s – ridiculously fair weather and completely undeserving of the 2 Marlins and 1 Heat championship they’ve received.

      Like

      • M says:

        I honestly wouldn’t blame LeBron that much if he left at this point. Clearly whatever they are doing isn’t working.

        As far as Cleveland sports, I just don’t understand why they are so consistently bad. I realize that baseball is heavily weighted towards large market teams, but why the Browns and Cavs never win is beyond me. If Pittsburgh, which is effectively Cleveland’s piss-covered twin, can have one of the most successful NFL franchises, there is no reason the Browns have to be as uncompetitive as they are.

        It would be somehow fitting if Cleveland had the best coach in football in recent memory (Belichick) and the best basketball player (ever?) in LeBron and still didn’t win anything.

        And bringing up Marlins’ World Series wins when trying to console an Indians fan is either oblivious or cruel.

        Like

        • PSUGuy says:

          Speaking to the Browns, its all about management. They continue to skimp on scouting, player development, coaching, staff, and all the “little things” that help make a great organization. Meanwhile they think that by playing musical coaches every couple years they can dupe the crowds into thinking they are actually doing something when in reality they are just resetting the pay scale. I guess they think that because it actually does seem to work.

          On non-related notes.

          One could say Belichik never won anything because of management, you could also say he didn’t win anything because he didn’t have Brady to lean on, you could also say he wasn’t taping teams as effectively as he was in New England. IMO, its somewhere between all three.

          Having spent time in both Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Cleveland is by far the “piss covered version”. Pittsburgh was a dump in the 80′s following the steel factories departure, but they have done a lot of work rebuilding areas and turning to new industry. There are sections in Pittsburgh I put up against almost any city on the eastern seaboard (been to NYC, Baltimore, Annapolis, DC, Richmond, Atlanta, Jacksonville, etc).

          Cleveland IMO, just never seemed to recover from its industrial base leaving. There are some nice areas, but they tend to be residential.

          Like

        • bullet says:

          agree with PSU. Browns were perhaps the premier team for 20 years while Paul Brown was running it. He got forced out and it was all downhill all the way to Baltimore. He got the expansion Bengals into the playoffs in only the 3rd year.

          Like

      • Jubilation says:

        To be fair to Marlins fans before the first ticker tape reached the street, the Marlins owner had ordered their GM Dave Dombrowski to trade everyone off. That had a deep scarring on Florida fans who might never recover from that.

        Just imagine Frank after the first Bulls championship if Reinsdorf would have told Krause to get rid of anybody making money.

        Like

  3. Michael says:

    Frank, would it be a bit too ballsy for the Bulls to start the meeting Saturday with the ¨Be like Mike¨ ad? Brought a smile to my face watching that again and it would have certainly sold me, if I were in LeBron´s shoes.

    Like

  4. Kyle says:

    huh. I assumed you were half-black/half-chinese (maybe your sox profile picture threw me off?).

    Like

    • @Kyle – That’s simply my props to Oscar Gamble.

      Like

      • StvInIL says:

        Oscar Gamble? Oh, is that who that is? Brings back memories frank. People some people hated those old uniforms with the lapels and the black sweat pants. I just remember what started me to be on the way to being a sox fan. Used to tune in to a grainy channel 32 to watch the other baseball club in town because I could not get enough baseball.

        Like

  5. I just came across part of the PowerPoint presentation that the Knicks presented to LeBron today (no joke):

    http://blogs.forbes.com/sportsmoney/2010/07/lebron-james-what-the-knicks-told-lebron-new-york-and-make-billion-dollars/

    Interesting to see how they performed the potential earnings and brand analysis, but the number of holes is insane. The main argument seems to be that since the Knicks have sucked the longest out of any of the competing franchises, it has the highest potential upside in earnings when coupled with its large fan base. They also pushed hard the notion that I argued against in this blog post: that LeBron’s earnings would be depressed in Chicago because he would need to win a whole lot more in order to compete with Michael Jordan’s legacy.

    I hope that LeBron or someone else asked: Did Kobe’s earnings get depressed because he played for the uber-successful Lakers? Are all of the Celtics stars giving up money?

    Oh well – the Knicks really don’t have anything to sell other than New York City itself, so this is the only angle they could take. They certainly don’t want to talk about their actual basketball team.

    Like

    • The other thing is that the Knicks are looking at this in the vacuum of their franchise alone. To become a true NYC icon, LeBron isn’t just dealing with Knicks history. He’s also competing with the greats from the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Rangers, etc.

      Like

      • MIRuss says:

        Frank,

        Why it WON’T be the Knicks: You can fail in Cleveland (or Chicago) and they’ll still love you . Fail in New York, well, you know what happens. I have a brother in law in Cleveland and he’s pretty convinced that LeBron’s going somewhere.

        Like

      • JASON says:

        frank are you going to update the site during college football season? that would be cool to talk all the games.

        Like

    • Jim says:

      That power point is high comedy. I am thinking the 200 variables they used to come up with these numbers was the number of times Turtle wore Knicks jerseys or hats on entourage. Other wise how do you get that NYC is a 7 times larger market than Chicago while Chicago is only 2 times larger of a market than Cleveland. Maybe they counted all of the NYC metro area as Knicks market ignoring the Nets that intimidate New Yorkers with their billboards. I also love how going to the Knicks somehow makes Lebron personally look better than staying loyal in Cleveland.

      Outside of New York is there anyone that even gives a damn about the Knicks? As far as NBA brands they are at best 4th in the US behind the Lakers, Celtics, and Bulls and internationally do they even register?

      The comments on the story are also funny. I personally never knew the Knicks had a rivalry with the Lakers let alone that it was just behind the Celtics/Lakers for tops in the NBA.

      Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      It appears that the PPT has been pulled. I see a security error message now.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        PPT?

