The US adaptation of “House of Cards” proliferated the culture when it premiered on Netflix. It’s popularity was bolstered by the scheming, sleazy plotlines of an ambitious Senator in part due to the binge watching a viewer could accomplish. You could see the entirety of Frank Underwood’s plot unfurl in a single weekend sitting.
Unfortunately, we’re unable to binge on NBA free agency this offseason and according to the litany of rumors, sources, “sources” and a recent spike in fake twitter accounts, the smokescreen of plots keeps getting murkier.
LeBron James gave us The Decision four years ago on July 8th, taking his talents to South Beach, lamenting only later the spectacle that became a free agency signing (helped in part by ESPN, which had become practically the propaganda department of Lebron Inc). At this point, the moves that Lebron makes are still clouded, without the big second-tier move to nudge speculation one way or another. Fans often forget that LeBron joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh may have agreed to join LeBron in Miami before he signed, but their contracts were signed earlier.
Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger both signed with the Heat, but second-tier set pieces they are not. Kyle Lowry rebuffed the Heat’s offer and returned to Toronto. James agents are spreading the story that LeBron wants to return to Cleveland so much that even cupcake shops are getting into the rumor business.
Chris Bosh, who this year succeeded Dwyane Wade as the right hand man in Miami, received a max-deal offer from the Houston Rockets of 4yrs/$88 million. Bosh has downplayed the offer and said he wants to continue with James, but an offer like that will probably only stay on the table for so long.
All the key players are waiting it out to see who bites first on their offers and who gets to play with James. A recent story by the New York Post indicates Carmelo Anthony is waiting for Bosh to take the Rockets offer to join James in Miami. Oh and Anthony still might want to stay in New York, or go to Chicago.
So who is the Frank Underwood in all of this? Is it LeBron letting his agent go to meetings, set up rumors and then playing innocent on twitter? Is it Melo waiting for Bosh’s return to his homestate to finally be able to make it to the Finals? Is Pat Riley up to his diabolical tricks in order to throw off the scent and keep his core together? What about the Cleveland rumors? Which one of the major players stops to talk to the camera?
All of it becomes too much to process, but the long con of this years NBA Free Agency continues.