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Billboard goes up in New York in hopes of luring LeBron James to Knicks

From NBA Twitter and media reports

Cleveland. Los Angeles. Akron. Portland. And now, the Big Apple.

New York is the latest city in a trend of recent ones to get a billboard aimed at getting LeBron James’ attention. The sign recently went up and is located near one of the main entrances to Madison Square Garden and has a goal of getting James’ attention when it comes to making his summer decision in free agency.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News has more:

A billboard on 7th Avenue between 31st and 32nd streets – facing the main entrance to Madison Square Garden — sets a goal of getting LeBron James to sign with the Knicks this summer, equipped with the hashtag #KINGJAMESNYC18.

“King of New York? Prove it,” reads the billboard, which says it’s paid for by @NYCAdsCo

James, who will be in the Big Apple on Monday as the Cavs invade the Garden to battle the Knicks, is set to be a free agent this summer with his reported options being the Lakers, Sixers, Rockets or re-signing with the Cavs.

The Knicks won’t have enough cap space to sign LeBron unless they unload some contracts, and would probably need to attach first-round picks to pull that off. They’re also not in a place to be competitive with Kristaps Porzingis sidelined until the middle of next season.

Similar types of billboards have been launched by other fans, first by a remodeling company in Philadelphia (which put the billboards installed in Cleveland) and also by an attorney in Los Angeles (who had them put up in L.A.). Additionally, an Akron realtor posted two billboards there, which is also LeBron’s hometown, trying to woo him to stay with the Cavs.

Roughly five minutes from the Portland Trail Blazers’ arena, the Moda Center, there now stands a new billboard meant to entice LeBron James to head West this summer.

James can become a free agent this summer and many fan bases around the NBA are hoping their team takes a shot at signing him.

The Oregonian reported in March that Trillblazin co-founders Ira Lafontaine and Keith Kunis were open the possibility of putting up transit ads in Portland or, perhaps, a sign in Cleveland near Quicken Loans Arena.

Personal injury attorney Jacob Emrani put up four billboards around Los Angeles to try and woo James, who can enter free agency this summer. ESPN.com reported the Philadelphia billboards were leased by Power Home Remodeling, a company based in Chester, Pennsylvania. The company’s CEO says the goal is to bring James, a three-time NBA champion, to Philadelphia because “we think the best athletes should want to play here.”

When the billboards in Philadelphia were erected, James couldn’t help but be flattered by them.

“You can say it’s a distraction, it’s not. Not a distraction,” James told reporters on Feb. 27. “It is actually very flattering that I’m sitting here at 33 and in my 15th year and teams or guys — I don’t want to say teams because that becomes tampering — but people in their respective city want me to play for them. That’s cool I think. That’s dope.”

The 33-year-old James can opt out of his contract this summer with the Cavaliers. He’s said in the past that he would like to end his career with Cleveland, but because he hasn’t given the team a long-term commitment, there is constant speculation that he may leave his home state a second time.

James famously announced he was taking his “talents to South Beach” and signed with the Miami Heat in 2010. He won two NBA titles in four years with the Heat before returning to Cleveland in 2014

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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