107 thoughts to “7/7/2010 Comment Spillover”

  1. If indeed Bosh is going to Miami to join Wade then it seems certain that Lebron will team up with Amare to our beloved Knicks!!!! Cleveland is doomed haha with Gallo, TD, Chandler, Barron, Walker for a supporting cast then it sure is deeper and better than what the Heat has in Chalmers and Beasley. Hope the rookies could also help and get Bender again at a bargain rate and they sure would be relevant again. Would sure love to hear from all the Knicks haters out there especially those from the supposedly ESPN experts. If they could sign and trade Lee for say Jefferson+Rubio (add Chandler here) or Biedrins or Tony Parker then it would be the start of the start of the KNICKS DYNASTY!

  2. I will say that this LeBron TV special bodes well for the Knicks in that it shows LeBron highly values showmanship and we celebrate vanity here in NY. Plus, he’s raising $ for charity.

    @DS (me) a couple of weeks ago:
    “I just heard that LeBron will host a 5 episode reality TV show on ABC similar to ‘The Apprentice’ in which the Cavs, Knicks, Bulls, Clippers, Nets, and Heat will each try to convince him that he should sign with them. Each episode he’ll eliminate a team until he names ‘The Chosen One.’ 9pm/8 ET on ABC.”

    I was joking at the time, but turned out to be pretty close!!

  3. I’m cautiously optimistic. Still not sure which way this could go. I can’t imagine LBJ staying in CLE with the same roster when he’ll have to compete with better teams in ORL, MIA and potentially CHI and NY.

  4. Amare wants Luke Ridnour. Calls him “Steve Nash Lite”. I would prefer a Tony Parker…

  5. Sure looks like Bulls vs. Knicks in the finals. Although you can’t count out Cleveland, altogether.

  6. Lebron’s team has done an impressive job in keeping the field pretty wide open. I guess you have to figure that NJ/Brooklyn is out of the picture since Lebron can’t team with Bosh now. Maybe he goes with Boozer, but I doubt it.
    Chicago doesn’t seem likely to me. It’s not a great fit and I think he still needs another piece and there’s no room for a 2nd max there (yet.) Maybe they could get LBJ and sign Mike Miller, but is that a championship team?
    I could see him going to Miami somehow, but that’s also not very likely as it would cost him SO much money.
    Really the best options are Cleveland and NYK. On one hand he’d be giving up the max to come to NY, but could potentially make so much more than that in NYC.
    We have the Curry contract that will definitely help us rebuild down the line… but I think Cleveland has proven that their parts are somewhat tradable, so they could do some things.
    We have the best player of the two team (Amare) and the best young player (Gallo). Coaches are probably a wash. Management, probably an edge to NY.
    Probably the only reasons that LBJ stays in Cleveland is 1. sentimentality and 2. the chance to win it all in 2011.

  7. NY: Amar’e, Gallo, Chandler,
    MIA: Wade, Bosh, Beasley
    CHI: Rose, Noah, Deng, Boozer
    CLE: Jamison, Williams

    Which would you choose?

  8. Naturally I want Lebron here, but this whole thing is so…sickening. Truth is, if he leaves Cleveland there will be hundreds/thousands of jobs lost in Cleveland and many people’s lives will be negatively impacted. That’s not a reason for him to stay, but it is a reason not to draw this out any longer than it needs to be. An hour-long special? What in the world are they going to do during that time? I think this whole boys/girls club thing is nice and is meant as a PR move, but this may have a real backlash for him (well, not in the city he chooses I guess). I’m surprised an agent as experienced as Leon Rose has allowed this to happen. MJ, Magic, Bird, Bill Russell, etc. are probably puking right now. Kobe’s probably laughing now, knowing that there is no way Lebron has the kind of focus he needs right now.

  9. @ 8:

    Miami, if they could afford me. But they can’t. And my brand would tarnish there. Cleveland wasn’t even attractive enough to get Bosh to S&T, so there is no hope that future top FAs will come here. So it’s down to Chicago or New York.

    My hat off to Donnie Walsh. He has taken us from the laughing stock of the league to a finalist for the best player in the league. I think most would believe that regardless of what LBJ does, our future is brighter.

  10. I strongly belive that the hour long show , is to give him a chance to thank Cleveland and its fanbase for their support before he leaves for either NY or Miami.

    If they annouced where he was going before hand, it wouldnt be as personal.

  11. Bosh is playing dumb on twitter ~ 10 min ago. “What’s all the fuss about this morning? I woke up to a ton of emails, texts and missed calls.”

    @12 – Garson – I really like that idea — it’s the only way this whole thing is even a little bit palatable.

  12. Re: Durant – make sense for him to extend with OKC. They have a great team, and are going to be in the playoff mix in the West for the next 3-4 years.

    The Spurs are getting older, the Mavs aren’t getting better, the Suns are now weaker, the Jazz will be weaker after Boozer leaves, and the Hornets aren’t doing anything. That leaves the Lakers, Nuggets, Blazers, Rockets and Thunder. If the Lakers slip up, watch out for OKC to make a deep run.

  13. Ess-dog,

    That is VERY good news. I am about to spend all my summer pocket money on new Knicks gear.

