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LeBron James and Chris Bosh decided to form the NBA’s most talented and star-studded trio by joining Dwayne Wade on the Miami Heat.
The formation came as a huge blow to the gut of the Knicks, who over two years ago began clearing cap space in hopes of forming a similar winning combination of its own this summer.
Nevertheless, there’s always next year (or even 2012, perhaps). (There may even be a chance of something happening sooner.)
As Knicks fans still mourned being spurned by LeBron and company, Hornets star Chris Paul attempted to lift up their spirits.
While in New York City attending Carmelo Anthony’s wedding reception, Paul toasted the groom and his new wife, actress LaLa Vazquez, while stating that he hopes to form his own “dream-team” with Anthony and the already present Amare Stoudemire on the Knicks.
Wedding guest and Knicks super fan Spike Lee almost fainted from across the room.
The notion that the three could team up (Anthony becomes a free agent in 2011 and Paul in 2012) is intriguing to say the least.
While that combination may not be quite as name-worthy as the one the Heat recently formed, it could certainly end up being the better fit for the Knicks.
There have been concerns about LeBron, Wade, and Bosh all coexisting in one city with one ball. In the case of Paul, Anthony, and Stoudemire, chemistry would not be a problem.
If the Knicks were miraculously able to pull off such acquisitions, the team would be able to beat the Miami Heat.
While Wade and LeBron are both able to handle the ball, neither is a true point guard. Chris Paul, on the other hand, is the best point guard in the league because he is the best at getting his teammates involved. Of course, he is also an efficient scorer and lockdown defender.
And while all three new Heat acquisitions have been considered “the man” on their former respective teams, Anthony and Stoudemire have a better and more comfortable understanding of what it means to play in a team-like atmosphere. They both have proven throughout their careers that they are able to coexist with other scorers.
Furthermore, all three proposed Knick acquisitions are hungry to win. The commitment to ultimately win a championship will take priority over how much attention each individual will get.
Having said that, Stoudemire is of course receiving recognition as the biggest acquisition the Knicks have made in years. When and if Melo and CP3 arrive in New York, the Knicks will be “Stoudemire’s team.”
Although both would concede to Stoudemire, the attention they would receive coming to the Big Apple would still do wonders for each one’s career.
New York is one of the biggest markets in the world, much bigger than Denver or New Orleans. Both Melo and CP3’s careers (and popularity) would benefit from donning orange and blue, as each (especially Melo) has trailed in popularity to the league’s more popular players, particularly the ones that signed with the Heat.
Stoudemire’s popularity has risen tenfold over the last week, proving the new trio of the Heat’s loss could be the gain of Melo and CP3.
The alleged trio for the Knicks could come sooner than later. Paul, whose Hornets have not made steady improvements over the summer, could be requesting a trade shortly.
Anthony has been strongly holding off from signing a contract extension with the Nuggets.
As the Knicks obviously have no flexibility (nor the assets) to acquire both via trade, it would be smart to acquire Paul ASAP, and making a contract offer to Anthony next summer, as opposed to waiting until 2012 for Paul.
Acquiring Paul would obviously prove to Anthony that the Knicks are committed to forming a winning trio of their own.
If it’s praise, stardom, and championship hope that Anthony desires, he would have the best chance of obtaining all by taking on the challenge that LeBron James declined to take on in New York.
LeBron James stiffed the Knicks with his decision to sign with the Miami Heat.
The Knicks, however, wasted no time before listening to their new leader, Amare Stoudemire, who at Thursday’s press conference said, “it’s onto the next one.”
Of course, Stoudemire was referring to his transition from the Suns to the Knicks, but the same logic still applies.
The Knicks acted quickly to make a move following LeBron’s disappointing announcement, completing a sign & trade deal with the Warriors on David Lee.
Headed to the Big Apple are Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike, and Ronny Turiaf.
While this is not the star-studded move fans were salivating over, it’s undoubtedly a move in the right direction.
New York and Golden State have similar offensive systems, so all four players should fit seamlessly in at their new locations.
Randolph, a lengthy forward and skilled perimeter shooter, is a nice complement to Stoudemire down low. His fast footwork and excellent ball-handling skills make him a candidate to convert baskets on fast breaks on a nightly basis.
Someone Donnie Walsh has previously inquired about over the last couple seasons, Randolph has been compared to a taller Rudy Gay, whom the Knicks were also reportedly after this summer, before Gay resigned with the Grizzlies.