        Like

        • loki_the_bubba says:

          PPT = Powerpoint. The presentation link is now gone from the Forbes site.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            Loki-

            Little off topic-but I was in Georgia wearing a Rice shirt and a guy who coaches fb was telling me he runs the Rice offense. Says its interesting and commented that Rice was an up and coming program.

            Like

          • loki_the_bubba says:

            Interesting. I did not think the Rice offense was anything unique.

            Unless he has Chase Clement, Jr, Jarett Dillard, Jr, on the team.

            Like

          • duffman says:

            loki,

            one man Rice fan converting machine!
            :)

            Like

          • Bullet says:

            Jarret Dillard-best college receiver noone ever heard of. Incredible hands. Set all kinds of records and barely got mentioned by ESPN. But then ESPN is busy promoting its own. IMO that’s one of the reasons the B12 and Pac10 get little coverage. Those 2 originally went with Fox instead of ESPN back in the mid-90s and its been payback ever since. Yes, Musbarger likes USC and Nebraska (UNL grad), but the rest of the schools get downplayed.

            Like

          • M says:

            Brent Musberger is an NU (as in Northwestern University) grad. He does have the supernatural ability to convince everyone he is a homer for whatever team you aren’t rooting for.

            Like

    • StvInIL says:

      Someone added a move to brooklyn Frank. let me see, Brooklyn, Chicago, Brooklyn, Chicago? Parking is a Biatch here but everthing else may be more afordable if LeBron is the tight fisted type.

      Like

    • duffman says:

      Frank,

      A billion dollars in NYC, do those guys use the same financial advisor as Beebe. Even if it was a billion, what would he net as an illinois resident playing for the bulls?

      Like

    • JohnB says:

      If it does become a pure income play then Miami will be selling the fact that they have no income tax. I honestly think Lebron’s decision will come down to lifestyle over money though.

      Like

    • Michael says:

      Frank,

      Pretty funny stuff from Wojnarowski´s Yahoo
      article:

      http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-wadelebronbulls072010

      ¨Sources say one team that all but eliminated itself with James in the presentation process was the New York Knicks. James met with the organization on Friday and his inner-circle has described New York’s presentation as lacking preparedness and organization. James’ camp also found it to be redundant to much of the New Jersey Nets’ far sharper, edgier presentation on James’ earning power.

      James hasn’t been convinced that he can overcome the $30 million difference between possible Cleveland and New York offers through endorsements and other streams of revenue. However, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s vision of bulking up James’ international portfolio did resonate with him, and the Nets vision of using Brooklyn and the owner’s international muscle does appeal to him.

      Sources say that James is dubious his mere presence on the Knicks will be worth that much more to him in endorsements. The appearance of Knicks GM Donnie Walsh in a wheelchair due to a neck problem and the frumpy, unimpressive Jim Dolan didn’t provide James with an image of vibrancy.¨

      Like

  6. AZHoosier says:

    One additional wrinkle of LeBron to the Bulls is the potential for the finals to end all finals- Bulls/Lakers next June. The sub-plots are just crazy:

    1. Rematch of ’91 Finals, both the Bulls’ and Phil’s first championships, this time with him on the other sideline going for his 12th (and likely last)

    2. A young transcendent Bulls superstar v. an aging Lakers superstar (even more interesting if you consider Kobe a slightly lesser version of Jordan and LeBron a more talented version of Magic)

    3. Coming out party for Derrick Rose

    4. Chicago/LA

    5. Who knows how many more

    This prospect alone has to have David Stern hoping for a LeBron/Bulls union (I’ll let readers decide how ‘active’ his hoping is). I’m not a Bulls fan by any stretch and even I can’t wait for this series to happen.

    Like

  7. Vincent says:

    I became disappointed in LeBron when I discovered his favorite teams in other sports are the Yankees and Cowboys. What a front-runner! To borrow Bob Dylan’s lyric, Mr. James, “you just wanna be on the side that’s winning.”

    How I’d love to see him shock ESPN and its acolytes by signing with a team like the Nets. But Nike, to which he is a corporate whore (the downside of the Michael Jordan phenomenon), would go into apoplexy. As A-Rod discovered in Texas, you can’t market your brand when you’re on the “wrong” team.

    Like

  8. Pariahwulfen says:

    steak and eggs

    Like

  9. StvInIL says:

    Tom Thibodeau, will this guy hurt or help the free agent recruiting situation?

    http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nba/news/story?id=5318993

    “DEERFIELD, Ill. — After 18 years as the guy making suggestions to head coaches, Tom Thibodeau will finally get the chance to be the one making the decisions.
    The Chicago Bulls introduced Thibodeau as the 18th coach in franchise history on Wednesday, an opportunity he called “a dream come true.”
    ESPNChicago.com Bulls blog
    The longtime NBA assistant, who spent the past three seasons with the Boston Celtics, agreed to a three-year deal earlier this month, but the Bulls and the NBA agreed to wait until after the NBA Finals were over to make the hiring official”

    Like

  10. GoBucks says:

    I grew up in Cleveland am a life-long fan of the Browns, Tribe, Cavs, and of course Buckeyes. I think most people like me about six months ago truly believed there was about a zero possibility LBJ could leave. I’m not entirely sure I understand the “bigger market” thing, as the wall-to-wall media, etc. seems to be more of a national/global thing now than it was, say, 10-20 years ago. And he is already the biggest name in basketball (endorsement-wise), I believe. But that could be just because I don’t really get it.

    Most of all, though, we just couldn’t fathom one of our own acting opposite of the one quality that Cleveland fans hold most dear, and the one that LBJ has embraced since childhood: loyalty.