  14. @16 Yeah… too good to be true. I don’t think Douglas/Gallo/Chandler/Curry’s expiring and draft picks (aka every possible asset the Knicks have) would make Denver bite on a trade.

  15. What jersey are you going to get Jafa? James? Stoudamire? Gallinari? Or wait for the Anthony one?

    I might have to go for the Ridnour one…

  16. Im glad everyone here is so positive this morning bc espn seems to be leaning towards miami, which has been freaking me the fuck out

  17. remember– the media doesn’t know shit.

    …and that goes for all the pro-NY stories too.

  18. My head is spinning. I might get all the Jerseys. But I thinks I’ll start with James if he is in an “empire state of mind” tonight.

  19. “if he leaves Cleveland there will be hundreds/thousands of jobs lost in Cleveland’

    this is ridiculous, come on.

  20. “if he leaves Cleveland there will be hundreds/thousands of jobs lost in Cleveland”


  21. I’ve never bought a jersey in my life.

    If LeBron comes to NYC, I’m moving home and getting a giant King James neck tattoo!

    Seriously, if LeBron signs with the Knicks, I am going to freak the fuck out. I still remember the way my father reacted when the Knicks won the Ewing lottery — one of my formative childhood memories. It’s going to be like that, ONLY SILLIER.

    OK, so if he signs with the Heat, where is the fun in that? Wouldn’t rekindling the NYK-MIA rivalry by going to New York be that much more exciting?

    I’d take James and Amar’e and Gallo over Wade and Bosh and Beasley any day of the week.

  22. But on the flipside of that, maybe we’ll all get new jobs on “The LeBron Show” or at “LeBron Burger” or with the Broadway Musical “LeBrOn Broadway!” or at the the Natural History Museum’s new exhibit “LeBrontosaurus!” or at the next big music festival LeBronstock…

  23. @17

    OKC has a good team, not really a “great” one though. They have no offense outside Durant, but a very good defense. Maybe Wesbrook becomes efficient, but he’s a long way off right now. Harden is solid, but I have to question his upside. Same with Aldrich. Green will be overpaid. I can’t see that team winning a title without at least one big move. They definitely could make that move, but I think we might find they’re overrated in a few years if they don’t.

    Spurs add Splitter and they’re not so old… Blair, Hill, James Anderson was a potential lottery pick who could slide right into the outside shooting wing role for them… They still have rights to other guys in Europe: Nando de Colo, Ryan Richards… Plus Duncan, Manu, and Parker are all still playing at a high level (though Parker had a bad season last year). Could make a splash with a Parker trade. I definitely wouldn’t count SA out as a contender in the West.

  24. Here’s how I see it break down:

    MIAMI – He gets to play with Wade and Bosh, but he takes much less money in a much smaller market, and he’ll get the stigma of having to win a championship with the help of two superstars, not one. So he’d need the deck stacked in his favor, unlike Kobe (with Shaq or Gasol), Jordan (with Pippen), Duncan (alone), Olajuwon (alone) and so on.

    CHICAGO – The money is there, but the fit isn’t. He gets to play with Noah, who is perfect for him, and with Rose, who isn’t. But the pieces are there. The problem is that he’d have to win 7 titles to create his own legacy, and ownership/management is a mess, to put it lightly. There’s no guarantee Reinsdorf is gonna pay the tax, and no guarantee Paxson is gonna pull the trigger on a big trade or not punch out Thibodeau.

    CLEVELAND – He can make the most money here, and he’ll create a legacy as a hometown hero if he wins. But that’s a big if, in that they’re over the cap, their players are aging, Jamison is declining and Mo Williams really isn’t much. If he does win a chip here, then it’s a huge story. But is that truly realistic?

    NEW YORK – There’s room for him here for the max. He gets to play with Amare in what could be the best pick-and-roll tandem of all time. Gallo is lights out. The rest of the team needs work, obviously. And D’Antoni would bring the best out of LeBron offensively, possibly giving him a shot at averaging a triple-double. Is this enough to win a chip? Possibly yes. Possibly not. But when you add in Dolan’s eagerness to pay the tax to what New York can offer, it seems near ideal.

    That being said, I think he’s staying in Cleveland to join the hallowed ranks of Charles Barkley, Elgin Baylor and Karl Malone as great stars who fell short. That’s what an extra $30,000,000 gets you.

  25. ““if he leaves Cleveland there will be hundreds/thousands of jobs lost in Cleveland’

    this is ridiculous, come on.”

    It’s really not. Tons of new restaurants and other businesses have spouted up in downtown Cleveland since LeBron came and Cavs got good. The difference in attendance is ridiculous. Maybe downtown Cleveland/the Cavs can sustain it without him, but if you come to northeast Ohio everything is about the Cavs. You go into a store and there’s no Indians or Browns stuff, but tons of Cavs merchandise. There will be some short-term pain and definitely financial losers if LeBron leaves (maybe others will be winners, though). I think the Cavs can make the playoffs and remain the hottest ticket in town, but not as hot.

  26. Whatever he signs will have a player opt-out in 2 or 3 years, and probably a few more exit ramps… we’ll see the King James circus again by 2012, 2013 at the latest.

  27. “this is ridiculous, come on.”

