The Honesty Zone: The Summit
If this is your first experience with The Honesty Zone, you’ve picked a great one to take away your innocence. This is my version of the, “trust tree.” A safe place where everything is right with the world. No lies, no faint recollections, no prognostications; just good old fashioned, 100-proof, ice-cold truth.
And wouldn’t you know it, the universe just so happens to have something confidential that it wishes to share with us. This past week, some of the summer’s most mesmerizing NBA free agents met in the secrecy of South Beach. Or so they thought. Lucky for you, The Honesty Zone was there to document the excitement for you.
As always, when we dive into the Honesty Zone, together we will explore the depths of history; flies on the wall, observing interactions as they REALLY happened. No stone will go unturned. EVERYTHING is in play. Well, almost everything. We won’t talk about Ty Cobb sliding spikes high into second, attempting to slash the leg of Jackie Robinson and the words exchanged thereafter. Racism isn’t funny people. But everything ELSE is in play.
Today we go back in time, to the year 2010, the month of June… straight into the Honesty Zone. Stare deeply into the Honesty Zone Spiral. Feel yourself drifting slowly towards the truth…
(Our scene is set in the basement of Joe’s Stone Crabs, a historic South Beach restaurant cozily nestled on Biscayne Street, in Miami, Florida. Seated at an oval mahogany table is LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudamire, Joe Johnson and World Wide Wes.)
LeBron: Fellas, it’s good to see you all. Blows that we have to meet in such secrecy, but the media has been INSANE. I can’t even shoot hoops in my own house’s gym without having eleven microphones shoved in my face.
How do they even get inside? I have like seven security systems! What, do they tunnel their way through the concrete? I found Ric Bucher sitting on my toilet last Tuesday.
And he didn’t even replace the roll when he depleted it!
Wade: I’m just glad you all could make it.
Amar’e: Even me D-Wade? You glad I’m here? I DID have to invite myself you know.
Johnson: Oh woe is you Amar’e. You think you aren’t taken seriously? People are guessing that I’ll end up playing for the Clippers. Do you realize how messed up that is?
Wes: Joe, granted that Donald Sterling is completely incompetent, and shouldn’t be trusted to correctly match his socks, let alone run a basketball team; but don’t cool on the Clippers so quickly. My sources tell me this David Geffen thing is legit.
LeBron: You’re a wise man Wesley. I’ll take that into account myself.
Bosh, what are you thinking man? You’re not actually considering staying in Toronto are you?
Bosh: Bron, you’re such a kidder. I’d rather dip myself in massage oil and bathe with Steve Nash, than spend another year in his home country.
Wade: That’s sick man. Don’t say stuff like that. That’s not why we are here.
Amar’e: You guys don’t even know man. Steve is a slippery Pete. Much bigger than he looks though.
Johnson: C’mon now! Now you know why you weren’t invited Amar’e.
LeBron: Right. Anyway, we’re obviously all here to talk about one thing: free agency.
Wesley, give us the run-down, who wants who so far?
Wes: I can’t say that things aren’t complicated LeBron. Most teams seem content to wait on your decision before disclosing their backup targets, at least at this point in time.
LeBron: Right, right. I don’t blame them. I am pretty awesome.
Wes: But for now, it looks like the Bulls want LeBron and Bosh, the Heat prefer Wade, LeBron and Bosh, the Knicks like LeBron and Bosh, the Nets hope for LeBron and anyone else they can get, the Celtics SAY they want Pierce back but in actuality they want LeBron, the Mavs will first go for Dirk and then LeBron in a sign-and-trade, the Clippers are obsessed with LeBron and the Cavs of course also want LeBron.
LeBron: So Wes, what you’re saying is that everyone wants me, most want Bosh, only the Heat seriously think they have a shot at D-Wade here and no one REALLY wants Amar’e or Johnson.
Amar’e: That is messed up man.
Wes: I already told you, it’s complicated. LeBron is clearly the Holy Grail here, and the teams that have the cap-room to add two of you know that to win, know they need to pair Bron with a big. It seems most lean towards Bosh over Amar’e.
Bosh: Sorry Amar’e. No hard feelings.
Amar’e: Shut up Bosh. Once these GMs see you without your dreadlocks, they will run back to me. Shaved like that, your head looks like an some chick’s lumpy implant.
Bosh: Well you look like one of those Despicable Me animated dudes with your lame goggles. Who are you, Will Purdue?
