LeBron James could become the Patrick Ewing of this millennium
With the unceremonious ouster of the Cleveland Cavaliers from the NBA Playoffs by the Boston Celtics, the entire sports world has now become nauseatingly fixated on every single move made and every single word uttered by LeBron James in the days and weeks leading up to July 1; which is when the NBA reigning two-time MVP becomes an unrestricted free agent.
More specifically though, the frenzy that has permeated the atmosphere in New York City over the past several weeks, as James' 'countdown to freedom' became the hot topic of conversation, harkens back to the days prior to the first ever NBA Draft Lottery in 1985.
During that time, the New York Knicks were coming off a dismal season in which they won only 24 games and failed to reach the playoffs for the second time in four years.
However, unlike this season, which saw New York finish with an equally appalling 29 victories, the Knick organization had a prime opportunity to rebuild through the Draft, with the hope they would be fortunate enough to win the right to select the first overall pick.
And when NBA Commissioner David Stern pulled the Knick logo out of the envelope to officially signify that New York would have the first selection in the 1985 NBA Draft, Knicks Director of Basketball Operations Dave DeBusschere couldn’t be more ecstatic as he was well aware that the team’s pending pick would change the fortunes of the franchise for years to come.
That consensus first overall pick turned out to be none other than Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing, who led the University of Georgetown to the NCAA Championship Game in three out of four years before closing the book on his legendary collegiate playing career.
Ewing would go on to post career averages of 21.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game while being the center piece in the transformation of the Knicks from cellar dwellers to perennial contenders.
Coincidentally enough, the 25-year anniversary of Ewing’s selection in the 1985 Draft was on May 12; just one day before LeBron James’ season came to an end in Boston.
Now James, arguably the most sought after free agent in league history, has all the time in the world to browse GetLeBron.com, a website created by NYDailyNews.com that is devoted to all the LeBron James’ news that’s fit to print and/or post.
In addition, James can also take note of the fact that prominent members of the last New York Knicks championship team, Clyde Frazier, Earl Monroe and Willis Reed, have thrown their full support behind the site and New York’s recruiting effort to entice him to sign with the Knicks.
So, like 1985, New York is in the hunt to acquire a marquee star that, in all likelihood, will resurrect the franchise and turn the city into the center of the basketball universe.
Twenty-five years is a long time to wait for this type of player to become a part of your organization; especially when it’s located in the largest media market in the National Basketball Association.
Is the wait finally over for a success-starved franchise such as the Knicks?
Will history repeat itself?
If it doesn’t, it won’t be due to a lack of effort on New York’s part.
Click here to read the original article on Examiner.com, which includes relevant links and a video recap of the end to LeBron James' season.
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