So the King of All Hype went down last night against the Boston Celtics. Obviously the entire basketball world is going to be all wrapped up around the LeBron hype machine in the coming months. I am not planning to follow all of that blow by blow. However, this angle courtesy of Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo! Sports is very interesting and relevant for those of us keeping track of recruiting in the college basketball world (emphasis added throughout):
"Me and my team, we have a game plan that we’re gong to execute," James said.
Yes, his team. That’s where James’ loyalties lie, where together they’ll chase the one title he’s forever chased: the biggest free agent of his generation.
Together, they’re going to hold the NBA hostage. They’re going to flush out a thousand scenarios, manipulate front-office decisions in Cleveland, New York, Chicago and beyond. Kentucky’s John Calipari is along for the ride, working with agent Leon Rose and middleman William Wesley, and all hell promises to break out now.
The plan they’re talking about includes Calipari coming to Cleveland as James’ hand-picked coach. "He’s got to listen if they come calling," a source close to Calipari told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday night. He was talking about the Cavaliers and Bulls, and Calipari’s camp is determined to open bidding to multiple teams.
Together, these narcissists will manufacture a drama that will undermine the conference and NBA Finals, the NBA draft and Fourth of July parades in small towns and big cities across America. James and the Cavs lost Game 6 of the conference semifinals to the Boston Celtics, 94-85, but he hardly seemed devastated in the losing locker room. James had a triple-double that was devalued with nine turnovers. He shot 44 percent for the series, turned the ball over 27 times and behaved like a lousy leader.
Okay the part of undermining about 4th of July is a little bit hilarious but the underlying point is very interesting. HT to SBN's Mike Prada for the piece, in which Adrian goes on to mention that James' crew is looking to "force an NBA market" for Calipari:
Brown goes now, and Calipari moves into the forefront of the discussion. James is forever seeking leverage, and hand-picking his own coach with the Cavs could be the most appealing part of staying with them. What James’ crew will do is force an NBA market for Calipari that exists in only two scenarios: The promise of keeping James or the promise of luring James away.
For Rose and Wesley to attach the prime years of James’ career to Calipari would speak more to an economic power play and monopoly than a functional, workable and winning NBA environment. For some college coaches, talk of them going to the NBA hurts their recruiting. It’s just the opposite for Calipari: It isn’t those stiff owners and GMs who want Calipari, but King James himself. Calipari tells the kids it’s all rumor, except for the part about James, the MVP, wanting him. The Bulls deliver the bonus of Derrick Rose(notes) as the star point guard, and Rose does love his old college coach at Memphis.
Yet, the desperation of Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert makes Calipari’s hiring at $5 million-$6 million a genuine possibility, should James simply say the word. Nevertheless, one Eastern Conference executive close to Ferry told Yahoo! Sports this week: “I think Danny would resign before he’d hire Cal.”
Should be interesting how all of this turns out.