Wes: Gentlemen, let it ride. You need to start making some progress here. We don’t have all night. Figure out what is doable and make some decisions.
Wade: Look, I know we all wanted to play together. Well, all of us minus Amar’e, and add Chris Paul instead. But it’s just not feasible without forgoing a ton of cash.
Realistically, two of you can join me in Miami. So, who wants in? You guys see how sweet it is here. And winning with me will only make it better.
LeBron: That’s a tough spot D. Split up the party? That would mean two of us getting the shaft.
Clearly, the first to be left out would be Amar’e.
Amar’e: Really LeBron?
LeBron: You know Wade, they say we can’t play together. Say there’s not enough ball for the both of us. Say that you’re like a two-day-old tuna fish sandwich, compared to my french dip. Say that you smell a little like a stale Amar’e fart…
Wade: Yeah, well what do you say?
LeBron: I say that I’m the best player in the world and with talent around me, I can adapt to any situation. I’d get my points and so would you. Hell, our assists would skyrocket too.
Wade: So let’s do it!
Johnson: Whoa, whoa, whoa… not so fast fellas. If both of you team up, who’d go with you? Me or Chris?
Bosh: Didn’t you say you were going to L.A. Joe?
Johnson: Man you guys just won’t let that die.
Wade: Honestly Joe, no one will be convinced you won’t be signing with the Clippers until you don’t sign with the Clippers.
Amar’e: Yo LeBron, what about Cleveland? I thought this was supposed to be a gut-wrenching decision for you, yet you haven’t even mentioned the Cavs yet.
LeBron: You really haven’t kept up, have you Stoudamire?
It’s not that I WANT to leave Cleveland, just that I am going to.
Amar’e: What about New York?
LeBron: You mean the team you will end up with? Nah, no chance. I’m not interested in an all offense, no defense coaching style. Especially on a team with no offense. Not to mention that James Dolan is actually a worse owner than Donald Sterling. I mean, Sterling supposedly interviewed Isaiah Thomas, but he never actually hired him!
Johnson: It’s not too late for that one.
Wade: Well for your sake, you’d better hope it doesn’t happen.
Wes: Look guys, Amar’e on the Knicks, Johnson on the Clippers, it makes sense. But I just can’t quite put my finger on the other three of you on the Heat. I love your game Dwayne, you’re one of the best. But would the three of you and nine other minimum contracts players be better than two of you; say, LeBron and Bosh, in Chicago with Rose, Noah, Deng and Gibson?
I’m just not so sure about that.
Wade: What? Wesley… c’mon man. Don’t meddle here. I have something scrumptious cooking. Tasty treats, for all to eat. Get a little South Beach in your diet, you won’t regret it.
LeBron: D-Wade, you know I love ya brotha, but I think World Wide has a point.
Bosh: So what, me and you in Chi-Town Bron?
LeBron: Could work, yeah.
Wes: I do have one other opportunity for you to think about LeBron. Non-Clippers opportunity. Which I still think could be legit, should Sterling step aside for Geffen.
You could always sweep the leg of Paul Pierce, by beating him to the Celtics. You’d then play with Rondo, KG, Perkins and Davis. Plus you’d have to assume that if you came to town, Ray Allen would want to come back.
How does that sound?
LeBron: VERY interesting. I like it. I only wonder if Danny Ainge might consider dealing KG in a sign-and-trade for Bosh. Hell, even you Amar’e.
Amar’e: RIGHT ON BABY!
LeBron: Just kidding Amar’e. No one wants to play with you. You are like the Newman to our Summer of LeBron. You are bringing everything down a notch. And you’re kind of chunky. Getting a little portly there.
Do have fun in New York though. It’s going to be a long five years for you.
Wes: So where to LeBron? What’s your plan?
LeBron: Sign-and-trade is what I’m thinking.
Wade: To Miami?
LeBron: Sorry Dwyane, can’t do it. Sounds fun, but there’s one spot better than Miami…
Amar’e: New York?
LeBron: Not quite.
Johnson: Los Angeles?
LeBron: You nailed it Joe.
But with the Lakers.
Wes: Ah, sign and trade for Bynum? You and Kobe would make an interesting pair. Almost like Batman and the Joker teaming up for a little mayhem.
LeBron: More like for Odom, Sasha and Walton.
And guess what fellas? The next move would be a sign-and-trade for Bosh.
Me, Kobe, Bosh, Artest and Gasol! That’s an unbeatable five.
This meeting is adjourned people. Good luck to the rest of you. We will be straight unstoppable.