Is anyone really surprised by this? The calculus for LeBron has always been heavily, heavily weighted towards the Cavs on every level- financial, competitive, and for LeBron’s long term reputation. Any media glare gained by going to New York would be undermined by a reputation for deserting a competitive hometown team for a mediocre big-city substitute, and he’s hardly lacking attention in the internet-league pass-multiple nationwide TV deals era. Knicks (and Nets) fans really should not get down about this, and honestly probably shouldn’t take much notice of it. Rebuilding our local teams into serious, long-term competitors was and is never going to be just a matter of suddenly signing the right free agents who would join us because, well, we’re New York- right? It’s easy to forget in the aftermath of the Celtics coming together out of nowhere two years ago, but they were an incredibly rare deal- them, the ’04 Pistons, arguably the Lakers 3 peat if you like Shaq over Kobe, and the ’83 Sixers were probably the only teams of the NBA’s modern (since 1980) era to win a title with their best player coming by means other than the draft. 6 titles out of 29 awarded, counting with the benefit of the doubt.
I’m not going to say something inane here about it being more satisfying to win a title some day without “buying it” because let’s face it- that’s pretty much horseshit. But I will say that this is one of those times where being realistic about the situation will save you a lot of grief in the long term. He ain’t coming, folks; good thing a plan trumps a man, anyday.
This probably means nothing, but Worldwide Wes is saying encouraging things about the Knicks and LeBron. I’d say at this point, given the Barclays Center woes the Nets are experiencing and the slow death of Detroit as a city, it’s probably going to come down to Cleveland vs. NYC. I make the Cavs the favorite, but there’s a lot of time to go.