Fri, Jul 09, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Bosh, Wade to play for Miami, James’ decision to be aired

AFP , LOS ANGELES

Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade teamed up to win a gold medal for the US at the Beijing Olympics and now they have decided to play alongside each other with the Miami Heat, US media has reported.

Still uncertain is where another All-Star free agent, LeBron James, will end up. James was reportedly ready to announce his decision on US sports broadcaster ESPN yesterday evening, the first day of NBA free-agent signings.

Bosh was not the only high-profile player on the move now that the signing season has begun, as Carlos Boozer reportedly has agreed to a deal with the Chicago Bulls, but one player that likely won’t be changing uniforms is Boston’s Ray Allen, who has decided to remain with the Celtics and take another run at an NBA title.

Nothing is official, but the 26-year-old Bosh and Wade both expressed a desire on Wednesday to join forces in Miami.

“We’ve wanted to play with each other and we have a golden opportunity to do that. We’re going to take advantage of it,” Bosh told ESPN.

Wade, the 2006 NBA finals Most Valuable Player, added: “Now we can get on the pace of building a championship.”

The Heat’s gain could be a loss for the Toronto Raptors, where Bosh has played for the past seven seasons. If the deal becomes official, Bosh could sign outright with Miami or arrive in Florida via a sign-and-trade agreement.

The biggest drama surrounds James, who is keeping everyone guessing.

“I’ll be watching,” said Wade of James’ highly anticipated announcement. “We’ve scheduled it. I’ll make sure I’m in front of the TV to watch like everyone else.”

Cleveland superstar James was to announce his plans in a one-hour special on ESPN, but not everyone was planning to watch the big announcement. The story has dominated sports headlines for the past few weeks.

“It’s gotten ridiculous,” Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said on Wednesday. “It’s almost like a parody of itself this whole situation now. Come on, an hour long? It takes 15 seconds to say I’ve decided to stay in Cleveland, but we’ve got another 59 minutes and 45 seconds to, what? Promote LeBron James?”

The Cavaliers could offer James US$30 million more on a maximum-length contract than any other team, but money might not be enough to keep him.

US President Barack Obama reiterated this week his desire for James to join his favorite team, the Bulls, but bulls on Wall Street are thinking differently.

The traders are betting that the superstar will announce that he’s leaving Cleveland to play for the Knicks. Shares in Madison Square Garden Inc, the owners of the Knicks, jumped US$1.30, or 6.4 percent, to close at US$21.57 on Wednesday, adding US$0.03 in extended trading.

Industry experts predicted the Knicks could see about 10 percent more revenue, while the Madison Square Garden network could get 10 percent more advertising revenue.

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