|LeBron Watch, 9 a.m.: MSG stock falls in early trading||07.08.10 at 9:32 am ET|
Stock for Madison Square Garden Inc., which had surged to $21.47 per share Wednesday from $20.27 on July 6 amid speculation that LeBron James would join the Knicks, fell 4.6 percent to $20.58 after reports indicated it was unlikely James would land in New York.
Meanwhile, James’ Twitter account that he launched Tuesday was up to 292,000 followers as of 8:40 a.m. Wednesday, despite the fact that James posted just three tweets since its inception.
In gossip news, a man who claims to be James’ biological father is suing James, according to the celebrity news website TMZ. Leicester Bryce Stovell, 55, claims he is the victim of a DNA cover up by James’ mother, Gloria. Stovell said he met James’ mother in a Washington, D.C., bar in 1984, when she was 15 and he was 29, and had a sexual encounter with her. After losing contact for 20 years, Stovell got in touch in 2007 when he began to suspect LeBron was his son. James’ lawyer agreed to a paternity test that came back negative, but Stovell insists the test was tampered with.
|Report: Jermaine O’Neal leaning toward C’s||07.08.10 at 7:16 am ET|
According to Yahoo! Sports, center Jermaine O’Neal is poised to accept a two-year offer to join the Celtics. The 6-foot-11 O’Neal is believed to have been offered the $5.8 million mid-level exception.
A 13-year veteran, the 31-year-old O’Neal played the last two years in Miami. He averaged 13.6 points and 6.9 rebounds in 70 games last season after three injury-plagued seasons prior. He also reportedly has been considering offers from the Nuggets and Mavericks.
|LeBron Watch: Report indicates Miami is the choice||07.08.10 at 6:26 am ET|
According to reports from Newsday and ESPN, LeBron James has decided to sign with the Miami Heat, joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh there. James will announce his decision Thursday night at 9 p.m. in an ESPN special.
Shortly after midnight, Newsday‘s Alan Hahn tweeted that “multiple sources” indicated James had decided to pass on the Knicks and go to Miami.
The ESPN report by Chris Broussard followed about an hour later. It notes that James’ friend Chris Paul has urged the superstar to stay in Cleveland and play for new coach Byron Scott, who previously coached Paul in New Orleans, and that James could reconsider his choice. Other family and friends apparently also have reservations about how James would be perceived joining a power-packed team and if that would take away from his brand.
A report at Yahoo! Sports indicates that James’ representatives began calling free agents Wednesday to assess their interest in joining the new “Big Three” in Miami. The Heat have only two players under contract: forward Michael Beasley and point guard Mario Chalmers.
However, the Yahoo! report noted that James reserves the right to change his mind and sign with his hometown Cavaliers, who can pay him a six-year, $125 million contract, more than $30 million more than what he could get from the Heat.
“LeBron always waits until the last minute to make a decision,” Yahoo! quotes Chris Dennis, who used to run James’ foundation. “He always does.”
|Report: Bosh to join Wade with Heat||07.07.10 at 8:00 am ET|
According to an ESPN report, Dwyane Wade will re-sign with the Heat and be joined by Raptors free agent Chris Bosh. The players are expected to announce their decision Wednesday, one day before LeBron James declares his choice in an ESPN special Thursday night.
|LeBron to announce decision in Thursday TV special||07.07.10 at 6:47 am ET|
LeBron James will announce his plans for the future during a one-hour special on ESPN Thursday night at 9. ESPN reported that James’ representatives contacted the network and suggested the idea. James’ group reportedly plans to sell sponsorship and donate the proceeds to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
James did not speak to reporters when he made an appearance at his elite basketball camp Tuesday in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
Which team will LeBron James play for next season?
- Cavaliers (49%, 174 Votes)
- Knicks (19%, 66 Votes)
- Heat (13%, 45 Votes)
- Bulls (9%, 32 Votes)
- Nets (5%, 17 Votes)
- Other (4%, 14 Votes)
- Clippers (1%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 353
|Del Negro to coach Clippers||07.07.10 at 6:42 am ET|
Former Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro reached an agreement to become the next coach of the Clippers, according to multiple reports. Del Negro, a native of Springfield, Mass., was fired by the Bulls in May after going 82-82 over two seasons.
|Rivers: Sheed helps C’s by waiting||07.06.10 at 11:54 am ET|
Recent reports indicated that Rasheed Wallace might be reconsidering his decision to retire. Celtics coach Doc Rivers, however, said Monday from the Summer League in Orlando that Wallace is helping the team by delaying an official decision.
“He’s trying to help us out by waiting, which is good,” Rivers said in a story at AOL FanHouse. “He’s still our property so we can use that in a trade or something. He’s doing a great thing for us.”
Rivers said the chances that Wallace will return are “very little or none.”
Wallace is scheduled to make $6.32 next season and $6.79 million in 2011-12.