    This is why, even setting aside the economic impact to Cleveland, this would be the biggest blow if he were to leave. It isn’t just because he is a superstar athlete who plays in Cleveland. It’s because he is a superstar athlete who grew up there (Akron – same thing). He is one of ours, a big Buckeye fan even. So to me at least it would be infinitely worse than the Drive, the Fumble, MJ over Ehlo, or the blown Game 7.

    Granted, I had this exact same feeling when Manny Ramirez was pondering whether to stay, and we know how that turned out. I am just hoping that the loyalty thing rings as true today with him as it has the rest of his life/career. Sure, we cannot offer the same young/promising roster like Chicago can, but it isn’t as if we suck.

    On the MJ comparison, one question I had. I agree that LBJ has always made no secret of the love of Jordan, and I cannot imagine he would shy away from the challenge of trying to equal or best Jordan in Chicago…but weren’t MJ’s problems with ownership pretty well publicized? Is that same ownership calling the shots?

    Like

    • M says:

      Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle, Jim Thome, Bartolo Colon, CC Sabathia…

      Like

      • GoBucks says:

        I know, right? You can make a pretty awesome all-star team out of all the players who left the Tribe. None are from the area, though. Just hope (against hope?) that ends up mattering.

        Like

        • Pariahwulfen says:

          I could have sworn that Thome was actually from NE Ohio, which ultimately led to me not caring about baseball at all for a good 4 years after he left.

          Like

  11. Chas. says:

    The inflection point for this free agency class occurred on May 20, 2008 when the Chicago Bulls unexpectedly won the draft lottery. The Bulls are not in the position to attract any of these high profile free agents without the presence of all-star point guard Derrick Rose. Besides being a home-town hero, he is truly an unselfish superstar in the making and would gladly defer to another in order to rack up assists.

    The ping pong balls of 2008 actually have had the greatest impact on Dwyane Wade. Instead of having the opportunity of playing with Rose in Miami, the Heat were hand-strung with the flaky Beasley. Now Wade can correct the 2003 draft mistake of Pat Riley and join his hometown Bulls. I believe this is the likely scenario if LeBron decides to stay loyal to Cleveland, as Miami has no one under contract that can keep Wade there despite his many stated desires to stay there.

    Like

  12. Playoffs Now! says:

    Wow, every day the world cup gives another reason why soccer SUCKS! Even the NBA gets goaltending correct. If you get called then the shot counts, they don’t wave it off and give free throws. When a goal is surely going in except for a blatant handball block, how the hell does soccer screw it up by going to the risk of a penalty kick instead of counting the point? Because soccer SUCKS! So cheating is rewarded. In so many ways the dumbest of the major sports.

    Ways to fix soccer:

    1) Institute replays for goals and offside on goal-scoring kicks only.

    2) Increase scoring for this boring ass game, ignore the purist morons. Simply raise the top of the goal by 2 feet.

    3) OTOH, move the penalty kick placement twice as far to give the goalie a chance. Why? To reduce the ability of the refs to determine the outcome and increase the difficulty if heaven forbid it isn’t decide in 120 minutes.

    4) Toughen up on flopping.

    5) Illegally blocking a certain goal results in a point, not a risky kick that could reward cheating.

    6) Admit that soccer SUCKS! But promise to reform.

    Like

    • RedDenver says:

      It’s pretty funny that you’re attempting to make the most popular sport in the world less boring. And the irony of comparing soccer to basketball is enormous. Isn’t the entire strategy in basketball to foul the other team if you’re losing at the end of the game?

      Like

      • duffman says:

        playoffs,

        while I agree that they need to address flopping in soccer, the sport itself is fine. perhaps the greatest two things about the sport are the two things they do not change.

        1) they keep the value of defense and have not bowed to pressure to see higher scores.

        2) they have told the media to F off in that they will not allow “media” time outs to alter or ruin gameplay / flow.

        I for one am happy soccer has not given in to either point, and why I will continue to watch.

        ps. If you missed Ghana vs Uruguay a few hours ago you missed what may have been the best game of the WC so far! It was great!

        Like

    • Ron says:

      @Playoffs Now! Good list. I would add at least one minor point. Was amazed in the Ghana/U.S. game go to overtime, Ghana scores about three minutes in and the game continues for 27 more minutes to the end of overtime. Why? Don’t you play overtime to break a tie? Guess you can never see enough penalty shoot outs in your life…

      Also, the 27 minutes of soccer following the Ghana goal going up 2-1 was some of the most boring soccer I’ve ever seen in my life. Leaving aside watching little kids soccer with thirty per side where you don’t know any of the kids of course.

      Actually, was pretty grateful on the whole the U.S. put up a pretty good fight with an exciting, offensive-minded style. Also, when you’re a college football fan, it really doesn’t make much sense to sit around and complain about how stupidly international soccer is governed. The NCAA in football does have a few administrative quirks that make FIFA look good by contrast, after all.

      Like

  13. duffman says:

    anybody see anybody they know in this video

    just curious

    Like

  14. GoBucks says:

    Let’s assume the truth of recent reports about D. Wade being “close” to committing to Chicago. Let’s also assume that, contrary to most reports, D. Wade actually has some hesitation about teaming up with LBJ. What would happen if D Wade told the Bulls that he would commit, and that he could guarantee that Bosh would too (and Bosh affirmed this), so long as the Bulls grabbed just those two or made the decision within 24 hours (however you want to phrase it, diplomatically or otherwise)? Would Bulls’ fans want the team to take this immediately, or would they want to go after LeBron and risk losing all three?

    Like

  15. Bobestes says:

    There are a lot of economist-types who theorize that Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, etc are all turning into satellite cities of Chicago, so I guess it would be fitting if he went there.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      Bob,

      It is that whole Chicago – Atlanta corridor, especially with all those mini mills on the ohio and the shift to indiana / kentucky for manufacturing. The whole cheap coal close by helps quite a bit, as that was why Toyota built that plant in G town years ago.

