Thursday, February 18, 2010

This Is A Baseball Blog...

But the stage has been set for the New York Knicks to go worst to first - or thereabouts - Boston Celtics 2007 style. Best day in New York basketball in a decade. A max contract plus retaining David Lee or adding a player like Carlos Boozer is now on the table, and the stage has been further set for Lebron James to wear the blue and orange.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

PF

What happens if the Knicks don't sign Lebron?

--the Gunn (channeling Bandi)

Anonymous said...

There could not be anything worse for basketball than for LeBron James to go to the Knicks. Good for business, bad for the integrity of the game. This has nothing to do with me liking or not liking NY...I wouldn't want him going to Miami or even Boston if that was a possibility (which it isn't).

A city like Cleveland needs to be able to keep a superstar player like LeBron James if they are able to offer the money. Having the best player in the league (yes I'll admit that, though I think Durant will surpass him) switch teams in the prime of his career just doesn't sit well with me.

But you know what? This america and captalism reigns, and I can't complain about that.

bandi

jason said...

my biggest non baseball comment at the moment would be the state of the usa mens curling team and how many blown clutch shots are possible

PF said...

if they don't get lebron (which is very possible if not likely - i would personally put it at 50/50, especially with CC playing recruiting coordinator), then you go after wade, or bosh, or amare, or a combination of those players. it is possible depending on what happens that they might be able to fit two max contracts. but at the very least they are going to be able to do a max contract + an all-star caliber non-max contract like david lee. and that is going to be attractive to both the max-contract player and the all-star caliber non-max contract player. you start a team from scratch, and put lebron or wade on it plus lee or boozer and right away you have an extremely strong foundation to win, probably moreso than the foundations of the teams most of these players are currently on, and the players know that. because the reality is david lee is probably better than any player lebron has played with, and carlos boozer definitely is (to use two names as general examples, but also specific ones because they are likely targets for the knicks).

even if any or all of this does happen, i'm not saying it makes the knicks a championship contender. i'm just saying that becomes possible at some point in the near future, and at the very least they become a team to watch every night again, a good team, something they have barely been at any point in the last decade. in that sense, this is unquestionably a huge day for the knicks. clearing jeffries' contract (in particular), as well as getting rid of jordan hill's lottery pick deal, makes things possible this summer that would not have been otherwise. for now it remains nothing more than possible, but that's exciting enough for knicks fans at this juncture.

bandi - if that's how you mean it, a way you could phrase that statement would be, "there could be nothing worse for basketball than lebron james leaving cleveland" instead of "there could not be anything worse for basketball than for lebron james to go to the knicks". i certainly understand your sentiment (and largely agree with it), but as you alluded to, because they are able to offer the same money the knicks will this isn't a situation where the giant takes from the little guy because of mostly money like it is with the yankees. while lebron certainly stands to make more in endorsements, etc. that really doesn't have anything to do with the teams. this just comes down to a player deciding what team and what city he wants to play for, and that is, as you say, just how it is. and i think that's just how it is has more to do with it than capitalism, though i absolutely love that sentiment.

Anonymous said...

Pat,

Don't be a dink. I specifically mentioned the Knicks since that's what you mentioned. And right after than I said that it doesn't matter if it's the Knicks or any other team. I'm not going to sit around wordsmith every little thing I say just because you are in the second year of law school and like to show how you can pick every little thing apart.

Following up on some of your other points, it is capitalism issue. As you mentioned, there are major financial benefits to LeBron moving to the media capital of the world, not mention all the other great things he could do in NY that he probably couldn't do in Cleveland. NYC is a great city, LeBron is a consumer just like anyone else. There are reasons for him to want to go to NYC. It is a capitalism issue.

However, this is the biggest issue. When LeBron James came to Cleveland, he was supposed to be the savior of that franchise and lead them to a championship. He hasn't done that. And Cleveland has done the best they can I think in order to put a competent team around him last year and this year. Are they the Lakers? No, but they've done what they can to improve the talent.

Jumping ship when you haven't delivered what you were supposed to deliver isn't the honorable thing to do in my opinion, and would reflect poorly on LeBron. If you look at someone like Jordan, or Kobe, they stayed with one team for a long time and delivered multiple championships. If the LeBron doesn't do that that is a stain on his resume as far as I am concerned. But as I said it's a free country.

bandi

Anonymous said...

Bandi

Kobe delivered one championship. Shaq brought the others. For some reason people forget this (you are not one of them, we've had this conversation before) and I don't understand why.

PF/Bandi

I believe that the Cavs can actually offer Lebron the most money because a team retaining it's own player can offer a max contract slightly higher than any of the other teams. Also, it's important to note this--if the Cavs win the title this year, it significantly increases the likelihood that Lebron stays in Cleveland. If they don't, it shifts things the other way, which, unless Lebron arrives at some sense of duty or loyalty (which I highly doubt would ever happen), is going to seriously hurt Cleveland's chances of retaining him.

--the Gunn

Anonymous said...

Gunn,

Obviously Shaq was the primary player the previous years but Kobe was a key element to those teams. They don't win those 3 rings without Kobe Bryant.

