Did LeBron James Call Himself 'King James' In Free Agent Pitch?

LeBron James scrutiny is at an all-time high following the so-so performance he gave in Game 5 and the dreadful performance he gave in Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals. So with that in mind, Mike Wise of the Washington Post decided to drop this juicy nugget into his Game 5 column:

He constantly needs to remind himself of his stature, to the point of turning off teammates and would-be teammates. For example, a player recently told me LeBron had contacted him about possibly joining forces in the offseason, though he was cryptic about where he actually might play. The text began: "Yo, this is King James."

"I was like, ‘Give me a break. You're going to call yourself that?' "the player said, on condition that his name not be used. "Do you think Michael Jordan texts people by starting with, ‘Yo, this is His Airness.' Come on, get over yourself."

How that relates to the NBA FInals is somewhat unclear, though Wise certainly makes a valiant (and somewhat successful) effort to make the connection. But whatever. Now, I want to know who this player is.

There aren't exactly a flood of possibilities. I think we can safely rule out Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, since they play on LeBron's team. I guess it could be Dirk Nowitzki or Paul Pierce, who were both free agents, but there wasn't much of a chance they would leave their respective teams. You can't rule out Shaquille O'Neal, whom Wise is very close with, but Shaq was with LeBron last year. Maybe it was Ray Allen, who was a free agent himself, but I doubt it.

That leaves only three real possibilities: Carlos Boozer, Amar'e Stoudemire and Joe Johnson. All three were members of the big free agent derby of 2010 that ended up going elsewhere, and all three were in the playoffs. I'm going with Boozer myself, but none of the three would shock me.

Who do you all think it was?


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