July 8th, 2010: The end of the beginning?

Good morning, topcats. It's finally July 8th, which means that by midnight, we might actually be done guessing where the big-name free agents are headed. At 9 PM tonight, after some minutes of pageantry, LeBron James will announce what team he has chosen, and then he will sign with that team. Now, during the time I was asleep and blissfully unaware of free agency, (I dreamed I was a "laddersmith". I crafted ladders for all the townspeople.) shit got crazy. The word now is that LeBron James intends to sign with the Miami Heat, forming a hideous Cerberus with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. It's coming from national sources, but most importantly for us, it started with Alan Hahn. Hahn's just about the best reporter we've got in New York, so we're inclined to trust his every word. And I totally do. At the same time, though, there remains the distinct possibility that we are still being deceived-- not by Hahn, not by his sources, but by their sources. With all the secrecy shrouding this process, isn't it possible that LeBron and his henchmen are planting rumors and watching them grow? I'm not trying to manufacture hope here. I just won't believe anything until LeBron looks into the camera and tells us where he's headed. Shit, even then I probably won't believe him.

Oh, and if he does go to Miami? I don't care if he's ruining the NBA, or if he's a sell-out or a coward or a traitor or a tease or not the champion Kobe or Jordan was. I care about Donnie Walsh building a Knicks team designed to destroy him, his team, and every other team in the NBA. If and when James signs elsewhere, Walsh will have to get creative. It will mean that our summer is just beginning.

The potential sign-and-trade of David Lee to Golden State that's already been thoroughly discussed in these parts wouldn't be a bad start. Guys like Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike would be instantly useful (unless Kelenna's still hurt. Is he?), while Anthony Randolph is one of my favorite individuals to ever set foot on a basketball court.

Let's take this one day at a time, though. There will be a press conference to announce the signing of Amar'e Stoudemire at noon today. It will be televised on MSG, and also streaming on the MSG website. I'll be at work, but there will be a thread for anybody who's watching the thing to comment along. For now, relax. Eat a wholesome breakfast. Watch the brook babble. Tonight, this schizophrenic opening act to the Summer of 2010 should end. It'll be okay.

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