I have no problem with those "calling" LeBron's free agency winner, three days early, as the Bulls.
I don't need to wait for what I call in today's SN column the "prostrate exams" in Akron on Thursday by the lineup of shameless executives, most of whom know they have no chance but have to pantomime interest anyway.
So LeBron to the Bulls? Makes sense: Of any team where LeBron can be the alpha dog (which necessarily takes away Miami), they are in the best position to win now (Rose + Noah + another max FA like Boozer or Amare).
It is looking entirely likely that the Knicks will not only not get LeBron -- or Bosh or Wade -- but will have to settle for someone like Joe Johnson as their "catch."
It is not unreasonable to suggest that this is a failure by Donnie Walsh every bit as epic as anything Isiah Thomas did during his tenure.
For years, the Knicks have made these vague promises of "Just wait 'til the Summer of 2010!" Now that we're here, they entirely overestimated the lure of New York and underestimated competitors like Chicago and Miami. (Hell, even the Nets have a better offer - if they were already in Brooklyn, I think LeBron would be going to the Nets.)
So anyway, back to LeBron: Looks like he will go to Chicago. Interestingly, Chris Bosh isn't interested in joining him; Bosh would rather go to Miami to play second fiddle to Dwyane Wade. Good for Bosh. And great for the Heat, which can afford another max free agent or a bunch of quality supporting cast.
That means the open question is which power forward -- Amare or Boozer -- goes with LeBron to Chicago. Hell, even David Lee would be serviceable.
Look: Things could change. I wouldn't put it past LeBron to be so annoyed that the media presumes to tell him where he's going that he change his mind out of spite. (Although that would lack the CEO-style calculating that LeBron fancies himself applying.)
But with all the lead-up to "JULY !!!" it seems ironic that the week itself seems anti-climactic. (Unless you believe Stephen A, who seems to think LeBron is joining Wade and Bosh in Miami...)
More in today's column:
*Can't begrudge the fact that US Soccer was out-played in its ouster. You can begrudge Bob Bradley as not fixing fundamental flaws with the team (allowing early goals).
*Watch this Chris Henry autopsy story: He had brain damage, despite not having high-profile concussions, playing receiver and being 26. It's simply the cost of playing football. If you could check the brains of every NFL player (college, too), how many would have damage?
*Well, now the Rays are totally falling apart at the seams. Meanwhile, mock Jamie Moyer for allowing an all-time record 506th HR, but he has 9 wins at age 46.
See the entire column here. More later.