James, according to the source, is in discussions with Nike to create a new shoe for every visit along his free agent path starting July 1. The shoes would have the date of the visit printed, with James already having scripted his itinerary for the Free Agency Tour 2010.
The source insists that he’ll head for New York first to visit with the Knicks, and then spend time with the Nets. Chicago will be next, with the Bulls hoping he wants to follow in the footsteps of Michael Jordan and become the Windy City’s beloved star. Depending on the level of sustained public interest and the discussions with the teams in the respective cities, James will decide at that point whether to continue on to Miami and possibly Los Angeles to see the Clippers.
Remember, this is coming from a source, but if it’s true — as Charlie Brown would say…good grief!
First, the fact that he’s planning to hawk shoes for all these different cities seems a little shady, especially since he’ll be saying “no” to every team but one. On top of that, depending on “the level of sustained public interest,” he may go to Miami and Los Angeles as well. In other words, he doesn’t plan to sign with either team, but if the public is interested in his free agent courtship, he’ll go to those cities to hold a media event or two and hawk more sneakers.
Not only is this plan ridiculously egotistical, but it will effectively hold the free agency process hostage until he’s done selling shoes and basking in the collective love from fans around the country.
However, by creating such a spectacle, he definitely runs the risk of alienating fans of those teams he rejects, and if he’s not careful, he could become one of the most reviled players in the league. LeBron would be wise to realize that his reputation is not bulletproof.
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