    It’s really not.”

    Teams get good, then they get bad, then they get good. City economies have to deal with this necessary fact. Even Cleveland.

  28. How awesome would it be if he announces Thursday night that he is going to the Clippers…

  29. Frank:

    Seriously, this is a business and what they are doing is all about money.
    You know, I’m beginning to think this idea that the NYC market makes up for the 6th year is just bogus (I was a hopeful believer before).
    Lebron is showing everyone that he can generate enormous buzz that really transcends the NYC market.
    He is a media juggernaut right where he is in Akron.

    I think it is commendable that he is finding a way to raise a hell of a lot of cash for a charity of his choosing. That is a Buffet approach. I’m impressed really.
    He has captured the imagination of everyone. These young guys realize the influence they wield, and rather than getting caught getting a blow job from a hooker (ala Barkley or Ewing…so far) they are using their notoriety to do some good things.
    I think if they were doing this ESPN thing to generate cash for themselves alone then yeah, it’s a shady thing. Clearly they will enjoy some financial benefit from it, but the proceeds are going to a charity. Good for them.

    They are showing a savvy that reflects well on them, I think.

    I’m not sure this bodes well for NY, tho.

    The only thing that bodes well for NY right now is that Cleveland so far has shown an inability to attract the kind of talent that he wants to play with. If that in fact proves to be true, then he may just come to NY…or Chicago…or New Jersey.
    But every one knew this was a crap shoot. We all can be happy that Walsh at least has the Knicks in the game now, and he made his hand stronger by getting Amare to commit quickly. He is, if not the best, one of the top two or three power forwards in the game.
    That’s not bad. Next year, the Knicks are even in a better situation with Curry coming off the books as well as Jeffries, I think.

    For the first time is years and years, Knicks fans find their team in a position of strength when dealing with other teams and players. Nice to have money in one’s pocket rather than have the hand of an antagonist in one’s pocket.

  30. @30

    The $30 million figure is misleading… 1. He can only make like $4 mill more over the first three years, and it would take a really catastrophic injury to prevent LBJ getting another max deal after this one. 2. He can force a s&t trade and get the Cleveland money elsewhere. 3. LeBron is thinking Billions, not millions. I doubt he’s too worried about the downside risk of an injury.

    Chuck, Elgin, and Malone weren’t the greatest player on the planet, though, which makes them a whole lot different from LeBron… who is the greatest player on the planet.

    Also going for NYK: the Curry trade chip. Douglas could be a very good backcourt mate for LeBron… better than Mo Williams, IMO.

    “So he’d need the deck stacked in his favor, unlike Kobe (with Shaq or Gasol), Jordan (with Pippen), Duncan (alone), Olajuwon (alone) and so on.”

    Ummmmmm…. Shaq was the #1 player on those teams, not Kobe. Kobe has not just Gasol (who is easily as good as Bosh, probably better), but Bynum (just about as good as Gasol… when healthy), former DPOY Artest, and Odom off the bench… that’s a STACKED team. Jordan had a HOFer and a deserving HOFer in Rodman whose wardrobe choices will keep him out of the Hall. Manu is an All-NBA caliber player, David Robinson is a HOFer, Parker is an All-Star, Bowen 1st team All-Defense… but I guess Duncan won those rings alone……… Olajuwon didn’t have nearly the quality the others did, but Houston was a good, deep team in the deadball era.
    I see your point that people may remember LeBron worse if he goes to Miami to win… but history has a stilted view of those players you mention. Not to mention you don’t use any examples before the ’90s.

  31. “Teams get good, then they get bad, then they get good. City economies have to deal with this necessary fact. Even Cleveland.”

    That doesn’t really address the question of whether or not LeBron leaving will impact Cleveland’s economy.

  32. @36 Also going for NYK: the Curry trade chip. Douglas could be a very good backcourt mate for LeBron… better than Mo Williams, IMO.

    I agree totally on that.

    As for the legacy, it’s about perception. Everything you said is correct. But I still think, if he doesn’t win a chip, he gets put into that pile of stars who didn’t. And he just doesn’t look at sterling as Jordan, Kobe, Magic, Bird and the like, even if he is their equal.

    I’m just seeing this as:

    New York = a basketball decision with huge upside and smaller risks (roster)

    Chicago = a basketball decision with huge upside and huge risks (ownership/management/Rose)

    Miami = a basketball decision with the biggest upside but a bit of a cop out (need the cards stacked in his favor to win)

    Cleveland = an emotional decision.

    I hope it’s New York. I still think Cleveland.

  33. I’m sure a bunch of you already noticed this, but ESPN.com’s FA slot machine has Wade/Bosh frozen at Miami…they think it’s a done deal.

  34. @38


    Perception can definitely be important, even when it’s wrong.

    I thought Cleveland was the favorite all season, but now in the media whirlwind it’s really hard to know.

    I mostly agree on Chicago as far as the media hype being way too much, but from a basketball perspective I wouldn’t call it a huge risk. They have a good team with a good defense. Rose will at least hold good trade value if they can’t make it work. LeBron also spent a lot of time in Chicago growing up, idolized MJ, and is from the midwest where Chiacgo is like their New York… I wouldn’t call Chicago the favorite, but I think it’s right there with New York and Cleveland at least. NJ as a dark horse… Interesting teams like the Lakers and Celtics weren’t making more noise about s&ts to current winners and the most storied franchises in the NBA… Something like Artest and Odom would be about as good a s&t as anyone is likely to offer.

