Commentary

LeBron, Calipari talk is ridiculous

Updated: May 14, 2010, 1:47 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

I watched the Boston Celtics elimination of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night and I don't care what anybody says -- nobody can convince me that was the real LeBron James over the last two playoff games.

I am not talking solely about scoring, either. I am talking about his court demeanor, attitude, swagger, and star stature: it was like none of that existed! He played with zero confidence and I think he was too proud to admit that he was having problems with his elbow.

But this isn't about his shooting touch, I'm really talking about his mental edge and his ability to take it to the basket, protect the basketball, and make plays. That was not the same LeBron James we've seen all season long.

He was good, don't get me wrong. He posted a triple-double in Game 6. It just wasn't a dominant performance and the turnovers were costly. James did not make the big plays when he needed to.

There's a lot of speculation about his decision via free agency. Talk shows all across America are already in a tizzy over his possible destinations. Fans in Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Miami, Los Angeles and Cleveland are all hoping and praying that they can win the King James sweepstakes. Ultimately, I feel that James will decide to return to the Cavaliers.

Also, I think it is crazy to talk about John Calipari leaving Kentucky and going to coach the Bulls, Cavaliers, or any other NBA team. My friends, it is not going to happen.

There has been speculation because Calipari was sitting courtside with James' agent for the game last night but it is nonsense to talk about him going back to the NBA. The reason he sat behind the bench at Cleveland's game was charity related. In raising $1 million for Haiti, he auctioned off a prize for Cavs playoff tickets and was merely accompanying the family who won.

It is craziness the way the media has speculated on this connection. It is reckless and it blows my mind!

Anyway, let the soap opera off-season for LeBron James begin! As the world of LeBron turns, baby! It is going to be very interesting for the next few months.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.