Heat silent as LeBron noise builds

James is by consensus the most unselfish superstar in sports, with Ray Allen saying he's never had a teammate give such great gifts, sharing James' corporate sponsorships. James would not need merely a better roster (Houston? Phoenix?) to leave Miami for a city where he doesn't know the president, general manager and coach. He'd need for it to be so much better that he'd be willing to again be Mercenary Guy with his repaired image and endure some of what he did four years ago ... and leave behind his championship friends in doing so.

James' agent is taking meetings? That's the guy's job, and this is his first commission, James continuing to empower his friends. See something sinister and scary in it if you like, but his agent better do something to earn that percentage of a max contract. That agent percentage is worth millions and millions of dollars. Taking a few meetings is almost literally the very least his agent could do ... and good practice for one of James' buddies as he has surrounded himself with the crew from "Entourage." Heat fans need not worry until James himself is in one of these meetings, but what is being waved around as news in the interim by nameless sources and needy reporters is what has been said privately by anonymous people who may be dishing misinformation instead of what has been said and done publicly by the informed participants because ... well, that's the interesting part, isn't it?

The transaction often usurps the action in sports in 2014. Tomorrow's hope can feel better than your team's today. Everyone is a fantasy general manager, and ratings monstrosities like the NFL draft show how we can't get enough of the abstractions about tomorrow's team, tomorrow's changes, tomorrow's hope. The possibility of James leaving is only 1,000 times juicier than the probability that he's staying. You'll notice that none of these reporters using these anonymous sources dares call any team other than Miami a front-runner for James' services even while constructing the tapestry to frame these stories.

This should be noted, though: Privately, Miami Heat management is not worried. Privately, management would be blindsided by any of the three leaving. Privately, management says nothing has changed in the last week except for the volume of media noise, and nothing unexpected has happened beyond players the Heat might have wanted, like Jodie Meeks, going for $10-12 million more than expected. Privately, management believes what James has said -- that he and his family love Miami -- and that he doesn't take for granted the difficulties and blessings in making four straight Finals appearances.

Truth be told, management was a lot more scared in 2010 about what would happen with the Big Three. Back then, management knew and had a relationship with only one of these three players. And 2010 was so loud and scary that Stephen A. Smith -- not exactly short on confidence and bombast -- vowed to never do it again. He has recused himself from the present mess, refusing to add to a growing noise that management now views as flies around an elephant's tail.

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