Despite New York being one of the most toxic places to play basketball the pull of Madison Square Garden and the surrounding city is undeniable. New York and LA have the 2 most valuable franchises in the NBA. The 2 franchises have a lot of history behind them and the business opportunities at your disposal are vast.
LeBron chose to go to LA and has lifted the Lakers into the top 5 seed in the Western Conference so far. But we now know that LeBron heavily considered choosing the Knicks as the team he wanted to play for. After LeBron and D-Wade’s last ever game against each other last night, LeBron said: “it was either ending (in Los Angeles) or at The Garden”. This obviously means New York.
The Knicks don’t have a good roster but neither did the Lakers until LeBron came along. As bad as New York is LeBron is the only player alive who could have brought some real hope to the Big Apple.
So what turned LeBron away from Madison Square Garden and towards the Staples Center? Well Brian Windhorst of ESPN said on Twitter that it was mainly Phil Jackson.
Phil Jackson was terrible during his tenure at New York and never failed to call out Carmelo Anthony in the process. The funny thing is that because of Phil’s behavior it sent the best player in the world to the team managed partly by Jackson’s ex-fiance Jeanie Buss. Funny how things work out.
For Knicks fans, this is another season to write off as Kristaps Porzingis won’t be returning from his knee injury until next year. New York does have a very young roster though so there may be cause for hope in the coming years.