Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Open Letter To LeBron James

Dear LeBron,

Can I call you LeBron? Thanks! LeBron, I am writing to you in the hopes that all is well with you and yours as you prepare for the final season of your contractually obligated engagement with the Cleveland Basketball club. As you may have heard or read somewhere on the internets, a great many folks are speculating about where you will choose to ply your trade in the year 2010. One possible destination is the city that I call my home, New York. You may have also heard that we have a basketball team. They’re called the Knickerbockers. (Fun fact: They’re named after the Dutch settlers who bought Manhattan island from the natives for $24 in wampum!) Truth be told, the New York team has hasn’t been very good for a while now. How long ago was it? Well, the last time they won more games than they lost, Meg Ryan was still considered a sex symbol.

Now, were you to join our team, I can say with a good degree of certainty that you would greatly improve our chances of winning on a day-to-day basis and possibly even elevate the squad to the status of, “championship contender”. Many of my fellow fanatics would very much like this to happen. I’m here to formally ask that you please do not join our team.

It’s not anything personal. You seem like a very nice, charming fellow. And it’s certainly not in any way a condemnation/criticism of your skills on the court. You are, without a doubt, great. You are the greatest since his royal merchandizing/Nike-ness. Were you to disregard this letter, I would assuredly join the maddening crowd in utter adoration/awe of your overall sprezzatura.

But here’s the thing. It wouldn’t be right. I know it. David Stern knows it and I think you know it too even if it runs contrary your (and Mr. Stern’s) ultimate dreams of worldwide financial/iconographic domination and the fact that situating yourself at the epicenter of this media maelstrom would go a great length towards helping you achieve said goal(s).

Now don’t get me wrong. I would love to have an athlete of your caliber on our side. If we had a smart GM who really tanked a season or two in order to get a top 3 draft pick to snag someone as good as you or who discovered someone as good as you in the middle of the first round when the experts had said individual pegged as a mere role player or plucked someone as good as you out of obscurity via trade before his abilities grew to full flower, then hell’s yeah. I’d be tickled pink for [As-yet Nonexistent Savior] to wear the blue and orange. But not like this. We’d be buying you, nay stealing you from the good burghers of Cleveland because goddamnit, we’re the richest most powerful mofos around. It’d be the equivalent of cheering as the Soviet tanks rolled over and through Montenegro.

And if you did sign here, then what? The Lebrons/Knicks go about obliterating other teams? Winning handily? Winning with ease? No sirree. I’m sorry, that’s not me. It just doesn’t mesh with my Weltanschauung. That’s not the team I grew up loving and grew to love. I know my guys are going to lose — lose in heartbreaking fashion, lose via pound-your-nails-into-the-floor-with-your-forehead, repetitive stupidity. And although the actors in this particular melodrama (tragedy?) may have been recast many times over, I still know how it’s going to end, because it’s the same effing play. The script hasn’t changed, just the players. Take our last game v. Indiana f’rinstance. One Clyde said, towards the end of the 4th Quarter (Quarto?), down by 4, after Granger fouled out, “Granger’s out. Now Indiana won’t be able to score and the Knicks can come back.” I should have turned the set off right then and there. That’s it. Toast. Done. We’re boned. Why? Because once the “star’s” out of the game, the other players start moving the ball and playing unselfishly and somehow, quelle surprise, manage to overcome the absence of their, “star.” What happened on Wednesday? The Knicks didn’t score a point in the game. Hibbert, Ford n’ Dantae Jones killed ‘em. I know when the Knicks are trying to mount a comeback that a normally reliable free throw shooter’s gonna brick the first one. (Esp. if he gets the double whammy by Breen mentioning how nifty Player X is from the charity stripe before he’s about to shoot.) In the Indiana game I called both of Harrington’s misses and the Hughes miss at the beginning of the 4th. It’s not b/c I have psychic powers, it’s just that I’ve been watching the same game, over and over again for the past 30 years.

You may be thinking, Lebron, that the above paragraph might suggest that I would like you to join the Knicks, just so I could watch a different story unfold, if only for variety’s sake. A valid point, indeed. But I see, (and indubitably always will see) the failures of this team as an utterly apt paradigm for the way that the rest of the real world functions. The Democrats are going to pass an utterly useless watered down Health Care Bill, Obama’s going to send more troops into Afghanistan because he’s scared of looking ‘weak,’ Bloomberg’s going to flat-out BUY a third term, Glenn Beck’s going to use the remake of the TV show “V” to justify his inane conspiracy theories about Marxists in gov’t, and the Knicks are gonna blow it. Incorrigible, maddening blunders, every man jack of them and there’s absolutely nothing you or I or anyone can do to stop them from happening. If my team started kickin’ ass and taking names, well, I’d have to totally rethink my understanding of the world and start rooting for the Yankees and Dick Cheney and Paris Hilton the E! Network and people who feel that $76 is a reasonable price for an entrée at a restaurant and support the activities of a whole lot of other hateful non-persons who WIN all the time and who don’t. Goddamn. Deserve it. I just can’t be that guy.

