Sports News-July 7, 2014

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After more than two years of planning, the Cleveland Cavaliers believe they have LeBron James legitimately listening to their pitch to leave the Miami Heat and return to his home state in free agency, according to sources close to the process.  There has yet to be a firm indication that James actually is ready to leave Miami after four years and two championships with the Heat, but sources told that the four-time MVP is increasingly considering the Cavaliers as an option as he moves into the final stages of deciding which team to sign his next contract with.  James left Cleveland in 2010 and reached the finals four times and won two championships with the Heat.

The Houston Rockets have ramped up their pursuit of Chris Bosh and are, in the words of one source, "heavily engaged" in trying to convince the All-Star power forward to leave the Miami Heat in free agency.  Sources close to the process told yesterday that the Rockets -- though they haven't formally been told they are no longer in the running for top free-agent target Carmelo Anthony have intensified their pursuit of Bosh over the weekend in the hope that LeBron James will seriously consider leaving the Heat.  Bosh is resolved to wait on James to make a decision before he makes a decision on any other offers, as his preference remains to return to Miami with James, according to a source.  However, the longer the process has gone on, the more Bosh has felt compelled to explore "Plan B’s," the source said.  Miami has remained a favorite to re-sign Bosh, even if it required him to take a pay cut from last season's $19 million salary.

Alex Gordon is heading back to the All-Star Game.  This time he’ll be joined by another former Husker.  Gordon, Kansas City’s starting left fielder, was selected as a reserve outfielder for the American League for the second consecutive season.  The National League will feature another former Husker: Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Tony Watson will be making his first All-Star Game appearance.  It’s believed to be the first time that two former Huskers have been selected to play in the same All-Star Game.  Gordon and Watson played together for the Huskers in 2005, the last year they reached the College World Series.  Gordon played for the Huskers from 2003 to 2005, while Watson pitched from 2005 to 2007.  In the 2005 season, Gordon was the college player of the year as he hit .372 with 19 homers and 66 RBIs, while Watson worked mostly as a reliever and went 6-1 with a 2.82 ERA.

Local Schedule:  Iowa at Omaha Storm Chasers (Bsbl-7:05); Columbus Fire & Ice at Nfk Golden Girls 18’s (SB DH-6:30).

Local Scores:  Omaha Storm Chasers 7 Colorado Springs 2 (Bsbl).

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