Prepare for the socks to get blown right off your feet, because I’ve got a real shocker for you: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban would like to have LeBron James on his team…just like everybody else.
According to ESPNDallas.com, Cuban said the following to CNNMoney.com:
“Come July 1st, yeah, of course, anybody would be interested in LeBron James, and if he leaves via free agency, then it’s going to be tough. If he does like I’m guessing, hoping he will, which is say, ‘I’m not going to leave the Cavs high and dry,’ if he decides to leave — there’s still a better chance he stays — then he’ll try to force a sign-and-trade, and that gives us a chance. … What I do know about LeBron in the minimal time I’ve spent talking to him is he just wants to win. Money’s not his issue. He needs to be someplace where he trusts the organization. And look, [owner] Dan Gilbert in Cleveland did everything he possibly could, that’s just the way the game works. If there was a template that we all could follow, we’d all have championship rings.”
Believe it or not, some people are wigging out about what Cuban said, as explained on the ESPN NBA Rumors page: “The NBA doesn’t allow people who work for teams or own teams to talk to or about players on different teams who are under contract. If they do it’s considered tampering and they can be fined by the league.”
All I have to say is: You’ve got to be kidding me. If what Cuban did is tampering, then what the New York Knicks have been doing for the last two years is nothing short of stalking. Last time I checked, LeBron hasn’t filed a restraining order against Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni, so I don’t think Cuban’s comments qualify as tampering.
But hey, what do I know?
However, this situation does highlight something that a lot of people haven’t been considering: Technically speaking, every team is participating in the LeBron Sweepstakes. The Bulls, Clippers, Heat, Knicks and Nets are the only teams with the cap space necessary to sign LeBron as a free agent, but in theory, any team could go after him in a sign-and-trade situation. And just about any team would do it if given the opportunity.