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July 11, 2014

Deutschland! Germany beats Argentina for World Cup; plus Heat add Luol Deng, LeBron-gone poll (vote now) & more

1aa1atat1) It is SUNDAY, JULY 13. Little-considered byproduct of LeBron leaving: All across South Florida and beyond, there are inked-up Heat fans in the quandary pictured at right. 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): LeBron and Heat free agency, World Cup & more. 3Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Vine and Instagram.

1aa1adengHeat add Luol Deng: Miami has agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with longtime former Chicago Bull and recent Cavalier Luol Deng, 29, a 6-9 high-minutes veteran forward who has averaged 16 points in his career. He is pictured. Thus far in free agency the Heat has retained Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, and added Deng, Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts. Does not offset the loss of LeBron James, but it's none too shabby, either.

I'm back: We've been cruising the Caribbean the past week, back today. (The LeBron-leaving column linked below was written at sea, somewhere off the Virgin Islands). I'll bore you with vacation details later. For now, thanks for indulging the blog irregularities of the past week.

1aa1ahotbuttonHot Button Top 10: Our blog's regular Sunday feature, the Hot Button Top 10, will appear Monday morning this week.

 

1aa1abrazilwcFUTBLOG! WORLD CUP: FINALLY, THE CHAMPIONSHIP: FUTBLOG! is the official World Cup post of this blog, a continually updated daily dose of the month-long soccer spectacle in Brazil. See earlier posts for earlier results. We are down to the Final at last:

GERMANY (def. Argentina, 1-0): As host Brazil licked it wounded pride, a mighty, marquee-filling South America vs. Europe final went on
1aa1agermanwithout it. Argentina had advanced on penalty kicks over Netherlands after a scoreless draw, while Germany had utterly embarrassed Brazil, 7-1. The Germans, with 11-2 odds of winning coming in, claimed their fourth World Cup championship but first since ever-distant 1990. The Argentines, with 4-1 odds coming in, were after their WC title and first since way back in 1986. Both international powers had been waiting a long time to reign again. Sorry, Brazil, but it was a great finals. Germany seemedc the more solid all-round team coming in, but I stuck with my original prediction that Argentina and Lionel Messi would win it all. Instead, full respect to the Germans, deserving winners. My pick was: Argentina, 3-2.

Third-place match: Netherlands def. Brazil, 3-0.

Final World Cup goal scoring including championship: 64 matches, 171 goals, 2.67 per.

LEBRON LEAVING MIAMI, RETURNING TO CAVALIERS: [Click on Thanks, Not Anger for my column off the news LeBron is leaving ther Heat] Heat owner Mickey Arison's reaction probably mirrors that of Miami fans 1aa1alebronjeverywhere. "I'm shocked and disappointed," said the Heat's owner. James stunned much of the NBA and sports world Friday by revealing he will leave the Heat in free agency after four seasons and return to his hometown of Cleveland. The huge negative is offset only somewhat by the word Chris Bosh (and Dwyane Wade) will remain. James leaves Miami with two championships in four seasons but also leaves the Heat in a lurch, and scrambling to remain a power in his wake. What is your gut reaction to the news of James' decision? The disappointment goes without saying. But is there anger, too? Our poll question could as easily have been worded as this: On LeBron's first return to Miami in a Cavs uniform, what will be your reaction? Say how you feel about LeBron leaving and why you feel as you do.

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