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July 8, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Chris Sheridan

Chris Sheridan
  (12:04 PM)

Good afternoon. Apologies that this software does not appear to give you a direct link, so plz cut and paste this: we'll discuss it some more during this chat. Also, I will post a link on Twitter (@CSheridanESPN) later to a radio hit I did this morning with Seth Everett on 1050ESPN in NY.

J Duke (Naperville, IL)

If all the reports are true and Miami does secure James, what does this mean for Bosh? What I mean is, what are the chances, both monetarily and practically, that the Heat acquire a center. Bosh has already stated, adamantly, that he does not want to play center. If Lebron does sign somewhere else, do you see Miami making a run for Shaq again?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:06 PM)

They have made a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Joel Anthony, so they can match any offer he gets. There's your center. Also, I could see Jamaal Magloire signing on for the vet's minimum. There's your beast off the bench.

Ben (NYC)

At this point in the r the chances looking that the Lebron chooses NYK tonight?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:07 PM)

Better than most are believing. The winds constantly shift on this story, you may have noticed.

Steve (LI)

How can LeBron announce he is going to Miami when he will be making his decision in Greenwich. This would make knick fans irate

Chris Sheridan
  (12:10 PM)

The Knicks fans in Greenwich, at least the ones with season tickets, all work at hedge fund firms in Greenwich but will be home by the time The Decision comes on at 9 p.m. As as for Knicks fans being irate, they'll have to get in line behind the Cleveland fans.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:12 PM)

Greenwich makes some sense because Jay-Z has a place there. I would imagine that might be one of the sites of some pre-wedding revelry for those in town for the Carmelo Anthony-La La Vazquez wedding. (Hecklers/IrateKnicksFans, by the way, are not welcome outside the site of the nuptuals.)

Andrew (Miami)

aren't people forgetting the 6'11 and 6'10 Heat draft picks, one of whom is the NCAA career shot blocking leader, not to mention Da'Sean Butler?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:13 PM)

No, haven't forgotten them (nor Patrick Beverly). They are all mentioned in the latest LBJ piece I posted to the Knicks Blog and True Hoop earlier today.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:14 PM)

BTW, there's also a good James Jones conspiracy theory in there.

Bob (Philadelphia, PA)

A true competitor needs to beat the best, not join the best. No way a true competitor plays second banana to Wade, and make no mistake, in Miami he's the second banana. Is LeBron wired that way?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:14 PM)

Something I am sure he is considering as he makes up his mind.

Kevin ('Brontanamo Bay)

If you had to put forward one argument (preferably a fact and not a theory, I guess) that should encourage Knicks fans, what would it be?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:17 PM)

The infrastructure for LeBron to become a true global icon and billionaire, which he aspires to be, is located in New York. Also, it is his favorite city. He said so himself at Rockefeller Center in July 2008 before Team USA left for Beijing (although he also mentioned that Brooklyn is his favorite borough). He was in full flirtation mode that day.

Mike (Virginia)

Chris, what do you believe are immediate plans for the NYK if 'Bron does not choose them?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:19 PM)

Spend their remaining cap money likes misers, or hang onto a bunch, and find the best David Lee sign-and-trade deal. They gained a couple extra million in additional cap room (beyond the space they already had for two max players) yesterday when the cap came in $2M higher than David Stern said it would back in mid-April.

Joe (Hong Kong)

So how apocalyptic will the scene be in Cleveland tonight?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:20 PM)

The LeBrocalypse.

Zack (OHIO)

Do you think LeBron will stay with the Cavs?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:20 PM)

Maybe. I have not received definitive word that he has 100 percent made up his mind.

Drew (Boston)

Do you find it funny that people will criticize LeBron for being selfish but then also criticize the MIA move where he would be going to join up as a team with 2 stars and not trying to be the alpha dog as much? Probably with a paycut as well. It would be impressive to me and show LeBron's commitment to winning and team.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:22 PM)

Drew, that is a well-written counter to the argument that LeBron couldn't exist as Robin to Wade's Batman. (Bosh becomes Alfred the Butler, for those of you who grew up watching Adam West on TV.)

Richard (Toronto, Canada)

What are your thoughts about a sign and trade being completed between the Heat and Raptors? do you think he signs for less money with the Heat if LBJ decides he's going to Miami?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:25 PM)

Despite the Raptors' posturing, at the end of the day they are better off walking away with a $16.5 million trade exception than with nothing. Toronto then could acquire $16.5 worth of salaries without having to trade any outgoing salary. It's the same reason why the Suns are willing to do a sign-and-trade with Knicks for Amare, and the same reason why Sam Presti took back a second-round pick for Rashard Lewis a few years ago when Lewis left the Sonics for Orlando.

Ben D (Toronto)

As the countdown to tonight's 'decision' nears, what are the feelings of the rest of league? Obviously not everyone would feel the same as Stan Van, but others must have similar feelings regarding this 'event' and the circus it has become. What is your take?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:28 PM)

My take is I am tired/excited. The sense I get from folks at the league office and from people around the league is that this is an unprecedented amount of publicity for the league at a time when NBA interest is typically dormant except among the most hardcore of fans. With this LeBron story, the NBA has transcended sports and moved over into the mainstream news chatter. That helps make NBA fans out of non-fans, and that is a good thing for the NBA.

Rob P (Owensboro, KY)

If no Lebron will we see S&T for Al Harrington or for any other player besides David Lee.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:30 PM)

Knicks have sign-and-trade rights to Eddie House and Tracy McGrady, too. I would expect Donnie Walsh would explore every possibility in regards to use those assets. Remember, he is a very smart man. He attended Fordham Prep.

