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LeBron meets with Cavs, Bulls; now he'll mull the offers

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers waits

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers waits for the play against the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Photo Credit: Getty Images

CLEVELAND - LeBronapalooza ended here Saturday afternoon with a silver Audi, driven by the central figure of the last 72 hours, LeBron James, emerging from a parking garage through a cloud of talcum powder.

As the car pulled through, fans mimicked James' trademark pregame routine by tossing talcum in the air. But James made a quick right and left the awaiting fans of this desperate city - and a large banner that read "HOME" - in the dust.

If the reigning two-time NBA MVP does sign elsewhere, the moment will be a lasting image in the depressing sports history of this town. James, who slipped out side exits through the garage, never addressed the awaiting media or the fans during the three days he spent in Ohio meeting with six NBA teams in the running to sign him.

A person close to James believes the two-time MVP still is unsure about a decision, and it is believed he won't be ready to make one until the middle of this week at the earliest. James is hosting his annual Nike-sponsored Skills Academy in Akron this week. So now LeBron is in Brett Favre mode, as if ESPN wasn't already infatuated.

There is, however, a prevailing feeling that leaving Cleveland might be too emotionally difficult for James and that he'll decide to remain with the Cavaliers. Saturday, he completed his final two meetings with the Cavs and the Chicago Bulls.

The Cavaliers, who were first up in the morning, kept it very light. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, they appealed to James' more humorous side with a cartoon done in the style of one of his favorite shows, "Family Guy."

"It went well, we had a good time, it was fun and very interactive," recently promoted Cavs general manager Chris Grant said. "Obviously, we know LeBron well, and I would characterize it as positive."

The Knicks, who met with James on Thursday afternoon, created a video of another one of James' favorite shows, "The Sopranos," with actors James Gandolfini and Edie Falco. According to ESPNNew York.com, the clip showed Gandolfini as Tony Soprano telling his wife, Carmela (Falco), that he has a friend in town named LeBron James, who needs a place to stay. Carmela checks her computer and tells Tony she has found just the place. The film cuts to an image of Madison Square Garden.

Pat Riley came impeccably dressed, as usual, and brought his championship rings for the Heat's meeting Friday. At the same time, the Heat's Dwyane Wade was in Chicago talking to the Knicks and Bulls.

Each team had its own personal touch. The Nets brought hip-hop star Jay-Z, a minority share owner and close friend of James. Even the Clippers, who came in Friday, were memorable because they showed up with only two figures, team executive Andy Roesner and general manager Neil Olshey, and took barely an hour of LeBron's time.

Though the Cavs desperately tried to appeal to James' emotional side in their meeting and during these past three days, great temptation remains with New York - with either the Knicks or Nets - and the allure of opportunities in Chicago or Miami also is a factor.

The Knicks, who spent two years preparing for the chance to make a run at James this summer, can only hope he chooses one of two options: signing with the Knicks or staying home.

If he leaves Cleveland to play for another team - especially the Nets - it would be a devastating blow to Donnie Walsh's tenure.

"I just told [LeBron], 'I think you'll know. You'll have a peace about it and make a decision accordingly,' " said Allan Houston, who serves as special assistant to Walsh. "And I wished him the best."

The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Knicks, MSG and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.

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