I’ve been waiting for years for someone at ESPN to make this exact argument:

If you’re looking for a long shot — and we concede it’s an extreme long shot — we’ve got a more genuine nominee than the Clippers (LeBron isn’t playing in Kobe Bryant’s building or putting any faith in the stewardship of Donald Sterling no matter how good lining up next to Blake Griffin sounds) or the Bulls (since it’s equally tough to imagine him driving past His Airness’ statue on his way to every home game.)

We repeat: The host city for the 2010 All-Star Game is Long Shot City. That said, Dallas has more in its favor than you think.

Dirk Nowitzki would appear to be the best big man LeBron could conceivably hook up with next summer, which would also mean playing with the Mavs’ lead recruiter and James’ close friend Jason Kidd.

It doesn’t hurt that LeBron is said to be fond of the area and undoubtedly loves the Cowboys as much as or more than he loves the Yankees. Or that Mark Cuban was the NBA’s original spare-no-expense owner in the new millennium.

The glaring obstacle here, besides the inevitable suggestions that Big D is neither big enough nor sufficiently glamorous for James, is that the Mavs won’t have any cap space to throw at him. Dallas would thus have to propose a sign-and-trade, presumably headlined by Josh Howard and perhaps Erick Dampier’s cap-friendly contract for payroll relief, that the Cavs would naturally want no part of.

Thank you Marc Stein, thank you. While Friday’s game was just as bad as we all had figured, it’s nice to see ESPN making some new stupid arguments.

Obviously, this is dumb. LeBron isn’t going to leave the Cavs (a team that won 66 games last season) because he likes some other city’s football or baseball team. It’s gonna come down to money and winning (in that order?). Personally, I’m thinking he’s gonna sign a 3-4 year deal and keep the Cavs on their toes (while still letting him leave as a free agent before he turns 30 if he needs to).

For what it’s worth, here’s Mo Williams:

“I’m not really too concerned about it, because I know his heart and his love is here in Cleveland,” Williams told me [David Aldridge] last week. “I know that. Just like anybody else, we love the New Yorks, we love the Miamis, we love the L.A.s, we love the Torontos. That’s probably the most underrated city. We love those cities. But you can’t underrate home.”


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