So I took my daughters to Annie's Parlor on Sunday night, and as we left to walk to our car, we passed a street musician playing the guitar and singing.

Then we realized what he was singing. This wasn't your typical street guitarist who thinks that Bob Dylan simply hasn't gotten enough recognition and must be mimicked until we all fully appreciate his brilliance and nasal-osity. No. This was a street musician who wanted to impart deep thoughts for the betterment of mankind, and so he sang, and I am not making this up, ``Feline dementia/Feline dementia/I think my cat has/Feline dementia/First she wants inside/Then she wants outside/I think my cat has/Feline dementia.''

Not sure what the title of the song was, but I'm guessing ``Like a Rolling Stone.''

That stupid story was not apropos of nothing. It was apropos of this:

That street musician might be a little less crazy than ESPN basketball analyst John Hollinger, who wrote, in part:

``And it's especially worth noting that if the Cavs are back in the 45-50 win range this season, King James might be a much more portable commodity this coming summer. If he's looking at a Cleveland lineup with one majestically talented player and several spare parts, one would think the comparison to such arrangements in New York or New Jersey wouldn't be dramatically different.

But those aren't close to being the most palatable changes of uniform available. For instance, it bears mentioning that joining the Chicago squad LeBron's team lost to Thursday night would be dramatically different. With a young star point guard, quality big men and lots of secondary help, the Bulls -- who could get as much as $20 million under the cap if John Salmons opts out of his contract, conveniently opening a spot in the lineup for LeBron at the same time -- would offer a more clear opportunity for long-term success.

Let me throw out an even crazier proposition -- Minnesota. The Wolves will have the cap space to make a run at LeBron, depending on a few variables -- or at the very least can get there fairly easily if they know there's a chance for a player of this caliber. (Declining an option on Ryan Gomes, for instance, is done much more easily if it allows you to replace him with the best player in the league.)

Minnesota is generally thought of as one of the NBA's least-desirable relocation options, but let's consider it from a winning perspective. Who would you rather play with for the next five years: Al Jefferson or Anderson Varejao? Kevin Love or Ilgauskas? Ricky Rubio or Mo Williams? Jonny Flynn or West? Ramon Sessions or Daniel Gibson? Next year's fourth pick or next year's 24th? It's obvious, isn't it?

And as Howard Beck points out in today's New York Times, the advantages of one city over another are minimal from a financial perspective -- it's as easy to put Cleveland, Minnesota or Sacramento on national TV as it is the Knicks. Really, the main considerations are who LeBron wants to play basketball with and whether he can handle living in that city day-to-day.

All the attention will be on New York, of course, because it's New York and because LeBron is playing there Friday night. But really, the possibility of his joining the Knicks is just the tip of the iceberg. If the Cavs' true level is just as a 45-50 win team, then a lot of other situations look at least as appetizing, if not better. Thus, for Cleveland, the truly terrifying part about this season's slow start is not what it may do for its playoff seeding in the spring, but that it may fuel LeBron's search for greener pastures this summer.''

Imagine that: Target Center being described as a greener pasture.

What I really took from Hollinger's comparison of Cleveland and Minnesota's rosters was this: I was right on last week when I wrote that James' supporting cast is getting worse, not better, and that the Cavs are in trouble.

I also think the Wolves are proceeding brilliantly this season. If you tank games all season, nobody will be able to accuse you of tanking games at the end of the season while you position yourselves to land the first pick in the draft.



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Bud needs to leap into the new millenium