      Like

  16. GopherKH says:

    add

    Like

  17. RedDenver says:

    The B12 reprimands Tuberville for having a dissenting view:

    http://www.redraiders.com/2010/07/02/big-12-reprimands-tech-coach-tuberville-for-critical-comments/

    Classic.

    Like

  18. duffman says:

    Lebron Watch in full alert mode

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=5351794

    is cleveland the next memphis, and will we all be glued to a video of a door all day again?
    :)

    The germans showed the brits how to take argentina, and it did not involve invading the Falklands. PAR is trying to hold off ESP for as long as they can right now for the upset

    Like

  19. Michael says:

    So Bulls meeting lasts 3 hours and now we wait . . .

    In the meantime, this was great and goes perfectly with this post. ¨You´re a King, but can you live up to a Legend?¨ Take a look:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/Chicago-is-daring-LeBron-James-to-play-for-the-B?urn=nba,253378

    Like

    • Big Ten Jeff says:

      I think this has been the best, most understated angle yet. It’s been curious that LBJ is seeking to surround himself with Grade A talent, instead dominating them and preventing them from getting rings as MJ did with so many still-considered greats from the ’90s. Sure it’s smart, but does ‘The King’ have some level of insecurity in all of this?

      If LBJ has the competitive fire of an all-time great, these in-your-face challenges from the Bulls have to register.

      “You’re a King, but can you live up to a Legend?”

      “Do You Dare to Fill These Shoes (referring to the original Air Jordans)?”

      “Can You Cast a Shadow This Big (referring to MJ’s silhouette)?”

      “Can You Fill These Boxes (referring to seven empty championship ring boxes sent)?”

      The Bulls have always been an arrogant franchise, in a good way. It’s nice to see that not everyone is kissing his arse. Despite Reinsdorf being a prick, his pedigree with the Bulls and Sox is every bit as impressive as Pat Riley’s.

      On some level, giving virtually everyone’s admission that Da Bulls offer him the best ready-made situation, LBJ’s decision will be telling. I like this, especially with him dancing on the Bulls this year during games.

      You can either win with us or have to deal with us. I’m not convinced that the Wade/Bosh combo isn’t a better fit anyway. Can’t you see Noah (fortified with Bosh and Wade) putting LBJ on his ass next year when he comes down the lane?

      Like

  20. duffman says:

    Frank,

    http://espn.go.com/nba/features/freeagentslotmachine

    If it helps when I did it had Lebron and Wade to the Bulls, but Johnson and Bosh to the Knicks. Boozer winds up in Miami.

    You can put it next to your FtT video game link.

    Like

    • duffman says:

      Dirk to Dallas, and Joe to Atlanta – 2 of the 8 are no longer in play. When it spun this time it put Lebron, Wade, and Boozer in Miami.

      Like

      • duffman says:

        Amare to Knicks – 3 out of 8 are spoken for now

        This spin put James & Bosh @ Bulls, and Wade & Lee with the Heat.

        Like

        • duffman says:

          Wade & Bosh to the Heat

          Boozer to the Bulls

          6 of 8 spoken for….

          This spin put Lebron with the Bulls, and Lee with the Kings.

          Like

  21. Bobestes says:

    Lebron is a very expensive Scottie Pippen. His biggest problem is that he doesn’t have the Kobe/Jordan killer instinct to will a team to victory.

    Long story short, he’s a Scottie Pippen in search of a Michael Jordan.

    Like

  22. Michael says:

    The more and more this plays out, I really like the idea of Wade and Bosh in Chicago. LeBron would obviously be great, but Wade seems like a great fit.

    You also have to respect the guy for wanting to be there for his kids and create some stability for them as they´re dragged through an ugly custody battle in court.

    I always try to separate the public and private lives of celebrities/athletes and try not to judge them as a public character for any of their private shortcomings. But if Wade ends up in Chicago and his two children are the primary reason, then that´s a stand-up guy who deserves whatever fame or glory comes his way.

    Like

  23. Illinifan82 says:

    I have been paying attention to this as well, I hope we manage to get Wade! Sure I am rotting to pull bron also but if he is as loyal as many think he is one cannot blame him for staying home. Plus Wade coming would mean he is coming home for the right reasons also. If you can get Wade but not Bosh because he does not want to leave 30 million dollars. I do not think that Toronto will do a sign and trade Bosh/Deng but would want Noah in exchange, I say screw that and keep Noah at that point and hope and offer some cash to David lee! We would get another big man with Noah and consider what Wade and Rose could do then!

    Like

  24. Michael says:

    Any thoughts on potential for Bulls and Knicks to anchor the East?

    LeBron postponing his announcement until after his camp suggests he´s leaving Cleveland, but if Wade commits first, it could drive LeBron to the Knicks.

    This report lends a little credence to it: http://realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/67852/20100705/report_lebron_okay_with_either_amare_or_bosh/

    Also, for fun, let´s assume the Knicks succeed in bringing Carmelo to New York next summer. The line-ups in 2011 could look like this:

    Bulls: Rose, Wade, Deng, Bosh, Noah
    Knicks: LeBron, Carmelo, Stoudamire

    Like

    • Michael says:

      And along with LA out West, we can refer to this as David Stern´s wet dream scenario

      Like

    • Jim says:

      The Knicks have next to no chance at Lebron and every leak of him going that way is coming from the knicks or espn with their obsession with NYC. I can’t honestly think of a reason why he would choose the knicks over any of the other teams in the running except maybe the clippers, 200 variables aside. If he wants to play in New York the Nets offer more in almost every area. Sane leadership that actually has a real plan to maximize his off court earnings as well as having a positive buzz surrounding them while with the Knicks he might get scared by a billboard. The Nets actually offer a better supporting cast not just promises of next year landing Carmelo when who knows what happens with the next CBA and/or Cap. The “sell out” factor will actually be less with the nets.

