The ‘real’ free agent summit

Lebron James, baring his soul?

LeBron James walks into the room, looking sporty in a black suit and wine-colored tie. The Nike swoosh is evident on his lapel. He stands at the head of the table and greets his guests.

This is the real free agent summit.

LeBron: “I want to thank each of you for coming. I understand that this is a day a lot of us have been waiting for, and while I know each of you were hoping to sit down with me one-on-one, I just figured it’d be easier if we were all in the same room together. Maybe we can get this done a lot faster that way.”

LeBron surveys the room for a reaction. Men in expensive Italian suits nod their heads and nervously look around at each other.

LeBron: “So, where should we start?”

More nervous movements by some of the wealthiest men in the world. A couple of them begin to stammer or move to the edge of their seats. One of them stands.

James Dolan, New York Knicks owner: “LeBron, what’s happening, my man? I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we are so happy to be here. You are the prize cat that we’ve all been waiting for.”

LeBron: “Um, thanks, Mr. Dolan.”

"Madison Square Garden!"

Dolan: “Call me Jimmy, King.”

Miami Heat President Pat Riley: “Look, LeBron, let’s get down to brass tacks.”

James motions to one of his advisors. The older one, who’s 28. “Brass tacks?” LeBron asks quietly. “I think it’s some old dude phrase,” the advisor whispers.


Riley: “Listen, we all know why we’re here. We want you to play for our team. But let me make this abundantly clear — nobody else can offer you what Miami can.”

LeBron: “Three max free agents? Me, Wade and Bosh?”

Riley, coolly: “South Beach in winter.”

LeBron: “Good call, Riles. Gotta be careful, though. Remember Tiger?”

L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling: “LeBron, come to Cali. We’re a team on the rise. Compete head-to-head with Kobe. Whaddya think?”

Play for sterling, and your knee will explode.

LeBron: “No offense, Mr. Sterling, but I’d like to keep my knees in one piece, thank you. And, um, why aren’t you wearing a suit?”

Dolan: “Have I mentioned that I’m in my own rock band?”

LeBron: “Yes. It was in the packet you sent over. Page 1, in fact. I thought it was interesting how there was nothing about Isiah in there.”

Dolan: “Madison Square Garden!”

LeBron: “OK, thank you, Mr. Dolan.”

A loud beeping noise fills the room. The owners are shaken.

Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf: “What on earth is that?!”

LeBron: “That’s Mark Cuban. He just logged onto Skype.”

Organizations win championships. Organizations with really, really good players.

Reinsdorf: “I’ll ask again, what on earth is that?”

LeBron, turning to the large projector screen at the front of the room: “Mr. Cuban, I can see you.”

Would you want to play for this guy? Of course you would.

Cuban: “Hey, LeBron. Just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Jason and Dirk are on board. Have you talked with Danny about the sign-and-trade yet?”

LeBron, turning to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert: “Uh, well, no, not yet.”

Cuban: “Danny, whaddya think? Got an expiring in Erick Dampier. Maybe you want Haywood. Or Butler. C’mon Danny, make me an offer.”

Dolan: “Madison Square Garden!”

Gilbert: “Let me make one thing clear here, Mark. You really think I’m going to allow the best player in the world to skip town with an extra $30 million from me? If he doesn’t want to stay, why in God’s name should I enable him to go to a place of his choosing? Huh? Why would I do that? If he wants to leave…um, uh…”

Cuban: “What were you saying, Danny? Care to finish that thought?”

Home court advantage?

Gilbert: “Um, nothing. Don’t mind me. I’m just here to do whatever LeBron wants.”

Reinsdorf: “LeBron, look. The Bulls organization is one that has already made the playoffs. The organization has few poor contracts holding the team down. The organization has all the pieces you need. The organization is ready to win championships.”

Riley: “LeBron, son, listen to me. I will coach you. OK? I will coach you. And Dwyane. And Chris. Together, I will win.”


LeBron: “Um, well, thanks everybody for coming out. I’ll be making my decision soon. I think that’s everyone.”

“Not everyone,” a voice calls from the back. Lurking in the shadows, a striking 6-foot-8 figure emerges, his lean body encased in cigar smoke.

LeBron: “Mr. Prokhorov. Of course. Sir, please have a seat.”

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov: “Meester LeBron, you must give Nets a chance. We will own NBA. It is ours. You, me and Meester Z.”

LeBron: “Mr. Z, huh?”

If he dies, he dies.

Prokhorov: “Soon, the whole world will know my name.”

LeBron: “I believe that.”

Prokhorov, shaking his fist: “I win for me! FOR ME!”

LeBron: “Okaaaayyyyy…”

Prokhorov: “I cannot be defeated. I beat all man. Someday, I will beat a real champion.”

Dolan, sweating profusely now: “MADISON SQUARE GARDEN!”

Prokhorov, staring at Dolan: “You will lose.”


Prokhorov: “I must break you.”

LeBron: “Guys, guys, calm down, OK? Look, I’ll have a decision for you next week. Thanks for coming. No bloodshed, OK?”

Prokhorov: “If he dies, he dies.”


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Filed under Alex Podlogar, Cleveland Cavaliers, Designated Hitter, LeBron James, NBA, NBA Playoffs, Sports, Sports columns, The Sanford Herald

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