Ryan (MN)

Kobe has to be licking his chops at the prospect of battling Miami especially if they get LeBron...Kobe is the most competitive player since Jordan

Chris Sheridan
  (12:31 PM)

I would have to agree with that, and I'd imagine we'd get to watch that around 5:30 p.m. on Christmas Day.

George (Chicago)

Could LeBron surprise us all and sign with the Bulls, where I think he has the best chance to win now. No one is talking about the Bulls, so could all the chatter be a smokescreen to keep us in suspense where we will be surprised when he announces he is going to bulls?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:33 PM)

As I was reading your post, George, a txt message popped up from a prominent agent. It contained 3 words: "Anything can happen."

Steve (Pittsburgh)

now the word is out that he has rented space for a huge party in Miami this weekend to celebrate his signing.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:36 PM)

So you're telling me he is skipping Carmelo's wedding? C'mon. The rumor mill is out of control. There was a wild one yesterday in NY at 2 p.m. that Amare, LeBron and Allan Houston were eating lunch at Sparks Steak House, the site of Paul Castellano's last meal. The thing spread like wildfire, but Amare was in Phoenix and LeBron was in Akron, where the Nike security people threw all the reporters out into the 95 degree heat just as LeBron was beginning his workout. I am told, however, that the security people were less rude than they had been on Tuesday.

Gill (New York)

Considering Stan Van Gundy's hilarious comments on the entire process, including remarks dissing LeBron and Bosh, are you as excited about the prospect of an inter-Florida, Orlando-Miami rivalry?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:39 PM)

I am excited any time Stan speaks his mind, which he does about once every three months. Probably the most genuine guy among the 30 coaches when it comes to telling it like it really is. Loved it two years ago at the finals when he went on one of his rants, which he began in his typical fashion: "I don't want to criticize the NCAA, but ..." and then he absolutely butchered the NCAA. Stan is The Man.

robert (ny)

i am a huge lebron fan and basketball fan in general, and i love watching him play the way he dominates games and takes them over.. but i do think all that is going on is hurting his image.. i'm from buffalo and know about heartache in sports and would feel for cleveland if he did that to them. do you think he could? on live tv?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:42 PM)

If he is leaving Cleveland, I would think he would have something to say to the folks in Ohio before he announces where he's going. And I would hope he says something from the heart, unscripted, because is it looks like someone ghostwrote his statement for him, they'd dislike him even more.

Justin (New York, NY)

Do you realize the Knicks will have given away top-10 lottery picks in 2004, '06, '07, '09, '10 and, potentially, '11 and '12 without making the playoffs or landing one superstar? How is that even possible?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:43 PM)

Well, they do have a bit of a checkered draft history, you know. Do the names Jerrod Mustaf, Brian Quinnett and/or Frederic Weis ring a bell?

Boone (NY)

If Lebron doesnt choose to come to NY, will he get the Reggie Miller treatment whenever he plays at MSG?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:45 PM)

No, because the Knicks will continue to draw tourists as they've been doing for the past 5 years. The tourists love to cheer for LeBron.

Dave (North Bergen)

If we can't get the big dog tonight, what do you think of plan B? Getting Anthony Randolph from GS is a nice building block, he is a classic Mike D'Antoni stretch 4. I really like that trade. What are your thoughts on this trade?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:46 PM)

If they can get both Monta Ellis and Anthony Randolph for Lee, that's probably a good trade. But Randolph would play behind Stoudemire, and he is especially raw.

Matt (Miami)

It seems that Lebron has placed himself in a no win situation from a PR perspective. He and his team have played this in a way that will make him a villan in every city that he does not go to. I understand that he and his advisors viewed free agency as a promotional opportunity, but doesnt he end up doing more harm than good to his "Brand" by turning 3-4 of the largest markets in the country against him when they arent selected?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:48 PM)

I can't really disagree with your point, Matt.

Jason (NYC)

Do the Knicks get to spend the MLE if they make a S&T for Lee or anyone else?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:49 PM)

Mid-level exception is not available to under-the-cap teams.

Jason (Cleveland)

How did the Cavaliers survive if LeBron says no? Is there a real chance of relocation?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:51 PM)

They'll survive. Dan Gilbert is building a casino right next door to the Q Arena, and it'll be in his interests to remake the Cavs into a team that'll continue to draw folks downtown.

Joe (New York)

What do you think the percent chance of LeBron going to New York is?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:52 PM)


Jack (NYC)

Any idea what the nets are going to do now?

Chris Sheridan
  (12:54 PM)

Still believe they will go after David Lee if they miss out on LeBron. But they'll have to overpay, and they may have competition, because Knicks will try to use him in a sign-and-trade in which Lee would get a six-year deal instead of five, and with 10.5 percent annual raises instead of 8 percent. But Prokhorov has said he wants to turn Knicks fans into Nets fans, and that would be one sure way to start heading down that road.

Emo (NY)

I can't imagine Lebron going on TV tonight and not announcing he is staying in Cleveland...I'm a diehard NYK fan, but the way this whole thing has played out...I'm disgusted with Lebron unless he announces he is staying....unless he's coming to the Knicks, in which case I'll be ecstatic.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:56 PM)

I'm not so sure you schedule a one-hour nationally televised special to announce you are staying. It'd be like Al Capone's Vault 2.0.

John (LA)

The Knicks draw a lot of tourists? I thought they had a lot of loyal fans.

Chris Sheridan
  (12:57 PM)

They have a ton of loyal fans, plus a ton of season-ticket holders who sell their ducats on StubHub and Craigslist.

Bobby (LA)

Is there any chance LeBron says he needs another week tonight so he can have another press conference next week?

Chris Sheridan
  (1:00 PM)

I believe we have our exception to the "Anything Can Happen" rule. Thanks, Bobby.

Chris Sheridan
  (1:01 PM)

OK, folks. That's a wrap. Only 8 hours left.