Shanoff's WUC: Just Make a Decision, LeBron

Today's Calls: LeBron vs. the Inevitable, Dwyane Wade vs. Chicago, Amar'e vs. Broadway, Joey Votto vs. the MLB All-Star Game, Netherlands vs. Uruguay, Dunga vs. Maradona, JaMarcus Russell vs. Tim Tebow, Tiger vs. Implosion, AI vs. Unretirement, Nadal vs. Federer, Evan Turner vs. Derrick Favors and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: After all that, LeBron is apparently still undecided. ↵

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↵Maybe he didn't want to break the news over an otherwise slow holiday weekend. Maybe he doesn't want to eclipse his summer camp, which ends Wednesday. Fine: Let's say LeBron has 72 hours to figure it out. ↵

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↵But we do know that, as of today, he's not talking. The hot rumor is that advisor William "Worldwide Wes" Wesley has been frozen out as LeBron retrenches for his final decision. And that none of the choices are perfect. ↵

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↵• His hometown Cavs are not championship-worthy. ↵
↵• The Bulls have a star PG who needs the ball. ↵
↵• The Heat may not even have D-Wade. ↵
↵• The Knicks (even new-look) won't be good. ↵
↵• The Nets are still two years away. ↵

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↵What if three days turns into three more years? What if LeBron decides to stick with the Cavs -- but only long enough (say, a 3-year "mini-max" deal) to figure out which team emerges as a contender ... or which other teams emerge with cap space? ↵

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↵Putting it off would be even more off-putting than the process has been this year, another term of non-stop speculation -- presumably accompanied by more ringlessness for King James. It would affirm he is in this entirely for the ego gratification. ↵

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↵LeBron isn't the final piece; he is the foundation. His new (or old) team will build around him. ↵

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↵It's time to decide, LeBron. ↵

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↵What about Dwyane Wade? Unlike LeBron, the strongest possibility is that Wade re-signs with Miami, with Chris Bosh along for the ride. But as I immersed myself in fatherhood over the long weekend, I obsessed over the idea that Wade could (or would) pick the Bulls to be closer to his two sons. It would hardly be the craziest basis for a decision. How could you begrudge him? ↵

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↵Amar'e is a Knick: Stoudemire obviously loves the NYC glitz, but it's unclear whether this is actually an upgrade from David Lee, given Amare's injury history -- not to mention the fact that he has never played without a Hall of Fame PG. ↵

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↵(Still: What if this is all the Knicks get? Is it better than nothing? Let's point to the fact that Knicks folks are already pointing to next year and Carmelo. We've read this book before: The past two years, from the Knicks. Don't buy it.) ↵

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↵Speaking of Carmelo, what more of a signal that he doesn't want to stay do the Nuggets need that he won't take their max cash? Does Melo just want to be wined and dined like this year's group? (Oh, and as the biggest headliner of the '11 class, he would be.) Or does he just want out? Either way, the Nuggets should trade him, either now or in February. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: All-Star Selection Edition. ↵

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↵• Vote Votto: It is as if Joey Votto's 2 HR yesterday were a reminder to all fans out there that his All-Star snub was one of the most glaring we have seen in years. Save baseball from itself and vote him in. ↵

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↵• Whither Strasburg: If Strasburg was on the NL's Extra Man ballot, he would have crushed Votto -- probably for the best that we avoided that. Still: It would be tremendous for MLB to get Strasburg on the roster. ↵

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↵• Biggest dud: Omar Infante. Really? ↵

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↵• AL Extra Man Endorsement: Nick Swisher has an early lead, but let's do the right thing and vote for Kevin Youkilis. (You may have to grimace when you vote for a Boston player, I know.) ↵

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↵MLB Trade Rumorama: Cliff Lee to the ... Reds? I love that Cincy is in the mix -- it isn't your usual Yankees-Red Sox-Angels-Mets rent-a-star cabal, plus I love seeing the Reds go for it while being in a strong position to win the pennant. ↵

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↵World Cup Today: So much for all that mojo for South America. Anyone have Uruguay as the only nation from that continent to advance to the semifinals? (Umm ... no.) ↵

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↵The ideal semifinal results to root for are Netherlands over Uruguay (today, 2:30 p.m. ET) and Spain over Germany (tomorrow), because it would pit two longtime world soccer superpowers, neither of whom have ever won a World Cup (humiliating for both). ↵

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↵Brazil fires Dunga: Wouldn't you have done the same thing? ↵

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↵How about Maradona? Argentina was glitzy but ultimately -- and predictably -- fell apart. Diego Maradona was a wonderful sideshow, but the guy can't coach. The team probably has two more World Cups with Messi, but only one more -- Brazil 2014 -- with the Flea in his prime. (And you know Brazil will be re-loaded.) Time to make the change now. ↵

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↵RIP, Bob Probert: The goon has a hallowed place in hockey -- all of sports, really. And Probert was the king of the goons. Condolences to his family, friends, fans ... and foes. ↵

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↵NFL Offseason: JaMarcus Russell busted for possession of codeine syrup. Given the state of his career, it's hard to blame him. (That's far too flip: At this point, I just feel very badly for him.) ↵

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↵Training Camp Countdown: Broncos, which can only mean one thing: Affirming my entirely biased prediction that Tim Tebow will score 7-10 TDs this season (through combo of passing and rushing). ↵

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↵Tiger Watch: Think his 46th-place finish at the AT&T would be his worst showing of the weekend. Think again. ↵

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↵CFB Scandals: Georgia AD Damon Evans resigns, as you knew instantly he would have to. The release of the humiliating police report only made sure that Evans wouldn't put up more of a fight. ↵

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↵CFB Countdown: No. 60 Baylor. Remember Robert Griffin? Before his injury last season, he was considered arguably the Offensive MVP of the Big 12. ↵

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↵CBB Tournament Expansion: We will find out the format of the 68-team bracket this week. Here's hoping for convoluted system that won't make anyone happy. ... (Kidding: Here's to a simple play-in among at-large teams.) ↵

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↵MLB Managerial Carousel: Buck Showalter to the O's? Baltimore certainly is taking its sweet time, but the deal isn't without its momentum. Then again, it's not like they were contending this season (or next season, for that matter). ↵

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↵NBA Summer League, Orlando Notables. ↵

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↵Headliners: ↵
↵Evan Turner: 12 pts, 8 reb, 9 ast ↵
↵Derrick Favors: 8 pts, 9 reb, 2 blk ↵
↵Intriguing Debuts: ↵
↵Gordon Hayward: 8 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast ↵
↵Glitzy 2nd-Rounders: ↵
↵Lance Stephenson: 21 pts (8/10 FG) ↵
↵Luke Harangody: 23 pts (9/13 FG) ↵
↵Yikes: ↵
↵Daniel Orton 3 pts on 1/8 FG ↵

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↵Nadal wins Wimbledon: Fair to say that he has officially surged past Federer? ↵

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↵Unretirements: AI wants to play again? I'd love to see it, but is he willing to be a role player off the bench? (FWIW: His Twitter plea says "in any capacity." ↵

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↵The Last Word: Really, "Vote Votto." ↵

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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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