(Just to be clear, the 90’s teams are totally valid w/in this construct. We all knew that Patrick would miss the finger roll, Starks would shoot 2-18 in game 7, and that the Spurs would demolish the Camby/Sprewell squad, didn’t we?)

Moral victories. Loveable losers. Tragic Defeat. That’s my stock in trade. So, I’m sorry LeBron. I’d rather you stay in Cleveland. We’ll lose and lose again, but at least I’ll remain true to my principles, to myself.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, Lebron. I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,

Robert Silverman

44 comments on “An Open Letter To LeBron James

  1. Nick C.

    Whats w/ the political commentary, its bad enough Lupica drops it into his alleged columns but here on Knickerblogger???

  2. d-mar

    Ideal scenario for today:

    1) LeBron watches parade on TV, dreams of being in it himself one day
    2) Gallo drops 30 on the Cavs with an array of dazzling moves
    3) Chandler does a highlight reel 360 dunk on Shaq
    4) Douglas gets 5 steals
    5) Lee gets 20 rebounds
    6) Knicks win going away

    Realistic scenario: Lebron drops 40 on us and we lose by 10

  3. Ben R

    I have to admit I kind of agree with Robert. Signing LeBron would feel a bit too Yankees for me. I do not like the idea of us using our money and location to get the upper hand on teams that are just clearly run better.

    I want to see us build a team the right way with home grown players we can root for and smart savvy free agency moves and trades.

    I am all for signing a good free agent but signing LeBron just feels a bit like cheating. Its too easy and to be able to erase years of bad managment with one move seems a bit unfair to all the teams that have been managed well for the past decade.

  4. SeeWhyDee77

    Call me crazy, but I don’t know if I even want Lebron to be a knick. First of all, Gallo’s our future 4 and Will’s our future 3-we need a 2 guard and a center, where’s LBJ gonna play? I am in no way sayin Chandler compares to LeBron. But as a knick fan I’ve seen a myriad of bad decisions. Giving up on Strickland, Mark Jackson, Trevor Ariza..passin up on Artest…not trading down in this year’s draft to add a Maynor AND another asset..the list goes on. I don’t want to see us give up on another talented young player UNLESS we get a star in return. I happen to think that if Gallo get’s stronger, he and Will will be a great frontcourt tandem. So with that said, let’s focus on filling the rest of the holes. Matter of fact, i’d rather wait until 2011 and go after Chris Paul if we must land a big name FA. Until then maybe Walsh can use an expiring deal to get rid of Curry. Anyways..to further my point of LBJ not bein a Knick, I think it would be a lateral move for him to come to the Knicks. Right now, although he has a more talented squad in Cleveland, they are nothing but a bunch of guys who either can’t get out LeBron’s way or who all stand around and “witness”. Last year’s playoffs was proof of that. So he’s problee jus gonna win regular seasons in Cleveland unless they can move Varejao for a better moving big who can actually shoot a little. Same thing’s gonna happen in NY. If we get him, he’ll be all we can afford so he’ll have to do it all in NY as well. Which means we will only win regular seasons. I say, as much as I love Nate, trade him to Memphis for AI becuz we’re gonna lose Nate and Lee in the offseason anyway. There are a bunch of teams who want Lee. Use him to move Curry and get back a pick and players who we wouldn’t mind losin in the offseason…or use Lee to get Bosh to play center. Oh, and TRADE HILL!!! He’s not a bum, he just doesn’t fit. We have assets and we’re not usin them. Hell, we may even be able to use Lee to get Bynum somehow, u never know!

  5. d-mar

    I’m really surprised at what I’m hearing re: LBJ. I understand people’s animosity towards the Yankees, as there’s no salary cap and they have the greatest resources to buy whoever they want at whatever price. The NBA is a superstar driven league, and without a true marquee player, the best you can hope for is 2nd round of the playoffs. I have serious doubts as to LBJ coming here anyway, but to look at it as an “unfair” way to win a championship is crazy. Knick fans have gone through so many awful seasons, including this year and last trying to get under the cap, shouldn’t we be thrilled if James or Wade wants to come join our team? I would be.

  6. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Obscured by her large, bulbous glasses, I recently made Meg Ryan (who, I assumed was just another hot upstate yuppie mom) lemonade, and let me tell you, she has got it goin’ on later on. She has the body of a 22 year old cocktail waitress.

