LeBron James, left, starts a highlight reel dunk on Amare Stoudemire. Photo courtesy YouGotDunkedOn.com.
Last week, Dwyane Wade made noise by announcing he'd talk to fellow NBA free agents LeBron James and Joe Johnson before deciding where he wants to play ball next season. He forgot Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire, and STAT is making sure it's known he wants an invitation. Should all five meet up for the so-called "free agent summit", it could shift the balance of power in the NBA. It's a given the New York area teams, the Nets and Knicks, will want to sign at least one of these five players. Doing so would start to bring the NY teams back towards contention again. Likewise, should any of these five players leave their respective franchises (Wade - Miami, James - Cleveland, Johnson - Atlanta, Bosh - Toronto, Stoudemire - Phoenix), these franchises would slide way down the contender scale.
Last week, the NBA said Wade did not break any league tampering rules with his comments. Under league rules, players cannot tamper with other players, though it's a given that players talking among themselves not only happens, but is impossible to regulate. The NBA metes out discipline only in what it said are "the most egregious" cases, and said Wade's comments "do not meet that standard."