|ESPN.com: Heat Index||[Print without images]|
|Did LeBron James ever seriously consider the Knicks as a free agency destination?|
|Don't let the Yankees cap fool you. New York was never in the forefront of LeBron's mind.|
“Jay-Z, who was on his way to his own private jet to fly to Europe for a concert right after the meeting with James, left the Knicks' party waiting in the lobby so he could have a private session with James. That stylish cast sold the New York/Brooklyn market as slickly as head salesman Brett Yormark could have hoped. Less than two minutes later, in came the Knicks. Their party was led by the slumping shoulders of James Dolan and Donnie Walsh, who is one of the best basketball minds of the last 25 years but who was wearing a neck brace and using a walker after surgery. Former Knick Allan Houston and coach Mike D'Antoni were in the party, but the contrast between the Knicks and Nets contingents was startling. It may not be fair to say it, and there were certainly circumstances, but there was simply no getting around it. One would appeal to a 25-year-old superstar and one wouldn't. Then, sources have said, they gave a presentation that wasn't all that different than the Nets'. Within a few minutes of the Knicks' meeting, James was out of the building and on his way to lunch. So if the Knicks couldn't soundly beat out the Nets on Day 1, how could they hope to beat the Heat, Pat Riley's charisma and grand free agency plan, or the Bulls' remarkable young roster in a desirable city James always admired, or even the hometown Cavs? The answer was they just couldn't. Despite all those cap-clearing trades, all of Walsh's discipline in staying the course and all the losses during the wait, the Knicks never got deep in the game. "Winning appeals to me, it is all about winning, I said it all summer," James said. "I'm not about saving franchises." Life moves on. The Knicks are doing just fine. The Garden is rocking again. Stoudemire is mounting a MVP campaign. Carmelo Anthony might be on the horizon. James isn't giving a second thought to the past even if Knicks fans might have their say when James comes to visit. But unlike Cleveland there will be no extra emotion from James because he never had an attachment to New York. "No one is going to actually try to come up to me and try to hurt me," James said. "They may wait until I walk down the street and yell it after they've walked past me. I'll go out to eat and if there is something going on [Thursday] night, I may hang out. No one is going to do anything, I'm a big guy, man."
Winning appeals to me, it is all about winning, I said it all summer. I'm not about saving franchises.” -- LeBron James