      And what do the Knicks really offer? If he wants to win now even with Stoudamire, Miami plus 2, the Bulls, Clippers, Cavs and probably even the Nets all have a better chance this season. If he wants to play for a brand well the Bulls are a bigger national brand and internationally you can’t even compare the two the bulls are that far in front. Legacy, again winning for the Cavs will do more than just about anything for his legacy except maybe winning in Jordan’s shadow.

      Like

  25. Big Ten Jeff says:

    I know that title refers to LBJ in Chicago, but it’s fascinating to think about what’s best for the Bulls.

    Yes, LBJ is a singular talent that you might be inclined to move Heaven and Earth to acquire, but adding Wade/Bosh (or Boozer instead of Bosh if that allowed the Bulls to keep LD) to Rose and Noah sure sounds like all the right parts in all the right places (I assume LD is toast if a Bosh sign and trade deal occurs).

    Let’s not discount Rose in all of this. He’s at least as valuable as Bosh, so a NY/Mia acquisition of Wade/Bosh (with LBJ staying in Cleveland) wouldn’t be so intimidating if the Bulls just got Boozer (or Bosh if LBJ went to Miami).

    Like

    • Michael says:

      I would love to know the Bulls thoughts on this: Wade or LeBron, Wade and LeBron? Are there trade contingencies in place in case Wade, LeBron and Bosh all want to join? Can Rose, Wade and LeBron play together or would you consider trading Rose if it lands you Wade and LeBron?

      All tough questions and depend on hypotheticals that none of us are privy to; also depend on the vision and capabilities of Thibodeau. He´s known for his defensive schemes, but what can he do on offense with different groupings of these stars?

      Like

      • duffman says:

        michael,

        look at my post a few up with the link (Lebron Watch). Check out the link, as it addresses the Bulls future, as to what happens to their free agents coming up like Noah.

        Like

        • Michael says:

          One of the rumors today was that Reinsdorf reassured James that he´s willing to pay the luxury tax. Do you really think that´s an issue here? I´m not sure I buy it.

          I think Reinsdorf is a numbers guy, and if he has the parts in place for a dynasty, then I´d bet he pays the tax. Of course, that goes along with the post below in assuming the Jordan model isn´t relevant here – that none of these stars is the singular-type champion that Jordan was. And so the only way to build a dynasty without that player is by piling on stars — and thus paying the luxury tax.

          Like

          • Big Ten Jeff says:

            Michael, the concerns lie from the alleged reasoning behind and fallout from breaking up the dynasty.

            Towards the end, Jordan and Pippen were making about $50M/year between the two of them alone. Phil Jackson was doing the same retirement dance (health problems, but it’s ok if my salary increases) he still does. Reindsorf looked at the books and saw that he had maxed out on revenue in the new United Center (sellouts, season tix, boxes) for years on end, so it didn’t matter at that point if he placed a winner on the court. He acquiesced to a final run (‘The Last Dance’), which led to the 6th title, but there wasn’t much of a discussion afterwards about letting things run out until they finally lost (EVEN though MJ had won titles in 6 consecutive full seasons in which he played).

            It’s thought in many quarters in Chicago (where a young Dwayne Wade was watching) that Reinsdorf simply chose to recoup his investment. DWade’s comments refer to the animus regarding this; even after retirement, Jordan and Pippen never were given any role in nor maintain any formal relationship with the franchise; after all, it was ‘Krumbs’ Krause that famously said “organizations win championsips”.

            No coincidence that Phil Jackson basically laughed in the face of the notion that he’d consider returning to Chicago.

            Like

      • Big Ten Jeff says:

        Michael, Reinsdorf knows better than anyone the power of a singular talent toward creating a dynasty. Reliving the Jordan years, he allowed the chips to fall where they needed to around MJ. He never went after Ewing or Hakeem (even though Cartwright, Longley, Wennington, and Purdue never struck fear in anyone – well maybe Cartwright’s elbows did). He used Paxson, Kerr, Hodges and Armstrong, instead of chasing Zeke Thomas or Drexler. Never chased Barkley (talked to him but decided otherwise) or Malone. Yet…Rodman and Ron Harper fell into the Bulls’ lap (can anyone think of a more underappreciated talent – for all his personality quirks he was better on young Shaq and Malone than anyone)?

        All of this is to say that if there was a choice, I’d bet they’d grab LeBron first and take their chances with the current cast. If Bosh or Wade were options, they’d likely do so, but as secondary considerations (not a judgment, but as in ‘if necessary to get LBJ).

        Past is prologue. Reinsdorf has never done luxury tax spending because he hasn’t had to, however, he’s shown that if he has a winner, he’ll spend whatever it takes to keep them together (until they’re deemed too old anyway)…

        The undetermined issue is still what do the players want. It’s amazing but LBJ seems to clearly be driving the car. If Wade or Bosh weren’t acting in concert with him, why wouldn’t one of them have jumped for the Bulls (or anyone else) today to gain an advantage like Stoudamire seemingly has? Makes you wonder about the Miami scenario.

        Like

        • Michael says:

          Wade has been quoted as saying – something to the effect of – Lebron and he are good friends and he´s keeping an eye on his decision. Now, if he´s waiting, and not just watching, you may be right.

          I think a good barometer should come either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Wade´s camp closes on Tuesday while James´ closes on Wednesday. If Wade has an unconditional offer and wants to beat James to the punch, he could do that by committing at that point.

          If not, you may be right, and I appreciate the history on Reinsdorf. One question, however, that he might have is whether either James or Wade is the singular talent that Jordan was. With Jordan, it took one other superstar (Pippen) and a well-balanced team of role players to build a dynasty. But if neither is Jordan, then can you really apply the same model?

