NBA: As LeBron decides, Miami and Cleveland wait


When it comes to LeBron James, all that’s certain is this: One fan base is about to feel scorned, and other is about to feel absolute joy.

Miami or Cleveland?

The same choice he faced four years ago is the one facing the four-time NBA MVP now. He became a champion in Miami. He still calls Ohio home. It’s obviously not an easy decision, and the ramifications of what he’s about to say — it’s still unclear when any announcement will be coming, but it’s more than likely sooner than later — will have a massive impact on the Heat and the Cavaliers.

For the Heat, keeping James is likely the only way they can stay a championship-contending team for a fifth straight season next year. If he stays, it would seem likely that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would re-sign with Miami as well, keeping the “Big 3” that has played in each of the last four NBA Finals intact for at least another season.

For the Cavaliers, it’s a chance to welcome home the player who fans — and the team’s owner Dan Gilbert — directed so much scorn toward when he left in 2010 after seven brilliant seasons.

James left Las Vegas late Thursday, two people close to the situation told The Associated Press. One of those people said James and Wade were flying together to Miami, and that James would be continuing on from there for his long-planned trip to Brazil for the World Cup finals. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because none of the details were revealed publicly.

Earlier Thursday, James again appeared at his skills academy for the nation’s top high school and college players, scrimmaging and then watching games in the afternoon with some friends, including Wade. Meanwhile, in Bath Township, Ohio, cars lined the streets near James’ 30,000-square-foot mansion in anticipation of an announcement. People posed for photographs and TV news crews did remote reports from the driveway of his offseason home.

Knicks still awaiting word from Melo

Knicks President Phil Jackson said he hasn’t heard from Carmelo Anthony, though he expects word from the All-Star forward soon.

Jackson said he hoped to get news Thursday, but added that he “expected one yesterday and the day before yesterday.”

Speaking to reporters at the Knicks’ summer league practice in Las Vegas, Jackson said he has texted Anthony a couple of times since they met last week, but hasn’t gotten a response.

The Knicks offered Anthony a maximum level contract, worth nearly $130 million over five years, at that meeting in Los Angeles. Anthony had previously met with Chicago, Houston, Dallas and the Lakers.

Clippers trial put on hold

LOS ANGELES — A trial that could determine the fate of the Los Angeles Clippers has been put on hold until after a deadline to conclude a $2 billion sale — but that expiration date could be extended.

A Los Angeles judge Thursday said the case won’t finish by Tuesday but will continue on July 21 because some lawyers for team owner Donald Sterling have personal plans.

Sterling is suing to block his wife’s unilateral deal to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Shelly Sterling testified Thursday that she made the deal with her husband’s consent — then he changed his mind.

Ballmer’s deal is due to expire next Tuesday but his lawyer, Adam Streisand, says there’s a provision to extend that another month as long as progress is being made in court.

Source: Suns reach deal with Tucker

PHOENIX — A person with knowledge of the situation said the Phoenix Suns have reached an agreement with forward P.J. Tucker on a three-year contract worth $16.5 million with the third year only partially guaranteed.

The person confirmed the contract details Thursday, requesting anonymity because the deal had not been officially announced.

Tucker was the top defender and acknowledged leader in the Suns’ surprising turnaround last season. He was a restricted free agent and several teams had shown an interest in him.

The person also confirmed that restricted free agent Isaiah Thomas visited the Suns on Thursday with more meetings set for Friday.

The Suns envision Thomas as a third point guard behind the double-point guard starting duo of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe.

By wire sources