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Too soon to read free-agency tea leaves

The NBA season hasn't started yet, so why is all the talk about next summer?
07/17/2013 2:41 PM ET
By Doug Williams

Carmelo Anthony can opt out of his contract with the Knicks after this season.(AP)
LeBron James' haters love to bring up "The Decision" and how distasteful it was. Well, if we all want to avoid a remake next summer, it's time for us to ignore the reports ... and there WILL be reports.

Maybe the biggest bummer about the fact that it's 2013 is that we still don't have a working time machine available to us. Unfortunately, when it comes to the future, we still have to sit around and wait to see what happens. So, it's July 17th. Therefore, we will not know for sure whether Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James will opt out of their contracts for another 11 months or so. Until then, everything else is pure speculation.

Today, there's a report that the Lakers are "eyeing" them both. Shocking, I know, that a team with money to blow would want two of the best players in the world. Who would have thought!?

And this is just the beginning. In the next year, there will be reports like "sources say Carmelo is leaning towards LA, it's where his wife wants to live and he reportedly has been in contact with Kobe Bryant via text" and "LeBron reportedly will consider Cleveland as a destination, he would love to go back home and wants to repair some of those bridges he burned in 2010."

I urge you all to see through the hearsay. In the summer of 2010, amidst report after report, we didn't even have a clue where LeBron might be leaning until the afternoon of the decision when we began to hear some whispers from the inside. And the only reason LeBron's people set up "The Decision" was because the fans and the media had driven it to the point that our curiosity had reached a new high. So, "The Decision" happened and we all watched with our fingers crossed.

Don't get me wrong, I understand why fans want to know these things and thus I also understand why NBA Insiders report them. We care about our teams and we want to know if these superstars will be a part of them. But as fans, the best way to protect ourselves from getting hurt -- I sound like a relationship counselor -- is to ignore the early reports and not get our hopes up. And the sad thing is that this saga will override so much of the upcoming season. It won't be about the Knicks and their quest for a championship, it will be about whether or not this is the last chance for the Knicks to win with Carmelo. And it won't be about the Heat going for three championships in a row, but it will be about LeBron's next move and the dispersion of the "Big Three."

Carmelo and LeBron can only play on one team. And as much as people hated "The Decision," everyone outside of Miami hated his decision in general. It's sad that no matter what they decide next summer, their greatness allows them to only be loved by one fan base and hated by the rest.

The key for fans is to enjoy the basketball. Knicks fans should appreciate every game that Carmelo is one of their own, as should Miami fans with LeBron. And if they do leave, at least you will have enjoyed rooting for a superstar instead of reading too much into their every move when it comes to the future. 

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