The excitement and tension climbs as the beginning of free agency approaches, now seemingly faster than ever. For Knicks fans, two years of anticipation and speculation are near an end.
With the hype of a LeBron starting a free agency tour in New York going poof in the media winds, a schedule has been established for team representatives to go to LeBron to sell their locales. New York gets a shot at Lebron on July 1st (Thursday) after the Nets (New York Post) who will be the first to make their case. The Knicks reconaissance team -- which is what it is since Dolan is supposedly staying back initially -- will be Donnie Walsh, Mike D'Antoni and Alan Houston. Hopefully, LeBron does not take Dolan's absence -- if true -- as a lack of managerial commitment; more likely LeBron knows all he needs to know about management from watching it over the past two years.
The Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat (The Miami Herald) and Los Angeles Clippers round out the five teams, other than Cleveland, making pitches to LeKing this week. The word is, as it has been for a while, that the Chicago Bulls are the frontrunner for the services of LeBron and Bosh (New York Times). The word amongst executives has been wrong before, but this rumor correlates with earlier reports by Bloguin's own Dave Pustilinik of Da' Bulls Eye blog that LeBron was house hunting in Chicago in May.
Undoubtedly, if LeBron switches teams it will be with a friend like Chris Bosh. Bosh, who co-hosted the Mike and Mike show recently, gave us some insight into the free agency process and his expectations. Q & A with NY Knicks prime free agent target Chris Bosh – Part 1 and Part 2. If you believe Bosh, he has not spoken to LeBron or anyone about this situation; he, Lebron and Wade togther is highly unlikely; he would leave some money on the table and not take a max contract under the right circumstances; and all decisions hinge on what LeBron does because he is "The" man.
Knicks #1 On Somebody's list
While the Knicks may not be tops on James wish or conferencing lists, they receive the dubious distinction of being the biggest loser in the 2010 draft by a Dime writer.
Other Hoop Dreams
Not every hyped high-schooler like LeBron James makes it to the pros let alone superduperstardom. Remember Arthur Agee and William Gates of Hoop Dreams, one of the best basketball documentaries ever? Well, the story is not over but it has a happy continuation as they both reach back to tell kids that education is essential to realizing their own success and dreams, even if one thinks they should be a professional athlete.
Another class act, Kevin Pritchard, made a signature move when he released a letter to Portland Trailblazer fans after being unceremoniously fired as GM. Not many outsiders know what happened to result in the well-liked Pritchard's firing, but regardless of what it was his Open Letter supporting his boss and showing massive love to the fans was pretty damn good reading.
Blog Shout Outs
Would you believe it? Our old Fanatic homie DVJ has a new blog. Or maybe it's not so new and I just discovered it. The blog is as energetic as our young gun who now spends his spare time with the Knicksblog. DVJ despite everything still remains oen of Walsh's biggest boosters -- so much so that it si easy to speculate that he works for Dolan and Newsday. Just Bloggin'. Pay our basketball loving brother a visit.
Welcome to Bloguin an excellent Washington Wizards blog called Wizards Extreme. Check it out and look for new Eastern Conference blogs this summer.
Homie Shout Outs
Due to the technical difficulties we didn't get a chance to share, in a timely fashion, the Fanatics field trip which had me, O&B and Peaceman meeting up at the draft at MSG. It was a madhouse, but we had a good time. Stern seems to relish the role of villian as he was booed almost every time he stepped on stage, except for the announcement of the last pick of the first round when folks sang "Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, hey, hey Goodbye"; And like last year there was a continuous "Jeff VAN GUNDY" chant which he acknowledged several times from the ESPN set during breaks. The difference was a strong chant exhorting Van Gundy to replace the current coach.
One more year (assuming the draft stays in New York and not wind up in LA) and I will be hanging out in the green room, taking pictures and interviewing draftees just for the fun of it. Hey DLT, Prince and Tman, sorry for the lost comments. It's good to e-see you. If LeBron comes to NYC, I look forward to seeing you guys more frequently. My condolences to Derek and College Wolf of the TwolvesBlog. Dime appropriately acknowledged what seemed like a horrible draft day by David Kahn. I liked his drafting of Flynn and Rubio last year and I still think it would pan out -- but he has regressed from shrewd to retarded with his trades and promise to rely on Darko Milicic as his main option at center. Is dude o'k?
Manute Bol -- RIP
Manute Bol recently died after contracting a disease during his efforts to make the world a better place. There is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful tribute published by TheRealShaq. Bol was the real deal and took the mocking about his height and skill level all in stride. May he rest in peace as one of the tallest souls in heaven.
OTHER KNICKS FANATICS PIECES THAT MAY TICKLE YOUR FANCY
What People Think About The Knicks' Picks
Bloguin Mock Draft Board Picks 1-39 (Who's On The Clock?)
Knicks To Play Wizards and Lakers in 2010 Summer League
Kobe's Wife Messed Around and Got a Triple Double
David Lee Likes His Options: The Project Spurs Interview
"Like Shrek & Donkey": The Hilarious Nate Rides Slobbering Big Baby Presser (Video)
John Wooden Gifts His Legacy At 99