Shanoff's WUC: LeBron to Heat? We'll See ...

Today's Calls: LeBron vs. The Decision, Heat vs. Jubilation, Dwyane Wade vs. Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer vs. the Bulls, Kevin Durant vs. the Thunder, Josh Johnson vs. Ubaldo Jimenez, Joey Votto vs. NL All-Star Extra Man, D'Brickshaw Ferguson vs. Ed Reed, USC vs. Everyone and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Well, that's a bummer. ↵

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↵Not that LeBron is rumored to be picking the Heat tonight -- but that the decision would be leaked ahead of time. I guess it was too much to ask that we get at least one thing that we can all collectively enjoy as a genuine surprise together all at once. ↵

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↵I am holding out that LeBron will change his mind; again, all I ask in exchange for caring about this nationally televised prime-time announcement tonight is that it have some element of surprise. ↵

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↵(You can already see the early reports swinging back with hedges, presumably as Team LeBron vainly tries to keep things interesting for tonight's infomercial.) ↵

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↵So what if it IS Miami? I'm all for it -- an unprecedented opt-in among superstars in their prime. This is precisely what LeBron needs to elevate his legacy. (Of course, titles better follow.) ↵

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↵And this is it for Cleveland and its fans: That sense of dread they have had since people first started talking, back in 2006, about LeBron leaving town finally realized. Every fan can feel for them. ↵

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↵For the rest of us, all we can hope is that we get at least a little intrigue tonight ... ↵

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↵... As if "LeBron joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the same team in Miami" isn't intriguing enough. ↵

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↵Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, welcome to LeBron's World: Only in LeBron's World does Bosh joining Wade on the Heat become a secondary story to LeBron joining them there. If LeBron goes another way, the big question is whether Wade and Bosh are the East's version of Kobe and Gasol. (Answer: Only if they get as good of a supporting cast as Kobe/Gasol had.) ↵

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↵Still: Even without LeBron, Big win for the Heat. Wade looks good for sticking with his team (ahem!) Bosh gets the glamorous high-profile he craves. And the state of Florida has a second bona fide East title contender. (With LeBron? The favorites in the East.) ↵

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↵Bulls get Boozer: It's not LeBron, but it's not a bad consolation prize -- a 20-and-10 power forward who can complement Joakim Noah. Is Rose-Boozer that much worse than Wade-Bosh? It's certainly better than Ridnour-Amare. ↵

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↵C's re-sign Ray Allen: The 2-year deal (for $20M) seems just about the length of Boston's remaining window to win conference titles. Of course, what's brewing in Miami makes Boston's "Big Three" look very, very, very small. ↵

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↵Kevin Durant signs 5-year extension: Lamentably buried under the LeBron lead-up and Wade-Bosh announcement was the news, announced quietly through his Twitter feed, that Kevin Durant signed a 5-year extension. ↵

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↵How's this for refreshing novelty: No holding his fan base hostage. No primetime TV special. Just a laser focus on basketball. That's why Durant will win more titles than LeBron over the span of their respective contracts. ↵

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↵World Cup: You have to love a final where neither team -- each a historic global superpower -- has ever won a World Cup, ensuring that we will have a first-time champ ... and some country going absolutely bananas come Sunday night. ↵

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↵MLB Talking Points: ↵

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↵• Aces: Josh Johnson Ubaldo Jimenez? ↵

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↵• Rox rally ... again: This is becoming a "thing". ↵

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↵• Injury Watch: Jake Peavy to DL. ↵

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↵All-Star Mania: This is the time when replacements are made. Heath Bell is in for Yovani Gallardo. Rafael Soriano is in for Mariano Rivera. ↵

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↵Extra Man Vote: Please, please, please vote Votto. ↵

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↵NFL Offseason: D'Brickshaw Ferguson signs an extension with the Jets -- probably not the contract signing announcement that New Yorkers wanted to hear yesterday. ↵

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↵Ed Reed wants a new deal: Like Chris Johnson and Darrelle Revis, Reed is the best at his position and has earned a big raise if he wants one. ↵

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↵CFB Offseason: Seriously, right now there is no more sleazy program in college football than USC. As George Costanza might say: "You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister." ↵

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↵Countdown: No. 57 Southern Miss. Hard to find a more entertaining team, offensively. ↵

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↵The Last Word: By 9:15 tonight, it will be over. Until the next time. ↵

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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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