by Christian Waterman
Before pens have even had the chance to hit paper, we’ve seen articles and segments on the winners and losers, the pros and cons of each free agent signing. This fiasco has been snowballing since 2007 when LeBron, DWade and Bosh inked their extensions with opt-out clauses after three years. Even Carmelo Anthony, who locked in for an extra year and may not even see the (p)light of free agency, has been a major storyline in this saga. To paraphrase the almighty Drizzy, what are we do-in? What are we do-in?
This one man, from whom I haven’t heard a peep since his appreciation day in Akron, flipped the sports world on its axis and spun it on his finger for the last two months without a flinch. Wait, hold on a minute? I’m getting word from multiple sources that LeBron is set to join forces with Stephon Marbury to form a dynasty with the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons. One executive with knowledge of the negotiations said that China will transfer over 50 percent of the United States debt to James, along with logo placement on the nation’s flag.
While the reports haven’t been that outlandish, they’ve sure teetered close. He who must not be named invented the stories of Phil Jackson and Coach Cal clamoring to take the Bulls’ job, only to have them shot down. They who also mustn’t be named finally got their mark when the “Free Agent Summit” happened on a Sunday in Miami. In typical fashion, the report was refuted when Wade’s agent told us that Dwyane was in Chicago for the weekend. Could it be that he was in two places at once? (If anyone is capable of doing such, it’s Flash) This thing has gone absolutely haywire, not in a natural, hurricane sort-of way, more so in a BP we-don’t-care-about-safety-infractions way. They may not have intended it, but it’s entirely their fault.
“They,” in this mangled web, refers to a number of parties – the 24-hour sports network, the League, the players, the writers, and of course, the “sources.” I have two theories on who these sources are: 1) They’re traitorous scum leaking valuable information, or 2) It’s the players sending out their own signals to disrupt the airwaves and send reporters scrambling to their Twitter page, typewriter, or nearest television studio. Any way you cut it, this is a strange game, and it seems like there’s at least one entity that has it mastered: LRMR.
Reporters citing sources regarding LeBron’s inner thoughts lead me to believe that either absolutely wrong, or that Bron and Mav are puppeteers tugging at their strings and laughing hysterically at the mayhem. In my younger days, I was anti-LeBron, thinking of him as a pompous tyrant who only knew one dunk. Today I see him for what he truly is, a shrewd businessman looking to cash in on his unique talents and cement his legacy as one of the greatest of all time. So if you’re mad at LeBron for stringing you along of this time, dropping stones that led you to his hour-long special on, where else, the sports network, oh well. Just when you reached you’re boiling point, you found out that sponsorship sales would benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. What we’re witnessing here is nothing more than the final bullet point in an elaborate marketing plan that’s been going in full force since LeBron’s defeat at the wrinkled hands of the Celtics.
While Bron and DWade held showed solid poker faces throughout, Bosh giggled and went all in on every decent hand he got this offseason. His candle light dinner with DWade last week all but sealed the deal for me that the duo would be aligning. Now SVG tells us that Bosh has been following him around “like a lapdog.” As much as they pushed the Bosh sign-and-trade to the Cavs angle, Chris’ obsession with tweeting his every move to the universe guaranteed that he would be leaving Toronto for the hustle and bustle of Cleveland, OH. That’s like trying to avoid headaches by trading Ron Artest for JR Rider.
Sports journalism as we knew it is dying, with esteemed writers cramming their articles in to 140-character blurbs and fabricating stories based on a team janitor’s knowledge all because it’s what sells. One even said that Donnie Walsh lacked vibrancy from his wheelchair – only to retract a few days later after catching heat from some advocacy groups. Sports network employees laughed off the Knicks’ chances at signing LeBron during their free agency summit, and as the date nears are giving the team an actual shot, with the Bulls drifting to the back of the pack. Good work, scribes.
Now that STAT is a Knick, and orange WITNESS tees have surfaced (a color never before produced) and LeBron has been house hunting in the city, all signs seem to be pointing northeast. But that could just be my cautious optimism speaking. Not to mention that most of the Twitterverse is reporting that LeBron will be signing with the Knicks, citing their beloved sources.
You wouldn’t have it any other way.
Christian Waterman is a rising sophomore at UMass Amherst, where he is a double major in Sport Management and English. Christian is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, and a die-hard Knicks fan, so life’s rough. Check out more of his work at writethefuture.tumblr.com.