Friday, October 31, 2008

Well, that didn't take long

Adrian Wojnarowski (hat tip to a much angier Cavalier Attitude):
Donnie Walsh, the Knicks GM, had heard for years about Wesley’s influence, but ever met him. The two didn’t talk about James, sources say, but it was a chance for the Knicks president to be around one of the most influential people in James’ decision-making process. The Knicks are working hard to get under the salary cap in 2010.

With the Knicks, there are two teams a source familiar with James’ thinking says intrigue him: The Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.

For now, the Cavaliers are working furiously to make it hard for James to leave in 2010. They’ll have significant cap space that summer too, and sources say they’ve targeted the Toronto Raptors’ Chris Bosh to play with him.

Odds are long that the Cavaliers will ever see that duo, but things can change in two years. All they can do now is pray that it will be James holding the trophy in the next two years. If that happens, there will be no Cavaliers legends to bring back that night, no championship banners hanging besides the one that James raises there.

Couple things:

A) Hey, a Dallas Mavericks rumor! Finally. I've been saying for years that if being a Yankees fans means that James wants to play for the Knicks, then is stands to reason that his being a Cowboys fan would push him towards the Mavericks. Thanks Adrian for the first "James to the Mavericks" rumor.

B) If Danny Ferry significantly upgrades the talent on this team, there's no way James walks away from the best chance to win a championship. Doesn't matter the city, the only way LeBron gets to Jordan's rarefied air is if he has some rings. That's what matters.

C) Chris Bosh is a significant upgrade in talent.

D) Has James said anything? No? OK.

E) Again, James is all about image, and if he bolts a team with a 60 win roster to go play on a 1 win team for Jay-Z, then he'll take a PR beating (ie: he's not about basketball or winning).

F) Really, one game? That's all it took? One fucking game? Can't you at least wait for a losing streak?

G) It's gonna be a loooong two years


Anonymous said...

Adrian Wojnarowski has taken the LBJ-leaving-Cleveland thing to a whole new level. He's been writing columns like this for a while, but this latest one is almost taking an "I'm incredulous that you're not believing me" defense posture against the people who are undoubtely sending him avalanches of hate mail for writing columns like these.

And (surprise, surprise) he fired back at Dan Gilbert for the "bored sportswriter" comment. I'm shocked it took this long.

So one of two things can be deduced from Wojo's most recent column. Either A) a lotta-lotta people "close to James" have been feeding him information -- that might not necessarily be what James wants, but what they'd like to see James do.

Or B) For reasons unknown, Wojo has so strongly aligned himself with the James-leaving-Cleveland camp, establishing his sources there and putting all his eggs in that basket, his credibility is going to take a hit if LBJ signs an extension with the Cavs, so he's furiously defending his position. Because I'm not really seeing the other side of the story in Wojo's column, the one that includes the words coming directly from LeBron's mouth.

The entire argument that guys like Wojarnowski make is predicated on "It doesn't matter what LeBron says about liking the Cavs organization and wanting to stay in Cleveland, he doesn't mean it." So LeBron is lying? Maybe that's why Wojo can't get any quotes from LeBron himself and he's relegated to this cloak-and-dagger, condition-of-anonymity crap.

Maybe a couple of years ago, during one of the Cavs' less-successful stretches, Wojo bit on a "hot tip" from someone in James' camp that he was interested in playing for the Knicks or Nets. Things change, teams win conference titles, but once he writes that first column, there is no going back.

Anonymous said...

Erik, you bring a very good point about their argument being predicated on ignorning LeBron's words and actions.

Once again, incredibly vague sources being used.
Nothing is wrong with writing stuff like this if you back it up with credible sources.

In no way is this journalism, but rather a gossip column. BTW, call me old school (and I'm only 25) for my affinity of print journalism, but no way in hell does he write this column if its going on paper.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's two road losses against two excellent teams with LeBron playing cruddily by his standards. I wonder how long before the Skip Bayless types start popping off about how overrated LeBron is?

So what is he? Is he overrated or is he too good for Cleveland? I guess it depends on his most recent trend.

Seriously, though, I wonder if he's having an Olympic hangover. His focus and energy just aren't there like normal. Bron hasn't been effective with the game on the line so far. Two second-half meltdowns on the road, and the Charlotte game was essentially put away with him on the bench.

I'm encouraged with the fact that the Cavs can control contending teams for large portions of the the game, even with LBJ on the bench or not playing all that well. But they're going to be lost with the game on the line, particularly on the road, until LBJ can step up and close games out.

I think the Cavs will be an excellent home team, but it looks like they're going to be a downright crappy road team, at least early on.

Anonymous said...

LeBron doesn't look ready for the season, whether its because the Olympics or whatever. At any rate, he looks slow and unfocused (and his numbers are still great, just subpar for him).

The good news is that he'll undoubtedly get focused/in shape/ whatever and be one of the top 2 or 3 in the game. it also helps to play in the East. We're as good/better than everyone in the East, outside of Boston.

The bad news is that although its early, its clear to me we still have no second option. Mo is good at times, but he's not a guy that will consistently be able to take the load off LeBron. And I'm not sure we're gonna get one at the deadline, and its difficult to say how this team will mesh.

BTW, Chris Paul is the best player in the game right now.

Anonymous said...

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