Teams, some in LeBron James camp caught off-guard by television program


Thumbnail image for LeBron_solo.jpgYou thought the LeBron James television special idea came out of the blue, imagine the teams that have been courting him?

According to Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, officials from the teams that met with LeBron did not know of the television special until the word broke on ESPN last night. Here is his tweet:

Teams & even several people in James own camp were blindsided when hearing about ESPN show.

I’m told none of LeBron’s suitors know his decision. It seems possible of all them could remain in dark leading up to tomorrow night.

ESPN will broadcast LeBron’s decision as part of an hour-long special Thursday night. The idea was hatched by LeBron’s shrinking inner circle, who took it to ESPN. As part of the deal, LeBron’s team will sell sponsorships to the show, with the money going to the Boys & Girls Club of America.

It seems impossible — and even more egomaniacal — to have Cleveland learn if its heart is broken on national television. Same with the other cities that will feel shunned if and when James turns his attention to whatever city he chooses.

This all has the potential to be a public relations disaster for James.

Greg Smith fails physical, will not join Pelicans

Greg Smith
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With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.

Greg Smith was going to be that man, but the 24-year-old failed his physical, reports the Times-Picayune.

The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.

And so the search goes on.

The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.

With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.

Kevin Durant with huge dunk on visiting Fenerbahce Ulker

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Welcome to America, Fenerbahce Ulker.

The Turkish powerhouse was in America playing some exhibition games this preseason, and they got a first-hand reminder that Kevin Durant is back. KD had 13 points in the Thunder’s easy 111-81 win.

Not to be outdone, Russell Westbrook got in on the act.