Free agent Chris Bosh seems to be a super star in his own mind. (Photo by Jeff Lewis)
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
We waited for July 1, 2010, for a good two years. It was supposed to be the day that the NBA changed forever. We were supposed to get blockbuster moves. But instead we got a few big named players stroking their egos.
As of press time none of the top three free agents, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, or Chris Bosh, have announced where they will sign.
James has held interviews with numerous teams, Wade has had a couple interviews with the Chicago Bulls, where he would be closer to his family, and Bosh has spent most of his time on twitter, trying to get as much publicity out of this as he can.
Word is it that James will make his decision today on an hour-long ESPN show. The word on that was leaked two days ago, meaning that James already knows where he is going. Why doesn’t he just let everybody know? It’s like he is just seeking attention at this point.
One thing that we do know, if the reports on Bosh are correct, is that he’d love to play with James… just not in Cleveland. The Toronto Raptors said that they were open to a sign and trade that would send Bosh to Cleveland, but Bosh will not agree to a potential deal. It just goes to show that the Cavaliers do cannot get anybody to play in Cleveland, even with James there. So if James wants to win a title he is going to have to go elsewhere.
Bosh has been seeking attention just like James has been, but he has been self-promoting himself because his name is nowhere near as big as James or Wade’s. Bosh is pretty much riding their coattails. He’s a very good player. An All-Star. But he is not a super star, even though he’s asking for super star money, and will probably get it.
The league owners are claiming that they are broke and league commissioner Davis Stern projected that the league would lose $400 million this past season. But the Atlanta Hawks gave Joe Johnson a max deal of $119 million, the Knicks gave Amare Stoudemire a max deal of $99 million, and Bosh is in line for a max deal.
When the concept of the max deal was first introduced the thinking was that it was reserved for the super star players. For players like Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, and other players that teams were built around. For players who were supposed to lead their teams to titles.
But second tier players like Johnson and Stoudemire are cashing in like they are players who can lead their teams to championships. The only way Stoudemire wins a title is if James joins him in New York. The only way Bosh gets a title is if he can link up with either James of Wade.
If teams are going to continue to hand out big time contracts then they need to stop claiming that they are broke. Darko Milicic has done a whole lot of nothing in this league and he was just handed a $20 million contract.
A few players received market value contracts. The Dallas Mavericks gave Dirk Nowitzki $80 million and the Boston Celtics gave Paul Pierce $61 million.
As of right press time there has not been any league changing move, meaning that James has not chosen where he will be playing the next five to six seasons of his career. Neither has Wade, and Bosh has not finished milking this situation for everything that it is worth.
A few teams will be left holding the bag after James and Wade chose their destinations. If the Knicks do not land James they would have wasted the past three seasons of stripping the team down in order to have enough cap space for this summer. If all they have to show for it is Stoudemire then they will be the big losers. He is a nice player, but he is not leading any team to a championship, and a player like James might not see Stoudemire as a legit No. 2 for him.
If the Nets do not land anybody of note then they will not be much better off than last season, when they were the worst team in the league.
The Clippers seem to have put all of their eggs in one basket and are hoping that James will forget that they are the Clippers and just look at a pretty good roster, but chances of James landing in Los Angeles might be slim.
As for the Lakers, Phil Jackson is coming back, they signed veteran point guard Steve Blake from the Clippers for a backup role, and they are still working on a deal with Derek Fisher. Business as usual, and unless this super team down in Miami happens with James, Wade, and Bosh, the Lakers will be the favorite to win the title again.
The more things change the more they stay the same.
Too bad James and Wade could not be a little more considerate to weekly newspapers that come out on Thursdays. We’re on deadline and we could have used a decision earlier in the week.