While the media continues to beat the drums in support of Chicago and New York as being the top free agent destinations, it appears that the best recruitment pitch for Miami is coming from none other than Dwyane Wade himself. As just reported by Larry Brown Sports (a blog based in Los Angeles), Wade has been spotted dining with Chris Bosh out in Los Angeles (perhaps even with their shared agent Henry Thomas). And wouldn't you know it but Lebron James is also in town? With Wade making his intentions known about his feelings for the Heat and Bulls organizations, it's no stretch of the imagination that the Miami Heat and Pat Riley might come up in their "casual conversation" over dinner. I wonder who Lebron, Bosh or any other premiere free agent will listen to: the media... Or one of their own? Apparently, it's not looking too good for Chicago, New Jersey or New York right now.
Aside from hosting one of the teams participating in this year’s NBA Finals, Los Angeles has been a busy place on the basketball scene. On Sunday, both Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh were at Staples Center watching Game 2 between the Lakers and Celtics. Though Melo watched from a tunnel leading to the Lakers’ locker room, Bosh spent his time watching in the lower bowl. According to CBS’ Ken Berger, LeBron James was also in Los Angeles and was supposed to attend the game with Melo before deciding he didn’t want to upstage the Finals by showing up. Despite not attending Game 2, LeBron was spotted dining at BOA Steakhouse in LA with Geffen Records chairman Jimmy Iovine, helping fuel rumors that Geffen was trying to buy the Clippers and bring LeBron to Los Angeles. While that recap covers two of the big names from the blockbuster 2010 free agency pool, one player was noticeably missing. Until now.
At the same time the Miami Heat staff was busy throwing free agent Udonis Haslem a surprise birthday party to try and convince him to stay in Miami, it appears as if Dwyane Wade was busy doing some recruiting of his own. Wade was spotted dining at BOA Steakhouse on Sunset along with girlfriend Gabrielle Union, Raptors free agent to be Chris Bosh, and a few others as part of a small late-night gathering at the restaurant. Normally we wouldn’t think anything of a few All-Star NBA players getting together for dinner, but this isn’t your typical set of circumstances.
Dwyane Wade has already made it known that he planned to talk with some of his fellow star players before they all make their decisions regarding free agency. Furthermore, Wade accused the Bulls of being disloyal to their former players, likely to deter stars from signing there. The backlash regarding Wade’s comment was so bad that Commissioner David Stern had to assure reporters prior to Game 1 of the Finals that no summit would be taking place. Despite Stern’s words, it appears as if many of the top free agents have already met to discuss their plans. It’s also worth noting that Wade and Bosh share the same agent, Henry Thomas, who may have also been present at their dinner.