The two times LeBron James has decided to switch teams, he has taken his time with his decisions — once it was announced on July 8, once on July 11.
This time feels a little different — LeBron will have already decided whether or not to opt into his contract for next season, which either way limits his options a little (that deadline is Friday). Also, he’s not going to sit through a bunch of elaborate pitch meetings this time around, he doesn’t need to feel recruited.
So how much faster will a decision come this time? The well-connected Brian Windhorst said on The Lowe Post podcast last Friday (hat tip Bleacher Report).
“Everybody will be on holiday on July 4. It will be over by then.”
I hope he’s right, for selfish reasons.
But it’s not my reality the NBA takes July 4 off. I live on a block in Long Beach (Cali) that hosts and awesome, throw-back style Fourth of July block party complete with a guy dressed up as Uncle Sam on stilts walking around, a watermelon eating contest, and a
drunken limbo contest. And every year since Steve Nash decided to be a Laker, at some point I have had to put down my beer and walk back into my house and write an NBA free agent story. Or stories.
The goal here isn’t sympathy, it’s just to note that at the peak of NBA free agency things do not slow down that much for grilled hot dogs and fireworks.
Either LeBron will not have made a decision, which means the maneuvering to land him will not end and the rumors will keep flying on the Fourth. Also, decisions on the future of Paul George and other top free agents which are in some ways tied to LeBron will continue to be in motion on the fourth if LeBron has yet to make his call.
LeBron is the biggest domino on the board, which means that if he decides where he wants to go on July 2 or 3, then all the other dominoes behind him will start to fall, and that will not end on the fourth.
Which is to say, if I were a fan I’d still check NBA Twitter (and NBCSports.com, or the NBC Sports Talk app) all day through the Fourth of July.