  7. Ted Nelson

    Robert,

    ???????????????????????????????????????????????????
    It’s ok to go out and buy players (Marbury, Randolph, Curry, etc., etc.) and have them suck, but don’t go out and get amazing basketball players who are way, way, way underpaid relative to their production? That makes sense…

    Ben R,

    The NBA is not MLB. Every team has the same potential money to spend in free agency. The fact that LeBron and Wade and everyone else are unlikely to sign with the Knicks is testament to this.

    I also don’t know why “home grown” are the only type of players we can root for… And how much smarter and savvier can you get in free agency than signing LeBron James to a very similar sized contracts as other teams give to players who aren’t even 1/2 as good?

    Furthermore, one move will not wide out a decade of bad management. If the Knicks get LeBron and try to surround him with a bunch of Wilson Chandlers, then guess what… they’re a playoff team but probably not even getting home-court.

  8. Ted Nelson

    “Call me crazy, but I don’t know if I even want Lebron to be a knick. First of all, Gallo’s our future 4 and Will’s our future 3-we need a 2 guard and a center, where’s LBJ gonna play?”

    You are crazy.

    “not trading down in this year’s draft to add a Maynor AND another asset..”

    Eric Maynor??? That’s the best you can do as far as players the Knicks passed on???

    “shouldn’t we be thrilled if James or Wade wants to come join our team? I would be.”

    Absolutely. More so is LeBron AND Wade want to come join our team.

  9. Jafa

    “Call me crazy, but I don’t know if I even want Lebron to be a knick. First of all, Gallo’s our future 4 and Will’s our future 3-we need a 2 guard and a center, where’s LBJ gonna play?” – SeeWhyDee7,

    SeeWhyDee7, I’ll take you up on your offer and call you crazy :) When you have a chance to get one of the best players in the league right now (LBJ, Wade or Kobe – I would even add Melo and Howard to this list), you make room for them. If I recall, the Lakers already had a center (Vlade Divac) when you landed Shaq in 1995. Vlade was good, but Shaq was a super star and a future Hall-of-Famer who would anchor a 3 championship dynasty for them. So the Knicks will either find a new spot for Wilson Chandler, or find him a new home with another team in exchange for a draft pick (just like the Lakers did with Divac – trading him for the rights to Kobe) or another equal value player who plays a different position.

    And Ted Nelson already made the point I was going to make about the salary cap rules and revenue sharing in the NBA – any team can sign this guys with equal financial leverage. The fact that they may want to play in a big city as opposed to a small market is the player’s preference, and not “cheating” on the part of the big-market teams.

  10. tastycakes

    This is silliness.

    Signing LeBron would be better than winning five draft lotteries in a row. He’s a known quantity, a surefire future hall-of-famer, a guy who would make the Knicks contenders for the next decade.

    Everyone else is out there trying to sign him. So what if the Knicks have an advantage of money to spend, or a city to sell? Those advantages haven’t done shit for us over the past decade. You still have to sign the right guys.

    LeBron is the right guy.

  11. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Jafa,

    Leaving Chris Paul off that list is absolutely ludicrous. I’d argue that he’s the #2 player in the league right now, just behind Lebron and just ahead of Wade. If you put Paul on the Knicks, they turn into a 45 win team with his presence alone. He’s the archetypal point guard: scores efficiently, dishes well and often, does not turn the ball over, rebounds well for his size and position, and is a monster on defense.

  12. Jafa

    The Honorable Cock Jowles,

    You are right. I would put Paul on the list as well, but I wasn’t really trying to put together a list, just wanted to make the point that having a serviceable player at a particular position should not preclude you from trying to sign a star player at that position if you have the cap space and the money.

    In my opinion, the only untouchables on this team are Gallo and maybe Lee (although he has hit his ceiling in potential, I like what he’s ceiling looks like). The rest are good reserves as far as I’m concerned.

  13. Ted Nelson

    Well said, tastycakes.

    Some really encouraging news on Hoopshype today. I don’t really care too much what the Post has to say about Dan Gilbert’s inner-most fears and insecurities (apparently a source says Gilbert’s afraid anything less than the finals means LeBron’s a Knick)… but if LeBron weren’t thinking about leaving Cleveland would he respond to this question this way? “What about the Bulls?” “I’ve thought about playing everywhere,” James answered. “Every team in the NBA, I’ve thought about playing at one time in my life.”
    Maybe he just likes toying with the public and press or someone told him that if fans think LeBron might play on their team it’s good PR… But how many athletes respond to that question with anything but the standard “I am a Cav right now and all I care about is winning a title this year for this organization and this city and these fans and this team, etc. etc., etc.???? I really don’t know what to make of him not responding that way. It seems like a lot of the guys who give the standard response do so because they’ve already got one foot out the door and don’t have the balls to say so. Does LeBron have the balls to say it straight up, or does he just not care because he already knows he’s staying?

