Countdown to Thursday's Must-See TV

July, 7, 2010
7/07/10
8:20
AM ET
LeBron James' decision to announce where he is going to play next year -- carried live on ESPN in a one-hour special at 9 p.m. ET Thursday -- just adds to the intrigue of this summer's free-agent race. (I am curious how they are going to fill the 59 minutes when he is not saying "I'm going to play for ... ")

As noted so eloquently in a column this morning by colleague J.A. Adande, there has been so little actionable information put out there from LeBron's camp that we are left to read the tea leaves and decipher whatever subtle shifts we see in the landscape. From there, we make our best educated guesses.

But two shifts in opinion have caught my attention, and you can make of them what you will.

The first comes from ESPN colleague Chris Broussard, who has been of the strongly held opinion that James would wind up staying in Cleveland or moving to Chicago. But Broussard tweeted last night: "Knicks gaining major ground in LeBron sweepstakes. Bosh snub hurts Cavs, though they're still in hunt."

The second comes from Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, who has been covering James since he was a high school freshman and knows how to read him him better than anyone outside of James' inner circle. Windhorst tweeted last night: "Suddenly it is clear to me. LeBron has changed. A new website. Starting Twitter. This announcement. This isn't the guy I know."

Windhorst also tweeted early this morning: "I'm told none of LeBron's suitors know his decision. It seems possible of all them could remain in dark leading up to tomorrow night."

The live-on-ESPN twist makes this super-interesting, especially if James is successful in keeping everyone in the dark until the zero hour. The man is one of the more media-savvy athletes the NBA has ever seen, although there was a time when he had his one, single bout with camera-shyness -- back in the spring of 2000 when he played for a district championship as a high-school freshman.

We know one thing for sure about LeBron's future: He is coming to New York this weekend, according to the New York Post, to attend Carmelo Anthony's wedding to LaLa Vazquez.

By then, we'll finally have word on whether the Knicks have landed the prize they've worked two years to land.

If not, there will still be plenty of long, hot summer days to debate and discuss whether J.J. Redick or one of the other remaining free agents can help the Knicks become a .500 team.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
23.7 3.2 0.9 36.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsA. Stoude... 7.4
AssistsJ. Calderon 4.2
StealsP. Prigioni 1.4
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2