While he has not yet been able to fully unleash his rebuilding talents, perhaps the opportunity to play for the Knicks will help Randolph further hone his skills.
Azubuike is one of the league’s most underrated players. Undrafted out of Kentucky, he found his niche with the fast-paced Warriors. A sure-shot three-point shooter, he is also known for his defensive skills, which will certainly be an asset to the Knicks.
Azubuike is a very hard working player, having worked his way up from the D-League to becoming a consistent rotation (and often starter) player for the Warriors.
If the Knicks are still worried about defense down low, Turiaf should help ease some of the concern. A menacing shot blocker, Turiaf could see some starts with the Knicks as he certainly fills a massive void.
All three players add different components to this Knicks squad. Walsh made the most of an unfortunate situation (losing Lee) to bolster the presently short-handed roster with three talented players.
Much should be said for David Lee, though. The heart and soul of the Knicks for the last five seasons, Lee worked hard and was the team’s first all-star since 2001 this past season. He maximized the most of his talents in Mike D’Antoni’s system on his way to becoming one of the league’s best big men.
While he will be missed by Knicks fans, Lee quickly became expendable as soon as the Knicks signed Stoudemire.
Walsh and the Knicks showed their appreciation for Lee’s efforts, however, agreeing to sign and trade Lee to the Warriors in order for him to tag on a sixth year to his contract.
He ended up agreeing to a very-well deserved $80 million contract over six years with Golden State.
LeBron James announced his decision to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and sign with the Miami Heat Thursday night
The decision may not come as a huge surprise to many, as news of what has come to be known as “The Decision” leaked throughout the day.
However, teaming up with two of the NBA’s best players may not be the best thing for him.
Is being labeled “the dream team” enough to suggest that a guaranteed championship for the Heat next season is simply that; just a dream?
Now that James is finished breaking the hearts of fans all over Cleveland, it is time to break down his decision to sign elsewhere.
Many components of LeBron’s decision to sign with the Miami Heat make sense. After spending seven seasons in small-market (but hometown) Cleveland, he joins a beautiful city and popular market in Miami.
On paper, the Heat theoretically provide him with the best chance to add such a significantly needed piece to his resume that has eluded him for quite some time now: a championship.
Placing LeBron on a team with Wade, who already knows what it takes to win a championship, and Bosh, who is now hungry to win as ever, gives the Heat the most firepower in the league. The three superstars clearly give the team the best chances of winning a championship on paper.
Although the team will now have to fill out the team by signing multiple players to minimum contracts, it all comes down to finding the right guys that fit.
The Celtics built a winning model just seasons ago when they teamed up Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen with Paul Pierce, surrounding them with smart, clutch veterans such as P.J. Brown and Eddie House.
If the Heat can convince a group of their own smart and experienced veterans that they will all have the best chances of winning in Miami, a championship may be in reach this season.
However, having the best chance to win on paper can only take a team so far.
Although all three are primed to compete, chemistry will be an obstacle this season.
As each member of “the dream team” is accustomed to being the one with the ball in their hands at the end of the game, how will two of them cope with being pushed to the side as the third member has his time in the spotlight?
Bosh may be the easiest to concede, as being “the man” in Toronto has not exactly translated into winning. Enlisting in helping and removing certain pressures may come as a very smart move for him.
The real tug of war will come between Wade and LeBron.
While each one is recognized as being a gifted passer, how eager will either of them really be to pass up the opportunity to a win a ballgame?
Furthermore, LeBron James is widely known as being the best player to grace the NBA hardwood floor since Michael Jordon.
As the spotlight comes off him as an individual, and as he begins to relinquish shot opportunities, his prophecy as the “second-coming” may elude him very quickly.
Unlike Bosh, James has relished the opportunities he has gotten to be so widely recognized, and certainly has the talent and intensity to deserve such attention.
Playing on a team such as the Knicks or Bulls, or even remaining with the Cavs, would have given him the opportunity to remain as the center of attention (or even better yet, known as a “savior”) for years to come.
How he handles playing second-fiddle on “Wade’s team” and how that affects the team’s chemistry remains to be seen.
Nevertheless, all things considered (including the considerable pay cut LeBron and his two new star-studded teammates will have to take), the opportunity to team up with such talents as Wade and Bosh is obviously too much for LeBron to pass up.
On paper, the Heat do give him the best chances of winning championships for years to come.
Unfortunately, that type of estimate is simply all he can base his decision on at this time.
