The LeBron James murmurs are at an all-time high after a crazy, crazy Sunday. While many of us were stuck in traffic driving back home after the holiday weekend, Twitter blew up. It was insane. I felt scared to tweet upon my arrival back in Akron. Nothing was sacred.
So what was the result of the Bloody Sunday on Twitter? Nothing really. Everything happened and nothing happened all at the same time. We know very little of what could happen within the next few days. Sure, a Cavs-affiliated plane was in South Florida last night. Sure, Chris Broussard and others have “hunches.” Sure, LeBron plans to meet face-to-face soon with Miami. But that’s not actual concrete information that changes the probabilities or expectations of this madness. We don’t know yet.
There’s a chance LeBron stays in Miami and the math works out for the Big Three. That was generally assumed to be the default likelihood only a few days/weeks ago. We don’t have very much reason to doubt Pat Riley just yet.
There’s also a non-zero chance LeBron leaves for some unknown reasons that we really don’t know about yet because no one has spoken on the record about his decision-making process. It could be Cleveland based on the murmurs. It could be elsewhere. We all should admit Cleveland’s not the best pure basketball choice; that’d probably be Phoenix or Houston.
For the Cavs, obviously it makes sense to hold back on other moves and wait upon LeBron’s choice. He’s the best basketball player in the world. He has made five NBA Finals in his career and quite logically could reach double-digits by the end of his career. This franchise, which has played mostly sorry basketball for the last four years, becomes an immediate contender (especially in the East) upon his return. He’s that dominant.
But what if he doesn’t return? Then the Cavs are back to where they were before: A 33-win team trying to make other mild-to-moderate roster changes to join forces with the David Blatt and Andrew Wiggins momentum.
Gordon Hayward for the mini-max to ensure Utah doesn’t match? Maybe beating out Washington and others for Trevor Ariza? The frontcourt is still in shambles, so I’d expect Channing Frye and/or others to join. A decision has to be made on Anderson Varejao’s future. I’m not personally so confident about Dion Waiters being back, regardless of LeBron’s future.
Changes are happening. It’s going to be a wild, wild ride over the next few days (and hopefully not weeks). The Cavs are set to be on the come-up, inching closer to .500 and above, regardless of whether LeBron might come back. We don’t know yet how excited we should be. Stay grounded and stay tuned.
Now, for some assorted links and tweets.
Podcast: I joined the folks at Salt City Hoops, an outstanding Utah Jazz site, for a podcast on Thursday. We talked about Gordon Hayward, C.J. Miles, David Blatt and more.
On sports brand-blogging: Rich Campbell is a must-follow on Twitter with the @SprtsMktgProf account. He tweets about sports careers and sports business. He’s also had two recent Q&As about blogging vis-à-vis sports careers, one with Sports Analytics Blog founder Jonathan Gordon and the other with Wages of Wins author Dave Berri. Read both.
Like a Bosh: This might be lost in all of the LeBron mania, but Chris Bosh is really, really good. SB Nation’s Paul Flannery wrote about how he’s the quiet game-changer in free agency. Bosh in Houston would be such beautiful basketball.
Beliefs and facts: “In other words, religious people knew the science; they just weren’t willing to say that they believed in it.” Via The Upshot’s Brendan Nyhan.
Neat Urban quote: “If you go to Eastern Kentucky or Ohio State, you’ll see bits and pieces of everything we learned from Ashtabula, Ohio.” Via BuckeyeSports.com’s Ben Axelrod.
On David Blatt: First, read this from the Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto: “Fear. That became one of the subjects in my long talk with new Cavaliers coach David Blatt this week.”
Next, read the article from Hardwood Paroxysm’s Zachary Bennett: “He’s coached NBA talent in the past, but Blatt has not coached in the NBA. In name, then, he is a rookie head coach with an abundance of experience.”
Free agency tracker: Oh hello, I’ve built a little Google Docs spreadsheet of free agency rankings. I’m updating it with signing information. Go explore and enjoy.
Woj Talk: SB Nation’s David Roth interviewed a teenager (!) that created one of the many fake Adrian Wojnarowski Twitter accounts. The Diss’ Kris Fenrich wrote “there’s only one Woj.” The New Yorker’s Jay Caspian King called Woj the NBA’s “draft oracle.” The Cauldron’s Jim Cavan said Woj’s draft spoilers ruined the fun.
For funsies, I’ve compiled some of my favorite Woj tweets from the past week or so.
Woj should have his own brand of pregnancy tests.
— Myles Brown (@mdotbrown) June 26, 2014
I sat behind Woj for a while last night. He does some calling or texting, types up a tweet, then waits to send it. Minutes, sometimes.
— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) June 27, 2014
I want someone to fall in love with a fake Woj account on the next Catfish
— Bobby Big Wheel (@BobbyBigWheel) July 1, 2014
When I first met Woj he DMed me telling me to delete the tweet saying that I met him so no one would know what city he was in. #TrueStory
— Rachel Lauren (@Rachel92Lauren) July 1, 2014
REALITY SERIES: Woj hunts down his fake accounts.
— Myles Brown (@mdotbrown) July 3, 2014
probably true RT @ohholybutt: fake Woj is just as likely to be right as real Broussard.
— Lana Berry (@Lana) July 3, 2014
I fell for a Fake Woj tweet once. Was one of the darker moments of my life.
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) July 3, 2014
You can always tell the real Woj because the tweet glows with demonic menace and the truth it speaks marks your soul for all time.
— netw3rk (@netw3rk) July 4, 2014
There should be an acclaimed series about the NBA "insiders" struggling with Woj another for a story.
— Alex Dewey (@DewNO) July 6, 2014
Wrote a blog like one of us. RT @NujabWes: What if Woj was one of us?
— Bo Churney (@bochurney) July 6, 2014