Are you tired of watching the New York Knicks lose seemingly every single game since Patrick Ewing retired?
Do you want to see LeBron James come to New York in the Summer Of Stars that will be the 2010 NBA offseason?
Then here’s an idea: If you’re Donnie Walsh, START BUILDING NOW!
For this to make any sense, one must go back to this past season. LeBron James was the MVP. Kobe Bryant held that title the year before. The 2009 NBA Finals was supposed to be the second coming of Magic vs. MJ. It was to be either the assertion of Bryant’s supremacy (and the proof that he didn’t need Shaq) or the crowning of James as the NBA’s true No. 1 superstar (in other words, finally better than Kobe Bryant). So why was it the former and not the latter? Better yet, why was that matchup non-existent? Because – once again – Bryant’s supporting cast showed up and LeBron’s did not.
With that being said, does coming to the Knicks as they are right now gives LeBron a better chance at a title? Absolutely not!
Cleveland without LeBron could still whip the Knicks by 15 points or more. Bon’t get me wrong, the Knicks do have some pieces. Players like Wilson Chandler and David Lee need to stick around. With that being said, who is left to build around him? A scrappy yet still undeveloped scoring point guard that demands more playing time (Nate Robinson)? A forward with All-Star potential that plays like he’s walking on eggshells (Al Harrington)? An almost All-Star in 2006 that refuses to run, play defense or get his heart checked (Eddy Curry)? More unproven role players (Dalino Gallinari, Chris Duhon, and Chris Roberson)? And – here’s the worst – his failed, injury-prone help in Cleveland (Larry Hughes)?
Meanwhile in Cleveland, he’s closer to home, has a still somewhat dominant big man (Shaquille O’Neal), two guards of good caliber (Delonte West and Mo Williams), a fixture on the team (Zydrunas Ilgauskas), and a solid bench (Wally Szcerbiak, Daniel Gibson, Anderson Varejao, and Joe Smith).
At this rate, the only thing LeBron would be leaving Cleveland for is the money, the market, and a much weaker team. He doesn’t really need to expand his market; in a market that is nothing like New York’s, he still sells jersey and merchandise all over the country and all over the world. He is one of the two most synonymous names associated with the NBA today and he’s in Cleveland, a mini-market compared to markets like Boston, Washington, D.C., and the aforementioned New York.
And you are going to expect the man who has an “MJ bag of tricks,” won an Olympic gold medal, and refused to speak to the media after failing to make the Finals to leave home to head to a team that right now just doesn’t know how to win?
You’d have a better chance getting Bill Russell to come out of retirement.
There are still some good free-agents and role players out there to be signed in Lamar Odom, Andre Miller, Grant Hill, Drew Gooden, Shawn Marion, and Mike Bibby. There is a lot more wheeling and dealing to be done.
But come 2010, if LeBron James isn’t wearing blue and orange in Madison Square Garden, at least now you know why.
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