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Fran Blinebury

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LeBron James could spend time with his buddy Jay Z if he decides to head to The Big Apple.
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

Tour de LeBron: The New York Knicks


Posted Jun 20 2010 10:29PM

Now that the Lakers and the Celtics have gone to the last seconds in the last minute of the last game and finally scratched and clawed and wheezed and battled to decide a champion, it's time for the really intense competition to begin.

Who gets LeBron James?

The LeBron Sweepstakes begin when the doors to free agency swing open on July 1. The two-time MVP will have a conga line of suitors winding from coast-to-coast.

tour_NYK.jpg

The footlights of NewYork or the movie lights of L.A.? The salsa beat of Miami or the thundering Bulls hoofbeats of Chicago? The comfort of home in Cleveland or the mean streets of New Jersey? Fuhgeddaboutit.

Here's a tour of the prime spots where The King may end up.

This stop: the New York Knicks.

The on-court attraction

LeBron gets to name his own team and his own playmates because the long campaign to clear enough space under the salary cap will force the Knicks to give up virtually anyone (i.e. David Lee) to fit him and another free agent or two onto the roster.

The off-court attraction

Overture! Curtain! Lights! This is it! The night of nights! Broadway, Madison Avenue, Times Square. The most vibrant city on the planet and media capital of the world is at his feet. As if earning $30 million a year to play basketball isn't enough, LeBron gets to turn the biggest media market into his oyster.

The 'Tour de LeBron'

NBA.com's Fran Blinebury gives his odds for the six cities most mentioned as destinations for free-agent-to-be LeBron James in landing the reigning MVP.

Cleveland Cavaliers | Chicago Bulls | Miami Heat | New York Knicks | New Jersey Nets | L.A. Clippers
The challenge

Restoring the luster to a historic franchise that hasn't won a championship since 1973 and hasn't been relevant as a legitimate contender since Patrick Ewing was traded in 2000.

The local pantheon

Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley, Earl Monroe, Patrick Ewing. Even with all of those greats preceding him, LeBron could be the biggest star to touch down in Manhattan since King Kong.

The history

Madison Square Garden, in its various incarnations, virtually birthed pro basketball. The Knicks of the early 70s, with their ball movement and unselfish play, are still regarded by many as the epitome of how the game should be played.

The minuses

After two straight seasons of finishing with the best regular-season record and coming up painfully short in the playoffs, is LeBron ready to step back and build a new team from scratch under the hot spotlight of New York?

The need

The Knicks have practically written off the past three seasons in order to clear salary cap to land LeBron. If they come up short in their bid, Joe Johnson and/or Carlos Boozer aren't going to feel like very much of a consolation prize.

The odds

6:1

Fran Blinebury has covered the NBA since 1977. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

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