  35. With regard to Cleveland, I heard last week from some sport radio guy (can’t remember who), that LeBron has been very specific that he wants to put “Akron” on the map, not necessarily Cleveland.

    To the extent this is true, that could be another indication that he is not necessarily tied to the hip with the Cavs.

  36. @27 Just phenomenal…. Antoher amazing post from tastycakes!

    This offseason has forced me to do some pretty silly things. I have joined the twittersphere. I liken the experience to smoking my first cigarette. I detested it but wanted another drag immeadiately afterwards.
    ESPN know now where LeBron is headed. It would be very odd for them not too. Also it would be somewhat anti-climatic for them to be strongly hinting that he was going to the Heat in the run up to ‘The Decision’ and then have Leron stand there in primetime and say ‘So…yeah. They were all right for the last couple of days. I’m heading to Miami’.
    I’m more nervous now than i was last night. Dreamt of no look alley-oops, chest beating and championships.
    Amar’e considering Luke Ridnour as Steve Nash Lite should perhaps be Steve Nash Ultra.
    Ridnour had a career year last season and still only came as far as being above average. In his previous seasons he was truely awful TS and eFG. He dropped below .500TS% twice since 03 and made it above .500% eFG once and that was last year.
    Nash’s numbers are astounding and if we don’t land a PG Toney Douglas can count himself a very lucky man. D’Antoni may very well make him an awful lot of money.

  37. @36 Ted,

    I think Chamberlain would be a good example. He put up dominant numbers but had to align with a great Lakers team to get his championship. Consequently, I think he gets less consideration as the greatest of all time than he would if he could have built the Phila. Warriors into a dynasty (same w/ Kareem and the Bucks). I think LeBron going to the Knicks would be more akin to Shaq joining the Lakers.

    If LeBron goes to Miami they need to be a serious, serious dynasty for LeBron to get credit as a great champion like Jordan or Russell.

  38. My preference for LeBron is:

    1) NY

    2) CLE

    3) NJ

    4) MIA

    5) A slow and painful death


    6) Chicago

  39. Anyone think theres a chance that Jordan will hold a press conference on Thursday at 8:45 pm (EST) to announce he’s coming out of retirement?

  40. Twitter is irritating

    Frank Isola, although occasionally humourous, tweets an unhealthy amount.

  41. @42 — that’s been a pattern for Lebron – he always says Akron, never says Cleveland. He’s been very careful about that.

    Re: the MJ factor — as much as Bird and Magic were loved, the NBA never went totally global until MJ came along — and all these guys in the NBA now were all MJ fans growing up. When Bird/Magic were at the top of their games in the mid-late 80s, these guys were just being born. That’s the big difference — Bird/Magic are just guys they saw playing in grainy standard definition footage with tight shorts. But I guarantee you every single player in the NBA right now under the age of 40 had MJ on their wall as a kid. The specter of 6 championships and the greatest player ever is just too much for guys to try and follow. Maybe 10 years from now the memory of MJ will start to fade a little and Chicago will have a chance at attracting top FAs. But I am of the humble opinion that they’re looking at Boozer and a bunch of scrubs this summer. Good thing they gave up Hinrich for a ham sandwich. BTW Boozer + Rose + Noah + Deng is still a pretty good team, prob 5 or 6 seed in the east, especially if they overpay a shooter to come as well.

  42. Listen to espn radio and they seem to be dismissing ny as an option again saying its mia or cle. I dont mind cle if he’s not going to ny. But, if he goes to miami, i’ll prolly start watching soccer. Idk if i can handle another ten year stretch of ny being second or third best again

  43. @44

    Wilt did win a Championship in Philly. They were the 1967 NBA Champions.

    I think Wilt also gets short-shift because it just wasn’t fair… Him and Bill Russell were just so much superior to the other bigmen of the time. Wilt literally averaged 50 ppg and 25 rpg in a season. It’s 100% impossible to say if he were born later/transported in a time-machine, whether he’d still be head-and-shoulder above the competition or the competition caught up over time. Seems reasonable to assume that the league got tougher for bigmen over time and Wilt would not have averaged 50/25 for a season in the modern era.
    Wilt also gets overshadowed by Bill Russell because people mistake team greatness for individual greatness (not that Russell wasn’t REALLY great). I think those two have to be in the discussion for GOAT, but it’s like comparing (just to throw out some names)… Honus Wagner to Babe Ruth to Cy Young to Roger Clemens to Ted Williams to Barry Bonds to Albert Pujols to … They don’t even play the same positions and played generations apart…

    Basketball is the Big 3 sport where it’s the least silly to judge a player on team success, but it’s still silly. I mean baseball and football it’s 99% irrelevant. There are too many guys on the field for one guy to will his way to victory. Some guys are A LOT more important to their team’s success than others in those sports, but saying Bary Bonds, for example, never got a ring is irrelevant.
    With only 5 guys on the court per side, basketball has more room for individual dominance… but it’s still a team sport. Saying Kobe is the greatest, for example, and ignoring the amazing talent he has on his team is ignorant.

