T-minus eleven hours until LeBron James announces his decision on where he will sign, and all signs seems to be pointing to Miami. I have to say that to me that seems to be the poor choice, he belongs with the New York Knicks. As a Heat fan, I do not want to have LeBron on my team because I think the team is better off with Wade, Bosh, and a few other mid level guys like Brendan Haywood, Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller, and/or Kyle Korver than having Wade, Bosh, James and a bunch of D-Leaguers (plus also I did say that LeBron would end up in New York). Unless all these guys are willing to get paid way under market value that is exactly what will happen. Also I personally do not think that Wade and LeBron will work as teammates, their games are too similar and do not complement each other.
The other reason why the move to Miami will not work is because of LeBron’s ego. If you do not think that LeBron James has an ego then you are crazy. The guy called ESPN to get a one hour special to announce where he is going too sign, and there are rumors that it was people in LeBron’s camp who leaked that Wade and Bosh were going to Miami so that Thursday’s sports talk will all be a build up to James’ decision. If LeBron comes to Miami he will be welcomed with open arms, but one thing that will be made clear is that this is Wade’s team. Dwyane Wade is the star in Miami, he is the greatest player in Heat history and he is beloved by all of the fans. While LeBron James may still be the biggest star across the country, in Miami Dwyane Wade will still be the star. It will be similar to when the Giants moved from New York to San Francisco. In New York, Willie Mays was the star and was the greatest player in the game, but when they moves to San Fran Mays’ teammate Willie McCovey became the player that the local fans loved. Willie Mays was the biggest star in baseball, but McCovey was the man in San Francisco.
Miami and Chicago will give LeBron the best chances to win, but LeBron should and deserves to end up with the New York Knicks. The Knicks are where LeBron will be the star, and where he will be seen as a hero come to save the Knicks from mediocrity. LeBron has said to things over the corse of his career about what he wants to do in his career; win championships and become a global billionaire icon, and New York can do both. Knicks have already added Amare Stoudemire, they have a chance to add either Tony Parker or Carmelo Anthony next year, and Knicks ownership has shown in the past that they are willing to go way over the salary cap to get talent to surround LeBron. While no one can guarantee that will lead to a ring or two, that team will be contenders for 4 of the 5 years he is under contract. The billionare global icon thing should atumaticlly scream New York. NYC is a city one of the few cities around the world that unanimously known and recognized. It is the city that has been known as the capitol of the world and there is nothing like being the biggest star in the biggest city in the world. Where signing will the Cavs will men $30 million more in his contract, in New York LeBron can easily make that up by just taking a stroll down Madison Avenue. Lets face it, their is no comparison between Cleveland and New York City, Cleveland is a joke. No one wants to go to Cleveland. One of the reasons that LeBron may not stay in Cleveland because is because Chris Bosh refused to play in that city. During LeBron’s time in Cleveland the biggest name players that have come to play with LeBron in Cleveland are Moe Williams, who moved to Cleveland from Milwaukee, Antawn Jamison, who was traded from a horrible Washington team, and Shaq, who has become an NBA nomad who refuses to retire. New York will defenently be a place where LeBron will have an easier time recruiting players to join him.
Another reason LeBron should pick New York is for the sake of the NBA. No one doubts the fact that the NBA would be better off with a great New York Knicks and a bad Cleveland Cavaliers, than a very good Cleveland Cavaliers and a below average New York Knicks. Having a big market like to New York energized for the NBA would be the best thing that could happen for NBA. It would also benefit the NBA to have its stars spread out.
The NBA looks a lot better when it has Kobe in LA, LeBron in NYC, Wade in Miami and so forth. If all these guys are on one team then the NBA is forced to market that one team, with everyone spread out the NBA is able to create and market rivalries. The last three years have seen the resurgence of the NBA’s best rivalry, LA vs. Boston, and if LeBron another great rivalry gets renewed, Miami vs. New York. In the mid and late 90’s, while the Bulls were the best team in the NBA, the best rivalry was the New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat. These two teams played in tough low scoring defensive battles that looked more like a heavy weight boxing match than a NBA game, and the greatest part was that these teams always seemed to play against each other in the playoffs. Since 2000 the rivalry has died as the Knicks feel apart and the Heat had up and down seasons, but now there is a great chance that Knicks v. Heat could be the marquee game to watch in the NBA. Right now LeBron against Wade is always a must watch game, but if LeBron goes to the Knicks it will really kick it up a notch. Knicks vs. Heat would all of a sudden be Amare and LeBron versus Bosh and Wade to add to the back story of there franchises histories and also two fan bases that really do not like each other. LeBron could also stay in the free agent spot light if he goes to New York because all of a sudden the Heat and Knicks are two teams that have added big pieces and the story of free agency will be how these to teams will fill out their rosters, and the bidding wars the Knicks and Heat will have over role players.
Finally this whole situation remainds me of a story from Alonzo Mourning’s biography, Resilience: Faith, Focus, Triumph (a great read). Alonzo talks about during the 1995 offseason when Charlotte let him talk to teams about trading for him, Alonzo became very interested in both Miami and New York. The Knicks already had Patrick Ewing, who was a good friend and mentor to Zo. Zo called up Ewing and they talked about how great they could be if they were to team up and the Championships that they could win. In the end though Ewing told Alonzo that as much as he would love to play with him, Alonzo should go to a place where he could be the star and have a franchise of his own. Alonzo took Ewings advise and went to Miami. James should take the same advise that Alonzo took, yes it would be fun to play with your friends and yes you could win a few championships, but James needs to go to a place where he can be the star and have his own franchise to shepard.
All and all it makes the most sense for LeBron to go to New York, and that has been the story for the last two years. The two are made for each other. After all, by evidence of this one hour special tonight, LeBron loves to have the spotlight on him and nowhere in the world is the spotlight bigger or brighter than it is in New York.