By simply saying, "I'm coming home," James has set the world on its ear again.
Whether people like it or not, the James dynamic is like the chorus in that Ludacris and Shawna song "Stand Up": "When I move, you move...just like that."
LeBron haters feel like the late Peter Boyle in this scene from the movie Malcolm X.
The list of players that were left in limbo is a long one, and it's filled with some pretty prominent names. Because James' decision took so long to materialize, teams and players are moving rapidly to their secondary options now that his choice has been made.
Agent: "I know there have been some signings but the free agent market is locked.Its locked until LeBron decides. MIami's not taking calls."— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 11, 2014
Here's an update on three of the biggest stars waiting on LeBron's decision.
Carmelo Anthony Is Reconsidering the Chicago Bulls
From a basketball standpoint, the Chicago Bulls have always been the best possible landing spot for Carmelo Anthony. The team has positioned itself as a perennial contender in the Eastern Conference. It's led by established stars like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Even Taj Gibson has solidified himself as an above-average power forward.
The missing piece in the Bulls' puzzle is a lights-out scorer, and that's exactly what Anthony is.
Still, it looks like returning to the New York Knicks for more money or taking a more handsome offer from the Los Angeles Lakers to play with Kobe Bryant might be more attractive to the seven-time All-Star.
Perhaps Anthony is again being drawn by the chance to win in Chicago. Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling tweeted that the Bulls are under heavy consideration for Melo:
Hearing stronger indications Melo is heavily weighing CHI. 1 high-ranking source: CHI was favorite after all meetings. Torn over NY & Kobe.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 11, 2014
How does this relate to LeBron?
It is odd that Anthony has dragged out his decision so long. He could have decided shortly after returning from his recruitment tour. If this had nothing to do with LeBron—or perhaps wanting to play with his old friend—then Anthony could have made his decision a week ago.
With LeBron committed to Cleveland, perhaps Melo will go to Chicago to make the most epic Central Division a reality.
Let's lean on NBA 2K14 for a visual aid:
Chris Bosh Can Now Move
Even James' former teammates weren't exempt from the waiting game. Chris Bosh has reportedly been offered $88 million over four years from the Houston Rockets. That's significantly more than what the Miami Heat were offering him.
Now that he knows what James is going to do, ESPN Dallas is reporting that Bosh is expected to say yes to Houston.
Houston Rockets believe Chris Bosh to sign soon http://t.co/UoszXUaATL— ESPNDallas (@ESPNDallas) July 11, 2014
Either situation was a good one for Bosh. If he stayed in Miami, he would have remained with a team that still had the best player in the world, and he would have had a great chance to go back to the NBA Finals. Bosh also seemed to love it in South Beach.
If he goes to Houston, he'll be paid an average of $22 million per year near his hometown and become part of a roster that looks like a real contender in the rugged Western Conference.
He's still a winner.
Paul Pierce Is Waiting and Playing Poker...Literally
The 36-year-old Paul Pierce knows how to take the stress off during an offseason filled with uncertainty. The 10-time NBA All-Star is participating in the World Series of Poker.
Perhaps that's the equivalent of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, but whatever works is the best solution.
Playin in WSOP today wish me luck pic.twitter.com/R08LsUgfhG— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) July 7, 2014
Per Andy Vasquez of the New Jersey Record, Pierce is waiting to see what happens with Melo and LeBron before he makes his own, less publicized decision.
Paul Pierce: Unsure of his future; Waiting on LeBron and Carmelo, Good at poker. http://t.co/EmSALcK4pc— Andy Vasquez (@andy_vasquez) July 11, 2014
Pierce knows this is likely his last free-agent deal, so winning is likely at the top of his list of priorities. There have been rumors of interest from several contenders, but with LeBron now headed to Cleveland, maybe Pierce has more clarity.
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