Tuesday, May 25
The latest news and rumors surrounding The King.
Biggest Player In LeBron Sweepstakes
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LeBron's relationship with rapper/music mogul Jay-Z is well-known. But according to Sonny Vaccaro (the sneaker king who founded the now-defunct Adidas ABCD camp and has known LeBron since he was a ninth-grader), Jay-Z could have the biggest influence on LeBron's free agency decision. In fact, his influence may even trump that of LeBron's childhood friend/business manager, Maverick Carter, NBA matchmaker and confidant William "Worldwide" Wesley and agent Leon Rose. Plus, Jay-Z is part-owner of the Nets ... and he's married to Beyonce. (I just added the last one because I like the song "Sweet Dreams.")

Barkley's Guarantee

Sorry Mark Cuban, but Charles Barkley "guarantees" LeBron will not go to Dallas. The Round Mound of Rebound told a Dallas radio station Monday that for the Mavs to acquire King James, it would have to come in a sing-and-trade deal (as Cuban has previously suggested), and that if that happens, the team wouldn't have enough left to win a title. "If they do a sign-and-trade, they have to get rid of their old team and keep Dirk Nowitzki. And him and Dirk alone wouldn't be enough to win the championship," said Barkley. He narrowed LeBron's likely destinations to Cleveland, New York and Chicago, with winning being the motivating factor in the decision.

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What happens to the city of Cleveland if LeBron leaves? Cavs fans have feared the worst since the start of the 2009-10 season, as evidenced by this video from November. The fine folks at Pleasedontleave23.com imagined what the city might feel like post-LeBron in this commercial. Hey Cleveland, keep your head up! At least you got Leon Powe locked up.

Bloomberg: Help Wanted

As we've learned over the past week, there is no level to which a city, or its foremost public figures, won't stoop in order to court LeBron. So for New York's Mayor Bloomberg, there is no shame in his game. Then again, in terms of actual success, posting a Craigsist ad for LeBron might not be the best way to go. The Mayor joked about doing so before speaking at a technology conference in Manhattan, proving that no subject is safe from LeBron talk, not even a bunch of nerds who care more about IBM than LBJ.

<a href=Lakers Fans Uneasy About Phil" title="Lakers Fans Uneasy About Phil"/>

The Phil Jackson-LeBron combo deal is getting so much play that Lakers fans are getting antsy, and are urging the L.A. front office to lock up the Zen Master before he can join James elsewhere. Whether it's in New Jersey, Chicago, or Cleveland, the media has dumped John Calipari in favor of LeBron's new rumored coaching crush. Jackson will command a boatload of cash this summer, and so will LeBron, so who's willing to pay up?

Political Interference
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LeBron to Chicago, Day 2: In an interview with TNT's Marv Albert (which will air in full before Game 4 of the Western Conference finals tonight), President Obama weighs in on LeBron's pending decision. The former Illinois senator and Bulls fan says he could definitely see LeBron fitting in with the team. Of course, all this talk pulls at the heartstrings of SI.com's Joe Posnanski.

Webber Weighs In

Chris Webber wants a say in all this LeBron hysteria. His prediction: The King won't be in Chicago next season. Nor will Phil Jackson.

Got More LeBron Stuff?

Click here to send a link or comment to SI.com's NBA editor, Nicki Jhabvala.


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