The Lebron James – Knicks Saga Has Begun!Category: Basketball
At Lebron James’ Most Valuable Player award ceremony at the University of Akron’s James A. Rhodes Arena, in his acceptance speech he said,
“Akron, Ohio is my home. Akron, Ohio will always be remembered. Akron, Ohio is my life and I love this city. This is home for me. I love this place to death. Every day I wake up I understand that I’m not just carrying myself but I’m also carrying this city to bigger and better heights. No matter where life may head me, I’m never gone from here.”
Kind of ominous isn’t it?
After the Celtics handed the Cavs their worst home playoff loss in history, 120-88 in Game 5 of their Semifinal round series, Lebron was criticized more for his attitude during and after the game that for his poor performance (scoring only 15 points on 3 of 14 shooting).
With an air of arrogance and seemingly unapologetic he said,
“I spoil a lot of people with my play. When you have three bad games in seven years, it’s easy to point them out.”
It gave rise to more questions than answers.
Has Lebron already given up on his team? Has he played his last game for Cleveland? Is his impending free agency distracting him?
Given the chance for redemption at Game 6 at the TD Garden in Boston, Lebron rose to the challenge with a triple-double of 27 points, 10 assists and 19 rebounds. However, his 9 turnovers have devalued that otherwise superb performance.
In the 4th quarter, LeBron knocked down back-to-back threes to cut the Celtics lead to four but on their next possession, he had a turnover that Rajon Rondo turned into a layup and the Cavs never got any closer.
Blame is not to be put solely on James’ shoulders however as Mike Brown’s poor coaching and his team mates’ failure to help their King are also factors in their team’s demise losing the game, and ultimately the series to the Celtics, 94-85.
So, now that Lebron had another disappointing playoff exit and Shaq failed to win a ring for the king, talks about Lebron playing for the New York Knicks (or Chicago Bulls or Miami Heat) next season have become one of the day’s hottest items.
Even during the game, Boston fans were chanting “New York Knicks” everytime he was on the free-throw line.
In a press conference after a Cavs-Knicks game last November 25, 2008, Lebron James has proclaimed July 1, 2010, as the biggest day in the history of basketball. Yes, two years ago, he had already advertised the 2010 NBA free agency as the NBA’s version of the Powerball lottery jackpot!
It will be “The Summer of Lebron!”
If you think Cleveland will just give up and allow Lebron to go away, you’re wrong as several of the most famous personalities in the city gathered together to sing a song called “Please Stay LeBron” to the tune of “We Are the World”.
A fan has also dedicated a web site chronicling what he will do just to keep their guy.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports wrote a column pointing out Lebron’s unfulfilled promise of a championship as one of the reasons why Lebron should stay.
With the days leading to July 1, we should expect more drama unfolding before our very own eyes. It might even surpass the Pacers-Pistons brawl, the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case and the 2007 NBA betting scandal in terms of media mileage generated.
The clock is ticking.
UPDATE July 8, 2010: Finally! In ESPN’s “The Decision”, Lebron made the ultimate decision, he will be joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami Heat to form a power trio.
His announcement was criticized by many particularly Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert who made an open letter addressed to Cleveland citizens.