    THCJ, good catch on Paul. That was the first thing I thought, too. Probably just an oversight.
    There are plenty of other players that I would gladly make room for even if the Knicks already have someone at their position… like 50 or so guys…

  14. Ben R

    Ted – I said kind of agree. Of course if we did sign LeBron I would be overjoyed. I just think a very small part of me would feel like we took a shortcut, the easy way out. And you’re right signing LeBron does not mean instant championship but it certainly gets us real close. As for the fairness, we have an upper hand over most teams in the league because we are New York and we are willing to pay the luxury tax.

    The thing is I believe it is all moot anyway and the chance LeBron signs with the Knicks is so infinitesimally small that this discussion is purely academic. Same with Wade or Paul.

  15. Ben R

    One more thing I would hate to see the bad management strategy: of slash salary, sign no one, draft poorly, and prey for a miracle to actually pay off.

  16. Captain Merlin

    I find myself hard-pressed to think of the potential signing of Lebron or any other free agent as a shortcut as an easy way out. Over the years, free agency, whether on a grand scale or a more modest one, has become an integral part of building a good team, and as all teams potentially have equal access and abilities to target and add these players, it is not as if the Knicks have found some smarmy loophole in the system to allow them to grab such a player–any team capable of planning ahead, slashing salaries, and minding the fiscal aspects of roster building could be in a similar position and would not be looked down upon for striving to better their team by adding a once in a lifetime player like Lebron.

    Robert, with all due respect for your piece and your attraction to rooting for a batch of homegrown players (though they’re quite the flounderers) rather than a team of competent, legitimate basketball aspects, I feel as if this letter is a load of masochistic bullshit.

  17. Ted Nelson

    Ben,

    Sorry to come across so strong.

    I don’t see it as a shortcut, in large part because of the structure of a basketball team along with the aforementioned NBA rules. Put any one Yankees player on, say, the Pirates and they’re still a miserable team. There are probably somewhere between a half-dozen and a dozen NBA players, however, who would make the Knicks an instant playoff contender (twice as many NBA teams make the playoffs than MLB teams, of course) and maybe even contender for home court (rough equivalent of MLB playoff team).

    Getting one of those players requires luck: preparation + opportunity. I don’t think that preparing by clearing salary when the opportunity to sign a LeBron/Wade/etc. type free agent is on the horizon is any sneakier than preparing by losing a crap load of games and then winning the lottery. (As well run as the Spurs have been, how fair is it that half their playoff team got hurt the same season and by chance they got Tim Duncan over worse teams?) Or preparing by loading up with a bunch of overrated young talent, shipping some of it for KG, and still managing to hold on to 2/3 the best young talent on your crappy roster… Is it fair that Kevin McHale was a bad GM and handed his buddy Danny Ainge and his former team a title (and maybe more than one)? Same goes for Lakers with Pau.

    MLB is unfair because teams can spend at will, and the NBA is unfair because a few players in the league are so insanely valuable to their team relative to other players. Getting one of those guys is the holy grail and most teams would do anything to do so.

  18. Kevin McElroy

    Ted,

    Thank you for completely eliminating the need for me to actually invest the time and energy necessary to post a response.

    All,

    Is this a Red Sox board? Is it a Cubs board? Have I stumbled upon a website full of Cleveland Indians fans? Charm in losing? Pleasure in the inevitability of defeat? Red Holzman would roll over in his grave if he read this.

    The MLB is an owner’s league: the ones with the money can afford to bring in all the best players and have a substantial margin of error.

    The NFL is a coach’s league: the best and brightest minds install a system that they believe gives their players the best chance to win, and then the proper personnel is found to fit that system.

    The NBA is a general manager’s league. Talent is paramount to tactics, but budget reigns supreme. Your job as an NBA franchise is essentially three-pronged: 1) Draft well 2) Gather role players without overpaying 3) Make room in your budget for a superstar. That’s it. That’s the job. The Knicks have been woefully inadequate at all three for as long as I can remember. They have FINALLY taken the advice that any halfway-reasonable fan would have given them a decade ago: clean house, start from scratch, stink for a year and get ready to re-tool. This takes a certain degree of courage and doing so efficiently requires a great deal of skill from the front office. Strip mine the team too much and you won’t be an attractive free agent destination; parse things down too conservatively and you won’t have the cash to bring in a big guy in the first place.

    If LeBron signs with the Knicks, it will be because they were able to make room for him under the cap without destroying their franchise to such an extent that he is made wary of wallowing in mediocrity for the duration of his time.

    And, yes, it will also be because New York is really big and really fun and perceived as having a certain undefiniable “importance.” But this is no different from the lure of the glitz of LA, the beaches of Miami, the weather in Phoenix, the lack of an income tax in Texas, the history in Boston, the nightlife in New Orleans, the fan passion in Portland, or any of a dozen other reasons to go to a dozen other places. If you’ve got it, use it. And if you use it, for the love of God, please use it on LeBron.