    Alas, it it what it is in the end… clearly the difference between being a “winner” and “loser” is one championship ring…

  44. “If LeBron goes to Miami they need to be a serious, serious dynasty for LeBron to get credit as a great champion like Jordan or Russell.”

    That’ll be true no matter where he goes… Might as well actually get the championships. Not saying Miami is the only place to do it, but according to ignorant popular opinions LeBron is going to need at least 5 rings, several coming back-to-back to go down as the GOAT.

  45. “Idk if i can handle another ten year stretch of ny being second or third best again”

    Idk if I can handle another 10 year stretch of the Knicks being the second or third WORST again…

  46. @52 Well, I still think there’s a distinction.

    Say if Shaq instead of joining a fledgling Lakers team in the 2000’s, had colluded with Tim Duncan and say, Grant Hill and all 3had signed with the Spurs. Say they had gone on to win three championships. I think Shaq’s legacy would not be as great… I think the difference would be the same between LeBron signing with the Knicks and signing with Miami tomorrow.

    Also consider that Phil Jackson had to win A TON of championships before the talk of him only being able to win w/ super teams was muted.

    You do follow me, right?

  47. The ESPN reporting is silly – does anyone actually think their sources even know, much less are telling the truth? Does Chad Ford believe his own article? It is an existential question.

    I have a hard time seeing LeBron go to Miami – bad brand management (like Prokhorov said!). For a brand-conscious guy. And the fewest dollars of anywhere.

    I’m won’t even mention the.

    I could see Cleveland, for a two-year run with Mike Miller as the big add. A trade here or there, to shore up the backcourt. The Cavs won what? 127 games the past two years? In the short-term they’re still a contender. It’s just that they’re getting old, have no cap flexibility and as Bosh showed – they’ll have trouble attracting talent in the long-term. But maybe LeBron tries for another two years, opts out in 2012 and does free agency again.

    Jersey is a serious dark horse candidate – it’s a great setup – but he probably skips the next two years of rebuilding and commuting to Newark, and takes another look when he opts out.

    Chicago is a real player, but management is worse and stingier than NY, and over the next 3-4 years the surrounding talent is no better – probably worse, if you think Walsh will use the Curry salary slot wisely.

    Which leaves the Knicks…

    Bottom line, he’s got a lot of good options and it just comes down to personal preference – where does LeBron want to live? Where does he want to be a symbol? New York has good intangibles, with Stoudemire being a long-time favorite of his, and – let’s face it – a hungrier and more adoring basketball crowd, than even Cleveland. Or Chicago. But it’s not worth predicting..

    Yes, Karl Malone and Gary Payton took less money to go for a championship – but they were at the end of their careers and just wanted a ring. For 3 guys in their PRIMES to give up money would be totally unprecedented and is just not happening.

    I also strongly doubt he’s going to Chicago for the reasons I outlined in 48 above.

    It’s CLE or NY, just like it’s always been. And Bosh turning down the opportunity to play with him (choosing Wade and MIA over LBJ and Cleveland) had to hurt CLE’s chances.

    Meanwhile – Mike and Mike this AM were pushing NYC more — they are probably the most reasonable commentators out there. TommyDee on knicksblog.com is also a very reasonable guy (and not just because he thinks LBJ’s coming to NY). I don’t trust Broussard, Chad Ford, or any of those jokers at all. I trust Brian Cashman, who has a long experience of dealing with super-narcissists and whatever motivates them, much more than any of those tag-along wannabes.

  49. “Bottom line, he’s got a lot of good options and it just comes down to personal preference – where does LeBron want to live?”
    “it’s not worth predicting..”

    Thank you Caleb!!! Getting pretty tired of the “know way he would ever do x, y, or z” and “he’s definitely going there” comments. He can do whatever the hell he wants to do. All his options have their good point and bad points, and it’s impossible to know how LeBron feels about each.

    @54 DS, I follow you, but I think it’s just perception. Kobe “needed” to be traded to the Lakers, have Shaq sign there, have the Lakers get lucky on timing because the prep-to-pro craze had turned into a backlash and get Bynum, and then have Memphis dump Gasol for 50 cents on the dollar to get his rings… but no one talks about how cheap and lucky his rings are… No, Kobe is a “winner.” He’s obviously the greatest player to play the game, even though he’s never actually been the best player in the league. Makes sense.

    It would be unprecedented for 3 marquee free agents to go somewhere together, let alone take a pay cut to do it… I’m not sure how it would be perceived. If they win 5+ rings I think they’d generally be remembered favorably. Teams ended up with comparable threesomes, but before the FA period it was always through the draft and even since it’s mostly been.
    They’d probably take a lot of crap the first couple of years without much supporting cast around them, though. To me the Lakers right now are on par with or better than a Lebron/Wade/Bosh/Beasley/Chalmers squad. If they add Mike Miller or another valuable MLE guy then I probably give the Lakers the edge. No guarantee Heat would even make it out of the East.
    Overtime a lot of people would probably start to forget how those three got to Miami, they’d just be considered Heat. Especially if they win multiple championships and are a perennial contender.