          With the Jordan years as the barometer, what would it take to get to that same level? If neither James nor Wade is Jordan, then how do you reinvent the wheel? How do you get the same result out of disparate parts? I think that´s the question that involves more strategy – which grouping of players is the most efficient and what coaching strategies maximize their talents.

          Like

          • Big Ten Jeff says:

            Michael, I think you make some of the argument for LBJ staying in Cleveland. Jordan wasn’t ‘Jordan’ until he had been beaten down by Detroit for several years. Rodman famously hazed Pippen with regularity while a Piston (he got several ‘migraines’ against team). In the old NBA, the Lakers had to learn to get past the Celtics, the Pistons past the Lakers, and the Bulls past the Pistons. Who’s to say if LBJ stayed put, he wouldn’t overcome these Celtics next year?

            In MJ’s seventh year, he was being hounded in a way LBJ is not. A team led by a shooting guard or scoring champ couldn’t (and hadn’t) won a title. He shot too much. He didn’t make his teammates better. The title instantly produced revisionist history.

            MJ (as witnessed by his HOF speech) had built up so much anger and competition that when he finally won, it wasn’t vindication. It was payback time.

            Jordan was the singular talent and Pippen the perfect complement. Pippen and the rest were hazed (and physically abused in some examples) in practice until they rose to the challenge. What Pippen became was incredible (jeez, the guy was from Central Arkansas!).

            To answer your question, neither Wade nor LBJ has gone 6 for 24 in a Finals (sorry Kobe), and MJ never lost a Final or was even pushed to a seventh game. I loved the look in Wade’s eye when he said “I’m done losing in the first round.” Sounded very Jordanesque (and I don’t recall a similar statement from LBJ; hell he’s considering staying in Cleveland). BTW, Wade has won the Finals MVP with Shaq on the team (something else Kobe never did). I think LBJ is more talented but Wade has more fire in the belly and is way talented enough. It seems odd to me that LBJ doesn’t seem to dislike anyone (but Wade looks like more of a killer, and you need that edge. Hell I remember Kareem, Dr. J, and Bird all getting into fights)!

            Give me either one. We’ll figure it out. But if I had to choose; give me Wade and Bosh.

            Like

  26. Illinifan82 says:

    Knicks at least land one free agent…

    Stoudemire agrees to terms with Knicks on five-year, $100 million deal

    http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/news/story?id=5356502

    Like

  27. duffman says:

    Lebron watch July 6, 2010

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=FreeAgency-100706

    from ESPN on remaining free agents

    Like

  28. Big Ten Jeff says:

    Top 25 NBA Career Earnings: No member of the Bulls anywhere to be found – MJ didn’t make the list, ‘only’ making $90M during his playing career.

    http://blacksportsonline.com/home/index.php/2010/07/the-top-25-nba-career-salaries-of-all-time/

    Like

    • duffman says:

      B10J,

      great link, as I get older live games will get more unaffordable as their income is growing way faster than mine.
      :)

      Like

  29. Big Ten Jeff says:

    Bosh and Wade to Miami. LBJ doing a prime time special on ESPN to announce. Can’t imagine this kind of hype for a return to Cleveland, unless his ego is off the deep end. Sounds like a NY move.

    The Bulls better get Boozer on speed dial. ‘Tis not the season for hometown loyalty.

    Like

    • Michael says:

      Is Bosh and Wade to Miami enough to push LeBron away from Cleveland? The Cavs missed out on Bosh and, in the process, theirs a new contender in the East.

      His choices:

      Miami: don´t think I buy LeBron playing for Wade´s team

      NY: This team has no one else besides Amar´e and even he is an injury liability. Unless there is an elaborate plan to bring in Carmelo, I don´t see how this makes NY a real competitor.

      Bulls: Still the best core and if they can add LeBron and Boozer they´d probably be the best in the league

      Like

    • GoBucks says:

      As a Cleveland fan, I honestly don’t know how to take this (the news of the 1 hour special). On the one hand, it seems ridiculous to have a one-hour special just to announce that he is staying with the Cavs. On the other hand, it is difficult to imagine LBJ taking to national TV and so directly crapping on Cleveland. Troubling is that the Cavs beat writer in Cleveland no longer seems as optimistic.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      Sounds like the ego going off the deep end.

      Like

  30. ohio1317 says:

    Intrade now has him at about a 59% chance of coming back to Cleveland which was a lot higher than it was (although less than last night).

    I think the ESPN show does bode well for Cleveland, but that’s definitely not a guarantee.

    Like

  31. BuckeyeBeau says:

    For a non-LeBron-related (and back to expansion-related) posts:

    interesting article from ChicagoBusiness.com.

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/mag/article.pl?articleId=33627

    Two things of note: “Mr. Delany says the conference may yet add more members.” (of course, who knows when Delaney said that…)

    And — the big one — “In Big Ten states, the network is available to more than 90% of homes through cable companies. The exception is Pennsylvania, where some distributors still refuse to carry it.”

    So, another argument in favor of Pitt; it’s not always about “footprint”; market penetration and saturation might be just as important.

    okay, back to the LeBron-watch.

    Like

    • Charles C says:

      The BTN reaches approx 83% of PA. Here’s a map of the county-by-county coverage. If anything, its an argument to add a team with drawing in power in NYC.

      http://nittanywhiteout.com/2010/05/20/holes-in-the-coverage/

      Like

      • BuckeyeBeau says:

        very interesting; when you look at the map, i see what you mean… the counties not covered are mostly clustered along the NY border… interesting.

        but you’d still have to think that adding Pitt would fill in the holes… can’t think that Syr would do any better.

