The honeymoon phase brought on by Bron’s return to Cleveland is over. I know it hurts, but sometimes the fairytale has to end abruptly. Though it would’ve been nice to see the “Kid from Akron” chase rings in Quicken Loans until he hung em’ up, let’s close that chapter -- it ain’t happening. Honestly, there’s nothing more anybody in the Buckeye state could ask from the man. With that being said, his next destination will most likely be his last and if history holds true, he’ll be taking his talents to a place where he could build a squad to dethrone the Monstars in Golden State.
Watching the world’s greatest player, LeBron Raymone James, carry Cleveland to the 2018 finals and average a remarkable 34.0 points on 52.7 percent shooting from the field to go along with 10.0 assists and 8.5 rebounds while getting a broomstick beating at the hands of Kevin Durant and the most lethal group of trained assassins assembled in NBA history reinvigorated the excitement and importance for this year’s star-studded offseason. And though, the finals only provided us with a remarkable showing of incompetence by James’ cohorts -- S/o Jordan Clarkson, J.R. (it’s not all your fault) Smith, George Hill and Larry Nance -- the time has come in which we can discuss “Bron’s” escape from the confines of the Midwest.
Once again a free man, James planned for this great escape and did so expertly. Having negotiated a player-friendly contract which made him the game’s second highest-paid player (Steph Curry was first) during the 2017-18 season and also saved him from being locked into a multi-year deal under Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert, who he already has a rocky relationship with, James once again set the model for superstar hoopers who look to control their own destiny. Not only does the Decision 3.0 rival the saga’s first two chapters, it adds the drama that hoops-obsessed fans crave. With the TBT Tournament and footage of the legendary Drew League as means for satisfying some of your hardwood addiction during the summertime, Bron’s gallivant into free agency promises to fulfill every ounce of need left.
As several big names will either change locales or continue building legacies and lives in cities they’ve grown accustomed to, James’ impending decision stands as the summer’s most important. Since the beginning of the his 15th campaign (one he called his most challenging) pundits have debated on whether Philly, Houston, returning to South Beach, partnering with Pop in San Antonio or joining forces with Magic and the Big Baller Brand in Los Angeles provides the best fit for “Bron-Bron”. My unpaid opinion doesn’t feature any of those organizations other than maybe the Spurs as a suitable landing spot. With that being said, let's throw a wrench into the equation and talk about the Knicks.
It only makes sense for “The King” to take his rightful throne under the bright lights of Madison
Square Garden, a place where he’s already put on historical shows as a villain whose exploits were so dazzling he earned “MVP Chants” in enemy territory. No disrespect to Patrick Ewing or any of the numerous legends who’ve ever rocked the Knicks’ sacred threads, but James would instantly become the most heralded player in franchise history. Hell, it’s the social media era, (which the NBA’s taken full advantage of) and Bron’s built an untouchable brand. Becoming the Knicks’ most popular and acclaimed player is as easy as maintaining his hold on Beyonce’s heart. The pressures of performing in the world’s top media market wouldn’t phase “The Chosen One,” a guy whose been under intense scrutiny since before he had a drivers license. Shit, he’s already the world’s second most recognizable athlete behind soccer’s Jesus, Lionel Messi. This potential match made in heaven would undoubtedly catapult him past the pint-sized footballer and into a league of his own. Every time you walk in Times Square, you’ll most likely encounter a massive visual reminder letting you know that the world’s most well known city is also the home of the country’s most beloved athlete. Yes, there might be a few more tabloids in NYC, but what’s chatter to a King? He’s single handedly lifted a once dormant market in Cleveland and turned it into a cash cow. In New York, with his global reach, personality and show-stopping performances, the amount of money generated would make El Chapo blush. The city also provides him a larger platform, something that a philanthropist and social activist like himself could only benefit from.
Playing wise, things wouldn’t be as peachy off the bat, but if you believe in ousted visionary and former 76ers GM Sam Hinkie’s Trust the Process mantra, you’ll see into the future. Though nobody knows when Porzingis is coming back from ACL surgery, and it’s been rumored that he could miss the entire 2018-19 season, this shouldn’t deter LeBron from taking his talents to Gotham. Whenever “The Unicorn” does return to the court, the Knicks will easily own one of the scariest one-two punches in basketball. I mean, envision a pick-and-roll/pop featuring two of the freakiest physical specimens in the NBA. Shit, I’m sweating like Dale Doback watching Cops just thinking about it. Combine that with the fact that several other marquee free agents will flock to the big city just to share the court with two of the league’s most talked about megastars and you have the recipe to feed a success-starved franchise its first NBA title since 1973.
Despite LeBron’s disdain for Knicks owner James Dolan and the old New York regime (mainly Phil Jackson), he’s paid whatever debt he thought he had to Ohio, having brought a once comical franchise its first title since 1948, helping boost the economy with his entrepreneurial endeavors and playing Superman in Akron, where he started the “I Promise” program. We can bury this argument with this : The King’s fairytale will continue in a destination fit for an athletic God, a place that produces transcendent stars like Derek Jeter, Odell Beckham Jr., Babe Ruth etc.