12:01 A.M.

07.01.10 8 years ago 28 Comments

Roc La Familia

At the very moment today’s Smack is being posted, odds are some NBA superstar — Amar’e Stoudemire, Paul Pierce, Dwyane Wade, maybe Mr. You Know Who — is hearing a knock on his front door, or taking a phone call from a front-office exec who sounds like a 14-year-old trying to be cool on the phone with the girl he’s crushing on. You want to hear a grown man’s voice crack? Listen in on one of these icebreaker free-agent phone calls … The first bomb in the Nets/Knicks battle for talent was dropped yesterday, when a giant billboard of Jay-Z and Mikhail Prokhorov began to appear on the side of a New York City building that just happens to face the offices at Madison Square Garden. (Thanks to our guy Jeff Chen for snapping the photo on his Blackberry. The billboard is supposed to be finished by this morning.) Even if the Knicks employees would rather stare at Jay and Mik than the gigantic “Ice Road Truckers” ad that was there before, that’s gotta sting a little. And going into the first day of free agency, it’s a constant reminder that the Nets have the first crack at wooing the guy everybody wants … Speaking of LeBron, we’ve got just about every angle of his free agency covered. Yesterday we broke down the pros and cons of each team ‘Bron is considering — the Bulls, Heat, Clippers, Knicks, Nets and Cavs — and gave our best guess at the respective odds of his signing with those teams … While they wait for LeBron, the Knicks are supposed to meet with Joe Johnson first, followed by Mike Miller. Yes, that Mike Miller. It might seem strange that South Dakota’s Finest wormed his way into the V.I.P. section, but remember this: Miller and LeBron are boys. Remember when Mike was wearing LeBron’s signature shoes even though his Wizards teammates were on their anti-LeBron campaign? In this case, his jump shot isn’t nearly as valuable as his friendship … As for Joe, he might be off the board before you know it. Word out of Atlanta is the Hawks are prepared to offer J.J. a six-year max deal, which no other team could (or would) match. Unless he just really wants to leave ATL, we think Johnson takes that offer … D-Wade and Chris Bosh are going to meet with New York on Friday, but the meeting will happen in Chicago, where Wade and Bosh’s agent keeps an office … One big surprise yesterday was the report that Richard Jefferson is opting out of his contract. RJ clearly wasn’t a good fit in San Antonio, but you had to assume he wouldn’t leave $15 million on the table, and would stick around thinking the Spurs have at least one more shot at a championship … The Spurs don’t have max-player money now, but they could at least get somebody solid with the wiggle room. Plus it’d be easier now to maybe pull off a sign-and-trade for a big name. How about Texas native Chris Bosh? The team could be his whenever Tim Duncan retires … Depending on who you listen to, the Cavs coaching search is over. Or not. Some reports say Brian Shaw and Byron Scott are still neck-and-neck, but then Scott’s agent has said Scott is not negotiating with the team, while Shaw’s agent said his client wasn’t in consideration anymore. The Cavs need to quit playing and hire somebody while the possibility of re-signing LeBron still exists. If they wait too long, the only guy who will want the job is Larry Eustachy … Meanwhile, ex-Cleveland GM Danny Ferry is believed to be out of the running for the Blazers’ GM vacancy. We’re guessing the words “Varejao” and “$50 million” must have come up in those conversations … We’re out like RJ …

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