Countdown to the start of NBA free agency

A look at the countdown to the start of the July 1 NBA free agency period, when stars such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and others are expected to hit the market:



OH, BY THE WAY: Game 1 of the NBA finals were Thursday night between the Celtics and Lakers.

ANOTHER NIGHT, ANOTHER INTERVIEW: A profile of James appeared on ABC's "Nightline," during which the star accepted a Knicks hat from interviewer Chris Cuomo. "It's a really nice, blue hat," LeBron said, deadpan, before going on to praise the franchise and Madison Square Garden. Also covered in the interview, during which James was not asked where he planned to play the next season, was his friendship with Warren Buffett, his support network of family and friends, and how he plans to adapt his game as he gets older.

THAT'S AMARE: The sports wagering site lists Amare Stoudemire's odds of opening next season in Phoenix at 2-1. Him playing in Miami was listed at 14-5, the second choice. The long shot? New Jersey, 7-1.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Chicago fans have posted their feelings toward James on a billboard close to downtown. It says: "Chicago Wants LeBron" in bold letters and includes six NBA championship trophies along with the phrase "Unfinished Business." The sign, mounted on the corner of Grand Avenue and LaSalle Street, was funded by donations from Bulls fans around the world who contributed through the website

WE WANT WADE: The Miami Heat's page is nearing a milestone, now up to 989 pages of messages from fans pleading with Wade to stay put. Including this offering from a man identified only as Andres: "Dwyane, In my opinion I think you should stay in your hometown........Miami." Small problem with the logic — Wade's hometown is Chicago.

MIKE-D BOSH: Chris Bosh has a new job. For one day, anyway. He'll host ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on June 24.

TWEET OF THE DAY: The Bucks' Brandon Jennings is a free agent too. Sort of. "Me and my latest girl agreed to go (our) separate ways," Jennings posted Thursday on his Twitter feed, yungbuck3.