Shanoff's WUC: Happy 'LeBron Day'

Today's Calls: LeBron vs. Free Agency, Joe Johnson vs. the Hawks, Chris Bosh vs. the Rockets, Tiger vs. Elin, King Felix vs. the Yankees, Matt Garza vs. Vlad Guerrero, Roger Clemens vs. Koby Clemens, Tony La Russa vs. Arizona immigration laws, Doc Rivers vs. Byron Scott, Roger Federer vs. Irrelevancy and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Happy LeBron Day! ↵

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↵What's that you say? That's not a REAL holiday? ↵

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↵Try telling that to fans in Chicago or Miami or New York. Teams can finally lobby openly for LeBron (and the other NBA free agents). The pitches begin today in Akron with the Nets. ↵

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↵I'm not sure what LeBron wants to hear: That teams will help him win a ring? That they will let him be the king of the city? That they will help him become a billion-dollar global brand? ↵

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↵The whole thing feels less about winning rings than kissing them. But for the chance to get the best player in the game for the next half-decade, you do what you need to do, I guess. ↵

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↵For Cleveland fans, July 1 may be remembered as one of the worst days in the city's sports history. "The Drive" was painful, but it wasn't engineered by their own player. The best analogy is Art Modell taking the Browns out of town. ↵

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↵The Cavs can't offer a particularly upbeat sales pitch: PLEASE DON'T ABANDON US! (The other alternative: DO YOU WANT TO BE DESPISED IN YOUR HOME STATE? (Normally, all-caps feels like overkill. In this case? Appropriately hysterical.) ↵

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↵There has been so much hype heading into today that the early-morning media silence as the actual pitches are made seems deafening. Don't expect LeBron to make a decision anytime soon. I would be shocked if he did it before the end of next week. ↵

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↵He -- and we -- have been waiting a long time for this. And, undoubtedly, LeBron is going to savor LeBron Day. ↵

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↵Free agent innuendo round-up: ↵

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↵Because calling them rumors gives them too much credit ... ↵

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↵• ↵Dwyane Wade staying put? Does anyone really expect Wade to go anywhere? He is in the best situation of any free agent. He can stay with his old team (earning points for loyalty) and the stars will come to him. ↵

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↵• Hawks offering Joe Johnson a six-year/$120M max deal? Try to stop laughing. ↵

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↵• Bosh meets with hometown Rockets: They will need a sign-and-trade with the Raptors to pull it off, but this is the best situation for Bosh, if he wants to win a championship. Much better than Miami or Chicago. ↵

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↵• While everyone waited for midnight, the hot topic was: What is Richard Jefferson thinking? ↵

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↵The Baseline has a terrific running update of the latest. Check it out here. ↵

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↵Doc Rivers returning to Celtics: There will be nights that he will regret not being around to watch his son, prep star Austin Rivers, play in his senior season. But he obviously wanted to see the team through the closing of its Finals window. ↵

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↵Coaching carousel: Byron Scott is the new coach of the Cavs. I doubt that will entice LeBron to stay. ↵

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↵Feds interview Tiger about Dr. Galea: This scandal might yet turn out to be more painful than a reported $750 million divorce settlement. ↵

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↵MLB talking points: ↵

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↵Aced: There's the King Felix we know ↵

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↵Like old times: Vlad crushes it ↵

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↵Rays recovery? Garza stops Red Sox ↵

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↵Trade: Rangers get C (B.) Molina ↵

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↵Clemens vs. Clemens: Koby can't hit dad ↵

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↵La Russa gets political: Why would he say something? ↵

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↵NFL offseason: The Saints were pretty interesting coming into last season. They became the most likable NFL champ of all time. As reigning champs, they are not quite as interesting, but it is still a pretty compelling question: Can they repeat? ↵

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↵(BTW, another title for the Saints: Best pro sports franchise.) ↵

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↵CFB offseason: As if Washington's signature win over USC last season wasn't enough, fans should be buying the Huskies right now as a rising power in the Pac-10.
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↵CBB offseason: The future of basketball in this country is outstanding. Kyrie Irving (Duke), Vander Blue (Marquette) and Patric Young (Florida) in the 2010 prep class -- plus Rivers and Quincy Miller in the 2011 class -- were formidable.
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↵NHL: Don't forget about NHL free agency!
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↵Wimbledon: Roger Federer is out. Based on his struggles in the early rounds, you could see this coming -- but it still feels hard to believe that Federer won't get to the finals at Wimbledon. (Let alone win yet another title.) ↵

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↵World Cup: Going through withdrawal yet? Not to worry -- Netherlands-Brazil and Ghana-Uruguay are coming tomorrow in the first of two days of thrilling quarterfinals. ↵

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↵TV: Great to hear "NFL Matchup" will be back on the air. ↵

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↵Business: John Wall will wear jersey No. 2. His "11" wasn't available with the Wizards (retired for Elvin Hayes), but 2 presumably is "1+1." It should be the leading NBA rookie jersey sold this year and top 10 in the NBA overall. ↵

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↵Tragic: This is simply horrible for Randall Cunningham and his family. ↵

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↵The Last Word: Elin Nordegren. A reported $750 million divorce settlement. Enough said. (No, really.) ↵

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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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