Please No More LeBron to New York Talk
Is anybody else as sick as me with the oversaturated coverage of LeBron’s supposedly inevitable move to one of the New York teams come 2010? It’s good to dream, but can someone please tell me when this became fact?
Was it when LeBron was spotted sporting the Yankees cap proudly during the playoff series between the Indians and Yankees?
Was it since he started flashing the Roc-a-fella signs in honor of his close friend/minority owner of the Nets, Jay-Z?
Was it when he dropped 50 points, eight rebounds and ten assists in a near triple double on the Knicks in the Garden and proclaimed yesterday, “For some reason when I get to the Garden, I always play well," James said yesterday.
"So they want me to do it for 41 games instead of two games a year.”
He added more fuel to the fire by saying his favorite city is the Big Apple and then went on to say that his favorite borough is Brooklyn.
Who has a favorite borough anyway?
"I have dreamed about playing well in this building," James said.
"To me, it has overtaken anything I have dreamed about. To get a standing ovation in the greatest basketball arena in the world is a dream come true to me. It's one of the best things that have ever happened to me."
As for the Brooklyn Nets, their new arena should be completed right around the time of James arrival. The Atlantic Yards project would feature 16 skyscrapers, thousands of apartments with the 18,000 seat arena, the Barclay’s Center, where the Nets will play as the centerpiece.
So, is it right that the Nets are clearly making roster moves due to a player’s free agency two years down the line?
Look, being a Nets fan, I really did not care that much about finally trading away Kidd.
Yes, he brought the franchise to relevance bringing us to two NBA finals appearances, but his constant whining, and trade requests got old. His indifference to the team last year absolutely killed their spirit and sent them into free fall mode.
In trading Kidd, the Nets got plenty in return. Expiring contracts, draft picks, and their point guard and future All-Star in Devin Harris.
Richard Jefferson never complained. He played hurt, played through the rough times. He played through Kidd and Carter’s uninspired play.
He didn’t even mention his true feelings when new ownership at the time decided to break up the team that went to two consecutive Finals. He never said anything bad about any coach.
So, in a cost-cutting move in more ways than one, which I’ll explain briefly, Jefferson was traded to the Bucks for Yi Jianlian and oft-injured Bobby Simmons, whose contract ends in 2010.
I, personally don’t think the move was all about LeBron. I believe GM Kiki Vandeweghe and head of operations Rod Thorn really see something in Yi.
Last season, Yi’s first, he averaged 8.6 points, 5.2 rebounds playing 25 minutes per game. He’s young, can run the floor, and can shoot it mid-range and from the three-point line pretty well.
Yi brings China with him, which, in turn brings a lot of money. Keep in mind New York has the biggest Chinese population in the U.S. There is plenty of money to be made overseas in China. Naming rights money, shoe deal money, endorsement deals, suite money for the new arena.
Because of Yi, Nets games will now be seen on 50 plus stations in China. Three hundred million Chinese play basketball and one billion watch NBA games. Some months the NBA brings in more revenue from China than it does in North America.
This move had to be done. The Nets were losing $40 million a year, the heaviest debt-to-assets load of any professional sports team, according to Forbes magazine.
Something needed to be done, especially with the shady arena financing picture for the Barclay’s Center. Richard Jefferson served as the sacrificial lamb in this situation.
Look, it’s all well and good to dream of LeBron’s arrival, but what happens if he doesn’t come? What happens if the Cavs make the right move, bringing LeBron a sidekick to help lead them to the promised land? Is LeBron going to leave a championship team?
Who says LeBron can’t make tons of money and become a global icon in Cleveland? Hasn't he done so already?
As for now, I’m looking at the present, not two years down the line. If the Nets do wind up getting LeBron it would be great. If they don’t, I like the roster and the direction they are headed.
A lot can happen in two years. That being said, a lot can happen in one year, Lakers-Celtics finals? Who thought that was even possible after last season?
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