It will be one of the two big storylines that follow the Heat all season (along with can they three-peat):
Will LeBron James bolt next summer for a new team?
He can and almost certainly will opt out of his contract at the end of this season, seeking the security of a longer deal (the Heat can give him five years, other teams four).
The theory LeBron bolts Miami goes like this: He went to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but Bosh has subjugated his game and Wade is slowing down with age, something that really showed the last couple years. LeBron will look at his situation, look at Wade’s play and bad knees, then bolt to go win titles somewhere else.
Wade wanted nothing to do with that at media day before the Heat open training camp.
LeBron refused to discuss free agency or if he’d opt out at media day.
LeBron’s decision is going to come down to more than just Wade’s play this season — at the heart of the question is does he trust Pat Riley to keep recruiting players and working the roster to keep a contending team around him in Miami?
Wade factors into that equation, but remember Wade and LeBron are friends and that factors in a lot, too. I still think it’s unlikely he bolts, but what he sees this season and what that could mean for the Heat going forward will play a role.
The NBA is still investigating and can take its own action. In theory people involved in the incident could decide to file a civil lawsuit (although Fisher said he would not).
However, Memphis’ Matt Barnes is not going to face any criminal charges for an altercation he instigated with Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher at the home of Barnes’ estranged wife in Los Angeles, according to police, who talked to TMZ.
Matt Barnes will NOT be charged with a crime for allegedly attacking Derek Fisher over the weekend … the Redondo Beach Police Department tells TMZ Sports.
Cops tell us they did respond to an incident and a police report was filed regarding the altercation — but officers say the case “was reviewed and there is no basis for criminal charges.” As we previously reported, a witness at the home says Barnes struck Fisher in the face and a fight ensued. However, the NY Post is reporting that Fisher did not want to pursue charges against Barnes.
Fisher has been seeing Gloria Govan — Barnes’ estranged wife and star of the “Basketball Wives” reality series — for several months, and was over at her house in the South Bay of Los Angeles Saturday night, along with other friends. Barnes said he got a call from one of his two sons, who “looked distressed” that Fisher was over, and that caused Barnes to drive over to the house. Once he arrived an altercation broke out between the two men, with Barnes allegedly texting a friend that he beat up Fisher and spat in his wife’s face. That’s not going to scar the young boy any further, well done.
If Barnes did this as described (and we don’t know the details), the NBA has to look hard at this. Barnes does not get to decide for a woman he is no longer seeing who she can and cannot see, and who she has over to her home. She is not property. That is the level of control seen in domestic abuse situations, and the league can’t sit back and tolerate it.
I like the Knicks’ offseason moves. Well, not blowing the meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge before it ever started — you say the right things and take him to a nice dinner because that is the kind of elite player you need to try to land. Take the meeting.
However, bringing in Robin Lopez and Arron Afflalo were smart pickups, and I like the Kristaps Porzingis draft pick more than many (although we need a couple of years to see how good he will really be). Combine that with a healthy Carmelo Anthony and…
The Knicks suck less. They aren’t good, but they aren’t embarrassing. And that is step one, as I discuss with Jenna Corrado in this latest PBT Extra.