ESPN’s Disturbing LeBron-to-New York Obsession


I doubt very highly I’m the only one that’s noticed this. Let’s be realistic, with the NBA Playoffs kicking off this weekend, there are always a ton of side stories.

However, where LeBron James is playing next year seems to be taking on a life on its own, despite the fact that the only thing he’s likely thinking about at the moment is winning.

And it’s not even some fan site or blog that’s really taking this ball and running with it. It’s the Worldwide Leader in Sports, ESPN!

The problem, really, began with the launch of ESPNNewYork.com, which the network touted for weeks. Complaints then swirled around when the site presented content regarding the long-stated theory that LeBron will make a move to the New York Knicks.

And then came a report from ESPNNews about the announcement that the salary cap would increase. The reporter’s reaction? That New York would have the space to add “another max contract to go with LeBron.”

Really? I wasn’t aware that James had already decided to sign with the Knicks.

First, let’s straighten some things out about the Knicks that have been pointed out over and over again. The franchise, even with two max-contract players, is still a good two or three years away from being anything other than a complete train wreck. James, along with fellow top-flight free agents Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, would have to accept that fact moving forward.

If you can’t see any of them doing that, then you’re probably not alone. Let’s also not forget that even if the Knicks do sign two max-contract guys, they’re not exactly going to be surrounded by much of a supporting cast. David Lee will likely not be re-signed, Eddy Curry’s health issues are concerning, and you’re not winning anything with Chris Duhon as your starting point guard.

Beyond the depth issues, The Knicks have another problem, that of head coach Mike D’Antoni. His coaching philosophy of high-energy offense and virtually no defense, something he crafted in Phoenix but hasn’t had the manpower to pull off in New York, works to the opposite of the defensive-minded play that James has prided himself on over the past couple years. For LeBron to consider the Knicks, D’Antoni would, in all likelihood, have to be replaced.

For their part, the Cleveland Cavaliers have made every effort to provide James with the personnel and the environment that would allow him to thrive. Can the Knicks front office truly believe they can do what the Cavs have done in order to keep LeBron happy? I doubt it.

So any speculation from anyone from ESPN that LeBron will make the move to Madison Square Garden is one of those pie-in-the-sky dreams. Money isn’t everything. In the situation, it’s about a winning formula.

From that standpoint, what the Knicks have in place for 2010-11 is the recipe for napalm. And that’s not a good thing.

For more input into the sports world from Bob McDonald, check out his blog Teed Off.

Comments

wow... 1st... the knicks (gallinari, chandler, douglas, walker) and a max are that much worse then the cavs minus lebron? 2nd... if the knicks add lebron and a second max... they will be able to either trade curry's expiring in season next year or have max'sh money for a free agent (Paul/Carmelo available).. 3rd... Lebron loves Dantoni...

New York Knicks are a D minus er, F plus organization. They have an extreme, ingrained loosing tradition now, and only players with huge contracts and diministed skill sets will go there to become the next Starbury. It's something like the "elephant graveyard" in old formula safari movies. LBJ is too smart to inflict that on his royal self!

Wow, you guys are funny. Big city hatin huh? That's ok. First, it would be smart for you to know what you're talking about before you write an article. Chris Duhon won't be anywhere NEAR the Knicks next season. 2nd, the core group of Gallo/Wilson/Walker/Douglas, is a pretty damn good start. Add a star like Lebron, a 2nd tier star, and a defensive minded center, all of a sudden, we're a 1-3 seed. Don't fool yourself, Cleveland ain't sh*t without Lebron, he's THAT good. The players that I mentioned above will see their games rise as a result of playing with a star, THAT's what star players do for a team. Eddy Curry is nothing more than a trade chip, an expiring contract, only a fool would think that Donnie Walsh see's him as anything more. There is no guarantee that Lebron leaves for NY, it's probably not very likely, but some of you are far too dismissive of the fact that it's a possibility and you're pissin in your pants because you know if he DOES leave, Danny Ferry will be sitting on the dais in Secaucus next year, with a bottle of Scotch, waiting to find out his lottery position

Lets look at the Cavs if Lebron leaves....Mo Williams, Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon, Antwan Jamison and Anderson Verejao (there is no way Shaq comes back if Lebron leaves)...then you have a bench of Delonte West, Daniel Gibson and JJ Hickson...8 million in cap space (when you subtract Lebron's salary) and a very late draft pick. That team doesn't smell the playoffs, even in the east. Compare that with what is left on the Knicks: Tony Douglas (too early to tell, while has shown potential, Mo Williams is the better player right now), Bill Walker (I will put him up against Anthony Parker TODAY), Danilo Gallinari (more potential and immediate talent than anyone that will be left on Cleveland), Wilson Chandler (Easily beats out Jamario Moon or JJ Hickson as a better talent) and Eddy Curry (a disgrace, but a $12 million expiring contract that has value)....then add in $36 million in cap space for two max's, and a city that people WANT to live in....how do you compare the two. Lebron James IS the Cavaliers, and if he came to the Knicks along with another star, they would easily be a better team than Cleveland is today. Not to mention that the Cavaliers are not even financially viable with perhaps the best player in HISTORY on the team, while the Knicks have been HORRIBLE and still make money, so which team doesn't have the resources to create a winner around a true star?

I'm not saying Lebron will leave...but please, at least have a reality check. You guys may get a hometown boy to stay out of loyalty and the fact that he can already be dominant with the bunch of role players and aging former-stars around him, but he also may leave to go start a dynasty in the city that most people see as the capitol of the planet.

Hey Ridiculous:

I know it posted a long time ago and that there is a chance that you won't even see/read this, Ridiculous, but I feel compelled to respond, anyway. For the most part, I agree with your comments... each and every one of them... except that Gallinari has a LONG way to go in terms of learning how to play defense; Bill Walker is very athletic and has a great deal of potential, but let's be honest, dude, if he were on the Cavs today, he'd be at the end of the bench and in a suit, with a phantom playoff injury. As for Chandler, are you serious? Yes, he has all the athletic gifts in the world but his decision-making is suspect, at best, and I wouldn't put Hickson too far behind him, right now. Lastly, yes, the Nicks remain a money-making machine (number 2 or 3, I think) despite their woeful record. But the Cavs WITH LeBron are making a TON of money and rank among the top teams in the NBA. How can you you say that they are "not even financially viable" when stats clearly show them among the leage leaders in raking in cash?

Like I said, though, you probably won't even see this post. If you do happen to see it, though, I'd love an intelligent response.

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ESPN was so concerned with LeBron's connections with New York, they didn't even see the Miami HEAT swooping in for the kill. The Nicks didn't even stand a chance in the end. LeBron made the move to Miami and has been doing very well there, to the dismay of Cleveland fans everywhere. James took a lot of flack for his decision, but can anyone blame him? He is a professional. Basketball may be a game to us, but it is a job to him. Who are we to say he need to ignore money and success in lieu of keeping us happy. I say way to go, Lebron. You have been downgraded from the "golden child" to a silver one. But if you keep on making baskets and winning games, people may question your motives, but they won't be able to question your skill.

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