Normally I’m not one to be on the pessimistic bandwagon on things, I usually like to stay pretty even keel with a fair and realistic perspective! But it’s time that someone had the heart to tell the New York sports media & NY Knick fans the truth about 1 thing!
LeBron James is not coming to play for the NY Knicks next season (or any other season for that matter)!
The NY Daily News printed an article (one that they even showed so little faith or pride in, the author of it didn’t even bother to post his/her name to take credit for it) on Saturday May 8th with a picture of LeBron James on the cover of the newspaper, sporting the orange and blue colors of a NY Knicks jersey! (Man you gotta love that photo shop lol).
I know what most Knick fans are thinking as far as the pros to “King James” coming here. The Garden is the mecca of basketball, and there is nothing like winning here in NY (just ask Derek Jeter and the Yankees), the Knicks are the only team that can afford to pay 2 players max deals (which would guarantee they could get an all-star caliber sidekick ala Dwayne Wade or Chris Bosh maybe) so that another elite player could join James on his quest for a title here, and with everyone from his industry buddies like Jay-Z, and sports buddies like Yankees ace pitcher CC Sabathia who are already in NY, what better way to continue to build his sports and business empire than in the Big Apple with them? And it’s already been speculated that the endorsement deals (hint, hint Nike lol) would go through the roof if LBJ signed with a big city market team!
However all that glitters is not gold. Just ask former baseball pro Bobby Bonilla who was a very talented and highly regarded talent who struggled mightily when he came to the NY Mets in the 90’s and failed to make good on the city’s championship dreams in the with the team. Or even hall of fame Knick legend Patrick Ewing, who had a well documented rocky relationship at best with the NY sports fans (that never truly appreciated what #33 brought to the table every night as a warrior for NY sports pride and tradition). I bet they truly understand how badly we miss talent, heart and toughness like Ewing now since the Knicks haven’t had a franchise caliber talent on the team, since he was traded in the early 2000 era!
The point is with great talent coming to NYC (for great sums of money) comes great and sometimes unfair expectations! Not everyone is built to manage the pressure of being under the NYC media/fan spotlight! Even NY Yankees all-star Alex Rodriguez had to be humbled before realizing that if you come to NYC being touted as the best, then NY fans will demand championship results. Anything else is failure period, no excuses! So here are my top 5 reasons why I think not only is LeBron James not coming to NY next season, he would be better off staying in Cleveland:
5. The way the Knicks are currently set up with only a handful of players (4 players to be exact: Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallanari, Tony Douglas & Eddie Curry) under contract next year, there is no telling who LeBron would even be playing with, let alone if they’re good enough to win anything. And the Knicks best current player All-star forward David Lee probably won’t be around because the Knicks can’t afford to sign LeBron, someone else, and re-sign Lee! So unless that someone else they sign is a big man who can dominate in the post and command a double team, losing Lee could be a big loss.
4. Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni’s no defense style of play will eventually frustrate James when the team starts to lose more than he’s accustomed to. We all know that it’s defense that wins championships, not run and gun offense. That’s why Mike’s former team (the Phoenix Suns) just made it to the Western conference Finals by sweeping the San Antonio Spurs with new coach Alvin Gentry! He’s got them buying into playing tough team defense. A feat they never came close to doing under D’Antoni.
3. As mentioned earlier there is no certainty as to who the Knicks will bring in to even surround James with. There is no guarantee they can land a Wade, Bosh or Stoudemaire to complement him. Any other players outside of those 3 may not interest him enough to make a change of venue. Remember LeBron wants to be in a situation to win multiple championships. The Knicks would have to convince him he has a better chance of doing that with them, than with a team with fellow all-star Mo Williams, promising young talent in JJ Hickson & savvy vets like Antawn Jamison & future hall of famer Shaquille O’Neal, that he’s won 60 plus games with the last 2 seasons in a row! (Not to mention back to back MVP awards) Good luck with that one.
2. As also mentioned NY is a dynamic city with very passionate informative and outspoken fans! But it can also be very unforgiving on sports talent that fails to deliver or live up to their potential! I’m not sure if that is the kind of pressure or scrutiny James is really ready to deal with. I mean we’re talking about a guy who flip flopped on entering in the slam dunk contest the past few years, do you really think he’s ready to deal with 8 million plus NY sports fans that are starving for a championship! I think not.
1. There is no place like home! Ohio is where LBJ’s heart, home and family are, and that is where he should stay! It would break Cleveland’s heart if he up and left them for a flirtatious rendezvous with the Big Apple! Remember that a hometown scorned by their hero is a sin that is never forgiven! Orlando Magic fans are still upset with Tracy McGrady for bailing out on them (and an ailing Grant Hill) when he jetted from the Magic to join Yao Ming & the Houston Rockets. I know what your thinking that was a trade not a free agent signing, how could Tracy control that? But we all know when a player is not happy somewhere, he can make things very difficult for management to keep him.
So there it is, I’ve laid it out for the world to see. My top 5 reasons why there will be no tickertape parade in July to welcome LeBron James as the newest addition to the NY Knicks. Now if I’m wrong (which I’m 99.9% sure I won’t be), I’ll be the first to admit it and welcome him in with open arms. But know this, the last time the Knicks were in a position to make such a big splash in the free agent market was in the mid 90’s and they wound up signing Chris Childs, Doc Rivers and Allan Houston! I think we all remember how well that turned out. 1 Finals appearance in 1999 during the lockout season (largely due to the signings of a fiery Latrell Sprewell and a defensive minded & young Marcus Camby,) but 0 championships! Maybe it’s just old Knick fan pessimisms talking, but I can’t help but feel that even if LeBron really had a legitimate interest in coming here, Dolan (the Knicks owner and CEO of Cablevision who shows the Knicks game at MSG) & the Knicks will surely find a way to screw it up! So to all those Knick fans out there, when your dreams of seeing a LeBron & D. Wade tandem are ruined with the reality of a Joe Johnson & Carlos Boozer tag team or Rudy Gay & Chris Bosh signings instead (which aren’t bad pairings, but they don’t scream title contender either), don’t say I didn’t warn you. I guess only time will tell for sure. Stay tuned till July 1st