James’ Decision Will Reveal His Character

With just one day left before LeBron James chooses his free agent destination, I thought I’d look at the options from James’ perspective.

Cleveland – James must feel the love from his hometown if he’s still considering Cleveland. The Cavs haven’t done an awful job putting a team around him, like Minnesota did with Kevin Garnett. However the team hasn’t been able to lure any major players to Ohio. Amar’e didn’t seem interested (either this year or last) and Bosh didn’t want to go either. For them to give up teaming with LeBron for an eventual ring doesn’t speak well on the perception of life in the Buckeye State during the winter/spring.

Nonetheless it doesn’t mean that James is ready to bolt. The Cavs are likely going to be contenders as long as James is there, so he may not feel pressured to go somewhere else. A Bosh/Wade combo isn’t something insurmountable for the King, but it does make it more difficult for him to get that ring. Finally don’t discount the emotional ties he has to the area. If James were to leave he’ll have lots of people turn their backs on him. This might not have been the case if he brought a title home, but alas that wasn’t in the cards.

Miami – If you can’t beat’em join them. Going to Miami with Wade and Bosh would give James an unstoppable crew which would win multiple championships. On the other hand heading to South Beach taints James’ legacy. LeBron going to Miami would have been like Michael Jordan going to the Celtics or Lakers. That’s something great players do at the tail end of their career, when they are desperate to win a title.

New York – If James is concerned about his legacy and doesn’t like the prospects of going through Orlando and Miami alone, then New York is likely his best option. Coming to New York would give James the second superstar he’s always wanted with Amar’e. New Yorkers love winners who migrate to their city and end up treating them as one of their own (Reggie Jackson, Keith Hernandez/Gary Carter, Curtis Martin, Latrell Sprewell, etc.) A single championship would make him the greatest Knick of all time. On the other hand you have to wonder if James’ comments concerning wanting a team that plays strong defense wasn’t a direct shot at D’Antoni. The franchise has been a laughing stock since Dolan took over the reigns and Donnie Walsh has to be eyeing retirement, so there’s always those to consider as well.

Chicago – The Bulls have their own young star in Derek Rose and a good defensive center in Noah. However the Windy City has two issues New York doesn’t. First is that Amar’e is a better compliment to LeBron than Rose. Second is that Jordan’s shadow will loom darker in Chicago than anywhere else. Seven championship is a tall, tall order.

New Jersey – If James wants to move to New York, but can’t stomach the Knicks there’s always New Jersey. The Nyets new owner Prokhorov seems to be pulling out all the stops, and of course there’s LeBron’s buddy Jay-Z as part owner. But the team isn’t ready to go full steam yet. They won a pitiful 12 games last year and won’t be in Brooklyn until at least 2013.

Wherever James goes will reveal a lot about his character. This is the biggest decision of his life, and we often show our inner selves at our most important junctures. If he goes to New Jersey, then he has the patience to build a franchise from the ground up. If LeBron goes to Chicago then he’s not intimidated by Jordan’s legacy. If he comes to New York, then he’s interested in leaving his small town roots to strengthen his brand. If he bolts for Miami, then you know his main goal is to win a championship and he doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight.

And if LeBron James stays in Cleveland then it shows his loyalty to the people who were with him on the way up. Additionally it might reveal an incredible belief in himself that he can overcome all odds without any outside help.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

306 thoughts to “James’ Decision Will Reveal His Character”

  1. “like Minnesota did with Kevin Garnett.”
    Garnett did it to himself. With a contract like the one he had, it was impossible to surround him with a championship-contending team.

  2. Man am I glad I got tickets yesterday. I feel like there’s an 80% chance he’s coming to us. 15% Cleveland. 5 scary percent NJ – Hahn did mention that Jay-Z has a house in Greenwich. My guess, though, is the event will be at the King’s new castle in Greenwich.

  3. Mike, you left off the Clippers!

    It’s been a fun 15 minutes on the Daily Dime Live watching all the Bulls fans slowly turning pale and peeing in their pants.

    I am definitely not one to be overconfident but this is starting to look like a badly kept secret. I think there are pretty good odds we have a real confirmation by the end of tonight.

  4. Im obviously biased but I think if LeBron goes to the Heat now he is soft, a pussy and it would be pretty bad for the NBA. Im not the only one who thinks this because I have read this opinion alot online.

    But obviously Im a Knicks fan so I would think that way. I have NO problems whatsoever if he chooses to stay in Cleveland and even if he goes to the Bulls but I really will lose alot of respect for him if he goes to Miami. I know Im wrong in that thinking but sorry thats how I feel.

    Dont get me started if he actually chooses the Nets…..

  5. I just despise the Heat. More so than the Bulls. I was a Bulls fan for a moment when they were terrible and had Ron Artest (my favorite college player of all time, who I can’t stand now that he’s a Laker).

    If LBJ went to CHI at this point, I’d root for CHI over MIA in the Conf Finals every year. At least it would be extremely interesting!

    But yeah, going to the Heat at this point would just take all the fun out of watching. The league needs great rivalries to be at its most compelling.

    Man, this whole thing is really getting in the way of my work! Thank God it will be semi-over tomorrow night ;)

  6. yowza. wojnarowski just wrote an absolutely blistering piece on Lebron and his handlers. I guess the mainstream media types are just now realizing they got completely manipulated and used by a bunch of 25 year olds. can’t say I disagree with anything he says though.

    this whole thing just feels dirty. i guess i’ll get over it if Lebron does sign here but he better be 1000% about basketball and championships from this point on wherever he signs.

  7. Wojo at Yahoo is just venting at the guys who made him look like an idiot the past week – he has led the “anyone but the Knicks” brigade.

    My opinion of his work has definitely dropped..

    Seriously, I know it’s just sports and LeBron’s pick doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things, but I think a lot of reporters will seriously regret their work this week – YahooSports, ESPN, etc. only have value if they maintain a standard of reporting – any idiot can do pure speculation. What value does your brand have if you just join in?

    It’s been an issue for the news biz for a long time but I think this might be a watershed moment in sports media…

  8. Woj has been one of my least favorite sportswriters for many years. That guy is garbage.

    Notice how he refers to the Knicks as “flat-lining.” I mean, this makes absolutely no sense. How can you even make that argument after they sign Amar’e?


    Also, catch this bit of horseshit that he concludes with:

    “Greatest talent to ever walk into this league, the self-proclaimed King, and now everyone gets a front-row, primetime seat for how it means to live without self-awareness, without restraint. The vacuous star for our vacuous times, live on Thursday night and fitting himself for a ring as the undisputed Championship of Me. All about ‘Bron and all about nothing.”

    Oh Woj, you’re so old-fashioned. Remember when media stars were Like Mike and just did a billion commercials when they wanted attention? Wasn’t that all just so much more HONEST?

    I can understand some getting turned off by the way LeBron is handling things. But he’s out there working it. I get the impression the man is highly self-aware, understands the impact that he has on people, and legitimately has struggled with his decision. He’s a human being, he has the right to make a decision based on whatever factors he wants, and he has the right to go out there and promote himself as a brand if that’s what he wants to do.

  9. “this whole thing just feels dirty.”

    I’d say it’s way way less dirty than Kevin McHale handing Boston Kevin Garnett and Chris Wallace handing LA Pau Gasol, but maybe that’s just me.

    one thing I’ll say is that LeBron is setting himself up to be hated by a big chunk of the country whatever he picks, and that points to NY since everyone hates NY anyway.


  10. Good article, Mike. I don’t really buy the MJ stuff, though. LeBron is a competitor who is going to be compared to MJ anywhere. In trying to accomplish his goals of becoming a billionaire and best basketball player ever MJ is an obvious rival. Where better to compete with him than his own team?
    The biggest reason I’m on board with people re: no Miami is that LeBron would look like a hanger-on/tag-along at this point with Bosh committed. I guess Wade/Riley wanted to take what they could get, but getting LeBron to commit before Bosh might have been the only way to get all 3.

  11. I will say – the special is probably a bad PR move for LeBron. Branding!

    But no one will remember it 2 days from now.

    Still, 50-50 the news really gets out early, and the special is cancelled.

  12. Bucher tweeting some news is about to appear on espn.com shortly should make chi fans happy… Boozer perhaps??

  13. Boozer to the Bulls, that officially eliminates them since LeBron hates him for leaving the Cavs. Nets I guess only have David Lee left to sign, must admit it would be hilarious if LeBron chooses the Nets to play with Lee!!!! lol

  14. LeBron has an A-Rod sort of quality to him, IMO. Both born to play their sport and both cocky as hell. But just like A-Rod, no matter what LeBron does he’ll take crap for it. Mike Miller, for example, doesn’t seem to have picked a team yet, but no one is writing articles about what an asshole he is for making everything about him and not going to a winner in LA and blah blah blah

    The guy does anything off the court, coughs even, and “he’s not focused on basketball.” Meanwhile Chris Bosh is a total clown, has earned the nickname RuPaul, and spurned a team whose mascot he has an uncanny resemblance to (dude looks like an anorexic Raptor)… but he’s been appointed the new “Prince of South Beach.”

  15. Amar’e is a man for choosing the Knicks quickly and not going through the drama like LBJ-Wade-Bosh!!!!

    Ted I think all us Knick fans could care less what LeBron does off the court as long as he signs with the Knicks.

  16. 5 yr-80 million for Boozer, will Lee get same type of deal??? If so is paying Amar’e 4 million more per year than Lee/Boozer really overpaying that much????

  17. 100% agreed Caleb.
    Of course everything is on the individual here. It’s hard to call out all of ESPN, although there seemed to be a strong anti-Knick bias. And I give Broussard credit for changing his tune somewhat when he got better facts in (God, even speaking positively about the Knicks chances right now makes ME feel like I’m falling for a set up where Lebron then “surprises everyone” by saying “Bulls” or “Heat”.)


    Boozer joins the Bulls – just like that!

  18. Massive – that would be my guess based purely on they would now have to make a trade to get LeBron and the chi exec saying he thought LeBron was going to NY.

  19. BBA,

    Frank has already said, “this whole thing just feels dirty. i guess i’ll get over it if Lebron does sign here but he better be 1000% about basketball and championships from this point on wherever he signs.”

    I was more talking about the mainstream media, though.

  20. @20 – it would appear so. Can’t see how the Bulls can make enough room to sign LeBron, not to mention a quality shooter that their current roster lacks. This is looking really good.

  21. I’m not really feeling the LeBron / A-Rod comparison.

    Both may be total naturals, similarly cast apart from their peers by being so far out on the bell curve.

    But LeBron has a natural charisma and easy-going nature that is quite unlike Alex. I am often surprised when people say they don’t like LeBron, that they are turned off by his egomania (for the greatest basketball player alive, I think he seems reasonably grounded and not completely out of control), that his “posse’s” “antics” are “disgusting” or whatever.

    The man clearly loves the game and it shows in his enthusiasm and effort on the court. His teammates in CLE have always seemed to love playing with him. To me, he seems like a far easier guy to root for (even if he’s not on your team) than, say, MJ — who was just a collosal asshole (says the true Knick fan) — or, for that matter, A-Rod, who has a very awkward demeanor and always seems like he’s trying too hard to be liked.

    I’ve always loved watching LeBron and probably will continue to love watching him play the game. Unless he goes to MIA, in which case I will have to leave the country and become a soccer fan.

  22. Also, Boozer to the Bulls makes them a much more dangerous team, no doubt about it.

  23. so Hollinger says Bulls with enough room to sign Lebron even after Boozer deal. something tells me that if Lebron goes anywhere but Chicago the Boozer will ask for more. It is verbal after all, and we all know what Boozer does with verbal contracts.

    Best part is that Lebron DEFINITELY knows that Boozer’s word is not worth much.

  24. “must admit it would be hilarious if LeBron chooses the Nets to play with Lee!!!!”

    I do admit it!

    And I give it about a 1/3 chance of happening…

    Still a lot of “ifs.” Can you really.. really… see him playing in Newark for 2, maybe 3 years? The guy with the Yankee hat?

  25. It’s a pretty good deal for Chicago. Boozer’s the perfect complement to Noah and Gibson will be great off the bench. Now if they can get Allen, Miller or even Korver, they will have a tough team.

