If you watched last night's game, you saw the Cavaliers dismantle the New York Knicks by some outrageous score of 118-82. Believe it or not, it was worse. At one point, the Cavs led by as many as 42.
However, per usual with any team that plays in the New York area, the game wasn't really the story. The story surrounded LeBron James' free agency - again - as it relates to the Knicks.
After last night I sincerely hope that Knicks fans and its media cannot seriously expect that James would want to go anywhere near that organization in 2010. Yes, everyone can see what Knicks honcho Donnie Walsh is concocting for the NBA's equivalent of the Summer of Love, when a horde of free agents will come to the market and looked to be wooed with cash and plenty of it.
The problem: James has said market size doesn't matter. And right now, and, barring some miracle, that's all the Knicks have to offer. It's a really big city with a ton of stuff to do. Yes, James is really into big cities as he's shown by the place he chose to live after being drafted by the Cavs.
Does he live in Bratenahl on the shores of Lake Erie with its toney huge homes with that lakefront view? A suburb that just happens to be minutes from Quicken Loans Arena and Cleveland's night life, what there is of it? Ummm...no. He lives in Bath - sprawling and suburban. He can charter a jet to New York any time he wants without playing for the Knicks.
That Knicks team? The damage that Isiah Thomas wrought will be felt for another few years. They have no superstar for the city that never sleeps. They don't play New York's type of hoops. Mike D'Antoni's flashy up-and-down game is more suited to the West Coast than East. And they sure as heck didn't play anything that remotely passed for defense Wednesday night.
About the only way they can get better quickly is through free agency. Well, that and prayer.
Trust me NYC, Northeast Ohioans feel your pain as far as what's happened with your team. While the Cavs still have no championships to speak, we have experienced something similar. They had an owner named Ted Stepien who nearly drove the team off a cliff or straight out of town with his inane personnel moves and amateurish approach to professional sports. Sound familiar?
No, the Knicks aren't about to leave New York, but their fans will have to be patient. The Cavaliers came out of the darkness in the late '80s and now again with LeBron James and a supporting cast that looks as if they could actually win a few games without him.
The pieces are there for a championship for the Cavs (another big man might be nice). In New York, the Knicks don't just need the salary cap room to sign James, they need everything else to surround him. Problem for them: it's already here - at home.