  50. @55

    Which leaves the Knicks…

    Bottom line, he’s got a lot of good options and it probably just comes down to personal preference – where does LeBron want to live? Where does he want to be a symbol? […]

    To this last point Caleb, perhaps the biggest misnomer out there in this Summer of LeBron is that he transcends place. I don’t know whether LeBron will come to NY. But, to the extent that he yearns to be a global brand icon then setting matters. It matters a lot. This pish posh about how the big lights of Broadway don’t matter for LeBron’s image has been to my mind the silliest thing uttered about this entire affair.

    Each location LeBron might choose has an impact on what his brand can be. Location does not necessarily make his brand bigger or smaller per se. A person can be a media superstar anywhere. However, the story any brand can tell is different based in part on where the story is set. Cleveland tells a different story than does Miami than does Chicago than does NY than does Newark (but only slightly differently in that case). Any of those stories is potentially compelling for its own reasons and LeBron is keenly aware of this.

    Ultimately, all brands–be they person brands like Oprah or MJ or Martha Steward or product brands like Nike or FedEx–are really just stories. As we all know from high school English class, setting is pretty important to stories. The one thing LeBron has made explicit all along is that he’s not just choosing a team to compete for, but choosing a setting for his brand. Based on that, it’s pretty easy to make a case for NY–though it doesn’t necessarily trump any other locale.

  51. “Idk if I can handle another 10 year stretch of the Knicks being the second or third WORST again…”

    yea i agree but thats not really possible, i guess from my standpoint is that i have scars from the Ewing era, I loved those knicks, they played with so much heart. But seeing them constantly have a catastrophe causing them to come up just short was so agonizing. The Charles Smith layup, the suspensions vs miami, game 7 vs houston, ewings achilles and not being able to play the spurs. Thats 4 potential titles lost. At least the last ten years i didnt have any dreams to crush.

    If Lebron goes to Miami I just dont think we can ever overcome that. But if he stays in Cleveland I think we will build a team that CAN beat Cleveland and Miami.

    Oh btw I pretty much havent listened to five seconds of the class im in bc im sitting on my phone looking for updates

  52. @59
    “Oh btw I pretty much havent listened to five seconds of the class im in bc im sitting on my phone looking for updates”

    Dude, the teacher in me just cringed. Get off the danged phone and pay attention. Assuming you’re in summer session that’s like a week’s worth of class you’re missing.

  53. The ’90s really were an exquisitely painful time to be a Knicks fan.

    And Dave, I totally agree – that brand=story, and that LeBron is doing brand management, first and foremost. That’s why you rule out the Clippers. That’s why I rule out Miami – it seems like an obvious branding misstep. That’s why Newark is such a long-shot – he can always be part of the triumphant march to Brooklyn in two years, without being part of the image-blurring, 41-41 Newark squad.

    IMO there are only three stories that could be shaped into a successful, global brand for LeBron. Hometown kid stays loyal, makes good, wins. Biggest star in the biggest city. The next Jordan.

  54. Jared Dudley just tweeted that LBJ’s coming to us. How bizarre that he’s the guy to break the news?

  55. Aw, man. You’ve got to put ‘spoiler alert’ on that post, Frank. Now what’s the point of watching the ESPN/Lebron extravaganza? I guess I’ll just celebrate my wedding anniversary instead.

  56. The NBA Jam rosters are amazing!

    NYK LBJ, Amar’e, Gallo
    MIA Wade, Bosh, Beasley
    CHI Rose, Noah, Boozer or Lee

    That would be basketball nirvana. Rekindling the old rivalries? Unbelievable.

    Oh yeah, there’s that Dwight Howard chap in ORL. He could be tough. I really dislike that team. And BOS with Rondo? The East is really going to be something after this power realignment.

    On the flip side if Leboshade becomes a reality, it makes the whole thing sort of unfairly unbalanced and unfun. I will be angry.

  57. BTW, Jared Dudley has fast become one of my favorite ballers. Great personality (was super cool on Simmons’ podcast), fun to watch on-court, got the scrappy underdog vibe.

    And now he’s playing SOOTHSAYER?

  58. Francesa has been bitching about this whole 1 hour ESPN show spectacle, and I kind of agree that it’s not the greatest thing for sports. Of course, then he and his callers turn it into a whole “this is what’s wrong with the NBA, this is why people are turned off by the NBA” jag. Yeah, it’s true, compared to sports like football (a player arrested every other day) and baseball (steroids) the NBA is truly just a bunch of greedy, showboating thugs.

    Did Dudley play with LeBron in Cleveland? I believe every word he tweets!

  59. @ 27

    Tastycakes, you’re the antidote to Ted.

    Can’t believe I’m saying this, but while I’ll be ecstatic if he’s coming to the Knicks, the whole hour-long special thing almost ruins it for me. Almost, as in for two or three days…after which time I’ll be looking forward to next year like never before!

  60. @d. Crockett

    no its not that serious. I left nursing a couple of years ago to play poker full time, and while it hasnt been bad, it’s tough to live out of my poker bankroll and it’s setting me back. So im reinstating my license so i can go back to nursing part time. This seminar is state required but not particularly informative. They are basically just reading off the handout. Its boring, but its just 4 hrs and then i can keep my bankroll seperate from bill money.