  19. Jafa

    Kevin, with that post, you just became my favorite blogger on this blog (sorry Mike). I second everything you just stated.

  20. Robert Silverman Post author

    Let me see if I can make my point more succinctly: If in the 90′s the Knicks had signed Michael Jordan in his prime, I would not have been able to root for him. Why? Because I hate Michael Effing Jordan. I wanted to BEAT him, not BUY him.

  21. SeeWhyDee77

    Don’t get me wrong yal, LBJ is great and he would make the team better. And i’m all for signin him if we have other pieces to help him win. The point I’m tryin 2 make is our Knicks would turn into Cavs east if we signed him. So in my opinion, it’s better to let Gallo and Chandler develop and put players around them. I’m not sayin that they should be our best players, i’m jus sayin leave them at the 4 & 3 positions respevtively and add better players at the 5, 2 & 1. However, if we were assured that LBJ was comin and we could move Chandler in a package now to add another all star, then i’d say do it. Here’s what I see-a team with young talent worth holding on to. And there’s no assurance that LBJ is gonna be a Knick, so we might as well give the youngins the keys to the car see what they got and have a plan in place to bulid around them. LBJ is a beast, but to be perfectly honest-i’d rather have Chris Paul as my major FA signing, though he wouldn’t be available til 2011. LeBron scores more points, but his fingerprints aren’t on his team’s games as much as Paul’s is as a PG. And I’d rather have a dominant point who can score, defend, run a team, shoot the ball, and rebound than a dominant wing who’s really not a good shooter and will lose much of his game later becuz his current game relies so much on athleticism. Chris Paul’s gonna be able to play for a very long time..i’m not so sure about LeBron. With that said, and i’m pretty sure every Knick fan wants this-I want my Knicks to be good for a long time. LOL, they owe us for the torture of the Layden years until now.

  22. jon abbey

    why even follow sports if this is how you think?

    “We’d be buying you, nay stealing you from the good burghers of Cleveland because goddamnit, we’re the richest most powerful mofos around.”

    actually Cleveland can offer him $30 million more, and undoubtedly will.

    this is the worst piece I ever recall reading on Knickerblogger, really silly/ignorant.

  23. Ted Nelson

    Robert,

    I think I see your point, but I disagree. I also don’t really see the LeBron/Jordan comparison, since the Knicks had a chance of beating Jordan’s Bulls in the playoffs and when LeBron comes to MSG he’s already treated (pined-for is probably more like it) as a future Knick.

    SeeWhyDee77,

    1. LeBron’s skill level
    This seems like a bit of a joke, questioning LeBron’s skills/value to an NBA team.
    LeBron’s fingerprints are on every part of the game. His assist rate isn’t as high as Paul’s, but is very high even for a PG.
    You would pass on LeBron because he can’t shoot??? First of all, he put up a TS% of 59% last season and hit 34.4% of his 3s. A wing who isn’t a real marksman from outside the arc is hardly doomed to fade later in his career: Jordan shot under 33% from 3-pt range on his career and was still dominating the NBA at 34… when he hit under 24% of his 3s for the season… (LeBron is turning 25 on Dec. 30th).
    LeBron does not rely on athleticism… That’s a joke. He relies on supernatural skill, strength, drive, work ethic, AND athleticism. I like Chris Paul a lot and he’s also a truly great player, but the argument for a guard who is under 6 feet tall fading quickly is a lot stronger than for a 6-9 defensive end who basically combines the basketball skills of MJ and Magic.

    2. Waiting until 2011
    If the Knicks could get either James or Paul I would be ecstatic, but passing on LeBron this offseason is absolutely absurd. If LeBron wants to sign with the Knicks this offseason (which is far from a given), do they tell him, “no thanks, you know we think we’ll wait to see if Chris Paul wants to play for us next season. Have fun in Cleveland or Brooklyn!”
    The Knicks could sign LeBron and THEN sign Chris Paul in 2011 once Curry and Jeffries’ contracts expire. It’s a wild dream at this point, but certainly possible.
    If the choice is between maxing out Joe Johnson or Amare or Bosh and waiting in hopes of Chris Paul, then I think you have a discussion. If LeBron wants to play on your team you simply cannot say no, especially for the off chance that Chris Paul wants to leave New Orleans to play for the Knicks. If he resigns with the Hornets (who would be able to give him more money than the Knicks at that point), then the Knicks have just lost LeBron for nothing…

    3. Passing on LeBron to let the “young core” develop
    Again, if LeBron wants to sign with the Knicks do they say “no thanks, we’re going to wait and see if Wilson Chandler ever figures out how to play basketball and Danilo’s back holds up… thanks anyway, though, big guy. We’ll be watching you on TV in the playoffs! Go Cavs!” Wilson Chandler is garbage and while Danilo has a lot of potential, he would look a lot better next to LeBron than Wilson Chandler…

  24. KNCIKS2010

    I truly find this article making me cringe every second. I just can not see the point Robert is making. In the athletic world, at a high professinal level, teams play against each other to acheieve a certain score or sucess rate. At the end of the match or game, the team with the most points get the win.

