Free agency is nigh!

I've spent the past year and a half or so with hands over both ears, shouting "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" when people brought up 2010 free agency. The discussions about which free agents wanted to go where, which teams had cap space, and which celebrity chefs and strip clubs were in the picture came laden with too much hype and too little substance for my liking. With the July 2010 in the distant future, I preferred to just keep my head in the sand.

Now, not so much. July 1st is days away. The time has almost arrived for He Who Shall Not Be Named to be named. Instead of wild speculation and promises of My Chemical Romance tickets, we'll have meetings, offers, negotiations and, eventually, signings. After Thursday, the free agency pool will become clear. The bullshit will settle to the floor, and each of the big names will surface with a team (which is a pretty gross image when taken literally, especially in Chris Bosh's case for some reason.). It's kind of funny to me that, after all the posturing from teams, fanbases, media, and the players themselves, each free agent will sign with one team and one team only. A lot of very insistent people will prove to be flat-out wrong. That's how it has to happen.

Anyway, here's what seems to be factual at the moment:

From Isola:

The Knicks will get their audience with the King on Thursday.

A source confirmed Saturday that the Knicks will be one of the teams scheduled to make a presentation to LeBron James in Ohio on the first official day of free agency. The Nets, Bulls, Heat, Clippers and the Cavs are also meeting with James in his hometown of Akron during the first two to three days of free agency.

Knicks president Donnie Walsh, coach Mike D'Antoni and Walsh's special assistant, Allan Houston, are expected to make the trip. It is unclear if Garden chairman James Dolan will accompany the Knicks' contingent.

And from ESPN's Ian O'Connor:

Meanwhile, as James makes the Knicks play this high-stakes game on his home court, fellow blue-chip recruits Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have agreed to make campus visits to New York.

Knicks officials are hoping to convince James to ultimately travel to New York for a news conference that would mark the franchise's biggest day since the 1973 championship.

Wade and Bosh already have committed to a New York visit to see and hear a presentation on why they should gamble the balance of their primes on the Knicks -- with or without James in the lineup.

So, that's wassup. Like our friend Dan says, it's tough to know how to feel and what to expect. Media folks and their sources will point us in all different directions, so we've just got to do our best to follow the facts. Get ready for a wacky couple of weeks.

Update: And, right on time, Chris Broussard just twat a bunch of relevant stuff:

Knicks' first free agent meeting will be with Joe Johnson at midnite EST July 1. Sources say NYK Johnson's first choice.

After meeting J.Johnson on July 1 in LA, where it will be 9 p.m. June 30, Knicks will then fly to see Stoudemire in Phx the same night

Finally, at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Knicks will meet with LeBron in northeast Ohio

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