  26. tastycakes – A-Rod is probably < Lebron in terms of narcissism. This whole charade is completely ridiculous. It makes you realize that he and all his compadres are twenty-somethings who, while they may have gone through a lot as kids given their socioeconomic background, have very little world experience. I just can't believe that Leon Rose, who by all accounts is a pretty good agent, allowed this all to go down. There will be lots of bad blood directed at Lebron — he may indeed be looked at like A-Rod is by a lot of the country.

    Meanwhile, I think Kevin Durant might be my favorite player now. The way he handled his extension today was essentially the anti-Lebron.

  27. Guys, I think this deal shows he is going to bulls for sure.

    He took less on first year (13) but at the end it comes out to avg of 16. Why would they stucture his deal like that if not to fit lebron? Please someone disprove me so i can begin breathing again.

  28. boozer deal is not a max deal, the still have a max slot available, but I don’t see Lebron taking it. I’m pretty sure he didn’t go into free agency so he could say “Yessss, I get to play with Carlos fucking Boozer….

  29. This is hilarious, now rumors that LeBron jerseys were shipped to MSG today.

  30. Guys, LeBron hates Boozer. Dont worry at all about Boozer going to the Bulls.

  31. Garson – it just means the bulls don’t know 100% that their out of the sweepstakes yet. And it means Boozer was willing to take less if Lebron is coming. But if Lebron’s not coming…. then, like I wrote above, I think Boozer will renege (again) and ask for more. It’s just a verbal agreement — would highly doubt that Boozer will sign anything until after 9pm tomorrow night.

  32. @31 – ‘must admit it would be hilarious if LeBron chooses the Nets to play with Lee!!!!’

    “I do admit it!”

    Almost as hilarious as Lee joining LBJ in Cleveland. We leave Lee hanging in the hopes of getting someone that could lure LeBron to NY, only to see LBJ convince Lee to join him with the Cavs. Ouch that would sting like a biatch.

  33. tasty,

    I’m not saying they are the same person, but I think there are a lot of parallels. People love to hate both of them for whatever reason… personality differences aside.

    Is it that you hate A-Rod? I think A-Rod also clearly loves the game and that it also clearly shows in his enthusiasm and his dedication to the game. No one prepares any harder in their respective sport than those two.

    LeBron has also had an advantage of being the BMOC in his hometown ever since entering the league. If he were in NYC or Seattle or Texas… things would be a bit different, he wouldn’t be the hometown hero, and acceptance wouldn’t come so easily. Even in Ohio a lot of people are calling LeBron a loser and saying he’ll never win a championship anyway. In another market, forget it, he’d be booed… especially after his antics in this season’s playoffs (mailing in the final game and taking his jersey off before hitting the tunnel…). If his career to date were as a Knicks with the same–no title–results… he’d be as hated in NYC as loved.

  34. @38 since the cavs are over the cap, they can’t sign lee as an unrestricted free agent. the only way they could sign him is if the knicks would do a sign & trade.

  35. A-Rod and LeBron isn’t a good comparison at all, it’s like comparing Michael Jackson to Jay-Z.

  36. “Garson says:
    July 7, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Guys, I think this deal shows he is going to bulls for sure.

    He took less on first year (13) but at the end it comes out to avg of 16. Why would they stucture his deal like that if not to fit lebron? Please someone disprove me so i can begin breathing again.”

    Or it means that Boozer isn’t a max guy…

  37. So who wants to venture a guess as to what the lineup/rotation would be IF (big if) we get LeBron?


    bench: Curry, Walker, Jordan, Barron, Fields, Rautins, 1 or 2 vet. min. guys?

    Does T-Mac come back???

    Maybe PEJ? He’s been looking good in summer league.

    We will need a stronger bench – maybe even a better sg option than Chandler and/or a “seasoned” center option that’s better than Barron.

  38. “It is verbal after all, and we all know what Boozer does with verbal contracts.”

    That’s funny.

    I was pretty sure Lebron hated Boozer, too.

  39. Ted #39,

    I didn’t care much for A-Rod when he first came to NY, but I love him now that he won a ring and carried the Yankees last year. It’s a personality thing. It’s superficial, but I think it’s ultimately how most people judge players.

    I realize also that people love rooting against the top dog and for the underdog (the Yanks were just that in the Mets’ heyday). In my youth I tended towards the underdog far more than I do today, but I still definitely get the appeal (I really, really wanted Butler to beat Duke, e.g.).

    Anyway, there are lots of reasons for fans to ‘hate’ LeBron if he goes to NYC. He’ll break Cleveland’s collective heart, deeply disappoint everyone else who thought they had a chance, and to go to hated NEW YORK?

    It’s all just hugely subjective. That said, I get the impression that LeBron is generally more appreciated than A-Rod because his game is beautiful to watch, he plays with personality and color and heart. He performs outrageous athletic feats in every game. A-Rod’s a baseball player, and baseball has a different (and IMO narrower) range of expression.

    I certainly can’t question A-Rod’s heart anymore, but it hasn’t always been obvious.

  40. I posed that above tastycakes, the only thing that I found curious was the guy who posted the pic of the shirt who apparently works for Nike said he has never seen these shirts in orange. Dunno if that is true or not.

  41. Now Jay Williams, former Duke great and current employee of ESPN, just tweeted “I am going to say this. I just heard from a little bird in his camp, King James and Spike Lee will be seeing a lot of each other next yr.”

  42. @43,

    Not that this really matters, but T-Mac won’t be back in blue and orange. Amar’e doesn’t like the guy because he didn’t help him when he needed advice on going from prep to pro.

  43. can you link that?

    And Amare should get off of that bc, Tmac would be a great role player. He’s not the guy he used to be, but at like 15-20 mins a game he could be very useful and he’d probably also come for minimum.

  44. If LeBron says no, any chance we can get Golden State to throw in their pick next year?

  45. This is getting hysterical, now Alex Kennedy who has been on the LeBron to Knicks bandwagon hard last couple of days once they got Amar’e tweets that “Two Cablevision helicopters have been flown to the New York Knicks practice facility, according to sources.”

    Gotta love Twitter.

  46. Agreed, Spree. Hard to know whether he’d be a useful role player like McDyesss or someone who like Houston could never really come back…but at the vet’s minimum, certainly worth the risk, considering his bball IQ and experience. If 15 – 20mpg helps us win a few more games, then Stat should get over it.

  47. I always link the articles when they link articles. The Jay Williams tweet was a RT by someone else I dont follow him. Alex Kennedy is an NBA writer from Hoopsworld. Here is his page since he is a LeBron to NY guy:


  48. Can anyone fill me in on Anthony Randolph? Don’t know much about him. Would he fit in if we land Lebron?

  49. Anthony Randolph trade can’t happen if the Nix get LBJ. It’d be a sign n’ trade w/GS and if the Nix sign LBJ, they’d have to renounce Lee.

    Randolph, however would be a GREAT player to get. He’s 6’11”, can handle the ball, run like a deer. Has a weird jumper – think a taller, less BB IQ Shawn Marion. Kinda perfect for SSoL. Nellie’s buried him in GS. Went 14th in the Gallo draft

  50. @62

    “Stoudemire, however, claimed it would not be a deal breaker in signing with the Knicks this summer if McGrady is around.”

  51. If Knicks land LeBron no Anthony Randolph. That trade scenario is only if LeBron doesnt sign with the Knicks and they use the remaining cap room by sign & trading David Lee to Golden St for Randolph and others.

  52. I hope Bonnie Bernstein is credible since this just came from her Twitter who I dont follow but I saw RT from someone I follow:

    Heard the same thing…RT @Seth_Everett: A buddy saw #LeBron James at Sparks in NYC w Amare Stoudamire & Allan Houston.

    This really has to be bullshit because you cant tell me he is in NY right now and it wouldnt be all over the internet not just being reported by a couple of ESPN radio people. I need to get off Twitter for awhile before I go nuts.

  53. I’m getting a laugh out of how ESPN is covering the World Cup in SportsCenter. They’re forced to cover it and can rightly point out that the whole world is completely riveted to this once-every-four-years drama. But we here in the U.S. of A. recoil every time Alexi Lalas comes on the screen. What? Another 8-minute segment on Spanish futbollers? I need to hear Chris Broussard’s free associative thoughts on LeBron in a Nets jersey! And I need to hear them NOW!

  54. Does the Raptors have fans?

    Seriously, bc that team has lost Stoudamire, Camby, McGrady, Carter, and Bosh……All in their primes.

  55. I’ve seen different answers to this, but maybe someone here can answer definitively: if LeBron commits to NY, do we lose any chance to sign and trade Lee? couldn’t one or both of Amare/Lee just wait to actually sign until after the S&T was done? thanks.

  56. While obviously I’m hoping for LeBron (and I have no clue what he’s going to do) I definitely find the Randolph move intriguing- I’d love it if it was Randolph, Azubuike or Wright and a trade exception. If we can move Lee for a nice piece or two without taking back a ton of long-term salary then signing Amar’e rather than Lee seems like the smart play whether LBJ comes or not. Would you rather have Amar’e at 20 plus a couple of nice young (and relatively cheap) players or Lee at 14-15 (given Boozer got 16 it’s tough to see Lee getting much less) and an extra 5-6 million in cap space to spend in what’s turning out to be a player’s market? Randolph & Wright are the kind of upside guys that if they produce (a big if!) might give the Knicks the kind of assets needed to get a CP3 or Melo.

  57. @74,

    LOL. I was thinking more along the lines of New York City having ties to the Dutch, but whatever works for you my friend.

  58. alanhahn

    NBA salary cap set at $58.044 million, the league just announced.

  59. Hahn just tweeted “NBA salary cap set at $58.044 million, the league just announced.”

    Dunno exactly what that means in the grand scheme of things but it is a bit more than projected.

  60. Link’s not working, Spree.

    And yes, I am deeply invested in what Jared Dudley says. Ugh. Ever have one of those moments, like say, in HS when you didn’t study for a test and you were so stressed that you almost wished something worse would happen, like get his by a bus on the way to school.

    This is one of those times. As in, maybe I’ll fall into a very specific coma in which I’d wake at 9:01 EST tomorrow rather than have to wait another 25 hrs.

  61. Here’s a thought. Say we have Amar’e and Gallo as our frontcourt next year. Not only is this weak defensively, this is weak on the glass too. Do we bring back Barron? Give Jerome Jordan significant minutes? This is all assuming David Lee is gone.

  62. It worked for me too Spree, but I had to click through to another site, just wanted to pass on the direct link in case the intermediate one was broken. Good stuff, thanks!

  63. Can we talk salary cap for a second. My understanding is that the max salaries are set as % of a team’s cap. So if the cap goes up so do the max salaries thereby not really offering room for teams like Miami and Chicago who were not at 2 full max capacity to suddenly have room for 2 maxes. Help?

  64. Wow. What a day…

    The cap # is very significant. It means that a max contract is actually $17+ million and not $16.6 as expected.

    It could also mean that after two max deals the Knicks don’t need to rely on minimum players to round out the roster.

    Or, it can be looked at as David Lee’s cap hold dropped to $8.5 mil.

    It’s good news, but it would be better news if only the Knicks found that extra $2 million in the dryer…

  65. So — let’s say that Lebron doesn’t come to us and that we try to do a sign and trade with GSW. Looking at the salaries, I’m not sure how this happens unless Biedrins or Ellis are involved…. unless we are getting a potpourri of young talented dudes. The rumors seem to NOT include Biedrins or Ellis, which leaves high upside guys like Azubuike, Randolph, Brandan Wright, and a solid post defender guy in Turiaf. Assuming Lebron’s not coming, I think I’d do that deal in a second? If I’m reading the trade machine right, all these guys are potentially dump-able after the season if they don’t work out. Azubuike had a PER near 20, we all know about Randolph. Brandan Wright looks like a buy low kind of guy. And Turiaf is just the kind of inside defender this team needs…

  66. If Wade, Bosh, and LeBron are okay banking the “expected maximum” of $16.6 mil instead of the actual maximum of $17.4 million, Pat Riley can now bring all three to Miami without dealing Beasley, no?

  67. If Lee gets 13 million, you could do the trade for Randolph, Radmanovic’s expiring, and Azubiuke (who’s also an expiring)

    That’d leave the Knicks w/about 6 million to spend this year and 20 million in cap space in 2011.

