Whither Will LeBron Alight?

LeBron James is having more meetings than a House subcommittee. He's met with the Clippers, Knicks, Heat and Nets, and he's got dates with the Bulls and Cavaliers too. Where will he choose to earn his next millions? Host Scott Simon talks with NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman about the free agency frenzy surrounding NBA star LeBron James, plus the latest from Wimbledon, the World Cup and the Tour de France.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

And let's turn now to sports.

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: And the big breaking story this weekend isn't on a playing field. LeBron James is having more meetings than the House subcommittee - with the Clippers, the Knicks, the Heat and the Nets. Today was the Bulls and the Cavs. What great urban area will receive the LeBron James million, multi-million stimulus aid package?

NPR's sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us. Morning, Tom, how are you?

TOM GOLDMAN: Good morning, Scott.

SIMON: All this excitement. So where's he going to go?

GOLDMAN: I'm glad you asked. I'm sitting here with this crystal ball, Scott, and I'm seeing - let's see - I'm seeing Dorothy and a tornado and Auntie Em...

(Soundbite of laughter)

GOLDMAN: ...but no basketball players.

SIMON: Tune your crystal ball to another channel, my friend. Yes.

GOLDMAN: Scott, I have no idea. No one has any idea. The players probably have no idea. We have heard that Dwayne Wade, who was apparently a lock to stay in Miami, is giving consideration to Chicago's wooing, which I assume is more than a big bouquet of roses and a box of chocolates. Will he team up with LeBron or Chris Bosch in Chicago? Will LeBron stay in his home state of Cleveland? You notice I'm simply posing questions.

SIMON: Yeah, you're making, yeah, you're making - a time honored way we have in this business of avoiding answering the question, Tom.

GOLDMAN: Yes. Yes.

SIMON: Well, and, of course, I mean, to our knowledge he hasn't made a decision, so how could you know it? I do got another question though.

GOLDMAN: Yes, sir.

SIMON: Why didn't his price go down after a tepid performance in the playoffs?

GOLDMAN: Oh, we all forget those kinds of things. Sports is littered with moments when athletes seem to just, you know, pull off a horrible moment. And then, you know, people forget. And the fact is all LeBron has to do is win one, two, three, six championships and people will have forgotten what happened this year in the playoffs against the Boston Celtics.

SIMON: But he kind of has to sign somewhere where he can go and win a championship ASAP, doesn't he?

GOLDMAN: Yeah, he does. I mean, the clock is ticking. But it should be noted that Michael Jordan, the gold standard for today's players, he didn't win his first title until he was 28, and LeBron is 25. So he's got a little bit of time. But, you know, with Kobe Bryant out there collecting rings seemingly every year and still young enough to get more, LeBron probably needs to get going kind of soon.

SIMON: Wimbledon today, Roger Federer this week to a guy who was rated 12th. Have we seen the best of Roger Federer?

GOLDMAN: Oh, I hope not. You know, he's been such a great player to watch. He's been a great champion, the holder of the most Grand Slam titles, at 16. But, you know, after two straight quarter final exits in Grand Slam tournaments, you're starting to hear it from the commentators and the columnists.

Federer's a month away from being 29. In elite tennis that does seem to be when the decline starts. Now, you can see him roaring back and winning the U.S. Open. But the unfortunate part if this is, the beginning of the slide, is we may not get much more of a wonderful rivalry between Federer and Rafael Nadal.

SIMON: And let me just note the Tour de Steroids begins today in France. And, Tom - (makes funny horn sound) - I have a, whatever they call it - that funny -(makes funny horn sound) - horn in the studio. World Cup is winding down, quarter finals are here. Netherlands over Brazil, was that a great game. And then Uruguay over Ghana, heartrending ending.

GOLDMAN: Oh...

SIMON: Yeah, that was sad. Spain and Paraguay later today, what do you see?

GOLDMAN: Well, Spain is better. And they also have bulletin board material from the ever-talkative coach of Argentina, Diego Maradona, who said that Spain benefited from horrible officiating to reach the quarterfinals. So not that Spain needs extra motivation to move on, but they got it from Senor Maradona.

SIMON: He's going to take his clothes off if Argentina wins, right?

GOLDMAN: Yeah, and we're all looking forward to that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Well, all right. I'm actually glad not to have a front row seat. NPR's Tom Goldman, thanks very much for being with us.

GOLDMAN: You're welcome.

(Soundbite of music)

(Soundbite of funny horn)

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: ...NPR News.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.