    To pick a team or a certain player to root for is your own decision. Hey, if you want to root for Jerome James or Jay Williams, have a blast. Choosing a team from your hometown to root for, even if they are bad, is a fine decision. But you don’t root for them to have fun or be nice, you want to see them WIN.

    You don’t watch a team play to look at the players, or blog about it after a game, you root for a team to see them be the best. Lebron James is the best player in the NBA for years to come, not wanting him just because it is “unfair” or our city gives us to much of an appeal is a ridiculous point. Why not abolish free angency altogether then, and be allowed only to have players from your hometown.
    The knicks need LBJ, and there is no other route.

  25. Robert Silverman Post author

    Geez Jon, don’t hold back. How do you really feel?

    All I’m suggesting is that sometimes sports can be more than a Manichean good/evil, us/them, we win/you lose struggle. If I was a GM, I certainly wouldn’t run a team based on the principles I espouse. But I’m not a GM nor is anyone reading this blog. I’m just suggesting that one can be a fan and understand fandom in ways that allow for appreciation of the sport/the team beyond mere winning and losing. Sport can be a beautiful/exhilarating/painful metaphor for the world at large and allow us to better understand ourselves.

    Don’t get me wrong. I want the Knicks to win. Badly. And if they sign Lebron I’ll be cheering along with the rest of y’all. I’m just suggesting that from a philosophical, utterly non-rational standpoint, getting LBJ wouldn’t feel right.

  26. J Weezy

    seewhydee, i dont mean to me rude…but your comments are ridiculous. i really sat and thought for five minutes after reading both of your comments if you could truely be a knick fan, or even a basketball fan. Ted Nelson is right. Wilson Chandler is worth a bag of potatos right now in the NBA. no way your netting an all-star for will unless your dealing with chris wallace and in case someone like you would probably trade for randolph or allen iverson back. which brings me to another point, anyone who would take allen on their team in 2009 clearly doesnt follow/understand basketball. anyways, there is so much more i could write but others on the site pretty much covered it..im going to watch the knicks most likely lose to hopefully the next superstar of the knicks!! best part is unless we are down 20 im glued to the tv…cant change the channel, and even when we are down 20 i always feel like we still have that spark to make a run. now thats what i call a fan

  27. SeeWhyDee77

    I can’t argue with ur point Ted, but I will say this: Shooting is not about ur 3 point percentage. U bring up Jordan and I believe (I don’t have stats to back me up) he was a better shooter from all parts of the floor. See, LBJ’s strength is driving to the hoop. Unless he develops a shot, eventually his athleticism will fail him and his game will suffer. And I am in no way suggestin Donnie say no thanx to LBJ if he wants to be a Knick in favor of Chandler. I am sayin sign LeBron ONLY if we can put something around him that’s different than what he has now. Those dudes in Cleveland can’t get out of the way, and even with all those good players there Clevleveland still pretty much needs LBJ to put up triple doubles to win. The same thing will happen in NY if Walsh can’t put something around him. Who knows, maybe he’ll find away to add a guy like Bosh in addition to LBJ and the right mix of supporting players. I certainly hope so becuz although I think Gallo & Chandler would make a good forward tandem, I’m not completely crazy. I don’t see either of those guys as “All NBA” material. Maybe Gallo will be an all star one day, but thas it. I jus think that there are no good enough plan B’s if LBJ doesn’t become a Knick, so Walsh should make some moves to make us competitive enough to make FA’s wanna sign. Well, there is on plan B..wait 1 more year and snag ‘Melo and Chris Paul….which we will definitely have money to do that with by then

  28. SeeWhyDee77

    Weezy….I said use Will in a package to net an all star. R u suggesting that a guy like Lee packaged with Will is not enuf to net an all star? Chandler’s not great, but he’s not a scrub either..teams want him. But still, I understand ur point of view. A little grim, but understandable becuz as a Knick fan i’m just as frustrated as u. Bottom line is somethin has to be done and with us bouncin ideas around in here, maybe Donnie will read and one of them will spark that light bulb for him. The one player (other than Curry) that we need to move is Jordan Hill…I don’t understand draftin him at 8 knowin that he would be behind Harrington and Lee. Thas y i suggested tradin down in the draft and gettin a player who’s game reminds me of Chauncey Billups(Maynor) and another asset we could use. I don’t understand why some are so down on Maynor..he’s a hell of alot better than Douglas. Or we coulda traded down for Jrue Holiday. Or even drafted Jennings. But Hill at 8? In our system? He’s never gonna crack the rotation..watch

  29. SeeWhyDee77

    o..and as far bein a fan..I live in MD, subscribe to League Pass JUST to watch my knicks ball whether we are down 20 or up 20. I’m watchin to the end. I also go to every game that they play the lame a$$ Wizards as well as as many home games at the Garden that I can afford to go to. And when I watch on TV, I never change the channel until the broadcast is over..what do u call that?