  68. Yeah Robert thats how I see it, probably half the players will be with the Knicks for next couple of years while the other half will be expiring contracts. Turiaf has a player option for next season I think. But still hey if they can have Curry plus another 4 or 5 million in expiring salaries for next off-season that would be great.

    Still, lets hope this trade is unnecessary and they just sign LeBron :-)

  69. According to ESPN Lee is EXPECTED to makes his decision today on where he wants to go. If this is the case then we obviously have limitations on the possibility of a sign and trade and find a hard time believing GS is an option. 1- I do not recall Lee talking about GS as a possible destination of his. 2- If he really is making his decision Wednesday, do you think it is possible that the Knicks really do know LeBron is coming and have thus let Lee know out of respect??

    Obviously I am really hoping for the second option… :)

  70. “So am I right that Chi and Mi don’t suddenly come up with 2 maxes”

    Well… Boozer is verbally in for less than the max, so Chicago can afford LeBron if that’s you question.

    As for Miami, I think if LeBron wants to play with two other stars, he will, whether he makes $16 mil or $17 mil. This certainly doesn’t hurt their chances at bringing in the King.

    But it could also give us a little more flexibility to put pieces around Amar’e, Gallo, and [LeBron].

  71. “If Lee gets 13 million, you could do the trade for Randolph, Radmanovic’s expiring, and Azubiuke”

    I can’t believe we are T-1 day to LeBron’s decision to come to MSG and we are talking about Vladamir Radmanovic!

    But when in Rome…

    The Knicks cannot trade for Vlad Rad’s “expiring” contract. That would mean they spent 3 picks clearing Jared Jeffries just to add Vlad Rad. Absolutely, definitely, as sure as I am about anything, not going to happen.

    Beidrins possibly. Ellis possibly. But a Lee s&t would HAVE to included one of the two, or as Frank says, a fat package of guys on small contracts.

  72. uggh after all the drama of the last couple of days I hate to even think about the knicks not getting LBJ but if they don’t, whatever plan they use MUST be centered around trying for Carmello. It’s the only way I can see the Knicks becoming a contender if LBJ goes elsewhere. Honestly, I think that the best scenario to do that is resigning lee to use him as a trade asset to Denver. One way or another anyone they pick up needs to be a tradeable asset.

  73. “The Knicks cannot trade for Vlad Rad’s “expiring” contract. That would mean they spent 3 picks clearing Jared Jeffries just to add Vlad Rad. Absolutely, definitely, as sure as I am about anything, not going to happen.

    Beidrins possibly. Ellis possibly. But a Lee s&t would HAVE to included one of the two, or as Frank says, a fat package of guys on small contracts.”

    Beg to differ Z. The GS trade is ONLY if we don’t get LBJ.

    Then 20 million in expirings (Rad, Azubuike, & Curry) is a great asset to have in a sign and trade for Carmelo (or any other star).

    And Randolph could really be great. Whereas Ellis is a faster Jamal Crawford w/a crappy contract. Biedrins is injury prone, ill-suited for SSoL and also has a crappy contract.

  74. So if we are getting LBJ, wouldn’t he hold off on officially signing until we s&t Lee? If we renounce Lee’s rights, he can only go to a cap-friendly place anyway for less money/years, but if we s&t him to a cap-friendly team say, New Jersey, can’t we take back a draft pick or a very cheap player and Lee can get the extra year/raise? Is this correct or is there something I’m missing?

  75. And thus begins the longest day in my 40+ years as a Knicks fan.

    If LeBron falls through, I say DEFINITELY sign Lee, then keep working the phones until the right deal falls into our lap for nothing less than a top-20 player (Melo, CP3, Parker, etc.) or a young, high-upside guy (e.g. Rubio, Collison.)

  76. Lee sign and trade for Randolph, Turiaf, Azubuike would be great for Knicks. Might need another player to match salaries though.

  77. btw, I again am astounded by how Lee’s stock has risen in one year. Last year we were offered two journeymen and their expirings. Now GS will basically trade anyone on their roster save Steph Curry! Remember when they were asking Gallo for Randolph? You have to credit Lee for working hard on his game, but you also have to credit D’Antoni for helping him get this deserved contract. I’ll miss the scrappy ‘lil guy.

  78. ess-dog, I dont think Ellis and Biedrins are in play though. The package I mentioned above would be pretty great and the reports have stated Turiaf and Randolph as the main principles. Still, Id rather just sign LeBron :-)

  79. Knicks could still S&T Lee to a team with cap room, for a player with a smaller salary, or a draft pick.

  80. “Beg to differ Z. The GS trade is ONLY if we don’t get LBJ. Then 20 million in expirings (Rad, Azubuike, & Curry) is a great asset to have”

    How could Walsh get up in front of the NY media and explain that, after shedding 2011 contracts for two straight years, he was now going to start stock piling 2011 contracts??

    Assets or not, it’s not going to happen. Carmelo is either going to extend with Denver or force a trade to a team he extends with THIS summer. No one is waiting until next summer’s new CBA if they can force a commitment this summer.

    I would be shocked if Walsh feels like NY would accept Vladamir Radmonovic’s contract as a LeBron sweepstakes consolation prize.

  81. I think the best (and probably most realistic) deal we can get for David Lee is from Minnesota. Kevin Love (replaces Lee’s rebounding) and next year’s 1st rounder/Rubio’s rights should be attainable. Too bad there isn’t much else in Minnesota.

    I thought we could send Lee to Atlanta for Josh Smith, but they want to play Horford at the 4 so that won’t work.

  82. I would be shocked if Walsh feels like NY would accept Vladamir Radmonovic’s contract as a LeBron sweepstakes consolation prize.”

    Hopefully this all moot but the reason to take Rad’s contract is bc an expiring deal is the least bad option – we would HAVE to take back something, to match salaries. THe point of the trade is getting Anthony Randolph. The debate is whether it’s better to have Lee or Randolph + options in 2011.

  83. Isola saying Knicks dont want to get locked into a long, expensive deal with Felton so prefer Ridnour and try to sign/acquire Parker, CP3 or Deron Williams next off-season. With Boozer leaving Utah and Williams complaining this season about Utah lack of moves to get better he could be a sleeper star to get traded next season.

  84. Minnesota is NOT trading Love for Lee, much less throwing in Ricky Rubio. The offer is Al Jefferson, and maybe a late first if we’re lucky.

  85. The problem with Randolph, is that he’s really a long 3. He’s not the 3-ball threat that Gallo is, but he overlaps Gallo in many ways. That would be a strange, all 6’10” frontcourt, that’s for sure. I can see Mike D. salivating over that one. Plus, Azibuike is a good player and Turiaf is great energy off the bench. But frankly, we’d probably win more games with Lee next to Amare. It also shows you what a premium good point guard talent is in the NBA. Randolph as a very high potential wing is tradable, but someone like Lawson, who is clearly the back up on his team is pretty untouchable, not to mention Curry or Rubio. It does make me think that Walsh NOT taking Lawson or Jennings or even Holiday was a mistake if for no other reason than b/c we would’ve had to give up less in the Houston trade. But that is a minor footnote if he lands LeBron. Wow. I can’t believe that this COULD actually happen.
    I’m glad to have found this site years before the bandwagoners jump on board the 2010-11 Knicks. Dues around here have been paid – and then some.

  86. Indeed Ess. That they have.

    W/r/t Randolph, look at his per36/min stats. He’s a much better rebounder than Gallo and is a shotblocker. What he’s not, is a 3-point shooter.

    I don’t see a lot of overlap in terms of skills, other than they’re both 6’10” and need to bulk up.

  87. I would still rather have Lee. I, for one, think that he and Amar’e complement each other very well. Lee is excellent off the ball and Amar’e can play in the low post. Amar’e will command double-teams, opening up many offensive rebound opportunities for Lee. If we could keep Lee for somewhere around 5-year $65 mil, he will definitely return the investment.

  88. I don’t really like the Anthony Randolph idea. The guy is clearly injury prone, and I’m not sure his game fits in well with our 2 pieces, Gallo and Stat, moving forward. I’d rather send Lee elsewhere for a 1, 2, or 5, positions we’re rather thin at. If a deal (just throwing situations out, all hypothetical) like Bayless/Fernandez/Oden or Ford/Jones/Hibbert was out there, I’d rather us take that than an injury prone forward, when the current roster here is filled with forwards.

    Randolph is clearly talented, but I wouldn’t be so eager to trade Lee for him. Those stats per 36 are promising though.

  89. massive yeah I agree with you there could be way better alternatives to the Golden St deal but right now thats the only deal that has been rumored and it was rumored by both a Golden St beat writer and Ian O’Connor.

    Not sure why Lee would go there though so Im not totally buying it.

  90. BBA,

    I think if we go looking, we’ll find something. We can tell Lee that we can try to get him to a contender instead of playing for some of the worst NBA teams. We could draw interest from Orlando, the Texas teams, Atlanta, New Orleans, Portland, Denver, etc. We can get more than what Golden State is offering.

  91. I would be shocked if LeBron signs with Wade and Bosh. It is a bad match, who plays off the ball. Both Wade and LeBron count on slashing to score alot of points. I think a team with a great shooter to compliment either Wade or LeBron is better than a team with both players together.

    Wade/Miller or LeBron/Miller > Wade/LeBron

    That might be a bit of an overstatement but the two of them together is a case of diminishing returns.

  92. The Lebron meeting in miami might be a hoax. The source is listed as Ric Bucher who hasn’t tweeted anything about it. And I don’t see it listed from anyone credible that isn’t listing it as coming from Ric Bucher.

  93. Yeah looks like a hoax to me although apparently some writer from Miami mentioned it too.

  94. It probably is a hoax, ESPN sent me a text message, but i can’t find it on their site. Strange.

  95. i’m not believing anything i hear until tomorrow night. espn is just milking this for as long as they can. and hoaxes are so easy on twitter — with the craziness of the last week 50 beat writers jump on anything and present anything they see as true. i would hope that after all this is over, the editors of yahoo, espn, SI, etc. sit down with their staff and review principles of journalistic integrity.

    i exempt alan hahn from this — he’s done a bang-up job in my opinion. at least fact checks before writing ridiculous columns like AW on Yahoo.

  96. This is the text message:

    ESPN NBA – Ric Bucher: LeBron James flew to Miami Wednesday night for a meeting with Heat president Pat Riley.

    Then I go to the website, and nothing’s there.

  97. Bucher never tweeted it either and no other writer I follow has mentioned this trip to Miami. Only a bunch of people talking about the text like you got.

    Although there was some article talking about LeBron trying to buy a house in Miami.

  98. It really doesn’t make sense that LBJ would be going to Miami at all. If he was, wouldn’t LBJ, Wade and Bosh planned for one big press release announcing all 3 were going to the Heat? Having Wade and Bosh announce today, and then LeBron getting his own 1 hr special tomorrow announcing hes going to the same team would be, at minimum, weird.

  99. TDM- True, but perhaps the LeBron had not made his decision until later. Thursday could have just been a deadline he set for himself. There is still a LOT of speculation out there and we will obviously not know until tomorrow.

    Listening to Jared Dudley on the TMZ thing and then reading the other articles out there about the NY plan B about trading Lee to GS makes me look at this in possibly two ways. 1- The “supposed” NY exec JD heard the news from maybe does not exist. Perhaps he is just trying to get aboard the hype train and take a risk that could either make him look really good or fool like everyone else. 2- The proposed Lee trade to GS was created before LeBron came to his decision and/or NY has just been holding out hope something will change.

    As far as Miami goes in general, if you look at it as though all three take their pay cut with the increased cap they really aren’t leaving all that much on the table (assuming Bosh and LeBron never had a problem leaving their teams for less money). Question is whether or not they really believe they three of them together can get it done. Personally I don’t and I don’t think LeBron does either or he would not have been trying to recruit Bosh to Cleveland.

    I still think (obviously with a lot of hope attached) that LeBron comes to NY. There really is not a good reason to do a press conference outside of Ohio otherwise. If he was staying home their would be no better way to show his loyalty.

  100. LMAO Chris Broussard tweeted that LeBron was playing softball tonight in Akron playing SS and his team won.

  101. BBA- Makes ya wonder how LeBron made it to Miami then to have this meeting with Riles doesn’t it?? ;)

  102. LOL Im actually having a blast with all this stuff. Its funny cause some people get genuinely mad when they read something and find out it is false. Im eating all this stuff up and having a blast with it.

