I hope that the events in the past couple days have shown you all that the stories and rumors coming out are all just that, stories and rumors. Nobody should be buying into anything that has come out or that will be coming out in the next day or so. Every free agent is going to explore every option available to them, its only fair.
I guess the thing that has Heat fans freaked out the most is that Dwyane Wade met with the Chicago Bulls not once but twice in the past two days. The 2nd meeting included Wade, Chris Bosh and their agent (who they share). Seemingly a scary situation, but again its just the players doing what anyone would expect...exploring their options.
It was just a few days ago where there were reports from a quite confidant Stephen A. Smith that Wade, Bosh and LeBron were all coming to sign in Miami. Earlier today that same Stephen A. Smith was reporting that the Knicks have been pitching their own trio-plan to LeBron, offering him the opportunity to team up with Joe Johnson and Amare or Bosh.
Does anybody in their right mind think that Joe Johnson is going to turn down the absurd amount of money the Hawks are throwing his way? Highly doubtful. All this rumor crapola is just going to keep spewing out from anyone and everyone who can claim to have a ‘source'. Has anyone else noticed that every report from ESPN or Yahoo! or whoever has been totally wrong and contradicted by not just each other, but themselves in later reports?
So yeah, that's my message to anybody reading this. CALM DOWN. A few days ago it was all about the Heat landing the coveted free agents. Early on Friday it was the Knicks, then later on it was the Bulls. Want a laugh? Go to ESPN.com/nba and look at all the top stories. They all begin with ‘Sources' or ‘Report'; excuse me while I 'lol' for a minute.
It's just going to keep moving around until a few days from now when players have had a chance to take in all the information thrown at them at these meetings. Once they have finished being wooed by all these teams, Wade, LeBron, Bosh and whoever else is going to take some time and decide what works best for them. Don't expect anything definitive until Monday at the earliest...
Today the Heat group met with LeBron James and the meeting was well over 2-hours long, more time then James has spent with any other team he's met with. Want my logical explanation as to why? Have you ever heard Pat Riley or Alonzo Mourning speak? The phrase ‘long winded' comes to mind because both know how to carry on a conversation.
Looking ahead, the Heat plan to meet with Brendan Haywood and David Lee over the weekend. I like both guys and would welcome either one to the Heat assuming that the whole LeBron/Bosh thing doesn't happen, or if we get one instead of both. Now a quick review of what happened today:
LeBron met with the Heat and Clippers. Amare Stoudemire met with the Knicks who reportedly offered him a 5-year deal worth $100 million, and New York also met with Chris Bosh on Friday. As I said earlier, the Knicks are supposedly proposing a deal to LeBron that would allow them to sign him, Joe Johnson and either Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire.
The Knicks were possibly the busiest team on Friday as they also made time to meet with Dwyane Wade, who was ‘intrigued' by what they had to say. Forgive me if I'm not running for a ledge to jump off of. The other busy team today was the Bulls, who along with D-Wade met with Carlos Boozer for breakfast and later in the day met with Chris Bosh and David Lee. They plan to meet with LeBron first thing on Saturday, then James is scheduled to meet with Cleveland.
Oh, and there was a signing today as well. Steve Blake told a Portland radio station that he agreed to sign a 4-year, $16 million deal with the Lakers, taking less then he could've gotten elsewhere to team up with Kobe and help the Lakers go after a 3-peat. Does this mean that Derek Fisher will be available? Possibly.
Another possible signing that came out on Friday was Paul Pierce apparently agreed to re-up with the Celtics on something in the realm of 4-years $61 million (according to the Boston Herald). Another team trying to keep their superstar, Dallas has made Dirk Nowitzki a ‘significant' offer to stay put during a meeting on Friday. The two sides are scheduled to meet again on Saturday when a decision is expected from Dirk.
Giving us a ‘final thought' of sorts, Dwyane Wade came out and said this after he had finished with all his meetings on Friday:
"It's going to take the weekend for everyone to think about what they want to do. This is not an easy decision to make."
Pat Riley has said that he doesn't plan to meet with Wade until mid-week when Dwyane will have already met with everyone he wanted to and can turn all his focus and attention to what Riley and the Heat have to say. That reminds me...if you haven't heard already, Heat mascot Burnie has been raised on a platform at the AAA and will not come down until D-Wade signs with the Heat. Click here for a video of Burnie up on his perch.
Alright, that's it for now. I'm sure that Saturday and Sunday will bring more of the same stories and they will continue to trickle out as long as free agents are taking meetings with possible destinations. Oh, and don't forget that for the next 5 days we're still living in (or in my case just north of) Miami-WADE County.