Has there ever been anyone with this much of a stranglehold on an entire sport?
Even Tiger Woods doesn’t attract news like LeBron has of late.
Fortunately, Woods still attracts more Medusa-esque women than James, so he’s got that going for him.
But when 9 pm EST Thursday strikes, it appears the King will release us all from his grip. All sources indicate that James will leave Cleveland for the warm confines of South Beach to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Finally! ESPN can go back to covering real sports.
Like Trick Pool. And dominoes. And bowling.
With James picking Miami seeming inevitable, most people would say his hometown would be the biggest loser. James had become the Cleveland economy’s best export, and without him, I imagine the crime rate goes back up above everywhere but Compton.
But even Compton roots for the Lakers.
However, the real loss is happening a little bit further east.
I’m talking about New York.
Even though LeBron’s decision tonight is only 14 miles away from the Knickerbockers practice facility, there should be no stock in that. Once the bell tolls tonight in primetime, the Knicks will look as flaccid as ever.
It was only one summer ago when the Knicks were telling their fans that all they had to do was wait one year until LeBron donned orange and blue. He’d be putting up 60 points per game in Madison Square Garden.
But this time, it’d be FOR the Knicks, not against them.
As his decision approaches, however, it appears even Teagan Presley is less boned than New York.
Without the Akron Hammer, the Knicks have a roster of Amar’e Stoudemire, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, and a couple corpses. Assuming they do as they claim, and try to save that money for next off-season, their team will be as successful as Mark Sanford.
We are all waiting on a Mike D’Antoni sex scandal to make the analogy complete.
Can they really tell their fans to wait another year? It doesn’t appear Carmelo Anthony or Tony Parker, their rumored targets, are getting traded any time soon.
So the Knicks would have to sign them both outright from teams that are already in contention and for less money. Sounds like a match made in purgatory.
What’s worse is what the Knicks have to do to set up the dream scenario in 2011. If they don’t add anything significant this year, they will wind up near the top of the draft next June. But if they sign a top five pick, New York may not have the cap room to sign two big name free agents.
So Knicks' fans, not only have to buy into waiting a year, but also must trade away a possible franchise player?
If they booed loudly at past drafts, the 2011 one could set a decibel record of MSG.
Surprisingly, Amar’e Stoudemire is probably sweating this out more than anyone. If no one joins him in New York this year, he’s going to feel more pressure than the BP oil leak.
If no one joins in 2011, when he said he could easily bring in other big names, even Atlas couldn’t deal with that much pressure. New York will hate him more than they hate the Red Sox.
Even Hitler’s more popular in New York than Beantown.
This situation has really alienated the Knicks. It’s more than obvious that they were waiting for LeBron James, but if you are David Lee, how must you feel?
Your team goes and signs a new power forward after your best season ever, refuses to give any commitment toward resigning you, and fans make you feel about at home as the creepy aunt who stays in town during holidays.
Does Lee feel love? Yes, about as much as Stalin feels from Cold War vets.
Unfortunately, there is no easy fix here. The Knicks put all their eggs in one basket, and now LeBron’s likely making omelets on Miami.
Spike Lee is probably watching ESPN 24/7 today. He’s doing a rosary every time Scott Van Pelt says James’ name.
Hey, it can’t hurt, right?