  103. It is quite funny. I do have to say one of the biggest reasons I hope he ends up in NY is I can’t wait to see what everyone writes and says afterwards. There is basically still no pro NY articles in favor of James.

    What would be really entertaining would be to read about how he took a s/t to Portland or something out of left field. The look on people’s faces would be priceless.

  104. Hey– do you all remember last July when David Stern sent out a memo saying the cap was going to drop this summer, warning it could go as low at $50 million?

    Well, at the time it caused quite a stomach ache for people with eyes glued to the 2010 FA bonanza we are currently wallowing in. I thought that, as the self-proclaimed unofficial Knickerblogger archivist, I would post what our faithful staff said at the time…


    Most notably Caleb, who wrote:

    “I don’t think Stern’s memo is worth the keyboard he used to email it – it’s just a negotiating tactic, to drive down FA salaries this summer and lay down a marker for negotiations next year on the new deal.”

    (Caleb went on to predict a number closer to $58 million…. actual number $58.044. Good call Capologist Caleb!)

  105. Alan Hahn’s been quite good. I hope he’s wrong right now:

    @alanhahn: Multiple sources are telling Newsday that LeBron James has decided to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

  106. I don’t buy it. It just doesn’t make sense. First– it would make lebron look like a tag-along. Second, I still don’t believe any of these guys will throw away money. Third– why have a press conference in Greenwich to say you’re playing in Miami? It just doesn’t make sense. If he stays in Cleveland, fine. I get why although the whole Greenwich thing would still be weird. But if e went to miami it would totally blow my mind. It’d be like watching buster Douglas knock out Tyson all over again.

  107. Not to mention hahn’s sources had the knicks out of the running all along. Hope he’s wrong.

  108. I agree with you on all of those points. I think going to Miami would really paint him as someone who runs away from a challenge, especially after Wade and Bosh signed first.

    I’m hoping it’s false. But Alan Hahn hasn’t really jumped the gun much the past two weeks.

  109. I don’t buy it. It just doesn’t make sense. First– it would make lebron look like a tag-along. Second, I still don’t believe any of these guys will throw away money. Third– why have a press conference in Greenwich to say you’re playing in Miami? It just doesn’t make sense. If he stays in Cleveland, fine. I get why although the whole Greenwich thing would still be weird. But if e went to miami it would totally blow my mind. It’d be like watching buster Douglas knock out Tyson all over again.

    Not saying that I buy it, either, necessarily.

    However, with the new cap, the Heat have enough room to sign all three to basically Max contracts. Plus, if they trade Beasley for nothing, they would totally be able to sign them all to max deals.

    As to the Greenwich thing, it was said from the beginning that the Greenwich thing would be to throw people off the scent no matter who he went with. So that makes sense to me.

    Not saying it is true or whatever, just that those two points don’t strike me as not making sense.

  110. Also, no offense to Hahn intended, but Newsday is going to be the paper who breaks this story?

    Sounds hard to believe.

  111. Anyone have a really powerful sedative (legal or otherwise) they’d be willing to spot me? I just can’t take the roller-coaster.

  112. Hahn said a few hours ago he was done for the night and will see all of us for the Amar’e press conference. Now he tweets this with no follow up and no other writer RT or chiming in on this?? His account mightve been hacked hopefully lol

  113. And to think I couldn’t find anymore reasons to hate Miami… God I hope that rumor is false.

  114. Ric Bucher just tweeted this:

    Never tweeted LeBron was in Mia. A source said he was. Passed it on to the mothership. Made a 2nd call, told he was in Akron. Killed report

  115. Well, at least we’ll presumably have it cleared up one way or the other pretty quickly as other sportswriters call their sources for confirmation/debunking.

  116. @RicBucher But the insanity is rising: the 1 source came at me hard that LBJ to Mia is done. Only way I go w/one source on that is if it’s LBJ/Mav.

  117. Bucher did just tweet that one source LeBron to Miami is done. I’m assuming that means it’s a go. He did however say he wouldn’t buy into the one source thing unless it was LBJ to Dallas.

  118. And that makes me feel a little better. If it ain’t from LeBron or Mav, it probably isn’t worth much. Randy or Shorty, it might be subterfuge. Lyn, something to worry about.

  119. He did however say he wouldn’t buy into the one source thing unless it was LBJ to Dallas.


    No, he’s saying that the only single sources he would believe would be Lebron or Maverick Carter.

  120. Bucher can be a bit unspecific w/the language of his tweets. Possibly due to excessive hair gel making his keyboard/blackberry all sticky

  121. Hopefully LeBron’s camp realized the cat was getting out of the bag earlier today and threw out some red herrings to keep people from tuning out Tonight at 9, 8 Central, Only on ESPN the World Wide Leader in Sports!

  122. Newsday seemed to soften the headline. Still not great, but at least I can sleep tonight. Some.

    Sources: LeBron leaning towards choosing Heat

    After more than two years of planning and preparing, of salary dumping and cap-carving trades and wishful thinking, the Knicks may well find out that it was still not enough to land LeBron James.

    According to multiple NBA sources, the two-time MVP Thursday night is expected to choose the Heat, where he would join fellow All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The two Wednesday announced their…


  123. Hahn just posted an article to Newsday. So the tweet apparently was from him.

  124. Im going to start really believing he is going to the Heat, makes it alot easier to handle the depression after the announcement tomorrow. Then I can go from praying he became a Knick to absolutely despising him for the rest of my life. lol

  125. I like Windhorst’s latest tweet

    Newsday has reported LeBron has decided on Heat. Only a couple of people can truly confirm this. None have to me at this point.

  126. I can’t do this anymore – I’m sitting down to a big glass of tequila and watching reruns of the Golden Girls. . .

  127. I liked Newsday better when they were reporting highlights of Stony Brook basketball games.

  128. @Chris_Broussard Sources with knowledge of the situation indeed saying LeBron will join Wade and Bosh in Miami, barring a late change of heart.

    I would love to know what constitutes “sources with knowledge of the situation”.

  129. If that happens I’m definitely going to be watching more soccer next season. No reason to watch the regular season when you know everyone else is playing for second….

    I really hope it’s not true but my gut says that it is…

  130. I don’t really give a crap about any of these other trades if Lebron goes to miami. Won’t even bother caring because it won’t matter. They’ll never put together a team that can compete with that.

  131. Ill still be watching hoping the Knicks play the Heat in the 1st round and pretend like its 1998 or 1999 and upset their sorry ass!!!!

  132. “I would love to know what constitutes “sources with knowledge of the situation”.”

    Alan Hahn, silly. What/Who his sources are, that’s another question entirely

  133. Sorry BBA, but this won’t even be close to that situation. I pretty much garuntee that if this situation comes to fruition, NY has no shot at a title in the next 5-7 years. I don’t care if Melo comes, Kobe, Jesus….won’t happen. Like i said, i’ll be watching another sport, I swear to fucking god…

  134. I’ve basically accepted LBJ as a Heat (seriously, teams not ending in a “s” have never bothered me as much as they do right now), if for no other reason than to finally stabilize my blood pressure. I can’t take this anymore, and I’d rather just get it into my head now that he’s out of reach and move on to loathing him. Can’t wait for the first reports of internal discord in the locker room.

  135. Sorry man, I feel your frustration but I will still be and always be a Knicks fan. I freakin live in Miami so believe me it would freakin suck for me but Ill still be rooting for the Knicks like crazy hoping they make the playoffs and get even better next season and become at least a Top 4-5 team in the East.

  136. We’re going to have to wait and see. LBJ to MIA still just doesn’t make sense given everything that’s been said up to this point. It’d be like Michael Jordan demanding a trade to the Lakers in 1989.

  137. It’s so fucking bad for basketball. I mean who cares about who wins when the winner has 3 of the best 4 players in basketball. It’s dumb, those assholes will prob win like 75 games. And there is just no way to stop that team. I already spent the last 25 years watching the knicks win no titles. The best part about this bullshit is that I get to skip the “maybe next year” portion of the next five years. Because I’ll know that it’s “nope, not next year either”

  138. @ BBA

    Yeah man I’ll be a Knick fan till I die, but I just won’t watch for a few years unless something bad happens to lebron/wade (crosses fingers). I mean I know it’s terrible to say but I hope something awful happens if this goes down. Maybe some crazy cleveland fan will go postal….

  139. An interesting aspect of the three playing together on the Heat would be what they could do in the future if the MLE is still available from 2011 on. Can you imagine how good of a team you could build adding MLE players to the big three?

    Still, as good as they are, I would be fine with the Knicks just trying to build as good of a team as they can and then see what happens. I mostly just want the Knicks to be good again – they can worry about what teams they would face in the playoffs once they’re good enough to even get there. So far they haven’t even established a roster that is good enough to make it to the playoffs.

  140. Newsday has reported LeBron has decided on Heat. Only a couple of people can truly confirm this. None have to me at this point.

    Sounds like a good trade – would Randolph be a 4 or a 5 on the Knicks?

  141. Who cares though honestly? If you can’t win you can’t win. This will be 10x worse than the 90’s because at least in the 90’s there was a chance….They never came through but they could be close.

    The knicks could acquire Melo tomorrow and it would not change a thing. They’ll never stop that team. It’s going to be the five most meaningless titles ever.

  142. Im thinking Turiaf starts at the 5 with Amare at the 4 and Randolph would be the 3rd big man obviously having to come off the bench. Still dont see why Lee would agree to go there unless they are offering him more money than any other team.

  143. I just realized that staying up until I read a tweet that dispels what I just read is leading me to insomnia.

    Hopefully, I wake up to a better hoop world tomorrow.

  144. Who cares though honestly? If you can’t win you can’t win. This will be 10x worse than the 90’s because at least in the 90’s there was a chance….They never came through but they could be close.

    You’re waaaaaaaay over-exaggerating how good a team of the Big Three, Chalmers, Beasely and seven minimum players would be.

    Would they be the favorites? Yes, I agree with that.

    But I don’t think they’d even be as good as the 1995-96 Bulls, and that team was tested by a pretty iffy Knicks team in the playoffs as well as a strong Sonics team.

    Hell, I don’t even know if the proposed Heat team is even necessarily better than what Kobe has in LA.

    Yes, Lebron and Bosh are better than Kobe and Gasol (although not by some gigantic measure), but is Wade better than all the great Laker depth? Bynum/Odom/Artest/Blake?

    Maybe, but it’s surely no guarantee.

    I’m sure Gasol/Bynum would be licking their lips at playing a Bosh/Joel Anthony (or Bosh/Theo Ratliff) frontcourt.

  145. I don’t think a miami team with Wade, Bosh and LeBron is necessarily that good. Sure they will instantly be very good (they would with just Wade and Bosh as well) but I still don’t know if they’re better than the Lakers. In fact a team with Bosh, Wade and a couple really savvy signings like Miller, Haywood, etc would probably be just as good. The only reason this helps the Heat is because LeBron is alot bettter than Wade, I think if it was just LeBron and Bosh plus some good signings that team would actually be better than the one with all three.

    Wade and LeBron are redundant. They both cannot slash to the basket, neither can be a spot up shooter to finish off of drives when one gets doubled. How is this going to work? Who out of the three takes a backseat and becomes a role player? When Boston got a big three their skills complemented each other and Allen still had to accept a smaller role in the offense and become a spot up shooter and role player.

    Plus as it stands, to offer three max contracts they have to move Beasley so it would be the big three, Chalmers and a bunch of minimum deals. With a new CBA who knows if they will even have the MLE to build with in the future. If this is true it will hurt the NBA and hurt LeBron’s legacy and might not even guarantee a bunch of titles.

  146. The one thing I still can’t figure out is why would LBJ choose to basically become a beta to Wade’s alpha dog (in terms of team hierarchy anyway). I mean, he’s having his own fricking TV special for this decision! The Heat is Wade’s team and I honestly don’t think LeBron will ever really change that perception, at least not for me.

  147. While I basically agree with you, Ben, on the whole “the Lakers might still be better than them” (and on that point, the aforementioned stacked Lakers team were one quarter from being beaten by an iffy Celtics team), I don’t think it’s because Lebron and Wade are redundant.

