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A preject is a person who has been rejected by one or both parents, and as a result lives with a cracked, broken or shattered soul. To cope with and compensate for the damage visited on his soul by the absence of his father and the inconsistent presence of his mother in his life, LeBron James has mastered one of the first tools of soul protection: silence.

Man, he’s really good at it, too.

So good, in fact, that it has inspired a culture of silence around his free agency from a group of professionals paid to put their thoughts and words in print, and render a verdict. Yup, the basketball writers of America, in spite of all the rhetoric, verbiage, and text spewing from every sports news outlet on the continent, have been curiously silent on some pretty important stuff. Like seasoned prejects, they’ve been throwing up a fence of words that has effectively obscured the truth.

With all of the hoopla and carefully crafted misinformation swirling around Lebron James and the rest of the holy trinity of the 2010 free agent class, the most important and compelling bits of news has been what is not being said:

It’s astonishing how everyone has been silent about Tracy McGrady, a top 10 player just two years ago, on the mend from microfracture surgery, and who at 75% of his former self would still be an appealing running mate for an insouciant superstar who only wants to win. That T-Mac vowed to stay with the Knicks (who still own his yet unrenounced rights) if they managed to sign two max free agents ratchets up the stakes in this surreal game of basketball monolopy being presided over by a stakeholder in Akron and a powerbroker at Penn Plaza. A lineup with James, Stoudemire, a healthier McGrady, and two other nondescript dudes (more on this later) would certainly cause the rest of the league to take notice, and resurrect visions of Boston, 2008. Remember that when the original Post-Modern Big Three were united three summers ago there were whispers about Ray Allen’s ankles (he’d just come off ankle surgery and no one knew how productive he could still be, which is one of the reasons he was made available in a trade), and Paul Pierce’s elbow. Not appreciably different than the recent, in-season chatter about McGrady’s knee and the current yammering about Stoudemire’s health.

It’s astonishing how everyone has been silent about Eddy Curry, a behemoth of a center just two years removed from serious all-star consideration, who is capable of giving a revamped Knick team at least the inside presence of a Luke Longely with the champion Bulls of the 90s or a Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and later a weakened Shaq, with an underachieving Cavalier squad. It’s easy to suspect that there was more to that sit down between Lebron and Curry in Ohio this past May (reported by the NY Daily News on May 18th, but curiously taken down from the website today) than just shooting the breeze about Curry’s future. If this meeting was indeed initiated by James it smacks more of shrewd investigatory assessment by James than just two ballers hanging out. With no history to speak of (other than sharing the same agent), the James-Curry pow wow was as odd and incongruous a spectacle as Russian spies meeting with White House aids in the dining hall of the Capital building.

It’s astonishing how everyone has been silent about Mike D’Antoni’s coaching appeal to Lebron James specifically. While Lebron has never blatantly called out his former coach, Mike Brown, for unimaginative offense schema and poor decision-making in big playoff games, anyone who’s played the game or watched it a lot could feel Lebron’s thoughts during the press conferences after deflating, unfathomable losses to teams with lesser talent, but better coaching. It is a player’s game, but James has always been a loyal, obedient soldier who would never show up his coach. He is the consummate warrior committed to executing the game plan given; and in this context, coaching matters. Byron Scott is cool and decorated and all, but James has never seen him coach uptempo, while he has successful history with D’Antoni, even if it was only for three summers of fun on the way to an Olympic gold medal.

It’s astonishing how everyone has been silent about the immediate impact of a potential lineup of Monta Ellis (from a possible sign-and-trade for David Lee, to which the Golden State Warriors are reportedly open), Tracy McGrady, Lebron James, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Eddy Curry, with Wilson Chandler, Bill Walker, Danilo Gallinari, and possibly Mike Miller coming off the bench. Replace James with Miller and that lineup is still formidable, but with James it’s an NBA finals lock.

Boston has shown that three future hall of famers near the end of their careers, one speedy point guard on the way up, and one marginally talented behemoth with a heart as huge as his scowl, can run into battle and slay any Goliath if they have the right inspiration on the sideline to guide them. As astute a student of the game as Lebron claims to be, it would be astonishing if he didn’t see that a projected five of Ellis, McGrady, James, Stoudemire and Curry would send the Big Three into retirement, Beantown into reconstruction, and Doc Rivers back into broadcasting and increased family face time.

Now, I’m not saying Lebron is headed for New York (even if he is scheduled to announce his decision from the Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, CT, a stone’s throw away from Madison Square Garden). He’s been too preject silent for anyone to take more than an educated guess. All I’m saying is…it’s astonishing what’s not being said.

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