Eleven days in, and LeBron James is still a free agent.
Another day of waiting meant a whole new round of rampant rumors and reports, with fans and media members alike looking for clues with the sort of online detective work typically reserved for the latest episode of 24.
If only James worked with Jack Bauer's level of urgency.
Will he re-sign with the Miami Heat or head back to his home-state Cleveland Cavaliers — a story most could not have imagined four years ago?
Is there any chance he heads elsewhere — to the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets or Los Angeles Lakers? His agent, Rich Paul, spoke to each of those teams about a possible partnership.
No answer just yet, but that certainly didn't stop the media and Twitter users worldwide from feeding this raging fire of speculation. Plenty were inspired to try to wait it out right on James' lawn, prompting a parody Twitter account. And brands raced to capitalize on the saga. Tide tweeted out a photo of a Cavaliers James jersey sitting in a box with black tape over it with the caption "Wash away the last four years" on Thursday.
When Fox Sports Ohio reported that police officers stationed outside James' Akron, Ohio, home were told to expect a 3:30 p.m. ET announcement, James' website, LeBronJames.com, was so overloaded with traffic that it crashed for about 30 minutes.
But the announcement never came, Cavaliers fans were depressed all over again and Heat fans were buoyed by the latest faux development.
James, meanwhile, is still in Las Vegas, busy with his annual Nike Skills Academy. On Thursday afternoon, he was joined by former Heat running mate Dwyane Wade. This is the same man, mind you, who opted out of his Miami contract, leaving a combined $41.8 million on the table, as a way to help the Heat restructure their payroll and keep this basketball band together. Would he be hanging with James if he knew his monumental move was about to be for naught? The tea-leaf reading continued.
Cleveland and Miami aren't the only ones waiting for James to decide. The Rockets, restricted free agent small forward Chandler Parsons and Mavericks are tied up waiting, too. It's an interesting scenario for Houston, which thinks it has a chance to sign free agent forward Chris Bosh if James leaves Miami. The Rockets are on a timetable with regards to the offer sheet to Parsons, as he signed a three-year, $46 million offer sheet with the Mavericks and Houston has until Sunday to decide whether or not to match the offer.
But if the Rockets want to retain Parsons and sign Bosh, they need to sign Bosh first and then match Parsons' offer sheet. Because of salary-cap restrictions, they can't match Parsons' offer sheet first and then sign Bosh. So the Rockets want/need James to make a decision soon, or least before the three-day expiration date.
So while James ponders his future and consults with his family, he has essentially pushed pause on NBA free agency. The only deals getting done these days are low-profile agreements here and there.
Carmelo Anthony — still waiting.
Luol Deng — waiting.
Trevor Ariza — waiting.
Pau Gasol — waiting.
Waiting for pieces to start falling.