    They’re both great enough players to be able to work with each other – they’re both such amazing passers that they will find a way to get a man open constantly.

    And how can you double anyone on the Heat with that lineup? They have three guys who can kill you!

  148. And have we learned nothing? It’s 2am on the east coast. There’s been SO much misinformation spread on this, no one knows for sure. And probably won’t until 9pm tonight.

    Two days ago he was going to the Bulls

    Earlier today it was the Knicks.

    Before that it was returning to the Cavs.

    No one knows what will happen. Possibly LeBron himself hasn’t made up his mind.

    What it DOES guarantee is to build the hype thru the roof for the “LeBatchelor” show

  149. The one thing I still can’t figure out is why would LBJ choose to basically become a beta to Wade’s alpha dog (in terms of team hierarchy anyway). I mean, he’s having his own fricking TV special for this decision! The Heat is Wade’s team and I honestly don’t think LeBron will ever really change that perception, at least not for me.

    He might just think that winning titles is the best way to go, and this is definitely his best chance to win multiple titles, even if by doing so, he’s almost assuring that Wade will have one more ring than him at all times.

  150. lol @ you guys saying you don’t know how good they’ll be. It’s very easy to point out how dominant they’ll be.

    Take the bulls team that won 70 games and add charles barkley to that team and there you have it….

    Even if you don’t think lebron is as good as Jordan, Wade is better than Pippen. And Bosh might be slightly under Barkley, but that’s pretty much where it’s at.

  151. True, Robert, but this is the first time someone as high profile as Hahn has given a statement this definitive. So this seems a bit different. It’s good news that he seems to quickly change his mind from “has decided” to “is leaning,” but for a guy like Hahn to make a tweet like that – I’d have to think that he believes he knows for sure.

  152. .589 TS%, 21% assist rate for a guy with a 21% usage.

    That’s pretty darn sweet, right?

    That’s not as good as Wade, but it’s within the same ballpark, right?

    That was Toni Kukoc – the third option on the 1995-96 Bulls!

    The 1995-96 Bulls had Jordan, Pippen and Rodman, true, but they also had Kukoc and below him they had Ron Harper and Steve Kerr and below them they had Longley, Caffey and Wennington.

    They were great up front and deep in the back.

  153. Why does Alan Hahn have three sources inside LeBron’s inner circle when no other reporter seems to even have one?

    Alan Hahn is Bob Woodward?

  154. a couple of things:

    1) ESPN HQ is in Connecticut, about 1 1/2 hours north of greenwich, so that could be part of why the conference is in CT.

    2) Clearly this whole process has been rife with insiders leaking fake stories to further their own cause. If LeBron indicated to the knicks that he was in, perhaps he also made it quite clear that the cat should stay completely in the bag until the press conference. One way to keep the big LeBron cat in the bag is to leak a story about the knicks’ backup plan. It doesn’t say they know they have LeBron, and it doesn’t say they know they don’t.

    3) The simple fact that the knicks would suggest they do not know if LBJ is coming is fishy. One would think that wherever LBJ is going, he’s already indicated it to the team. Otherwise that team might assume, “Well, if he hasn’t told us, it seems like we’re out, so we can hedge our bets now and get first pick on the leftover FAs.” Wouldn’t it be crazy if LBJ planned on coming to NY and they made a trade in advance of the press conference that put him out of reach capwise?

    My sense right now is that the odds are about 60% NY, 25% Miami, 10% Cleveland, 5% NJ/Chicago. I base that mostly on the sense that everything we hear before the press conference is going to be completely suspect. There is just too much BS going on to take any of the stuff getting published for real. As a result, I look at what I’ve observed about LBJ’s character, and I look around the league at his options, and NY just seems to make the most sense. They have a great opportunity to be real championship contenders, they are a huge market, and LBJ’s counsel seems mostly his 25 y/o buddies… Where would you want to go as a rich 25 y/o? Miami and Chicago are nice, but they’re not NY.

  155. I agree Brian – Hahn’s got as much credibility as any beat writer. It just seems to fly in the face of so much logic for LBJ to choose Miami.

    Multiple titles or not, it’d forever put him below Jordan, Bryant, Shaq, Bird, and Magic on the NBA totem pole. None of those guys ever had two teammates as good as Wade/Bosh or would have accepted being 2nd banana

  156. So, will I be the only one going to Knicks.com to see the Amar’e press conference at noon today???? lol

  157. I agree Brian – Hahn’s got as much credibility as any beat writer. It just seems to fly in the face of so much logic for LBJ to choose Miami.

    Multiple titles or not, it’d forever put him below Jordan, Bryant, Shaq, Bird, and Magic on the NBA totem pole. None of those guys ever had two teammates as good as Wade/Bosh or would have accepted being 2nd banana

    I’m with you, but I suppose I can also see the appeal of wanting to win a title – and this would give him his best chance at a title. Certainly better than playing with Amar’e, Gallo, Chandler and Douglas.

  158. Why does Alan Hahn have three sources inside LeBron’s inner circle when no other reporter seems to even have one?

    Alan Hahn is Bob Woodward?

    That is one of the things I’m clinging to, as well – that Newsday simply can’t be the paper that breaks this story.

  159. I’m waking my sponsor. This is the most tempted I’ve been to have a drink in two years.

  160. If LBJ does go to Miami it’ll be interesting to see how they fill out their roster. They won’t have the mid-level exception this year so you’re looking at minimum salary guys. As Brian said, taking the MLE to play with the big three will be very attractive- the vet’s minimum? Not so much. They’re going to have some real holes to fill- interior defense, 3 point shooting. I also wonder about ball movement- having three guys are best used in iso situations is going to lead to a lot of standing around. I’d be shocked if they didn’t win at least one championship but I’m not ready to grant them a dynasty just yet. As for the Knicks- I’ll be happy just to have them be relevant again- they’re obviously still a few moves away if LBJ doesn’t come.

  161. I love Space Jam, Ewing shouldve gotten a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work on that movie.

  162. Robert– wait until 9:10 tonight, then go on the bender of a lifetime. But not now. Not yet.

  163. Hey, DJ Mbenga is a free agent, right? He can get a third ring and sign on as the Heat starting center!

  164. Hollinger listed ten guys who signed minimum deals last year (and their PERs):

    G Anthony Carter 10.34
    G C.J. Watson 13.88
    G Devin Brown 10.06
    G Quinton Ross 3.04
    F Rodney Carney 12.72
    F Joey Graham 10.62
    F Josh Powell 6.77
    F Joe Smith 11.29
    C D.J. Mbenga 11.63
    C Theo Ratliff 10.28

  165. The Heat can afford to give each guy around $16,500,00 without trading Beasley.

    That’s nuts.

    Here’s a sample roster for the Heat (made up of draft picks plus vet minimums)…

    PG Chalmers/Anthony Carter/Mikhail Torrance
    SG Wade/Jon Scheyer
    SF Lebron/Da’Sean Butler/Quinton Ross
    PF Bosh/Beasley/Joe Smith
    C Ratliff/ Jarvis Varnado/ Dexter Pittman

  166. it’s still basketball
    you still play it with only one ball
    you still have to rebound, defend and make your outisde shooting
    even assuming all the egos involved will mesh well together, I really want to see bosh (a guy nicknamed “rupaul) play the 5, especially on defense.

  167. He would almost certainly not be playing the 5, right? With those three guys, you don’t need a 5 to do anything more than rebound and block shots, like Theo Ratliff’s corpse (who is available!).

  168. Honestly, I’ll believe LeBron is going to Miami when I hear him say it…

    And when I do hear it, I’ll probably tune out to the NBA for a really long time…

    And David Stern will probably kill himself, just so he can start rolling over in his grave…

  169. I’m holding out hope that this Miami stuff is disinformation because the real news of him picking NY leaked too early.

    no matter how this turns out, for a guy who wants to be a ‘worldwide brand’, he’s going to end up one of the most hated players in the US, in any sport. that’s another reason I think it might be NY, because everyone hates NY anyway.

  170. “I’m holding out hope that this Miami stuff is disinformation because the real news of him picking NY leaked too early.”

    Jon, I totally agree. It may just be the optimist in me, but lets face it– the optimistic Knick fan in me died somewhere between Layden and Isiah…

    During the last week, with all the “NY has no chance” talk, I felt it ran counter to logical thinking. Just because he wasn’t saying “I want to play in NY” didn’t mean that he DIDN’T want to play in NY. What superstar of any worth wouldn’t, if the situation was right.

    Now, Miami too defies logic. LeBron, it seems, is a smart person. Perhaps smarter than the media.

    As Hahn said just yesterday: “we (media and fans) have been played. Some more than others.”

  171. A Miami team with Lebron/Wade/Bosh will have paper thin depth, right? Those three can’t play 48 minutes every night all 82 games of the season. Lebron is an ironman, but Wade and Bosh miss their share of games. They’ll get exposed in the playoffs when they run into a team like LA.

    The 95/96 Bulls comparisons sound wack to me. A Lebron+ Heat team will have scrubs at 7/8/9/10, at least. People were questioning the durability of Garnett/Pierce/Allen and even Boston already had Rondo/Big Baby/Perkins/Delk/House, etc.

  172. The 95/96 Bulls comparisons sound wack to me. A Lebron+ Heat team will have scrubs at 7/8/9/10, at least. People were questioning the durability of Garnett/Pierce/Allen and even Boston already had Rondo/Big Baby/Perkins/Delk/House, etc.

    While the Bulls did have Kerr at #7, they also most certainly did have scrubs at #8-10.

    Their 8-10 were:

    Bill Wennington
    Jud Buechler
    Randy Brown

    You’ll note that I’m saying that the 1995-96 Bulls were better than what the Heat will likely look like next year if they get Lebron. And the reason they are better is not because of the #7-10, it’s because Toni Kukoc, Ron Harper and Luc Longley were their 4-6. Those are solid to really good (Longley solid, Harper really good) rotation players, with Kukoc being a near-All Star level player.

    The Heat won’t have that.

    But my point was only that let’s say that they do compare to that Bulls team – that Bulls team wasn’t, like, unbeatable. I think the 2009-10 Lakers would match up extremely well with them, and when you get that out there, note that the 2009-10 Celtic quite nearly beat the 2009-10 Lakers!

    So my main point is – no one should just write off the NBA Championships from 2010-11 to 2015-16 or whenever.

  173. And again, here’s an idea of what a Heat roster could look like with Lebron/Wade/Bosh… (made up of draft picks plus vet minimums)…

    PG Chalmers/Anthony Carter/Mikhail Torrance
    SG Wade/Jon Scheyer
    SF Lebron/Da’Sean Butler/Quinton Ross
    PF Bosh/Beasley/Joe Smith
    C Ratliff/ Jarvis Varnado/ Dexter Pittman

    That’s definitely a title contender – and that’s not saying that they can’t trade Beasely for, I dunno, someone to play center? A point guard?

  174. That RealGM article is ridiculous. LeBron’s legacy won’t be tarnished by playing with other superstars. That’s like saying Kareem’s legacy was tarnished by getting Magic Johnson at the tail end of his career, or Kobe’s legacy was tarnished by being gifted an All-NBA center on the downslope of his peak years. Kobe couldn’t win without a top-flight big man, and yet as of the last few years, no one in the media (especially that bumbling idiot Stu Scott) can remove his reproductive organs from his mouth. LeBron winning several championships for the Heat would make him that much more of a “winner” than making it to a few more Finals before being dominated by the far-deeper-than-the-Cavs teams like the Lakers, Magic, or Celts. Also, as we’ve discussed before, the Bulls would not give him a better chance than New York at laying out a solid team around him. If anything, the Knicks have efficient shooters and certainly don’t have a point guard that plays more like a slashing shooting guard.

  175. There is a big difference from winning with a superstar sidekick and this. There has NEVER been this big of a big 3. Ever. If he wins with this team, he’s supposed to. It’s supposed to be easy when you have All three superstars in one place. If it’s even hard it’s embarrassing.

    I’ll tell you what I don’t wanna see, that fucking GS trade. I mean ffs do we ever have a trade where we end up with the BETTER player. I mean why does it always have to be “we give up allstar to get promising guy i never heard of.” I just don’t see how that trade is better than us just keeping Lee.

