LeBron needs more thinking time; Joe Johnson needs a bigger safe

By: 07.05.10  •  15 Comments

Following Day 4 of free agency, this much we do know: Joe Johnson is staying in Atlanta and could now use Chipper Jones‘ house as a garage if he wanted, Amar’e had a talk with Mike D’Antoni to smooth things over and appears a lock for the Knicks, and LeBron won’t make his decision until at least Wednesday. ‘Bron is running his annual Nike camp in Akron this week, so if some other college kid dunks on him this time, you won’t read a word about it in any Chicago, Miami, Cleveland, New York, New Jersey or L.A. newspapers … Joe Jeezy re-upped with the Hawks for six years, $120 million. Too much for a guy who’s about a notch below the elite of the elite? Maybe, but the Hawks didn’t really have much choice if they wanted to keep their best player. And it’s funny how some people are going overboard saying this is the worst move in ATL history. This is a steadily improving young team who just kept their franchise guy in the fold for the rest of his prime. If you want bad moves, go look at when Atlanta was winning 25 games a year led by Lon Kruger, Jason Terry and Lorenzen Wright … Johnson’s agent, Arn Tellem, wrote a column in the Huffington Post yesterday basically talking about how great his client is. Tellem recounted a story from before the ’01 Draft, when Joe was killing at a workout and Michael Jordan said Joe was the best player in that draft class. So why exactly did Mike go with Kwame Brown No. 1 that year? … Anyway, Tellem revealed some interesting tidbits we hadn’t even thought about, like the fact that having Jannero Pargo on the roster was a big factor working in Chicago’s favor to get Joe, since Joe and Pargo were college roommates. But then at the end, Tellem actually asks LeBron to consider signing with the Hawks. Riiiiight … Speaking of overpaid, Amir Johnson and Darko may only hold the crown for so long — we’re hearing Brendan Haywood may be in line for about $10 million per year wherever he signs. So far the Heat, Pistons, Cavs, Bulls, Knicks and Celtics have shown interest. Funny this would happen right after Haywood puts in a stint with the Mavs. Is there some radioactive element surrounding Erick Dampier that makes him and 7-footers around him prone to grossly huge contracts? … Looking for an athletic scorer to come off the bench, the Celtics are said to be looking into acquiring Leandro Barbosa or Rudy Fernandez in a trade. Of the two, Barbosa seems like the better fit, although there’s always some trepidation with guy who blew up playing in Phoenix during the Steve Nash era. Rudy is just a little too much of a jacker … Did you catch the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest yesterday? Joey “Jaws” Chestnut copped his fourth straight ‘chip, but the biggest news was ex-champ Kobayashi actually crashing the stage Kanye West-style after it was over and fighting with the cops. Kobayashi wasn’t in the contest this year because he hasn’t signed up with the Major League Eating federation, which now sanctions the Nathan’s contest. Kobayashi showed up wearing a “Free Kobi” shirt — which may have been a misprinted bootleg from a bad time in Kobe Bryant‘s life — and when he got on stage demanding to eat, the cops dragged him off and arrested him. Yeah, this actually happened … We’re out like Lon Kruger …

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