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Cleveland Cavaliers

Yes, They're Ga-Ga in NYC Over LeBron - So What Else is New?

By George Thomas Published: November 22, 2008

Personally, I've never read so much blather about two trades a team makes to rid themselves of cap room by getting rid of Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford and clearing tons of cap space.
What's it do?  A team that had no legitimate shot at making a run at James 48 hours ago, has one now.  My guess is James is probably intrigued by the prospect of playing in a Mike D'Antoni offense.  My guess is the prospect of playing in NYC is even more intriguing.
 Let's hear it for the worst kept secret in professional basketball - the New York Knicks covet LeBron James.  Wow!  Shock.  Dismay.  I'm MORTIFIED, I tell you.  Mortified.
Here's some of the stuff coming out of the Big Apple:

Go ahead, now you can start dreaming about LeBron James wearing a Knicks uniform.
Of course, it can't be for another two seasons, but some things in life are worth waiting for, and King James is one of them.
Here's one from Mike Lupica, a columnist I've always admired, actually looking at the bigger picture:
And if the Knicks don't get LeBron - even though Walsh will have them as well-positioned as any team in the league by then - they can go after Chris Bosh, or Dwyane Wade, or Amare Stoudemire. They might even have a chance at Steve Nash, too.
Get used to this stuff - especially for the next few days when the Cavs march into Madison Square Garden for a game against the reconstituted Knicks.  It's only going to get worse as the New York media peppers James - who is getting increasingly annoyed with the situation - regarding something that won't happen for two years.
It's a distinct possibility that James will vacate Cleveland for the bright lights and big city.  If that's what he wants, who can stop him.  I've only seen James on a more extensive basis for the past two months. But he's been consistent in what he says regarding leaving town.  He's worried about the here and now.  Winning a championship and the distinct impression from the players is that they believe that they can with this current roster.
The word "special" is bandied about when they mention the team.  Even the normally cynical media that something different is in the works here.  Only time will tell.
What I can surmise is this - James wants to be with a team that has the chance to win multiple titles.  Last I checked, the Knicks hadn't been in that position since the Patrick Ewing era and even then fell short. NYC is viewed as a basketball Mecca. Hell, folks like to view it as a Mecca for all things.  Me?  Great place to visit for four-day stretches.  Couldn't live there.  But I'm not LeBron James.
If basketball is truly his primary interest - despite saying he'd like to be the Muhammad Ali of the basketball world and make a billion dollars - the only place he'll want to be is where he can win those multiple championships.  Right now, the Cavs arguably has the best owner in town in Dan Gilbert.  Something struck me about him when he met with the media earlier this season when he said when you pay more than $300 million now's not the time to get cheap.  He's currently paying the leaugue's luxury tax.  If the Cavs lose James it won't be because he's unwilling to spend money.
People like to tout that "bright lights, big city" thing and say that's the only way James can reach his goals.  That rationale smells worse than any Ted Stepien owned Cavaliers team.  We live in the Internet Age.  Folks can buy what they want, watch what they want and listen to what they want with a click of a mouse. James is far too savvy at his age to not realize that. He can sell his shoes, gum, soft drinks and jerseys playing for the Cavaliers.
The key:  Being with a franchise set up to win.  In that respect, the ball's in Danny Ferry and Gilbert's court.
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