  176. Oh man, the NBA was really shitty in 1995-96.

    I was trying to see how many teams from that year that I would put up against teams from last year, and there’s not many.

    The Cavaliers were tied for the 4th-best record in the Eastern Conference with the following starting line-up…

    PG – Terrell Brandon
    SG – Bobby Phills
    SF – Chris Mills
    PF – Danny Ferry
    C – Michael Cage

    Buh-roooo-tal (although Brandon was out of this world good in 1995-96)

    The #2 seed in the West, the Spurs, trotted out the same old boring…

    PG Avery Johnson
    SG Vinny Del Negro
    SF Sean Elliott
    PF Will Perdue
    C David Robinson

    that never went anywhere until they subbed in the greatest power forward of all time for Will Perdue (and upgrades at the guard spot and the bench) and were suddenly good.

    Pretty much just the Bulls, Magic and Sonics (and I guess the Jazz just because Stockton and Malone could at least hang in any era) could hang with the 2009-10 NBA elite.

    I mention this just because I wish to point out how the 1995-96 Bulls were lucky to have such poor competition.

  177. I mean ffs do we ever have a trade where we end up with the BETTER player.

    That was how Isiah ruined the franchise – trades that netted the Knicks the best player in the deal, but terrible contracts galore.

    In this instance, yes, Lee is likely the better player, but he’s about to become very expensive, while Randolph is still on his rookie contract and is two years younger than Jordan Hill, can play defense and can rebound (and, again, he will be 21 next season – he’s not even 21 yet!). Turiaf, meanwhile, is good enough to be a rotation player on every team in the NBA outside of perhaps the Lakers.

    The only thing I don’t get is how the Warriors can take more salary than they’re sending out – Randolph and Turiaf doesn’t seem to be enough for the trade to work.

  178. That said, I would prefer that the Knicks just keep Lee and see what they can do with a Lee/Amar’e/Gallo frontcourt.

  179. While we’re clinging to straws, JA Adande had a very nice tweet a few hours ago…

    Part of me thinks LeBron’s camp is just floating this Miami thing to gauge the reaction. And what I’ve seen has not been positive.

  180. Personally, though, I have a strong dislike of Turiaf.

    Ever since he choked back-to-back years during March Madness (after I had been sucked into thinking Gonzaga weren’t going to choke both years!). It actually kind of irritates me that he has been more successful in the NBA than he was in college.

  181. Hey, since the Knicks have Jerome Jordan, maybe they should give Jared Jordan a chance, as well! Invite him to the Summer League, Knicks!

  182. randolph would be a steal. he has the tools to be the next shawn kemp.

    at worst, he gives us 10 rebounds and 2 blocks a game.

    he fits better than Lee with Amare. size and athleticism.

  183. @ 234

    That would be a smart move. A nice test of a potential outcome without any of the risk.

  184. There have been some pretty good big 3’s: Kareem-Magic-Worthy was probably the best of all time. Bird-Parish-McHale, Chamberlain-Greer-Cunningham were good ones from the 60’s-70’s. The best Knicks threesome was Reed, Frazier, DeBuscherre (glad I was around to enjoy these guys since another championship will not be forthcoming for a while if LBJ goes to Heat.) All of these teams needed support to win championships, however, they made the bench players better. That is why I don’t think developing a supporting cast will be a big problem.

    BTW, I was extremely high on Dexter Pittman before the draft and not surprised that he was picked 20-30 picks before he was projected to go. Between him and Varnado, the Heat have two young bigs that don’t have to do any more than play within themselves. Scheyer is a smart, winning player who I think will be an asset to a team like the Heat with LBJ, Wade and Bosh.

  185. I think some of us have tipped toward the OCD side of things…
    I feel as though everything that has been leaked about LJ has been done to create anticipation.
    I believe this leak saying its the Heat also creates a certain buzz for the show tonight, which if true would make the show terribly anti-climactic.
    So, I maintain the no one knows jack shit.
    What I like about all this is that even if the Knicks don’t get Lebron, they still have some pretty nice options.

    Also, these are three young guys who are big stars and used to being their teams’ go to guys. This isn’t Jordan Pippen, who essentially always knew Pippen was tonto to Jordan’s Lone Ranger.
    In this case, you have three Lone Rangers and that may not gel well.

    I also think that if I’m lebron, I’m not thrilled that Bosh blew me off in Cleveland where I could make a lot more money and win a championship, and I might be intrigued to compete with Wade and Bosh on a team like the Knicks with Amare. But i like the competition…

  186. What would be great…is if the Knicks or some other team pulls together a strong, multifaceted TEAM that is able to beat the three-legged stool in Miami, if that is how it plays out.

    I’m not certain it’s a good idea to invest everything in two or three pieces and then have shit elsewhere. The shit elsewhere can be exploited, and I don’t think these three guys, especially Bosh, can hold up to 45 minutes a night.

    I also think something weird is going on…the owners are going to take a close look at this. If collusion is illegal among the owners, certainly its a problem if players are doing it. But I realize that’s probably just me.

    the Knicks can use Lee to bring in some nice pieces, a point guard, I hope. They also have great flexibility and could sign another very nice free agent or three and assemble a very nice team around Amare.

    The Knicks are in a good place.

  187. Suppose the Heat rumor is true. What hope is there that we can somehow become competitive with them, beyond the fact that Wade and Bosh have some durability concerns? (not that Amar’e and Gallo don’t!)

    More than ever, things depend on Gallo’s development. Hopefully he is working his ass off and can become a legit #2 in our big 3. If we can then pick up Melo, that could work… at least offensively. Maybe Jerome Jordan winds up being a solid big, and we get something of value for Lee. At least with cap room, there’s some hope.

  188. This is really depressing. I’m with the rest of you guys, I just don’t get it, for a guy who’s supposedly all about his “brand”, what does teaming up with D Wade and Bosh really do for that brand?

    I’m now hoping somehow the folks in his hometown can lay a major guilt trip on him and convince him to stay in Cleveland, that may be our only hope.

  189. Boring decision. Bad for the league to have 3 of best players in market that could care less about hoops, is small, has no NBA history or national appeal. Seems like Riley sold him on being a legend as part of a dynasty but that will never happen in Miami. These Heat teams will never be considered on par w Lakers, Celtics, Bulls.

    This is very 2010 though. Everything is synthetic and nothing organic. “It doesn’t matter how we get there so long as we get there.” But the funny thing about sports is that the story line that goes along with the title is what makes it interesting and fun. Picture Michael Jordan crying holding the trophy with his father standing by after years of denial by the Pistons. It was the journey. Think of how Bird and Magic and Wilt and Russell defined each other through years of rivalry and the Pistons climbing the mountain denied to them so often by Boston and LA. There is no story here with the Heat. There is no journey. No one will sit in front of their TVs and say, “Wow! He did it. He overcame the obstacles and achieved the ultimate victory.”

    He has lost that and that is bad for basketball the sport we all love.

  190. LeBron to the Heat? Sounds like a worst case fucking scenario to me.

    Today is going to be painful.

  191. So do we have any confirmation of this from anyone reliable otherthan Alan Hahn? Broussard is totally unreliable.

  192. cgreene, word!

    I was thinking about the appeal of the Knicks yesterday while feeling optimistic. LeBron could be our Babe Ruth. The great superstar who establishes the tradition. You love the Yankees, LeBron? Somebody had to establish their dominance first, and that man is fucking *immortal*.

    Man, could I root for the Lakers against this Riley concoted monstrosity? I will now go jump off a bridge.

  193. @245 C Greene, that is one good piece of writing, you really summed it up perfectly. Have you thought about joining ESPN? Oh, wait, then you’d have to find some “sources” to constantly feed you erroneous information.

  194. Meanwhile for once I agree with ochocinco (who really is so entertaining). He just tweeted this:

    RT @OGOchoCinco: nickname #KingJames, Kings lead w/ help of army (supporting cast on team). A lead dog doesnt join supastars to make it easy

    Also Tommy dee just said that one of his sources was told that rangers employees were told to stay away from msg facility in westchester today.

    I think this is far from over.

  195. “That RealGM article is ridiculous. LeBron’s legacy won’t be tarnished by playing with other superstars. That’s like saying Kareem’s legacy was tarnished by getting Magic Johnson at the tail end of his career, or Kobe’s legacy was tarnished by being gifted an All-NBA center on the downslope of his peak years.”

    these are terrible comparisons. the equivalent here would be if Jordan could have gone anywhere he wanted in the middle of his career and he chose Utah with Stockton and Malone in their primes.

  196. Its gonna be terrible for the league, jordan is an icon bc he won championships by hitting clutch shots, put charles barkley on that team and there wouldnt have been those clutch shots to take.

    Winning by 40 means viewers change the channel to something more interesting. And i see the next few seasons as being very disinteresting.

  197. Let me say this: Chris Broussard is putting himself out on a limb just like Donnie Walsh did. He was plugged-in enough to report the three guys meeting, and right then and there he said his sources are pretty solid they would all land in Miami. Now he’s pretty much reporting the deal is imminent. It’s possible that he’s very well-sourced, and if LeBron signs in Miami than Broussard has scored a coup – nailed the big story. My hat’s off.

    On the other hand, his sources might be just playing with him, to try and build up suspense for tonight so the special doesn’t get cancelled. (I mean, why would anyone watch if we already knew where LeBron was going?)

    My guess is #2 – someone with LeBron realized yesterday that the news was slipping out. In that case, I’ll lose whatever respect I ever had for Broussard.

  198. If they DO all go to Miami, I think it will be a great team but definitely beatable – not as good as the Bulls dynasty. The overall talent is about the same (LeBron=Jordan, Wade > Pippen, Bosh < Rodman), but they don't complement each other so well. Whoever made the point about diminishing returns when James and Wade play together, was spot-on. They both need the ball full-time, are mediocre outside shooters and like the same spots on the floor. The Bulls mix was awesome because Rodman could control a game without taking a shot. Not so with Bosh. Don't get me wrong, they can win titles, but it's not like the rest of the league would be fried. IMO fan interest would be huge, not hurt.

  199. So now you guys all decide to start taking the rumor mill at face value? Shameful.

  200. I’m not a sports economist, but you often hear that dynasties are good for a league. People watch the Yankees, Lakers, Celtics, Bulls… In a sense these three guys may have decided to compete against other generations instead of against each other. Besides already having Wade, no income state tax, and a warm climate… Miami won because they cleared the most cap space and because they have a team President who has taken 3 franchises to the Finals. (Doesn’t hurt that they sold Bosh with their willingness to draft 2 Cs–Bosh doesn’t want to play the 5–and LeBron with their commitment to defense.)

    If LeBron does sign with the Heat, if nothing else we’ve got a team to love to hate. (Bosh in the Wilbon interview saying, “I’m just going to let LeBron decide what’s best for him” in such a cool and collected manner with a cheesy grin makes him look like even more of a tool if he already knew LeBron was coming…)

    I just say let LeBron live. People jump on his case even about made up rumors and opinions from the media that he has no control over. He’s doing what he thinks is best, and we’ll see a. what that is and b. if it is right.

    If the Knicks are able to s&t Lee for Randolph, Turiaf, AND Azubuike (or even 2 of the 3, or some combination plus Brandan Wright) this will be a very good offseason for the team. Largely up to Lee, of course, but the Bay Area is a great place to live and GS–though a disfunctional organization–plays a style that should suite him offensively. This would be the kind of savvy back-up move with upside we’ve been hoping for, not a desperation 5 years 60 mill to Raymond Felton move.

    I believe the Bucks have to wait until the free agency period to complete the Maggette deal, when teams can use their cap space. The pick they gave to the Knicks, again if I’m not mistaken, was from the Clippers.
    The hope of beating them is to have more than 3 very good/great players (ala the Lakers now with Kobe/Pau/Bynum/Odom/Artest), to beat them on depth. The hope is that they hold onto Beasley as their sort of “Rondo” and he busts. The hope is that Pittman and Varnado fail, and MLE C they sign next season fails, and they’re never able to a real interior defender in there… Bosh at the 5 would be a major weakness. The hope is that they can’t get a shooter, or at least whoever their shooter is has no game outside of shooting. And, yeah, the hope is that LeBron/Wade start calling Bosh RuPaul Raptor Look-alike in press conferences, they have a physical fight with each other on the court, they all blow out their knees…
    Knicks have to worry about actually making the playoffs before they worry about competing for the title, though.

