LeBron James goes to Miami

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Thumbnail image for wade_bosh-James.jpgLeBron James is joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat, forming the best threesome the league has seen in decades.

He made it official on his nationally televised ESPN special.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said on the show. “I can’t say I dreamed about it because I didn’t think it was possible.”

“I think championships are championships. You
can’t look at it and say if I had won it somewhere else it would be
sweeter.”

LeBron has been in the middle of a self-created hype storm — one that may well damage his image.

He just went on national television and ripped the heart out of his hometown. He just became a bigger villain in Cleveland than Art Modell. And Judas himself was more welcome in Cleveland than Modell. Cleveland has had its heart broken so many times — Willy Mays making “the catch,” then “the drive” and “the fumble,” then Michael Jordan hitting a shot over Craig Ehlo. And that’s a partial list.

“It’s hard to explain, but the seven years I gave to the city was everything… I never wanted to leave Cleveland,” James said.

All the hype for a decision that other players made quietly hurts him. Kevin Durant just accepted a max deal and announced it on twitter while going to Summer League games to cheer on teammates. Kobe did it mid-season with minimal fanfare. Even Wade and Bosh only did a 15-minute, middle-of-the-day interview.

He says he felt like he let a lot of people down, but the chance to pair up with Bosh and Wade made the decision. He said it was what was best for him.

Are Bulls and Dwyane Wade moving toward a buyout?

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About a month ago, the Bulls said they hadn’t discussed a buyout with Dwyane Wade.

Have the two sides progressed since?

Nick Friedell of ESPN:

Dwyane Wade isn’t long for the organization’s future and is expected to reach a buyout agreement at some point in the next few months.

Expected by whom?

People with direct knowledge of momentum toward a buyout?

Or everyone who can see that a 35-year-old earning $23.8 million fits poorly on a rebuilding team?

For the Bulls to now drop their biggest name and a large expiring contract that could prove useful in trades should require Wade surrendering a large portion of his salary. He doesn’t sound like someone inclined to do that yet.

A few months is a long time. As long as Wade gets bought out by March 1, he could join another team’s playoff roster. It’d surprise nobody if he gets bought out after the February trade deadline, which we already knew. I don’t see strong indication of something more imminent.

LeBron James’ camp already shooting down leaving-Cavaliers rumor

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LeBron James has done a terrible job shooting down rumors about him leaving the Cavaliers

Except this one from Chris Sheridan, who cited a source saying LeBron would “100 percent” leave Cleveland next summer due to a rift with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert.

Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com:

Sheridan’s source saying LeBron is leaving doesn’t make that true. But other anonymous sources denying it doesn’t make the denials true, either.

New Orleans Saints fire Pelicans’ team physician

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The Pelicans have been crushed by injuries the last few years.

Why? That’s an incredibly complex question.

But the New Orleans Saints – who share an owner (Tom Benson), a front-office leader (Mickey Loomis) and other staff with the Pelicans – have found culprits for their own injury woes.

Mike Triplett of ESPN:

The Saints have fired team orthopedists Deryk Jones and Misty Suri, per source, after it was discovered that CB Delvin Breaux has a fractured fibula and will require surgery expected to sidelined him for 4-6 weeks. Breaux was originally diagnosed with a contusion

Suri is a Pelicans team physician.

Scott Kushner of The Advocate:

Fairly or not, Suri – after the Saints deemed him unacceptable – will be in the crosshairs if he keeps his job with the the Pelicans and their injury woes continue.

Rumor: LeBron James ‘100 percent’ leaving Cavaliers next summer

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Chris Sheridan was ahead of the crowd in 2014, reporting LeBron James would likely leave the Heat for the Cavaliers – which obviously happened.

But Sheridan called it a “90 percent chance,” a small – but large enough – hedge. He also said LeBron would announce the decision on LeBron’s personal website. Of course, LeBron revealed his choice in a Sports Illustrated essay.

So, maybe Sheridan knows what he’s talking about. Maybe he doesn’t.

But the longtime NBA writer just fanned the flames of the already hot LeBron-leaving-Cleveland rumors.

Sheridan:

Of course, the denials came quickly.

There have already been plenty of warning signs about LeBron’s relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, which didn’t restart in a great place.

It’s entirely believable LeBron would leave Cleveland, in large part due to Gilbert.

But it’s also fun to speculate about that salacious storyline.

Maybe Sheridan or his source got carried away for that very reason. Or maybe they know something.

Neither possibility should be discounted.