  61. All these other teams are copycats:


    First they copy our strategy of getting enough under the cap to get 2 max guys, and now they are copying our strategy of locking down a top flight big to help lure Lebron.

    Hopefully, Lebron can see that our front office is ahead of the the rest with a vision, and is bold enough to be the first one to make moves (like slashing payroll and committing to a max with Amare without insurance) or adopt a successful strategy.

  62. Announcement on ESPN taking place in Greenwich, CT. 10 miles from Knicks practice facility.


  63. “So im reinstating my license so i can go back to nursing part time.”

    Good to hear Spree. I think we’re all going to need serious medical attention by the time LeBratchelor is over. Glad to have someone on the forum who’s capable of attending to our various wounds

  64. It means Lebron is hanging out in the wealthiest town in America. Makes sense to me.

  65. As a kind of mental breath mint, I heartily suggest everyone go to their local tavern and watch the Germany-Spain match. One, it’s really looking like it’s gonna be a great game. Two, you can revel in the thought that many, many times more people around the world (and surrounding you in said bar) care FAR more about the result of this match than where LBJ goes.

  66. So, I’m still paranoid enough to think that someone is gonna take Michael Beasley and pave the way for LBJ to go to Mia and ruin the competitive balance in the East for 5 years. No GM would do it, would they? Please reassure me someone!

    What do you think of Beasley, dudes? It seems like he was behind Q Richardson in the Heats rotation against the Celtics. Toronto doesn’t want him do they?

  67. Someone will take Beasley. With Miami giving him away, he’s a steal. Young, raw, no D, headcase… but big offensive upside. Two years left for maybe $10 million total? They’ll move him.

    Won’t make a difference to LeBron, tho.

  68. I loved being a Knicks fan in the 90s. They never won it all, but they were there competing every season. The East was so competitive a lot of seasons that the 1st round was as hotly contested as the ECFs. I thought that was a great time to be a Knicks fan. I will take that over the last 10 years in a heartbeat and I will also take it over the Miami Shaq scenario of winning one title and then being an uncompetitive playoff team for 5 seasons.

    It is very possible that the Knicks can be as bad for the next 10 years as for the last. They’ve been so bad that it’s hard, but very possible.

    David and Caleb,

    I mostly agree on the branding angle, but nothing does more for your brand than winning tons of titles. As you guys say, there is a compelling story for every location. That story can be the backdrop for winning multiple titles. As was the theme earlier, perception is important and LeBron needs to bring home some rings to maximize his brand.
    (re: Miami Heat, the Yankees and Chelsea or Man U or Barca or Real or the U–Miami–are all popular when they’re buying titles… I think LeBron would be a villain to some should be go to Miami, but he’s already a villain to some and would be in NY or Chicago too… Hopefully this CT thing is good for the Knicks, but with no inside info I’d put Miami right there with every team.)

  69. Any gm that takes beasley right now should be shot, why facilitate any team becoming a dynasty team? I would think if the knicks get lebron that no team would help us get Carmello next year either, which is smart.

  70. re: Beasley… My guess is that Miami isn’t dying to give away his potential at a discount until they have to and other teams aren’t willing to give up much period and/or are trying to get him for free knowing the Heat could benefit from the cap space. If LeBron said he wants Miami they’d probably give Beasley away and find a taker. If not maybe Miami’d rather keep him or maybe a team would offer a bit more knowing they don’t HAVE to move him.

  71. also re: Beasley… Nets, for example, are still players for LeBron. Why eat cap space with a project like Beasley. Even Minni and Washington have enough cap space that they might want to see how the FA market shakes out before taking a Beasley (though Washington took Yi, so I assume they’d have taken Beasley were he gift wrapped). Boozer, Lee and a bunch of 2nd and 3rd tier FAs are looking for homes.


    If it’s in their interest I think a team will definitely take Beasley. There are multiple candidates, in fact, so they’ve also got to consider that if they don’t someone else will. If you’re not even a playoff team, though, as a GM your job, your livelihood, your poker roll, your kids’ futures is/are on the line and why are you worried about which team is winning the titles? You’re not even competing for them. GMs have to make THEIR teams as competitive as possible. If Miami offers a team Beasley for free or especially Beasley and a future pick for free and they’ve got nothing else to do with that cap space… are you kidding? You have to take that if you’re a team with no other hope.

  72. The entire market is up today.

    Lebron is destroying Cleveland’s economy but rallying the stock market!

  73. BTW about Dudley’s tweet, some people are saying since he played with Amar’e this past season his “source” is Amar’e who knows LBJ is going to the Knicks. Not sure Im buying it but hey lets dream as Knicks fans Dudley is right!!!!