  201. Should LeBron sign… I would still put LAL ahead of Miami as favorites for 2011, by the way, depending on what if any complementary moves Miami makes.

    If I were LeBron I might have intentionally “leaked” several stories. Misdirection. You know the media’s going to have a “definite” place he’s playing… so have ESPN, Yahoo, Newsday, etc., etc. all looking like idiots.

    Dudley and DeJuan Blair are both still saying NYK, no?

  202. “The pick they gave to the Knicks, again if I’m not mistaken, was from the Clippers.”

    I am mistaken… the Warriors… Maggette’s last team, was confused there

  203. As much as I’d hate to see David Lee go, Anthony Randolph would be a coup. IMO he projects as being just about as good, although with very different skills. Those skills are a much better match for Amare, he’s cheap for another two years and the Knicks would get to flesh out the roster with more bodies. Just knowing that Walsh is interested, is encouraginng – I’ve had my doubts about his eye for talent.

    But like I said yesterday, I hope it’s moot.

  204. U guys are kidding urselves if u dont think that team will be more dominant than the bulls, lebron won 127 games the last two seasons with a soon to be lottery team. Think about that….

    No matter who else the heat add it wont be far off those guys. The lakers were involved in 3 tough series that they could have lost. This team will be so much better than those teams it will be a joke. Lucky if it goes 5 imo.

    Honestly i hope the next cba prevents something like this from ever happening again, maybe they need a hard cap. But this shit is not gonna be fun at all. They are going to slaughter teams on a biblical scale, and i hope the gm(s) that helped miami get fired. England probably could have let Hitler just give them Belgium, but they didnt, cause thats friggin stupid….

  205. Caleb, Alan Hahn broke this ‘story’ well before Broussard last night, so he gets credit if it’s true, not Broussard.

  206. I think Anthony Randolph could be as good as Bosh or better, in his best seasons Amare has been as good as Wade… If the Knicks could find 3 All-Star level players (Gallo, PG, …) and good role players while the Heat failed the fill out the roster well–in the case LeBron goes to the Heat and the Knicks s&t Lee for Randolph–the Knicks actually COULD compete with the Heat. And the Knicks are just one team. Others could compete as well.

    Caleb, after all the talent he brought to Indiana over the years it’s hard to doubt Walsh’s ability to run a front office that can assess and assemble talent. Randolph is a pretty classic “D’Antoni guy,” though, so I don’t think it takes much imagination. If nothing else Randolph also has good trade value. For example, the Wolves were said to be interested… so maybe Knicks could land Rubio.

  207. @260

    We’ll have to see. Nothing you say or I say will prove this. That’s why they play the games.

    A hard cap would have done nothing to prevent this. This really cannot be prevented unless the NBA wants to further infringe on its players freedom of speech, which the union would be very unlikely to accept (as in, you can’t talk to other players in the offseason, which is pretty impossible to enforce anyway… so this can’t he stopped if players decide to do something like this).

  208. Mike & Mike in the morning talking with Adande and Wilbon (all Northwestern guys – Represent!) saying basically that this could definitely be a smokescreen and Cleveland and New York still have good chances.

    As we’ve all been saying all along, no one knows diddly squat.

    As for backup plans, what was the conclusion on RJ vs. Mike Miller or others? Any chance we could pry Curry from the Warriors? Does Randolph really project to be better than Lee?

  209. Caleb, Alan Hahn broke this ’story’ well before Broussard last night, so he gets credit if it’s true, not Broussard.

    whoops, busy on something else then!

    But Broussard wrote last week that all 3 were set on Miami, so I still give him credit. If true.

    But I still don’t believe it.

    Am I deluding myself?

  210. Randolph is young, skinny and raw so his ceiling is hard to predict – it’s a big range. But he’s exciting because he has superstar potential. Doesn’t mean he’ll be a superstar, but he’s already a decent player, even at age 20. Rare in the NBA. He was drafted while still 17 or just barely 18, I think, which made him a sleeper to some people.

  211. @263 yeah actually a hard cap would have, bc it would have forced miami to sign those three AND the 7-8 guys they need to fill out the roster while not going over the cap. Miami ends up at least 7-10 mil over by the end of this

  212. @264


    At the right price both RJ and Mike Miller are good basketball players. Both are risks, though, because they’re both 30 years old and coming off weaker seasons in which they were possibly misused but have probably also declined to some extent… Miller’s not a great defender and people question if RJ still is. Miller, at least, appears to be pretty hotly chased by contenders and the Knicks already have good depth on the wings.

    Doubt the Warriors part with Curry, but they are the ideal team for a s&t if Lee wants to play there: Randolph, Biedrins, Brandan Wright, Turiaf, Azubuike, plus expiring contracts of Radmonovic and Gadzuric… something beneficial to the Knicks can DEFINITELY be worked out if Lee wants to sign there.

    The problem with Lee is that he and Amare have some of the same strengths and weaknesses. Sure, they have a few differences but they’re really pretty marginal. Neither prides himself on defense. Both are efficient scorers with decent jumpers, but they both really get their efficiency by finishing close to the basket (despite not having Amare’s explosiveness, Lee is a GREAT finisher). I have a hard time envisioning D’Antoni playing both. Randolph, on the other hand, is more of a 3/4, or “stretch” 4: he has the athleticism to play the 3, but the size and rebounding ability to play the 4. He’s a long shot blocker with the potential to be a plus defender. He has raw offensive skills as a ball-handler, passer, and shooter that may or may not come around. He’s still on his rookie deal, so he gives the Knicks flexibility: if he’s a good fit re-sign him, if not either trade him or just let him walk.

    Anthony Randolph’s *upside* is absolutely to be better than Lee. His upside is to be an All-NBA kind of guy (probably more 2nd team than 1st, but who knows). That’s a best case, but he’s already been an average-to-above average NBA player (PER 17.6 and WS/48 0.80) at 19 and 20 years old. As someone (Caleb?) has pointed out several times before… there aren’t too many guys you can say that about who don’t develop into All-Star-to-All-NBA level players. And even if he gets no better, well, he’s a versatile rotation player.

  213. Am I the only one who’d still rather KEEP Lee as plan B?

    Ugh, all this shit’s giving me a headache…gotta work during the special…so I got my wife and a buddy of mine on alert to call me when the news hits…but for now, I’m putting this all down…as I said, this is giving me a freakin’ migraine.

  214. @268 and if nothing else, we’d also get a lot of trade chips to use instead of one monstrous contract. I guess I just really didn’t want to see Lee go, but it makes sense.

    One concern I still have with Randolph though, is that we already have a stretch 4 or 3/4, and his name is Gallinari. Could one of them play the 3? Would they all rotate among the 4/5 spots?

  215. I’d call the medium case for Randolph to become a Josh Smith or Shawn Marion caliber player… and KG obviously the wild-dreams case.


    (Marion was older than the rest. Randolph has gotten a lot less minutes, which is a concern as far as his durability and maturity/work ethic.)


    There are already cap holds in place up to 12 roster spots under the current CBA. Therefore, the Heat will necessarily be able to fill out their roster with minimum salary guys after *potentially* signing those three. A hard cap would make it harder for the Heat to fill out their rotation in the coming years, but it wouldn’t hurt them this season besides the veteran’s minimum guys they can sign.
    I doubt we’ll see a hard cap, since the cap is already artificially lower than it should be: lower than would be the average payroll under free market conditions. I’d predict a multiple year strike before a hard cap, or a hard cap at a significantly higher level, like 75, 80 mill. I doubt even owners would be on board.

  216. “Broussard wrote last week that all 3 were set on Miami, so I still give him credit. If true.”

    Stephen A. Smith reported it a week before that.

  217. Is there an easy way to get to the bottom of pages on an iphone? Cause theses threads take forever to scroll through

  218. Spree– if you find that out, please post the answer! (I have to go to the top of the page just to refresh it. Makes my thumbs hurt on days like these…)

  219. If he goes to Miami, at least there’s hockey to watch in the winter…

    (Slightly more) seriously, I have felt all along he would wind up in NY especially as things have unfolded, and when he announced his decision for tonight, I was sure he had his mind made up already. Now we are to believe he’s panicked into going to the Heat since then?

    Or this was the plan all along? ‘Recruited’ Bosh for the Cavs to look like the loyal soldier on the way out? The big 3 version 2?

    Anyway, I have never been impressed with Bosh, and Wade is a ball-stopper, he just happens to be the best one (besides Kobe when he goes into that mode). Not really buying that the Heat can win a ring with three maxed out guys and a collection of minimums. It’s not like we are talking Wade, LBJ, and Dwight Howard. Bosh pretty much has lived up to the Rupaul thing for me (although I wouldn’t bet against Rupaul in a fight).

    I will say though, it’ll a be a sad day if it happens, concentrating a lot of talent in one place, and not allowing more teams to share the wealth. Raps, Cavs get worse. We tread water. I have long thought the league over-expanded, and it doesn’t help when 5 or 6 teams have all the best players. Where’s Stern when we need him?!!

  220. LOL @ 272 and 273 – I have that problem too!!! The only quick solution I see is if Mike can give us a link at the top of the page that says “Bottom” or “End” and redirects us to the last comment. I think that’d be useful anyway…hint hint….

  221. @269 Loathing

    Why would you rather keep Lee? I’m certainly open to being persuaded. I love Lee, I just say that *if* LeBron goes elsewhere and *if* Lee wants to sign a huge ($14-16 mill per… after Boozer and Gay got $16 per I assume Lee will at least get close) deal with the Warriors the Knicks would be better off to facilitate that and pick up a better fit with huge upside, one or more other rotation players, and/or expirings to use in trades/preserve 2011 cap space.

    @270 rohank

    My issues with Gallo at the 4 are 1. he can’t rebound and 2. D’Antoni was hesitant to have him defend the post either because a. he can’t or b. concerns about his back. To me Randolph is more of a 4 and Gallo more of a 3, at least at the moment. I think Gallo and Randolph are both versatile enough and have complementary strengths to thrive as a forward combo (tons of versatility when you’ve also got Chandler, Walker, Fields on the wing… Gallo takes scoring/jump-shooting pressure off Randolph and Randolph take “everything else” pressure off Gallo, both have potential to be good ball-handler/playmakers), but it’s certainly a consideration.

  222. Ted:
    Re: Jerome Jordan, aren’t we already in the FA period? Is there any way Milwaukee can renege on the deal?

  223. Another issue I have with LeBron to Miami is that they won’t even appreciate him there. That is one of the bottom 5 or 10 fan bases in the country – no joke.

  224. I agree with Ted in 277,
    By trading Lee for a guy/guys on rookie or locked deals, you get better value than Lee in this crazy market. And after the new cba, who knows what that will do to contracts?
    Re: LeBrah, my new theory is that he’s going to stay in Cleveland or go to NJ/Brooklyn because those places have been the quietest on the rumor front (aside from the Clips which is ridiculous.) I can see him going for the ‘underdog/worst to first’ angle in NJ. Plus the former player coach, the billionaire owner to mentor him and some pretty good pieces… oh and his buddy Jay-Z.
    Regardless, I can’t WAIT for this to be over so we can just focus on what the Knicks will be doing with other trades and summer league. When does Vegas start anyway? I’m looking forward to seeing Fields… he could be a sleeper for us and hopefully he can challenge Chandler for the starting 2 guard spot.

  225. “The only quick solution I see is if Mike can give us a link at the top of the page that says “Bottom” or “End” and redirects us to the last comment. I think that’d be useful anyway…hint hint….”

    He used to have a “recent comments” link. Back in the good old days. When there were only 3 comments a day about the Knicks…

  226. Re: how good will Miami be with LBJ, I remember when the Celts made their move to get KG and Allen, people were questioning whether it was a good move… age, no room left to sign good players, etc. I agree more with Spree that these 3 guys will make mediocre players look good and good players look great, and that, barring injury, they are a lock to winning more than one championship. True, they don’t complement each other as well as some other trifectas, but they are all in-their-prime studs who will figure it out. They might get tired of it after 2-3 titles, but can’t imagine they won’t be utterly dominant with Riley calling the shots.

