Shanoff's WUC: Where Will LeBron Go? We Know

Today's Calls: LeBron vs. NBA Suitors, Chris Bosh vs. the Heat, Knicks vs. Disappointment, U.S. vs. World Cup Oblivion, Frank Lampard vs. Jorge Larrionda, Netherlands vs. Slovakia, Brazil vs. Chile, B.J. Upton vs. Evan Longoria, Red Sox vs. Tim Lincecum, Bobby Valentine vs. Buck Showalter, Michael Vick vs. Cake and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Welcome to LeBron Week. Let me remove the drama from it: ↵

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↵• LeBron is going to end up with the Bulls. (Still: Team LeBron wants to enjoy the sight of suitors coming to kiss the ring, so they are slotting everyone for prostrate exams on Thursday in Akron.) ↵

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↵• Chris Bosh desperately wants you to know that he isn't merely a valet to LeBron. Just so you're clear: He would prefer to be sidekick to Dwyane Wade in Miami. (Unlike LeBron, Wade doesn't need to leave to win.) ↵

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↵• Knicks brass tacitly promised LeBron and Bosh. Humiliatingly, they will end up with Joe Johnson and a vague promise of "Carmelo in the Summer of 2011! This time we really mean it!" ↵

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↵And so the real intrigue isn't where LeBron goes, but who goes with him -- if it's not Bosh, will it be Amare? If not Amare, will it be Carlos Boozer? It will be one of those two guys, lured by the promise of max cash and playing with the King. ↵

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↵It will be interesting to see how aggressively Team LeBron vainly tries to tamp down the conventional wisdom of inevitability about Chicago. Not that anyone will buy it. It's been four years of "Where will LeBron go?" He hardly needs another week. ↵

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↵U.S. Ousted from World Cup: It was epically disappointing, but it mitigates the pain -- slightly -- that the U.S. was flat out-played, rather than booted on a bad call. It stings that the U.S. maintained its m.o. of giving up early goals -- two of them, actually. For me, that is Bob Bradley's biggest failure; as bad as the execution, that's bad coaching. With or without Bradley, the U.S. will be better in 2014. ↵

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↵(More people in the U.S. watched U.S.-Ghana than had ever watched a soccer game before, the surest sign that the Cup caught hold of casual fans. It remains to be seen if the event can maintain fan interest without the U.S. being involved anymore.) ↵

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↵Worst. Call. Ever.: And you thought there was a replay problem in baseball. The World Cup goal/non-goal by Frank Lampard yesterday was so egregious -- and potentially so game-changing (certainly England fans will lean on that rationalization) -- that it completely erodes the integrity of the event. ↵

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↵That said: Despite the gripes, it is what it is. Fans will move on (except the English), looking forward to the next magnificent goal by Argentina (set for an epic quarter vs. Germany) or rooting on Africa's finest, Ghana (vs. Uruguay). ↵

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↵World Cup 2nd Round Today: Netherlands-Slovakia at 10; Brazil-Chile at 2:30. Die-hard soccer fans would love to see a Holland-Brazil quarterfinal. ↵

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↵The NFL's Concussion Problem, Cont'd: Chris Henry had degenerative brain damage from playing football. What makes this particularly damning is that it's not like Henry had a history of concussions -- or had even played a particularly long time in the NFL. He was only 26. ↵

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↵Degenerative brain damage is simply the ante for playing football, particularly once you get to the NFL level. How many other players are walking around with brain damage? Probably so many that if we knew the real number, we would legally prohibit people from playing organized football. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: ↵

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↵• Yes, B.J. Upton was dogging it: But not THAT badly. ↵

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↵• Methuselah Moyer: Sets record for career HR allowed. ↵

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↵• White Sox winning streak: Snapped at 11. ↵

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↵• Strasburg Watch: Pitches today at Atlanta. ↵

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↵• BoSox beat Lincecum: Week after beating Ubaldo. ↵

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↵• Zambrano was cheerleading: Yeah, right. ↵

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↵• Hiring: Bobby V not headed to Miami after all? ↵

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↵• More: How desperate is Buck? This much. ↵

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↵NFL Offseason: No suspension for Vince Young? (What does it say that every time there is an off-field incident, the reaction is to figure out how long the suspension from Roger Goodell is going to be?) ↵

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↵CFB Countdown: No. 68 Virginia. I'm a big fan of the Mike London hire, but it could be a couple of lean years before UVA is perennially successful. But I do think London will get them there. ↵

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↵USC appeals: Ha, gotta love the chutzpah! ↵

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↵SEC Roundtable: Great work by Matt Hayes, talking about the big issues in CFB with the coaches of the best conference in sports. ↵

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↵Scandals: Not blaming the victim here, but why would you throw a piece of cake at Mike Vick in the first place? ↵

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↵NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson's 2-race winning streak aside, I think it will be cool to see Dale Jr. driving his late dad's legendary "3" car on Friday at Daytona. A little eerie, but I like the sense of sentimentality. (Like that it's a one-shot deal.) ↵

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↵Wooden Memorial: Sounds like it was a lovely service befitting an equally lovely man. ↵

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↵The Last Word: "I no understand this decision." -- England soccer coach Fabio Capello, on the missed Lampard goal. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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