Cavs, Bulls talk to James

CLEVELAND --- The Cleveland Cavaliers tried to use their home-court advantage to convince LeBron James to give them a few more years to win an NBA title.


Hoping the comforts of home will sway James to stay, the Cavs made their presentation to the brightest star of this summer's star-studded free agent class Saturday. Following their meeting, which lasted a little more than one hour, general manager Chris Grant was pleased with the visit.

"We had a very good meeting with LeBron and his group," Grant said. "We had fun and it was very interactive. We know LeBron well. I would characterize it as positive."

The Cavs' entourage, which included new coach Byron Scott, made the three-block drive to James' downtown business offices to make their homespun pitch to the mega free agent. Hundreds of fans lined the sidewalks outside IMG headquarters with many holding signs saying "Home" and some throwing powder in the air to mimic James' signature pregame routine.

As the Cavs departed, the Bulls' delegation arrived for their meeting -- the last one scheduled with James and his advisors.

Owner Jerry Reinsdorf, general manager Gar Forman, vice president of basketball operations John Paxson and new coach Tom Thibodeau showed up at 1:15 p.m. dressed business casual in sport coats. Unlike the other suitors, the Bulls did not cart any visual aids or equipment.

They met for three hours, a day after they sat down with Dwyane Wade for the second time since free agency opened, before leaving in two SUVs to a chorus of boos from Cleveland fans who were waiting outside.

Chicago is hoping the chance to follow Michael Jordan's larger-than-life legacy -- and a roster featuring rising star guard Derrick Rose -- will lure James to the Windy City.

Wearing a black T-shirt and shorts, James showed up less than two minutes after the Cavs, arriving in a silver sedan before heading upstairs to the eighth floor to listen to the Cavs.

Scott was accompanied by Grant, owner Dan Gilbert and assistant GM Lance Blanks.

The Cavs were the fifth team to visit with James, following New Jersey, New York, Miami and the Los Angeles Clippers. While those teams could offer James millions, none had seven years invested in the 25-year-old and none could guarantee him that leaving home would bring him a championship.



Wed, 11/22/2017 - 00:22


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