        I think it’s all sort of moot now anyway; i suspect the B10 will hold at 12 for a bit anyway.

        thanks for the link; that was an interesting article

        Like

  32. duffman says:

    Lebron watch July 7, 2010

    http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nba/news/story?id=5361792

    Boozer to the Bulls, Wade and Bosh to the Heat

    Frank,

    I am enjoying the fake jim delany twitter

    “We’re discussing a Lebron-esque show for this winter where Ron Zook decides between I-AA schools. It’s an evolving concept in-house.”

    but has the Zook just blown a gasket?

    Like

  33. Michael says:

    Hmmmm . . .

    http://twitter.com/ericmansfield:

    ¨ # Not necessarily proof that he’s going to Bulls, but timing/location are concerning. You can see for yourself on-line at auditor’s website about 7 hours ago via web

    # FLASH: Summit Co. processed request TODAY to change address on tax bill for BJ’S home from an LLC in Cleveland to a new address in Chicago about 7 hours ago via web

    # FLASH: working very, very credible public records trail that may show LeBron is leaving town .. more to follow .. about 7 hours ago via web ¨

    Like

    • Michael says:

      Man, this has been a roller coaster.

      First it´s LBJ, Wade and Bosh. Then Wade and Bosh. Or Bosh by himself. Then it´s nobody. Then it´s Boozer and Korver. And now we´re back to Boozer and LBJ.

      If this turned out to be true, that would be a fun team to watch. May also give some credence to our Gibsons Steakhouse waiter.

      Like

  34. Michael says:

    Frank, this isn´t over yet. Not sure where he´s going, but I´m guessing it´s not Miami. Still think Cleveland and Chicago are in the driver´s seat.

    Believe none of what you hear and half of what you read.

    Like

  35. StvInIL says:

    Could it be that both LeBron and Wade are afraid to fill Michael’s shoes in Chicago?
    The one hour show is over the top by the way. It will add up to share torture for the Cleveland fans. from the outside looking in it will seem like a slap in the face if he leaves. The recipient of the LeBron lotto show will ignore the poor taste but its still bad imagery for a guy that seems to be as well balanced as he is.

    Like

  36. duffman says:

    Frank,

    If these videos are accurate, the Bulls are golden.

    Like

  37. ohio1317 says:

    Intrade now has about a 66% chance he heads to the Heat, 26% he stays in Cleveland and an 8% chance he heads to the Knicks. http://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/contractSearch/# Not liking this. Really wanted him to stay in Cleveland.

    Like

    • JohnB says:

      Pulled from http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2010/20100708120415.aspx Picking Miami over New York saves Lebron 12 million in taxes over 5 years…

      “If LeBron James goes to the Miami Heat instead of the [New York] Knicks, blame our dysfunctional lawmakers in Albany, who have saddled top-earning New Yorkers with the highest state and city income taxes in the nation, soon to be 12.85 percent on top of the IRS bite,” the Post said.

      The tax savings for James in Miami over New York City would be staggering, according to the Post’s analysis.

      “On a five-year contract worth $96 million — what he’d get from the Knicks or the Heat — LeBron would pay $12.34 million in New York taxes.” Florida has no state income tax.

      New Jersey and Ohio, the other reported frontrunners to attract James, also have state income taxes, but they are not as his as in New York. Based on a $96 million contract, James would pay $5.69 million in state taxes if he re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. If he signed with the New Jersey Nets, James would pay $10.32 million in state taxes.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Well, looks like Frank still has something to write about.

        But the Heat is not necessarily the next Lakers/Celtics of the 80s. The Rockets played better when either McGrady or Yao was injured (which was most of the time). The players have to fit together.

        Like

  38. M says:

    Still processing this, but the most obvious is that LeBron better hope he hasn’t left anything important in the northeast Ohio area, because he will not be able to go back there anytime soon. I don’t know that there was a way around that, but having an hour long special was certainly not it.

    I really think that the general perspective of LeBron has changed for the worse, not just in Cleveland.

    Remember the “global icon” idea? Becoming a global icon for playing basketball in Miami would be like becoming a global icon playing hockey in Mexico. He won’t even be the star on his own team. We all know that when crunch time comes, it will be Wade to step up. His overall reputation as a basketball player is capped at Scottie Pippen levels.

    Really, the only reasonable explanation for his decision is fear: fear of having to lead a team in Cleveland, fear of playing in the shadow of Jordan in Chicago, fear of the pressure in New York.

    In all seriousness, if I were LeBron I would skip any games in Cleveland for quite a while. If there is one fan base in the US that can match the crazy international fans, it’s Cleveland’s. Using his jersey as kindling would be the least of his problems.

    Like

  39. M says:

    Wow. If LeBron played with this kind of fire, the Cavs would have multiple championships by now:

    http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/news/gilbert_letter_100708.html

    Like

    • Ron says:

      Reading this statement from Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cavaliers, it is not hard to see why Lebron James would want to leave Cleveland (even leaving $30 million on the table along with his hometown). If folks in Cleveland are looking for someone to blame for this, they can start with Dan Gilbert, who shows no class whatsoever. Any personal shortcomings on Lebron’s part pale in comparison.

      Like

    • GoBucks says:

      Gilbert’s letter could definitely have been dialed down, but his anger is understandable. The Cavs did absolutely everything LBJ asked of them in his seven years with the team. Boot coaches? Done. Acquire players (and specific ones at that)? Done. NOT acquire specific players (Stoudemire)? Done. Allow LBJ to have his cronies be, in essence, part of the team? Done. Gilbert never said a cross word and, probably to his detriment, never told LBJ no. In other words, LBJ has no small blame part in the very situation that he has now proclaimed it is necessary to leave. So to hear him last night, with the veiled and not so veiled jabs at Cleveland, surely would have angered the people who catered to his every whim for seven years. And add to that the fact that LBJ did not even have the decency or class to call him beforehand, and essentially dumped and crapped on them on national tv…that probably sent him over the edge. Should he have sent it? No. Am I glad he did? Yes.

