BY GLENN MINNIS
LeBron James took off for parts unknown earlier this week, presumably to rest his body and weigh his options in making the free agency decision that once again has the entire NBA on stand-by.
The 29-year-old, four-time league MVP has the option of being able to opt out of his Miami Heat deal this summer and speculation is building James is at least looking for certain assurances from Pat Riley and company before agreeing to remain in South Beach.
For one, James seems to have grown weary of his excessive work load. ESPN reports James played 400 more minutes than any other teammate this season and some 1,300 more than running mate Dwyane Wade, who in all missed 28 games this season and averaged the fewest minutes of any of his 11 NBA seasons.
"I haven't even begun to wrap my mind about it," James said of the possibility of actually testing the open market for the second time in four seasons. "I need to get away with my family before I start to think about what will happen next."
James readily admits both he and his family love Miami, but he's just as straight-forward in asserting some things still need to change.
"You want answers" James told reporters desperately trying to gauge what he might be thinking. "And I'm not going to give you one. I'm not going to give it to you."
Perhaps that has as much to do with the fact James hasn't entirely figured things out for himself as of yet. For one, even if he were to recommit to remaining in Miami today, he still can't be sure of about the makeup of the team he would be leading.
Like James, Wade and Chris Bosh can also become free agents and Shane Battier has already announced his retirement while Ray Allen is rumored to be still considering what he might come to do. There's also talk Chris "Birdman" Anderson plans to opt out of his deal.
And then, there's all the talk about how much Knicks free-agent-to-be star forward Carmelo Anthony wants to come to Miami and play with James and how the Big 3 of James, Wade and Bosh might all be willing to take less guaranteed money to make it all happen.
"There is a conversation that will be had between the three of us, I think that's only right," added James. "We've earned that for each other. I don't know what Dwyane right now is thinking. I don't know what Chris is thinking right now. We'll see what happens."
And all of Hoops Nation will be watching.
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