Thursday came and went, and police gathered in front of LeBron James’s house in Akron, Ohio, and then they left, and then James flew back to Miami with Dwyane Wade and please make it stop.
Anyway, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski has the details on “The No-Decision”:
Hours after the Cleveland Cavaliers believed they were on the cusp of a commitment out of LeBron James, the superstar free agent jetted 30,000 feet over America with Dwyane Wade on his way back to Miami.
The fight for the generation’s biggest free agent raged out of the desert and back to the shores of Biscayne Bay on Thursday night, with James tempering a brimming belief within the Cavaliers into a trepidation that Wade could be playing the part of Pat Riley’s closer for the Miami Heat. …
The Cavaliers were told to clear max salary-cap space for James, and they did so at an extreme price – a starting center and a 2016 lottery pick to the Boston Celtics. When paperwork was slow to be filed to finalize the three-way deal on Thursday morning, Cavaliers officials were imploring Boston and Brooklyn executives to speed up the process, that it was imperative the deal be finalized and Cleveland officials could be prepared to present James with a max contract with a starting salary of $20.7 million, sources said.
Calls were going to agents, searching for the kind of experienced, winning players who would make sense in a supporting cast for James, league sources said. Some agents postponed potential deals elsewhere, believing Cleveland’s exuberance to be an assurance James was on his way back.
In the late morning, the Cavaliers operated with a belief James would soon commit to them, that it was only a matter of time. They had word out of everyone, except as one high-ranking source said, “It still hasn’t been confirmed by the only man whose confirmation counts.”
The sticking point? The comic-sans masterpiece penned by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert four years ago after James jilted Cleveland for Miami. So says ESPN’s Chris Broussard:
One reason, if not the major reason, that LeBron James has taken so long to decide whether to play in Miami or Cleveland next season is the infamous letter Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert penned about James after the superstar left Cleveland in 2010, sources said.
In the letter, written in Comic Sans font, Gilbert called James a “coward” and mocked the many nicknames and catchphrases attached to James, such as “King James,” “The Chosen One” and “Witness.”
The letter remained on the Cavs’ website for the past four years until the team removed it earlier this week.
While James recognizes that informing Cavs fans and Gilbert, who was told of James’ decision to leave Cleveland in a telephone call five minutes before it was announced, on national television was a mistake, he is still wrestling with whether or not to return to play for Gilbert’s team.
“If it wasn’t for that letter, this would’ve been done awhile ago,” one source said.
But Gilbert wrote that letter, using a font usually reserved for a child’s birthday-party invitation. And here we are, waiting.
On Friday, it might be Miami’s turn to get its hopes up.
Across the league, team officials wondering if the idea that LBJ is suddenly hung up on @CavsDan letter is softening ground for Miami return
— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) July 11, 2014