      Like

      • jj says:

        No his anger si not understandable. He’s a dick. He’s mad because he lost money – period. He had no qualms about putting Izzo and MSU fans in this same position. He’s a hypocritical douchebag crybaby. Just my 2 cents!

        Like

        • GoBucks says:

          I’m not quite sure I agree with that. By most Ohio sports fans, he’s generally considered one of the best owners in Cleveland sports in quite some time. Does he wish to make money in his business? Of course. But no one has ever doubted his passion to create a winner and that letter, while probably not the right thing to do, shows it. As far as Izzo goes, I’m not sure I understand. Izzo agreed to meet with the Cavs, Izzo kept it open for some time, and Izzo, ultimately, told them no.

          Like

          • jj says:

            my point about izzo is that crybaby has no problem attempting to poach from others, when someone does it to him it is tantrum time. you’d never see the yankees, red wings or other organizations with any class acting like that.

            Like

          • GoBucks says:

            I still think this particular situation (with LeBron) was a bit different, with a lot more backstory, than other situations, but I do see your point and think it is a good one.

            Like

      • Ron says:

        @GoBucks, to tell you the truth, I’ve pretty much given up on caring about pro sports in general as a fan. The franchises are owned by wealthy jackasses interested in leveraging their influence to build expensive stadiums and arenas and obtaining other benefits at public expense. To me, it is largely a moral choice to support college sports rather than the pros. Will say that I do follow pro sports in sort of a general way, it really provides a microcosm of American and even global business ethics. I think it is sad the way pro sports franchise owners use the loyalty of their fans to manipulate the system. Do sympathize with your impatience and even anger with Lebron, he’s going to have a lot of growing up to do if he is to really help Miami win. It’s an interesting morality tale of almost biblical proportions (guess the name “King James” has more than ironic overtones).

        Like

  40. duffman says:

    Double Loss for Cleveland today..

    While LeBron may have garnered the main press..

    Former Cav Melvin Turpin died today at age 49, may he rest in peace

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Sad. Supposedly a suicide. Former UK center also. Didn’t stand out so much in the pros, but Turpin was a great college center. If I’m remembering correctly, was in final 4 with Sam Bowie, Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Alajuwon. Don’t think there has ever been even a fraction of the big man talent in the final 4 since. Maybe not in the whole college game.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      1984 draft
      Houston took Alajuwon
      Portland took Bowie whose knees didn’t hold out.
      Bulls took MJ 3rd
      Perkins went to Dallas
      Barkley to Philadelphia
      Turpin to Washington who immediately traded him to Cleveland

      Ewing was 1st pick in 1985.

      Like

  41. Illinifan82 says:

    We got a shooter in Korver, but lets hope they at least think about getting Morrow.

    Like

  42. duffman says:

    Frank,

    Post LeBron thoughts?

    a) was the announcement special necessary?

    I kept thinking it was a delayed reaction thing. Most kids get that kind attention when they announce where they will play their college ball. Since he never got that stage, did it subconsciously come out now.

    b) as a lawyer wouldn’t a non disclosure work?

    Lebron made his decision early, so could he not have told at least the Cleveland front office 12 – 24 hours early. I know folks would say they could use that to leak the news early, but could that issue been resolved via a non disclosure. Not a perfect solution, but might have softened some of the wrath.

    c) is the response letter the right move?

    While as a third party might view it differently, I would argue the letter was the best PR move for the Cavs. Does the owner of the Cavs care what some some guy in anytown USA thinks (especially if they do not buy tickets). He has to pay a 100,000 dollar fine and look like an a$$ to the rest of the country, but he is probably now a god to the ticket buying fan base around Cleveland as he is a single voice for how many of them feel. Long term I think the letter buys him a great deal of goodwill in what was an untenable position.

    Like

    • @duffman – I’ve got a ton of LeBron thoughts and I’ll try to get another post up soon. The announcement special was FAR from necessary and I’m still flabbergasted that he murdered Cleveland sports on live television.

      A non-disclosure agreement could work in theory, although it’s fairly rare to have an NDA to ever be put into place after parties END negotiations – the driving factor is to have those obligations at the very beginning. Plus, the main advantage for the Cavs to knowing LeBron’s decision earlier was that the team could start making other personnel moves. If the Cavs were to sign another player or make a trade that took up LeBron’s salary cap space, it would’ve been a pretty clear indication to the public that he wasn’t coming back anyway.

      For the response letter, I definitely think it was a massive long-term mistake for Dan Gilbert. I know that Cavs fans loved the passion and it was temporarily cathartic, but owner reputations are a big deal in the NBA in terms of attracting free agents and keeping players. There’s still a stigma among NBA players attached the Bulls and Jerry Reinsdorf from how they were perceived to have negatively treated Michael Jordan, and all of that was just conjecture as opposed to an openly scathing written criticism that the entire world saw. For Gilbert to have said such things about a superstar that might not have had much tact but still made a ton of money for the franchise is going to ensure that no free agent worth anything will go to the Cavs for a very long time. The whispers are going to be, “If he treated LeBron like that, how is he going to treat me?!”

      Like

  43. duffman says:

    Frank,

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=ohlmeyer_don&id=5397113

    another post lebron thing, from ESPN about journalistic issues

    Like

  44. duffman says:

    Frank,

    as a chicago lawyer, any commentary on the chicago sun times and the coverage of anthony davis?

    Like

  45. JohnB says:

    Off Topic but relevant to Chicago fans. Chris Chelios signed on with Detroit for a front office job although it’s not fully defined what his role will be.

    http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2010/08/chris_chelios_joins_red_wings.html

    Like

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