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Comparing LeBron James' free agency to the hiring of Mike Leach

Coverage of NBA free agency has been very college football like, except in the case of Mike Leach's hiring.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven't been following NBA free agency, you've missed out on one hell of a soap opera. LeBron James opted out his contract 17 days ago, creating a frenzy that's lasted more than two weeks. There have been reports about reports. The Internet tracked airplanes. People stalked airports, houses and gyms. The entire thing has been very ... college football.

Few things can match the LeBron James free agent frenzy, but a college football coaching search is certainly one of them. College football fans are professionals at tracking airplanes and stocking airports. The coverage of James has brought back memories to when WSU hired Mike Leach. Well, maybe if you took the process with James and sped it up 1,000 times. Let's compare the two.


LeBron James


Mike Leach

June 24

James officially opts out of his contract and becomes a free agent

November 29

WSU officially fires Paul Wulff

June 29

James has reportedly discussed salary plans with his Heat teammates

November 29

Bill Moos holds a press conference to announce the move where he discusses Leach and other potential candidates

June 30

James tells suitors he will only accept a maximum contract

November 30

Reports surface that Leach is "on his way to Pullman"

July 1

Rumors surface that James could accept a one-year deal

November 30

Leach has reportedly been offered the job

July 3

James' agent meets with representatives from several teams

November 30

Leach has reportedly agreed to terms with WSU

July 6

Cleveland sends a plane to Miami which the Internet follows. Reporters stake out the airport in Florida

November 30

Leach officially hired as the new WSU head coach

July 6

Reports indicate the Cavs may be the favorite to land James

November 30

Reports surface that Moos met with Leach earlier in November

July 9

Cleveland makes a trade to clear cap space, potentially opening room to sign James to a max deal

December 1

Leach tweets about taking the job

July 9

James meets with executives from the Miami Heat

December 5

Leach arrives in Spokane ahead of his press conference

July 10

Reporters and fans stake out James' home in Ohio while he is in Las Vegas. Cars pile up on the side of the road for no apparent reason

December 6

Leach arrives in Pullman for introduction day

July 10

James flies from Las Vegas to Miami on a scheduled trip before heading to Brazil for the World Cup

December 6

Leach introduced in a press conference

July 11

James agrees to a deal

December 7

Leach partakes in another press conference, this one in Seattle


James is introduced in a press conference

December 8

Leach hires his first four offensive assistants

The two actually compare quite well if you compare days to hours. LeBron James' free agency watch is 18 days and counting. I'm not even sure we got 18 hours of Mike Leach watch. In roughly half the time of this James fiasco, WSU had agreed to terms with Leach, held two press conferences and he'd already hired four assistants. We didn't get to track a single plane, stalk out a single airport or have any mystery sources of a guy who knows a guy.

Really the chart above doesn't tell the story of how absurd this James free agency is, but instead it shows how much we missed out on. The hiring of Mike Leach was definitely not up to SEC -- and now NBA -- stalking standards. Maybe that's a good thing.


Preseason position reviews: Cornerback - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN
Washington State: The Cougars have taken major steps forward under head coach Mike Leach. At some point the cornerbacks need to follow suit (especially considering what they face in practice every single day). The Washington State secondary is in a major rebuilding period after losing cornerbacks Nolan Washington and Damante Horton. The only player with any kind of experience is Daquawn Brown, but beyond him it could be a lot of youth in the secondary.

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Washington State is ready to take the next step in the Pac-12 Conference under third-year head coach Mike Leach, especially with redshirt-senior quarterback Connor Holliday leading a group of eight returning starters offensively.

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Washington State: Darryl Monroe and Cyrus Coen return as starters and Tana Pritchard, who saw his role grow as the season went along, will be leaned on heavily. The final spot up for grabs is the ‘buck,’ which looks like it will come down to Kache Palacio, a slight favorite who started at the end of the season, and Ivan McLennan. Chester Su'a could also make some noise after missing last season with an injury.

Men's basketball:

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The Washington State University men’s basketball team will face UC Santa Barbara on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 27, in the opening round of the 2014 GCI Great Alaska Shootout at Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center.