And…They’re Off! Slowly.

lebron and bosh 2 And…They’re Off! Slowly.

There are few moments more anticipated than that when thoroughbreds are finally loaded into the starting gate, the bell sounds and the competitors burst forth.

So it felt around the NBA at 11:00 PM last night, but alas.

The gates flew open:  and the horses moseyed out, and wandered around eating grass and flicking flies with their tails.

Free agency, it appears, will be more like a week-long business conference than a frenzied, freewheeling marketplace.  What we know is that players are listening to their options, some opt-outs are just rearranging deals with their teams before the new CBA, and Byron Scott is coaching the Cavs.

Adrian Wojnarowski (who just reported that Joe Johnson is resigning in ATL) will join us with an update this afternoon, as we follow it all.

We will also do “Who You Crappin?” at 5:00.

Someone please make David Haugh stop writing basketball columns for the Tribune.  He seems to be the only person who actually believes Gar Forman is in charge of the Bulls’ efforts to land Lebron James, and writes about the significance of these next days for Forman’s legacy.  The problem with this, of course, is that John Paxson is the executive in charge of everything other than talking to the media.

Chicago’s baseball teams lost to lesser competition yesterday, with the Cubs now ten below .500 and Lou Piniella not expressing much displeasure over it.  Koyie Hill continues to start over Geovany Soto despite being the worse player.  Reds in town for four, starting today.

Sox have the day off before a big test with a three-game weekender at Texas.  Good to hear that lefthanded power is not the only commodity sought by Ken Williams, since any veteran lefty reliever other than Randy Williams would be nice behind Matt Thornton.

And Kris Versteeg is an ex-Blackhawk — another salary cap casualty.  I have no idea who any of the new guys are.

Tomorrow, we will be coming to you from the Lamplighter in Palatine on the Bud Light “Who Needs Two?” Tavern Tour.  Join us for a few cold ones and you could win Cubs tickets.

  • James in Lincoln Square

    At the risk of being called basketball retarded – I am agnostic as to whether I want Lebron on the bulls, and my reasoning is simple: He’d rather be a world-wide brand than an NBA champion. Sure, he may ALSO want to be an NBA champ, but given all of the reporting around his desire to be the Jay-Z/Warren Buffett of the sports world, it appears to me that he does not have the mental commitment that it takes to win a title.

    He is clearly the most transcendent talent the game has ever seen, but the game has been full of guys that could jump over, around, or through anyone that never won a damn thing. Great though his talent may be, he has already proven that he’s not good enough to win in spite of not making it his life’s misison.

    Here’s how I see Lebron:

    Me: “Hey Lebron, you want to win an NBA title?”

    Lebron: “Meh. Take it or leave it.”

    Me: “You want your name, face, and brand to be known around the world, from the streets of NY to the dingiest hut in Burma, and be one of the richest athletes in history?”

    Lebron: “Uhhh, yeah – and I’ve already done that.”

    And thus, his faux-pouty apathy after the recent series loss to the Celtics. He’s only 25 and he already has achieved the world wide success that Jordan didn’t see until he began winning multiple championships by pwning everything in his path (whooooores included). Lebron is famous because he is the most impressive athlete on the court and because he has leveraged his hype, since the days of his high-school games being broadcast on ESPN, into a powerful brand that he didn’t even have to win a championship to establish.

    Jordan was great BECAUSE of his mind. Kobe, D-Wade, they just wanted to be NBA champs and that focus is what elevated them to be able to deliver on the highest stage. As we saw with Cleveland’s latest early exit, Lebron has yet to develop that focus. If he’s preoccupied with his “I am the King” world wide enterprise (unless that mindset includes winning multiple titles as the primary focus), he’ll be another Charles Barkley.

    If the argument is that he needs NBA titles to become that huge brand, the counter is that HE ALREADY IS THAT HUGE BRAND. We shall see if actually starts trying this season when whichever team he plays for makes the playoffs (which they will), but if he doesn’t develop his mental game, he’ll be just another physical freak that couldn’t (or didn’t want) to close.

    • George Oscar Bluth

      I doubt very much Lebron thinks he can become that big of a brand without rings, dude. Winning first, side deals later.

      • James in Lincoln Square

        GOB – Isn’t he already that big of a brand??? He signed the Nike deal before ever setting foot on the NBA court. He has a global enterprise via the marketing company he started and “gave” to Maverick Carter to run. His net worth, at 25, is approaching $100M. If he wants to be a billionaire, he will go to a big market (maybe here) or team up with the Russian mogul Nets owner and just start printing money first, playing basketball second. That’s why I question whether I even want him on my team.

        Winning 60 games a year is fun and all, but when the chips are down in the playoffs, he has consistently folded.

      • George Oscar Bluth

        To James in LS, nope. Bron trails Kobe in Asian jersey sales by millions. The global marketplace is not yet his domain. Or at least he’s still secondary to Kobe in that respect. Because Kobe has the rings. As does Shaq. Both are bigger around the world than James.


      The hype machine wasn’t on high speed during the Jordan early years. He was the blueprint (not Mean Joe Green or OJ’s commercials). Add more TV channels and media outlets AND the money Nike made on Jordan, and it’s the same thing as when computers started making parts for computers instead of a team of electricians and mathematicians.
      Or when George Lucas made the rest of his movies from the profits of the first three.

  • Beverly Brewmaster

    “Someone please make David Haugh stop writing basketball columns for the Tribune.”

    Fixed it for you, Dan…

    • George Oscar Bluth

      I can’t stand Haugh. Unbelievably, the Trib allows me to use the handle “David Haugh” in their comments sections still. To hilarious consequence, I assure you.

  • Leonard

    It all feels like the Y2k scare………..

    However, is it true Lebron set a July 5th deadline to let people know? This was according to Fox Chicago

  • relentless

    it seems to me the rest of the free agents would be wise to wait for Lebron to sign, thus forcing teams to over pay out of desperation to have the best of the plan b players


      That’s the “log jam.” The players who make a choice based on winning will go first, and then it’ll start moving. They should know that by now.


    If it makes Bernsy happy, Geovany Soto’s back in the starting lineup this afternoon behind the plate for the first of 4 between the Cubs & the first-place Reds at Wrigley. However, Jeff Baker’s starting at second base instead of Ryan Theriot, which makes me wonder if Ryan could be among a handful of players that could be dealt by the MLB Trade Deadline July 31st. At this point, I’m starting to wonder, strictly as a baseball fan, if aging manager Lou Piniella is getting resigned to the fact that he’s never going to bring an elusive World Series title to the North Side. This 2010 season has aged Piniella some 20 years since the season began. Piniella’s either being fitted for a straitjacket or waiting for a phone call from Ed Goren & David Hill from FOX Sports to rejoin their MLB broadcast crew next season.

    As far as NBA free agency goes, the always outspoken Turner/TNT Sports’ analyst Charles Barkley dropped dime on “The Dan Patrick Show” today and he’s among many national talking heads that believes LeBron James will ultimately re-sign with the Cavaliers when the free agent dust settles. Barkley added that James & Dwyane Wade are the only franchise players in this free agent class. Barkley also believes despite questions about his knee, his eye and not being the best player on his own team, he feels that Amar’e Stoudemire, not Chris Bosh, is the third best player available. Let the speculation and madness begin!

  • George Oscar Bluth

    Just a question: it’s the biggest FA bonanza in the history of the sport, and 670 “expert” Jason Goff is remarkably silent on everything.


      That is interesting.
      Dare I turn on Wrigleyville Horror Theatre?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live