LeBron James, Delonte West, John Calipari: Rumors Abound
There's 43 days until LeBron James can sign as a free agent, but in just the fifth day since LeBron James may have played his last game with the Cleveland Cavaliers, there's been a relatively predictable media frenzy surrounding him.
Some people want to sign James, some want to keep him, and some who supposedly want to coach him.
Then there's 'your mama' rumors and a lot of talk who he would fit best with.
Apparently, no one noticed July 1 comes after June.
Here's the latest in the scuttlebutt.
The Delonte West Talk Isn't Dead
The rumors about Delonte West having an affair with James' mom Gloria continue to spread across the Internet.
Mainstream media (read, ESPN) is staying away from the story, as is James, his handlers, his mama and the Cavs.
No comment from any of the involved parties. In this case, no news is not good news if you're a Cavs fan.
A simple Tweet could squash this nasty rumor.
Cleveland fans are not going down without a loud cry of "Don't go!"
The most impressive of the wooers is 23-year-old Austin Briggs. He is the co-founder of the Web site www.pleasedontleave23.com and the proud owner of the Witness Mobile.
"He's a hometown guy. We definitely want to put that on his conscience," Briggs said.
To do that, he pimped out his 1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme with a big "Witness" on the driver's side.
He's driving around town letting fans who agree with him sign the hood of the car.
The City Won't Let Go
Sports stars in Cleveland are starting to speak up as well.
Browns Pro Bowl return specialist Josh Cribbs is no stranger to this process. In fact, he probably owes the grassroots swell of support for getting him his new deal.
"The fans are already speaking up," he told the AP. "This is a motivated city for sports and there are no fans like this anywhere. They are doing whatever they can to keep him."
Even if that means recruiting the band geeks of the Cleveland Orchestra to go all viral video on us.
Warning, it's ultra cheesy: http://www.youtube.com/v/tjiVua6RLho
The Weatherman Should Never Sing
If the band video was ultra cheesy, this may be the Cheese Supreme.
Cleveland celebs like weatherman Dick Goddard and governors running for re-election have cut this ridiculous song to the tune of "We Are the World."
See the video here: http://www.youtube.com/v/7z36t3wyPNg
You Gonna Say No to Trump and Jeter?
Cleveland's got the local weather guy singing to LeBron.
New York's got Trump, Jeter, Eli, Bloomberg, and Sarah Jessica Parker.
According to the New York Daily News, the New York Knicks are recruiting just about anyone with a morsel of celebrity to court James.
The Knicks will specifically try to play to James' affinity for the Yankees with a little A-Rod message.
Bloomberg and Trump are especially interesting, considering James' stated desire to become a billionaire.
Bulls: The Early Leader
According to a slew of pundits that chimed in Monday and Tuesday, Chicago is the best fit—for now. Plus, they have the President of the United States stumping for them.
Guys like Chad Ford are sighting a lot of inside talk about the Bulls being in the drivers' seat. It makes sense, considering the pieces already in place along with the potential to add a piece or two more after signing James.
The Knicks are seen as No. 2, the Heat No. 3, the Cavs as No. 4 and the Mavericks—who we mentioned yesterday—are a darkhorse sign-and-trade team.
As the Ping Pong Ball Bounces
The NBA draft lottery is tonight, which could play in to James decision.
If the percentages hold true and the Nets win the lottery and the right to draft John Wall, they could move into pole position.
NBA insiders think Wall is a nice bargaining chip to throw at James along with the Russian billionaire and Jay-Z.
I still don't think there's enough pieces there to seal a deal.
It's a strange lottery, considering that Wall is seen as the no-brainer No. 1 pick, yet most of the teams have a talented point guard in place.
There's a little sizzle around the Sacramento Kings in the LBJ talks. Other than their load of cap room and Tyreke Evans, I don't see enough there to attract him—even if they were to get Wall.
Coach Cal Says There's No Package
Many people say William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley is the most powerful man in basketball. He is linked to LeBron James and John Calipari.
So of course, some reporter made the connection and went with the story that Wesley was going to broker a package deal for the two.
That sent Coach Cal back on to Twitter to deny, deny, deny—all the while watching his renegotiation number at Kentucky go up, up, and up.
Support for a Rose-James Union
So who's the right guy to partner with James?
Some interesting numbers put out by ESPN to quiet the Derrick Rose haters.
The idea that Rose is a ballhog is a little misleading.
Rose's ball usage rate was 26.3 percent this past season, second in the league among point guards.
But when he had Ben Gordon as the man in 2008-09, his rate was 22.1 percent—the same as Mo Williams had this past year.
No one sees Williams as a hindrance to James. Thus, the numbers say Rose won't be either. Not to mention that Rose is already an all-star at 21 and only has room to improve.
Could Curry Sway James?
Could a current contract albatross be the deal killer for James in New York?
Veteran NBA reporter Frank Isola wrote that according to a source, James has sent feelers out to Knicks center Eddy Curry about working out together this summer.
Does that mean that James wants to pick his brain about like in the Garden under coach Mike D'Antoni? Or does it just mean they have the same agent (Leon Rose)?
And even if the two talked, would Curry badmouth D'Antoni?
And even if Curry badmouthed D'Antoni, would it matter? James already got a first-hand opinion of D'Antoni when he was an assistant coach with James on the 2008 Olympic team.