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As of 3:25 PM LeBron James stated that the Cleveland Cavaliers have an edge in signing him in an interview with CNN’s Larry King. The interview will air Friday, and apparently it is supposed to give us some insight into the mind of the King and his intentions come July 1st. However, after looking at all of LeBron’s options, I think (and hope after reading this you think too), that the best decision he can make is to take his game to the New York Knicks. There are a number of reasons why he should, but I will argue five of the ones I feel are the strongest…
1. LeBron can play opposite another superstar- Whether it is Bosh, Wade, or Stoudemire, the Knicks have the cap room to get another big name free agent. From what I have read on the situation, the Knicks will first go after a LBJ/Bosh combination, then a LBJ/Wade combination, and if both fail try to get another solid big man like Stoudemire to pair with the King. I know it is said that in this league you can’t win by yourself, but you can definitely win with one other guy. If you put LeBron, Bosh, me and two of my fat, out of shape fraternity brothers on the court we could still grab a 7 or 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Imagine what three guys capable of playing in then NBA can do with two superstars like LBJ and Bosh/Wade/Stoudemire. Regardless of who is around them they would still be a championship contender, barring the two stars stayed healthy.
2. It’s the big apple- Lets be honest here, LeBron has been quoted on saying multiple times that he wants to be the next billionaire athlete (following Michael Schumacher and Tiger Woods), and the only place he can do that in is New York. This is one of the greatest, most well known cities in the world and if it has a guy who could potentially win the next 7 MVP awards in a row along with some championship rings the money that LBJ would receive from endorsements would be enough to make him a billionaire. Also playing in MSG every home game has got to be a thrill, there are celebrities galore in NY, the Garden would be packed every night, and it would be LeBron’s show. I don’t know what’s more exciting than that.
3. LeBron fits in Mike D’Antoni’s system- Mike D’Antoni is a coach that can allow LBJ to thrive in his natural environment, running the break. In high school LBJ was so dominant because his team ran out on people, and LeBron is hands down the best athlete in the NBA, so he could definitely do damage running the fast break at this level. D’Antoni likes his offense to be his defense, and so with that type of mindset I think that LeBron and another stud would be unstoppable. There is a decent shot that D’Antoni puts the ball in his hands and allows him to run the show with a guy like Toney Douglas opposite him. D’Antoni is also a coach who doesn’t take any of the BS that some coaches (cough Mike Brown) do take, just ask Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury, or Nate Robinson. D’Antoni is a guy that would command the respect of James and he needs that to elevate his play to the next level.
4. He will have a talented young supporting cast- For arguments sake let’s say all goes according to plan and the Knicks get Bosh and LBJ. That makes a starting lineup of Bosh, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, LBJ and Toney Douglas. That is also barring the Knicks don’t add anyone else. That makes the average starting lineup age 24 years old, so this team can win championships together for years to come. This could be the start of a dynasty, as Gallinari is a big man (6’10”) that can shoot the three (career 39%, last season 38%), and stretch the floor, Douglas shoots a similar percentage from the 3 (39%), and has a lot of upside after a solid rookie year, and Chandler at 6’8” was a consistent 15 ppg and 5 rpg player this season. These three players will be marketed as the future of the franchise to incoming free agents, and I think most will like what the Knicks have to say about them.
5. He can go down as the greatest Knick ever- This is something LeBron has already done in Cleveland and can’t do in Chicago, go down as the greatest player of his franchise. No matter what, unless LeBron is absolutely dominant the next 10 years, wins 10 titles, 10 MVP’s, and is basically like your created player in the video game (99 in all categories, not even fair to play with type), than he will not surpass the legend that is Michael Jordan. Even if he does those things he still may not surpass MJ, who is currently regarded as the best athlete of the 20th century, best NBA player ever, and best Chicago Bull ever. The Knicks, while having great players (including 5 of the top 50 of all time as of 1996), Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Earl Monroe, Patrick Ewing, Dave Debusschere, and Bernard King was one hell of a player as well, do not have a player that ranks in my top 10 of all time (Jordan, Russell, Chamberlain, Robertson, Bird, Magic, Olajuwon, O’Neal, Bryant, Moses Malone…in that order). All LeBron has to do is win one title, maybe two, and he will be considered the greatest Knick of all time. To be the greatest player in one of if not the greatest basketball city in the world is surely something fit for a King.