LeBron Watch, Day 42: Two Reasons LeBron Can't Leave ClevelandS

Turn off ESPN. Fold the newspaper. Ignore talk radio. Until LeBron signs somewhere, all of the experts are going to blather on that they "know" where LeBron is going. Save your time. Read this instead.

Free agency, NBA-style, is upon us. Even as you read this, wise men troop to Akron to offer gifts to the King of Kings; tribes and regions tremble as his supple, sinewy thumb, the thumb by now of Fate, readies to point.

At this point, everyone in the media makes like they know everything. They know who is friends with whom among the big-name free agents, where and when they spoke and what they spoke about, and who would settle for less than a max deal to team up with which good buddy.

And all of it is bullshit — every word of it — a fecal stew of clumsy spin, self-serving front-office leakage, and desperate fabrication. LeBron James isn't going anywhere.

Book it: James will receive his suitors, hear them out, and sign another three-year deal with the Cavaliers.

What do I know that all the other pundits don't?

1.) I know Gloria James, the Unholy Mother. I know her dire backstory. I know that her son is more mature than she is and how much support and protection her son — and the Cavaliers — provide for her. This is a prior existing condition, a de facto factor that can't be exploited by any other team in the course of their pitches to LeBron — he wouldn't stand for that subject to be addressed, nor would he raise it. And he knows that no other media market in the country would enable him to maintain a shield of silence around her.

2.) I know Dan Gilbert. Smart, hard as nails, and fearless. He isn't one more GM or coach blowing sunshine up the Global Icon's ass; Gilbert owns the Cavs. Never has he broken trust with James, nor has he ever refused to overspend when the buy brought Cleveland closer to a crown. That won't change — if there's any way to pry Chris Bosh, say, from Toronto in a sign-and-trade deal, Gilbert's going to do it. He'll say so to LeBron, and after seven years spent with Gilbert, James will know that it's true — and that no other owner in the league would be so good a partner.

Scott Raab, author of Real Hollywood Stories, is a Cleveland State University graduate and has been an Esquire Writer at Large since 1997

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