LeBron James has brought the entire NBA to a stand still before his second Decision. In fact, since the four-year anniversary of "The Decision" fell on July 8, James has now drawn out his second free agency even longer than his first. But his future plans, and that of the Miami Heat, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and many others may take a big step forward once James meets with Pat Riley on July 9.
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, James and Riley will meet in person at Las Vegas today, making this the first time James himself has participated in a meeting over his free agency. His agent negotiated with the Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks while he was on vacation, yet James will have his own meetings before he attends the World Cup final this weekend.
It is uncertain if James will choose to stay with the Heat or pick another team before then, although many likely wish that he would. So much hinges on his choice, as Anthony, Bosh and Dwayne Wade's future decisions -- and that of teams like the Rockets, Lakers, Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls -- will likely come shortly thereafter.
When Riley last publicly spoke on this matter on June 19, he said that "you got to stay together, if you've got the guts" in a message directed at James and the Big Three. That kind of public calling out may come back to haunt Riley and the Heat if James decides to leave.
Riley and Wade brought the Big Three together in 2010, yet it seems it all hinges on Riley now to keep them together. Wade has been relatively quiet, while Bosh may soon have to choose between taking a pay cut to stay in Miami, and taking a max deal with the Rockets. Once James' future plans are revealed, the choice will become simpler one way or another.
Meanwhile, the wait continues on whether Anthony will stay with the New York Knicks, go to the Lakers or Bulls, or go wherever James ends up at. As for the city of Cleveland, it once again relived the memories of July 8, 2010 while wondering if the sequel will be equally tragic, or shockingly redemptive.
Either way, all eyes are now on Las Vegas, and on James and Riley, for the turning point of this latest saga.