A fair point anyway.

bandi

PF said...

bandi -

good points on capitalism. again i agree with you generally on your sentiment regarding lebron leaving. i would argue two things, however. first, kobe and jordan had the benefits of being drafted into two of the top 5 (being generous) basketball markets in the league. so they never had to think about going to a place where they could make more money (which as i've said related to baseball i don't think should be frowned upon for athletes where the money is significant - and it would be for lebron in new york on the endorsement side - they are no different than any one else in that regard) or just be a part of a big market, because they already were. second, they had much, much more around them (scottie pippen/shaq/gasol). perhaps cleveland has in fact done the best that they can, but in my opinion it has not been good enough. this is lebron's seventh season in the league, and he is yet to have a no doubt #2 beside him. that's on cleveland. while it might be the absolute most noble thing for lebron to continue to stay and try to get it done, he has no obligation to. the cavs have put a few very good players around him at times (mo williams for sure, delonte west, we'll see what shaq/antwan jamison do), but he has largely been doing it with the team on his back. the cavs hav to do better than that in my opinion this deep into his career.

gunn -

have to agree with bandi there. shaq was undoubtedly the #1 on those three teams, but that doesn't discredit them from kobe. as we have seen with lebron for a few years now, even the best #1's have a tough time winning without a #2. look at the celtics last year without garnett too (who is probably another #1, showing you how tough it is). there is very little chance the lakers win all three of those championships without kobe, he was a critical part of each. he wouldn't have won them without shaq either, but the same can be said of virtually every championship team. i know you will probably agree with all of this and were just pointing out that shaq was the primary player, but your wording seemed pretty strong and i know your not a fan of kobe's.

you are right about cleveland being able to offer slightly more, but it will be pennies compared to what lebron could make in new york through endorsements. the sky would be the limit.

i think you are 100% correct about the cavs winning vs. not winning the championship this year and what that means for lebron next year.

John said...

I'm not a huge basketball guy, but it can't possibly be about a little bit of money for LeBron(difference between Cleveland and NY). He is easily the most marketable player in the NBA(or fairly close) so he can make all the money in the world if he wants to, even 10 million over a 5 year contract isn't that much. He wants 10 more million he can get it, not to mention in NY he probably would make up for the extra money in marketing deals and such. That being said, staying in Cleveland is the best thing for the NBA. Teams keeping their stars is what everyone who doesn't root for a big team wants.

Anonymous said...

PF and Bandi

Guys, I understand that Kobe Bryant was an integral part of the 2000-02 Lakers. But saying he brought those titles to LA is like saying that Scottie Pippen brought six titles to Chicago in the 1990's. Clearly Pippen was the number two guy on those teams and they couldn't have done it without him. But unless you're the number one guy on a championship team, you didn't deliver anything. You were an important part of it. And that's not anything to scoff at. But we as fans measure greatness by how many times a guy was the best player on a championship team. Magic Johnson did it three times. Larry Bird did it three times. Tim Duncan did it four times. Michael Jordan did it six times. To date, Kobe Bryant has done it once.

Also, I think too much is made of how much Lebron will make in endorsements if he's in New York. In theory, that makes sense. And it probably would have made a lot more sense in 1972. But it's 2010. They have cable tv and internet that help broadcast Lebron's exploits from Cleveland to all points on this earth. The fact is that Lebron is already on billboards in Kazakhstan. He does commercials for every entity there is except Tampax. So unless the state of New York initiates programs to create new companies to hire Lebron as a sponsor, I don't see how he's going to make more money endorsing Nike as a Knick than he will as endorsing Nike as a Cavalier.

--the Gunn

PF said...

Gunn -

I agree with that in principle for sure, but the word is nike and gatorade alone have huge built in bonuses if he ever goes to a major market or more specifically new york. Bonus like 50 million from nike alone bonus. I have no idea if that's accurate or not, but irrespective of the number you can see how that makes sense for nike. He's selling nike now, but in new york lebron sneakers go off the charts compared to cleveland. So nike stands to make a ton of money. His marketability maybe doesn't change that much, but the amount of money made off that marketability changes dramatrically by putting him not only in a major market, but the baskeyball capital of the world that hasn't had a lot of basketball recently. And he would profit from that. So I think that's where the increased endorsements come from.

PF said...

John - I agree with you that the money would be huge.

Anonymous said...

PF

I had also heard rumors about the built in kicker that comes if he plays in either New York or LA. I should not have forgotten about those, but I did. At the same time, they're rumors. Why wouldn't they have been substantiated at this point?

Also, and I'm not saying this to be patronizing, but thank Jesus for using 'irrespective' properly. Regardless is a word. And irrespective is a word. But 'irregardless' is not a word and it's something that I feel Cheney would sit and argue with us for hours about how not only does it exist, but that it's probably the most important word in the English language. At which point Mike King would step up and inform us that "they speak English in England."

--the Gunn

Anonymous said...

Just an absolutely great game between the Cavs and Nuggets last night. Who cares if LeBron goes to NY, it's just fun to watch him play.

Carmelo is obviously not the all around player that LeBron is, but what a gifted pure scorer. Great regular season game.

On the other end, stick a fork in the celts, but we knew that for a while.

Kevin Harlan has no regard for human life.

Bandi