  227. Honestly, at this point if ANYTHING other than what they are predicting happens i’ll be elated. Lebron to Miami is honest to god, lights out, i’m switching to soccer for a few years…

  228. Z-Man,
    Not sure whether or not they can renege… Also not sure about June 1 v. June 8. Since there is a moratorium on signing guys, I assume teams still can’t use their cap space in trades. I could be wrong. Has the Maggette deal officially gone through? That’s the real question. If yes maybe the Knicks are screwed, if no then the Bucks don’t even have that pick to trade I don’t think.

  229. I hope we at least offer Lee 5 yrs @ 13 mil, that is a movable contract and maybe Lee wants to stick around in NY enough to take it.

  230. The Nets Pull out of the Race?

    ESPN NBA – R. Bucher: Nets agree with F Travis Outlaw on 5-yr, $35 million deal; he averaged 9.1 ppg in 2009-10

  231. Z- During the season when no one was watching?

    Ted, Ess – Putting Lee in the 4 allows this team to do anything they want on the court, except play defense. Lee complements both Amar’e and Dan-o with his passing and rebounding, while allowing for a viable second/third option to score. And as far as defense goes, if they learn to properly rotate on help then that won’t be as bad as classically been.

    That said, I’d still rather have LeBronald’s for a big Bron, or get pizza from LeBronino’s (they deliver!) or watch a Charles LeBronson flick.

  232. @282 Z-man

    Pretty much agree. *If* LeBron goes to Miami with Wade/Bosh, they *should* win multiple titles at some point in the next 10 years. While LeBron is better than any of Boston’s Big 3 have been since getting there, Rondo and Perkins have been big X-factors for them. Miami can get a Sheed level MLE guy, no doubt. They can find passable Big Baby level scrubs, no doubt. Rondo is an All-NBA type of player who does a lot more than score though… will Beasley be that??? I have my doubts. Perkins is one of the better defensive centers in the NBA, and I just don’t think Chalmers has nearly that sort of value as a thoroughly average NBA PG. To me trading Beasley for value is a key, or his development as a 4th option (pretty low pressure, true, but I just don’t think he does enough besides score to help them the way Rondo does the Celts). I don’t doubt they would figure it out and be very good for a very long time *if* those three go to Miami, I’m just not ready to predict a sure-thing slam-dunk dynasty… Although it’s a very reasonable possibility.

  233. http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/PaulCoro/88449

    Looks like the Stoudemire deal might become a sign and trade. It would suck if that stuck us with a 6th year. Otherwise, devil’s in details.

    In theory you could do a trade like this for Lee, and get a huge trade exception, and maybe a draft pick. Question would be, could you get a better player via trade, than Anthony Randolph?

  234. “There are already cap holds in place up to 12 roster spots under the current CBA. Therefore, the Heat will necessarily be able to fill out their roster with minimum salary guys after *potentially* signing those three. A hard cap would make it harder for the Heat to fill out their rotation in the coming years, but it wouldn’t hurt them this season besides the veteran’s minimum guys they can sign.
    I doubt we’ll see a hard cap, since the cap is already artificially lower than it should be: lower than would be the average payroll under free market conditions. I’d predict a multiple year strike before a hard cap, or a hard cap at a significantly higher level, like 75, 80 mill. I doubt even owners would be on board.”
    The Cap holds for those spots is 500k, not the veterans minimum. It is unlikely that Miami is going to sign even ONE player for 500k. Most of them will get the 1.06-1.2mil salary (6-10 year range). So if there is currently 5 mil being held for those slots (10 slots) they will probably go over like 4-5mil. so asking them to take more of a pay cut is going to be unlikely.

    A hard cap may not be the answer, but there has to be one. Because this is an awful pattern, and it’s a pattern that will destroy smaller market teams chances of ever being successful. Maybe they need to up the maximum salary % to 35%. So you could never have 3 max guys. I mean honestly there should be like 10-15 max guys in the entire league. Upping the % would help teams stop overpaying the Duhons and Milicics out there. I just personally think that the fact that 3 teams gutted their rosters, 2 of them being playoff teams, just so they could have a chance to create this pattern is not a good thing for the league. The Knicks wanting to blow up their roster is normal, they had a bad team for a long time. But Chicago and Miami blew up playoff teams to do this. And rewarding playoff teams for nuking their rosters is not a good thing. I mean I’d love to hear some more creative thoughts. I mean maybe I’m alone in this and other people don’t think it’s a bad thing. But if Miami starts beating teams by 40 next year routing everyone enroute to the title it’s not gonna be very entertaining. It’s going to be boring, and it won’t end anytime soon.

    Maybe one of them will get hurt, or the chemistry will be bad or whatever, but seriously, how likely do you think that’s going to be? I think people are WAY underestimating what that team will do if this happens. I promise you though if it goes the way I think it’s gonna go, theres gonna be hell to pay when they work out the CBA.

  235. Ted,
    Agree on Rondo, although you could argue that he is, practically speaking, more one of the “big 3” than Allen. Seems that the teams with the great nucleii facilitate/speed up the development of guys like Rondo and Perkins and Big Baby, and maximize the value of guys like House and Posey. There’s no such thing as a sure thing, but I would be shocked it that team didn’t win at least 2 titles. Not to mention the hangers on e.g. Shaq, T-Mac, etc, who might want a piece of the pie. Maybe Zo makes a comeback. Heck, why not Ewing and the Mailman?

  236. Could the Knicks do a deal with the Celtics, move Lee for Perkins & Avery Bradley? The Celts would have to throw in more to match salaries, but should be doable.

    I guess it would depend on how much you like Avery Bradley.

    Or they could do the deal for Bradley and Rasheed Wallace, then let Wallace file his retirement papers immediately. That’s not as good a deal as Anthony Randolph, but maybe if the Celts threw in a couple of draft picks.

  237. Portland did show interest in David Lee last year. Not sure that they will have the same interest now that he’ll be more expensive, but they have a boatload of young talent to offer.

  238. Garnett before knee blow out > Bosh. Pierce is clutch, Allen’s a pure shooter. LBJ and Wade are both best doing the same thing, going to the hoop and drawing fouls (can you imagine how intensely boring these games are gonna be?). Bosh isn’t a max player IMO. Celts only won once with their core. Heat will have to stay healthy, and will need some key role players (shooters and defenders in the paint) to make this work. Not saying they won’t win a ring, but it’s not a given.

  239. @291 I don’t see anything in there about that making it a 6 year deal, only that they would be giving a draft pick and allowing us to alter the first year giving us more room.

  240. @288 Loathing

    a. Defense is important. 50% of the game. You can’t do anything you want if you can’t play D. Randolph, Wright, Turiaf, and Azubuike are or can be above average defenders. That could be a significant defensive improvement for the Knicks over Lee defensively.

    b. I disagree they can do anything offensively with Lee and Amare. Neither Lee nor Amare is an outside shooter and D’Antoni’s preference for a “stretch” 4 is well-known. Even in a more traditional offense–if D’Antoni finally shows the willingness/ability to adapt after years and years of refusing–you have diminishing returns with Amare and Lee. Both excel finishing at the basket either on the pick-and-roll or dribble-drive. Neither is much of a post-up threat or anything more than an average jump-shooter. They’ll end up taking more jumpers than they rightly should and dragging down their efficiency and/or one (Lee) will have a diminished role in the offense and become a medium-to-low volume scorer. You end up overpaying both for the production you get and hurting their trade values.

    C. Randolph is also a good rebounder and has the ability to be a good passer. Turiaf is not a good rebounder, but he is a good passer. Both are better defenders. Combined they make 35-40% what Lee is in line to expect and have short deals.

    @286 Z-Man

    If Lee is a 10-15 ppg scorer (see b. above) is a 13 mill per contract movable??? I really don’t think it’s very movable. When teams look for that low-volume scorer who is a great rebounder, they expect top-notch interior defense to come along with it at a $13 mill per price-tag… Lee doesn’t provide that.

  241. I just hope that if we aren’t keeping Lee that we gouge whoever we S&T him to. We should be trying to get some cheap good pieces (i guess the anthony guy if you guys are that high on him) but also picks, exceptions, anything that translates into assets. I really think someone should put a little birdy in Carmello’s ear and have him demand a trade. But prob won’t happen.

    I mean honestly, the only way I see this really working out to be at least a good rivalry is if the Knicks get Melo AND either pick up solid teammates for Amare and Melo now, or save the space to do it next season. I’m just worried we’ll get the wrong guys now and then either not be able to get Melo, or get him but not be able to round out the team enough to compete.

  242. @292 Spree

    I never said veteran’s min. I said min. You can sign rookies to deal at under 500k. Therefore, the Heat can fill out their roster with the Pittman and Varnado and Scheyer types even with a hard cap.

    A hard cap would also distort player salaries in other ways you’re not considering. It would take away significantly from the pool of $ from which salaries are drawn. In the middle of any season pretty much every team is at least AT the cap, with most being over, some WAY over. Salaries would be reduced significantly.

    This could end up being good for the NBA *if* it happens. I believe that dynasties and superpowers drive up ratings, not down. People don’t watch fluke teams in the finals… they watch the Celtics and Lakers. They watch the Yankees v. Red Sox.

    Miami is not a big market… NY, LA, and Chicago are. This helps Miami and hurts 4 teams in the 3 biggest markets in the country… This doesn’t hurt small market teams at all.

    I am not in favor of a control economy. I like the current CBA as a middle-ground between control and chaos. No matter how many restrictions you make you will never stop teams from making stupid moves. It’s going to happen.

    The NBA is not just the owners, but also the players. The CBA results from a negotiation between the two sides. If the owners could do whatever they wanted, it would be a lot different. If they try an unreasonably hard-line approach they’ll find all the players starting a competing league with more star power and better basketball… that’s why they don’t have 100% control.

    Do you really not think the Lakers can compete with that team? The Lakers are already blowing through the Western Conference… was that boring? Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Odom, AND Artest. Might add Mike Miller level MLE guy or a better PG this offseason… Lakers are a TOUGH squad. So are the Celts. Miami may win it all next season, but barring major injuries to other teams it WILL NOT be nearly as much of a cake-walk as you make it seem… 4-0 series wins by 40 pts/game in the ECF and NBA Finals?????? Really? I will eat my hat literally if that happens.

  243. @299 Spree

    Let’s worry about the Knicks making the playoffs, then we’ll worry about interstellar domination once they do that.

    @294 Caleb

    I think the Warriors can make more attractive offers. Bradley is a total unknown who slipped in the draft and wasn’t good at Texas at all. Perkins and Amare would have a hard time playing together for D’Antoni. I’ll take Randolph, personally, and I have me reservations about Randolph actually. I just think him plus more is great value.

    It’s largely up to Lee where he wants to sign, though. If a team with cap space makes him an offer he’ll have leverage to force the Knicks’ hand. If not the Knicks are in a good position to have some say.

    @295 massive

    I think GS will make a better offer than Portland, honestly. Portland has quantity, but not a ton of quality: Bayless, Fernandez, Batum and the 3,000,000 guys they hold the rights to have good shots at being solid rotation players, but not much upside above that. Randolph has really good upside. Would take several of Portland’s young players + Miller and maybe more salary… basically what they offered for Chris Paul… If that’s what they offered for a HOF PG who may retire as the best to play the position, are they going to offer that for a borderline All-Star back-up PF when they have Oden, Aldridge, Camby, AND Przybilla in their front-court?

  244. I am much higher on Randolph than Bradley, but he was considered by most a serious rival to John Wall going into their freshman seasons. He’s supposedly a great defender (can’t say I’ve seen more than highlights) which would give him more value than the #s suggest.

    One thing about Randolph is he’s not really a “stretch 4” as in stretching the defense – he’s only made one 3-pointer in his NBA career. What he is is the rare 6’10 guy who actually has the ball-handling and passing skills to play on the perimeter – and still be a good rebounder.

    Anyway, I’m just distracting myself while we wait for real news.

  245. I suppose if we got Randolph and he “exploded” with gaudy stats playing for D’Antoni he would become an attractive pawn in a Chris Paul trade next summer…

  246. Yes, I agree Randolph and Azubuike will be good movable pieces if we are able to make a Paul, Anthony or Deron Williams type trade. It would be great if they could throw in a draft pick too, but maybe I’m getting greedy.

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