  30. steveoh

    What feels right to me is sacrificing this season and last to put ourselves in a position to sign LeBron. It’s not about who has the most greenbacks and such. It’s about building a team, even if you have to break it down to start the process.

    LeBron, can I call you LeBron? Well, LeBron, we hope you enjoyed the parade we threw for you this morning.

  31. Ted Nelson

    Was digging Bernie Williams’ national anthem… Might not be fun to watch LeBron with something to prove after a weak start.
    Jackson AND Van Gundy announcing a Knicks game, huh?

    SeeWhyDee77,

    For stats check out http://www.basketball-reference.com and http://www.82games.com
    You are right that shooting isn’t all about 3s. I jumped to the conclusion that’s what you were referring to, and also used 3s since they are a decent proxy for (representation of) a player’s outside jumper.
    Specifically, for scoring efficiency on b-r.com search for Michael Jordan and LeBron James and you can check out eFG% (effective field goal %) and TS% (true shooting %) under “Advanced” stats.
    eFG% is a way to resolve the point difference between a 2-pt and 3-pt FGA. eFG% = (FG + 0.5*3P)/ FGA. If a guy shoots 2-4 (50%) you really have no idea if he scored 4, 5, or 6 points without knowing whether the made shots were 3s or 2s, hence eFG%. D’Antoni referenced this stat recently.
    eFG% tells you how a player/team shot from the field, but doesn’t take FTAs into account. TS% tries to account for how efficiently a player scores on all of the possessions he used. Only a certain % of free throws end possessions, so it gets a little tricky. TS% = PTS / (2 * (FGA + 0.44 * FTA))
    82games.com breaks down where on the court a guy scores from, but their #s don’t go back to Jordan’s days.

    You are right that LeBron isn’t an amazing shooter or an amazingly efficient scorer, but he’s still relatively strong in that area especially considering how many shots he takes. It’s only a relative weakness because of how good the rest of his game is.
    I don’t think LeBron’s game is only driving. Last season he took 64% jumpers, comared to 66% for Wade. If you look at a young Jordan his game was mostly driving, too. Again, I don’t know how he shot long 2s, but he didn’t shoot over 20% for 3-pt range until he was LeBron’s age. Their 24 year old eFG% and TS% numbers are pretty similar, though Jordan’s are slightly better.
    LeBron does everything well, though, so I don’t think he’ll have a problem aging.

  32. SeeWhyDee77

    thx Ted, i’ll check those sites out b/c now I’m really interested in comparin LBJ and Jordan’s numbers. Scoring-wise, at this stage of his career ‘Bron does remind me of Mike tho..

  33. SeeWhyDee77

    let me clarify the Point Guard thing. Of course LBJ is amazin, but i’m a PG by nature lol, so I’d rather have a dominant PG than a wing player. LOL, it’s funny becuz I haven’t played ball in years but when i’m bored I still dribble up & down the street while makin passes to nobody..it’s terrible really. My kids (11 & 8) whup me on the court..and i’m only 32!!! lmao

  34. tastycakes

    Robert,

    I also would have hated the Knicks signing MJ in the 90s. There is a critical difference in my mind: he was our enemy. He thwarted the Ewing Knicks at every turn. We couldn’t win against him. Getting him (not that it was a possibility) would have felt cheap.

    LeBron is not the enemy. You can’t have an enemy when you’re terrible. If you are never in the playoffs, how can you have a rival? Sure, I still hold a little something against the Pacers and Heat, but I *could* root for either of those two teams if they had players I enjoyed.

    I also think LeBron is a beautiful player to watch. It would be an undeniable pleasure to have him as a Knick. I would be less happy, for example, with D-Wade, just for aesthetic reasons .. but still, that’s just personal preference. Given the current depths of awfulness, I’ll be excited about anybody who can turn the franchise around.

