[Web Special] Why Lebron James Shouldn't Come to New York

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 06:12 AM

Lebron James is the face of basketball. He has said, on "60 Minutes," that he wants to be the world's first "billion dollar athlete." At the end of the season he will finally become a free agent and the entire NBA has reorganized itself to figure out how to make room for King James.

We want to know why he should come to your team. I'll tell you a million reasons he should not come to my city, as much as we need him and as much as I desperately want him. (continue reading...)

I am a Knicks fan and I live in Brooklyn. That means the team I love, the Knicks, and the team poised to move to my planet, the partially-Jay-Z-owned Nets, have managed to make themselves the laughingstocks of the NBA in order to open up space so they can sign James, who will be bigger than A-Rod, (but not Derek Jeter) to NY fans. Already his larger-than-life mug looms like Big Basketball Brother over the visitors in Times Square.

NYC is the media capitol of the world. Too bad the local b-ball teams have been so focused on King James: They forgot how to win games, and Lebron, above all else, wants to win games and championships. He's a winner; the Knicks and Nets are not. In fact the Nets' slogan is, "10 is enough." This is pro basketball; it is difficult to open up a season 0-10, and that is precisely what they have done. The Knicks are 1-9. They have the worst start in franchise history. We might as well say they are the worst team that has ever taken a court in the Garden and called themselves the Knicks. Coach D'Antoni called their play "zombie-like" the other day. We can splash a Z on their chest and call them the NY Zombies: They are simply unfit to wear the same jersey Walt "Clyde" Frazier wore, or Willis Reed, or Oakley and Starks and more recently Ewing and Houston -- players who made it to championship level.

I love the team but it makes no sense for King James to go there. Sure, all the corporate bigs want him there, all the Nikes of the world are salivating green, but James is not a cash cow. He will never become that truly iconic player unless he wins titles: more than Jordan, more than Bill Russell did even when he won 11 with the Celtics.

Sorry, NYC. King James should not come to New York unless they get the NBA commish, David Stern, to step in and make something happen. The Knicks are playing themselves out of the Lebron-sweepstakes.

On the other hand, poor Cleveland, James is THE economic indicator there. If he stays home and wins his allotment of titles there, he will be more beloved than any player in history. If it is glory he wants, let him stay in Cleveland and win it for the state of Ohio, the Heart of it All! Let his name ring and then let him become a Cleveland Brown and save that franchise as well!

So, we ask you: What should King James do? Should he go or should he stay? And if he goes, why should he come to your city?


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Comments [5]

Rick Evans

Ibrahim, you expressed this Knicks fan's sentiments exactly. Every time I hear a story hyping the possibility of a Lebron jump to the Knicks I find myself shouting at the radio Lebron DON'T DO IT!

Older Yankee fans remember suffering during the CBS years. The Cablevision owners make the '60s CBS Yankee owners look like sports management Einsteins. King James should consider signing if the Dol(t)ans sell HIM the team for a $1.

Nov. 21 2009 12:42 PM

I want lebron to come regardless. who cares if he should or shouldn't come. pay the guy the money and get him in MSG everynight!

Nov. 18 2009 11:11 AM
ibrahim abdul-matin

dear delusional knicks fan-

maybe Dwayne Wade and LeBron have a secret plan to take over the NYC market and create a new dynasty...

Nov. 18 2009 11:08 AM

As a delusional Knicks fan who always thinks better days are just around the corner, reality has sunk in quickly this year. After the 1-9 start, it's clear they won't be sniffing the playoffs this year, for the 6th year in a row. I agree that LeBron has very little to gain from moving to the Knicks as they currently stand. I had this (admittedly delusional) thought that the Knicks would somehow come close to the playoffs this season, even within a few games of the 8th seed, and that that might be enough to convince LeBron or the other free agents that the Knicks are just a player or two short of a competitive playoff team. However, it's pretty clear that the Knicks are an entire roster short of being a competitive playoff team! So yes, LeBron has no business moving his act to NYC. As much as he'd love the city and the city would love him, it would be bad for his legacy and bad for the NBA to have it's brightest star fledgling on a team that will be "rebuilding" for some time.

Nov. 18 2009 11:01 AM

James has a lot of work in front of him to supplant Tiger Woods as the first possible "billion dollar athlete."

Moreover, the endorsement market has changed dramatically during this last decade so without huge endorsement deals, it's virtually impossible for an athlete (unless they were previously wealthy) to reach the billion dollar pinnacle.

Nov. 18 2009 10:28 AM

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