Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years or completely oblivious to the world of professional sports, it is common knowledge that Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James will become an unrestricted free agent when he opts out of his contract on July 1.
And knowing that this day would eventually come, several NBA organizations have utilized or, if you prefer, sacrificed the past two seasons to position themselves to sign the two-time reigning Most Valuable Player to a maximum contract. But none of these organizations have sacrificed more than the New York Knicks.
At the expense of placing a product on the floor that had the best chance for success, Knicks President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh made no less than eight transactions, involving a total number of 25 players, over the past couple of years to not only make a strong run at James but to sign another member of the highly touted 2010 free agent class; including Dwyane Wade, Joe Johnson, Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire or Dirk Nowitzki.
As a result of Walsh’s machinations though, New York won only 61 out of 164 games in the past two seasons and extended their playoff drought to six years.
However, if these two seasons of futility and ineptitude culminate in the signing of LeBron James all will be right with the world and the ends will have certainly justified the means.
So, as soon as the Cavaliers were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, New York’s courtship of the 25-year-old superstar was thrust into high gear.
But not by the Knicks front office of course, because any implicit or explicit recruiting of James by the organization prior to July 1 would be considered tampering and come with a hefty fine as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Phoenix Suns general manager Steve Kerr have already found out.
No, the Big Apple’s wooing of the man dubbed ‘King James’ has come from entirely different sources altogether.
For instance, as part of their ‘Get LeBron’ initiative, NYDailyNews.com has appealed to James by saying:
Hey, LeBron: You belong in New York. Come and feel the love. The heart of the city will beat for you. The rush will be such as you have never felt. That's life when you have the greatest 8 million fans on the planet behind you.
And recently, to launch the ‘C’mon LeBron’ movement, the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, made his own feelings known by adding:
“Willis on one leg. Clyde with a steal. Dr. J soaring from the line. C’mon, LeBron! Write the next chapter in NYC basketball history."
"As the good book says, 'Lead us to the promised land.' And that’s a quote from the King James version.”
King? Deliverer? Messiah? Is this how LeBron James is now being viewed through the eyes of New York?
According to ESPNNewYork.com, Donnie Walsh wants as many New Yorkers as possible to help convince James to choose Madison Square Garden when NBA free agency opens July 1, including members of the New York Yankees.
"If there's Yankees that want to help us, we would involve them," Walsh told the New York Post on Sunday.
But Yankees captain Derek Jeter doesn't see the point. "You don't have to sell winning in New York," Jeter said.
To take it one step further, Jeter could have also said you don’t have to sell New York.
Therefore, the figurative and literal groveling at the feet of LeBron James by the city of New York must come to an immediate halt. No one man deserves this much attention and praise, especially from one of the greatest cities in the world, for doing so little.
And the more these ludicrous campaigns to recruit him continue, the more likelihood there is that LeBron James will become the most overrated superstar in the history of professional sports.
Click here to read original article on Examiner.com, which includes relevant links and a video of the launching of the 'C'mon LeBron' movement as well as videos of LeBron James' interview with Larry King on CNN.