  35. jon abbey

    “I’m just suggesting that from a philosophical, utterly non-rational standpoint, getting LBJ wouldn’t feel right.”

    my friend from Cleveland rooted for a year for his team to lose as much as possible to land LeBron in the first place. Boston won because Celtic great Kevin McHale hand delivered them Garnett, the year after they tanked for Durant/Oden and got neither. the Lakers won because Isiah-level intellect Chris Wallace gifted them Gasol. the Kobe/Shaq Lakers signed Shaq as a free agent.

    so what is the “right” way to win? to me, it’s honestly quite an inane concept. if you’re interested in entertaining teams with no chance to win a title, there are plenty of those in the league, get League Pass and watch some of them. if you put any kind of supporting cast around LeBron for the next ten years and he doesn’t get hurt, he is going to be in the championship hunt every year. as a Knicks fan born in 1966, it’d be nice to see them win a title before I die, or even just to have a championship level player (Ewing and Bernard King have been the closest I’ve seen in blue/orange). I’ve been rooting for this scenario since at least 2005, well before he signed his current extension, and it’s right on track. Cleveland looks terrible so far (before tonight), they’ve never really replaced Carlos Boozer as a sidekick for him.

    “The Knicks could sign LeBron and THEN sign Chris Paul in 2011 once Curry and Jeffries’ contracts expire.”

    and for all we know, they’ve already informally agreed to this. I’m the eternal Knicks pessimist (usually accurately), but I think this is going to work out well somehow. I just wish they had a real PG in place, inexcusable that they don’t.

    capologists (Caleb), could we possibly sign LeBron and keep Lee, then have enough to get Paul the next offseason? I also think it’s possible that given cap restraints, a couple of these guys may take less than the maximum to play together and have some actual help, but we’ll see in another 7-8 months or so.

  36. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    re: LeBron scores more points, but his fingerprints aren’t on his team’s games as much as Paul’s is as a PG.

    Usage rates

    James in 2008-2009: 31.6%

    Paul ” “: 27.9%

    I understand how a PG might affect his teammates more than a SF, but LeBron is, I think most would agree, a different story.

  37. jon abbey

    here’s a bit of confirmation for my last paragraph there, this is something I’ve been saying for years. I really believe that these guys plan to basically outwit cap constraints in order to play together, I’m just not sure who precisely ‘these guys’ consist of besides LeBron. anyway, something he said after the game last night:

    “Right now, I visualize playing with a lot of guys in the NBA. There are a lot of great individual basketball players that I would love to be alongside of and try to contend for an NBA championship. I think at the end of the day, a max deal or anything like that doesn’t really matter to me at the end of the day.”

  38. Z

    “capologists (Caleb), could we possibly sign LeBron and keep Lee, then have enough to get Paul the next offseason?”

    Since Caleb hasn’t been around here much lately I’ll go ahead and try to answer it:

    Unfortunately, 2 max deals = 60% of the cap which makes signing Lee long term difficult. But it could definitely be possible. Here is the 2011 breakdown:

    We have exactly $0 committed in 2011 (since we fortuitously don’t have a draft pick this year to burden us financially!).

    Gallinari, Hill, and Douglas all have team options totaling $8 million.

    Wilson Chandler will be a restricted FA with a $3 million QO.

    LeBron will be offered 30% of the salary cap this summer which could range anywhere from $15 to $16.30 million. For math’s sake, let’s just say $15 million. In 2011 he’d make $18.75 million.

    Figure Lee for $9 million a year long term.

    So with a 2011 salary cap of $55 million, the math would look like this:

    55 – 18.75 – 9 – 8 – 3 = 16.25

    $16.25 would likely = a maximum contract to offer Chris Paul in 2011.

    That gives a 2011 lineup of:

    PG: Paul
    SG: LeBron
    SF: Gallinari
    PF: Hill
    C: Lee

    Bench: Toney Douglas

    Of course, we’d need about 9 other human beings to wear Knick jerseys too, which even at minimum deals makes the budget a little tight.

    But there is room to wiggle too. Chandler obviously isn’t worth keeping around at the expense of Chris Paul. Same for Hill. (Same for Lee). Also Lee could start lower and escalate higher. Also, the cap could be higher than Stern is projecting. (A low 2010 cap actually helps lock in LeBron at a lower rate, though, which doesn’t hurt long term).

    (Caleb- if you’re out there, please correct any of this if it is wrong :)

    *

    Keep in mind, all these 2010 free agents could also be free agents in 2011 (if they opt in), so this could be the year we should really be setting sites on.

    But all that said, Donnie Walsh has made it public that, for better or worst, he intends to land two major free agents in the summer of 2010. (Maybe the best thing to happen would be for Curry to not step on the floor all season and have to be on the 2010 roster just to tie up cap space until 2011…

  39. Sandy

    “Maybe the best thing to happen would be for Curry to not step on the floor all season and have to be on the 2010 roster just to tie up cap space until 2011…”

    i was thinking the same thing. but if we were able to get curry off the books AND were able to lock in two max free agents at a low rate considering the cap is so low right now that would be great. the economy will pick up and we will have more room than if we add a max in 2011 (when the max contract will definitely be higher)

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