  74. I spoke to some people from NE Ohio who were in Greece, a relatively big basketball country, and were trying to talk to a cab driver who said he knows Cleveland about LeBron… Guy had no idea who LeBron is. That’s an extremely small sample (of 1), but LeBron really isn’t a global brand yet to the degree he could be. A few rings would probably do that for him even in Cleveland, but NYC can also do that… I’m getting a bit excited, but don’t want to expect anything…

  75. Cleveland has spun this thing completely wrong. Providing fans with powder, etc. and begging LeBron to come back. They need to learn a lesson from Walsh and say (even if it isn’t true), “Hey, this is not about one player. We are indebted to LBJ for bringing legitimacy back to this franchise. We have made every attempt to keep him but wish him well should he chose to go. Meanwhile, we have a nice core and a good cap situation, etc.” The Cavaliers being stupid and putting their eggs in one basket and relying on guilt as their sales pitch has been what has put them, and their city, in this position.

  76. Man the slap-fight over Carlos Boozer is going to get interesting once LBJ’s off the board. It sounds like he’s visiting more places than Lebron…

  77. @100 hey i like the recent news as much as the next knickerblogger, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. we aren’t out of the woods yet.

  78. @100

    I think it’s a big difference because LeBron has played his whole career as a Cav and is the biggest thing in Cleveland since Rockefeller (who took his company’s headquarters to NYC I believe). It’s not just the Cavs that have made this plea, it’s been the cities of Akron and Canton themselves. The people, the governments, the local businesses… The Cavs have also done what they can to keep him leading up to this point. Their sales pitch may not have as much impact as others since they’ve had years to sell him and he knows the organization very well.

    It comes across as a little desperate, but their #1 sales pitch to LeBron is loyalty and home and him being King of Cleveland. In NE Ohio he is like Jeter, Babe Ruth, Eli Manning, Strahan, Rex Ryan, David Lee, Bloomberg, Spike Lee, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Goldman Sachs, A-Rod, etc., etc. all rolled into one. What Joe Mauer is to Minnesota and more. I really can’t blame the people for begging him to stay.

    Dan Gilbert, in fact, has not really cow-toed to LeBron. He didn’t consult LeBron in hiring a new coach or firing Brown apparently. Lebron apparently liked Danny Ferry, who Gilbert fired anyway. If anything I would criticize Gilbert for not bending over backwards more for LeBron.

    And they still haven’t lost him. If he announces he’s staying then who cares if they looked pathetic in the process.

  79. I’ve gone back and forth about the hour-long TV special (rather than releasing his decision on his website then holding a presser the next day in the city of his choosing). I don’t usually on instinct find such things inherently distasteful. This is clearly about brand-building, so I’m not opposed on principle. But, I’m not sure it’s worth it for two reasons.

    1. Unless the league is expanding to Greenwich between now and tomorrow, he won’t begin his brand’s story in its “natural” setting. And although that’s hardly a fatal strategic faux pas…

    2. He runs the substantial risk of escalating the unavoidable backlash from whomever is left as bridesmaids going from “annoying” to “blown completely out of any semblance of proportion.”

    The issue for LeBron–a global brand on his way to *iconic* status–is that the process of going from brand to icon can be symbolically speaking quite violent. Brands have multiple authors telling multiple stories about the brand, and most of them are “unauthorized”. The process of becoming an icon involves all those authors competing for a kind of negotiated consensus about what the brand represents or symbolizes. That “negotiation” often isn’t pretty. Sometimes the process is relatively smooth, like it was for Michael Jordan. For LeBron however, the process is likely to be far more disruptive than it was for Jordan. Both the NBA and sports media are very different now.

    Should LeBron leave Cleveland, he will inevitably face backlash from those disappointed that “local boy makes good in his hometown” will not be the brand’s story. That’s not insignificant, but hardly insurmountable. It is to be expected.

    On the other hand, should he leave NY at the alter after shooting his announcement in the tri-state area he creates new backlash. Filming an hour-long event (even with the donation to charity) in the NY area just to say he’s not coming would flirt with cartoonish super-villiany. Knick fans and the NY media only “hate” opposing great players in the theatrical sense that they wear the black hats. LeBron might risk turning from disappointed-but-mostly-inward-looking to united-to-destroy-a-common-foe.

  80. Ted,
    They did provide the powder, but you’re right. I can’t really fault them. It’s surprising, though, that Bosh did not want to go there even for way more money. If they lose LeBron, they’re culpable. They made the move for Shaq, which did not pan out and at the end, one bad move, at least. Though, that being said they were right there at the end last year. So, maybe he does pick Cleveland, at least we have a reasonable power structure in the East. NYK gets Amare, Lee and a decent PG + some room to maneuver later.

  81. @85

    Ted — we agree. In this context winning a ring (or rings) is absolutely a necessary condition. And, the odds of that don’t change substantially from one locale to another except for Miami (or some as yet to be named S&T). However, winning may not be a sufficient condition.

    The problem with Miami is that it introduces some complications into the branding aspect of things for LeBron. The brand story LeBron would like to tell, judging by what we’ve seen so far, is pretty Jordanesque. LeBron, the best player on the planet, leads his team to ringzz!!!1!!!! It’d be hard for him to be the alpha dog in Miami, and his current brand image is predicated on that. That’s not to say it couldn’t change is some very intriguing ways. The Miami story, I’d guess, would be more along the lines of LeBron joining a modern day imitation of the Auerbach era Celtics and gunning for Phil Jackson. I have to say that’d be interesting as all hell. But it doesn’t seem to fit with the LeBron we know so far.

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