While LeBron may not be known as “King James” in Miami, he is still going to be recognized as a key component to winning championships.
If he and his new teammates cannot convert all the potential into production, rest assured all three will be facing the harshest critics of their careers.
After a weekend of persuasive courtship by the Knicks, Amare Stoudemire announced Monday that he will sign with the team on July 8th, the date when free agents are officially able to sign new contracts.
The new acquisition (although a steep one, reportedly at $99.7 million over five years) is the Knicks’ most notable one in years. Stoudemire also provides the team with massive creditability as it continues to attract some of the league’s best players via free agency.
LeBron James, clearly the best of the available players, has revealed that he will announce his decision as to where he will play next season during a primetime, one-hour special on Thursday night (July 8th) at 9:00 p.m. EST to be aired on ESPN.
The long-awaited decision certainly has Knicks fans all around the world incredibly anxious, as does the assumed signing of Stoudemire and every roster move over the last two-plus years leading up to this very moment. The concept of reeling in a star of King James’ stature and sheer talent in order to finally deliver another championship has been the ultimate goal.
In the meantime, fans can take pleasure in watching Amare Stoudemire’s initial appearance donning orange and blue (on his hat, anyway) as he met with the New York media for the first time Monday night.
Aside from winning ballgames, the New York City market demands more from its athletes.
In fact, the athletes have a tendency to become more like celebrities, and how well they are perceived by the media is entirely up to them.
The above notion, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly why Amare Stoudemire is a great fit for the Knicks.
By recruiting the league’s top free agents, the Knicks are obviously trying to improve their team. There is absolutely no denying that Stoudemire is a strong player who could improve the Knicks. All parties involved understand that.
What Stoudemire is proving during this free agent period, however, is that he is precisely the type of persona that simply belongs in New York City.
Stoudemire, someone who never shies away from the media, has made sure his tour of New York is being well-documented, starting from the very second his plane touched the city’s ground.
Through his Twitter account (you can follow him @amareisreal ), Stoudemire has kept all whom are interested informed of his arrival and first day in town, going as far as noting what food he’s enjoying at which restaurants, and the fact that he went to see Broadway’s Rock of Ages.
Jim Baumbach, a reporter for Newsday, further noted that Stoudemire would be spending his Fourth of July watching the game at Yankee Stadium.
After Stoudemire is done enjoying himself, it will be back to business on Monday as he hears the Knicks’ official recruiting pitch. Rest assured that he will be continuing his tweets from there as well, as he was vocal about attending a meeting with his former team, the Phoenix Suns, last week.
In the meantime, he has already been optimistically recruiting players for the Knicks on his own. Of course, the arrival of these players is contingent on whether or not he chooses to ultimately sign with the Knicks.
Stoudemire told The New York Post, “I’ve talked to Carmelo Anthony to come out here, I’ve talked to Tony Parker. Both those guys are ready to join me if I decide to come here, so I’m going to see if we can work it out.”
Of course, while Stoudemire is a free agent, Anthony and Parker are both still under contract with their current respective teams. The idea of Anthony donning orange and blue may have to wait until next season, should he opt not to sign an extension with the Nuggets.
Parker, on the other hand, could come to the Knicks sooner than that. There have been recent rumblings about the possibility of Parker joining the Knicks in exchange for David Lee via sing & trade.
The Knicks would be enticed to make the Parker deal happen quicker, in the event that Stoudemire signs, as he has played with a point guard of Steve Nash’s caliber his entire career.
It is unknown, however, if Lee would be open to signing with San Antonio, and the Knicks likely do not have other assets necessary to complete such a deal.
While fans await Stoudemire’s decision, they can stay posted regarding how much fun he has at today’s Yankee game. Hopefully watching a team with such a successful history and winning culture gives him an idea of how rewarding becoming a star in New York City can really be.
As the clock struck 12:01am early Wednesday, the Knicks were already off and running to conquer its summer free agency quest.
On the very same day that free agents are finally able to negotiate, the Knicks’ recruitment team, consisting of Donnie Walsh, Mike D’Antoni, Allan Houston, and James Dolan have already made stops to talk with certain free agents.
Although Dolan did not reportedly travel to Los Angeles early Wednesday, the rest of the group met with Joe Johnson.
Johnson has maximum contracts offers from both the Knicks and Hawks. Although Johnson has beamed when asked about reuniting with Mike D’Antoni, his visit with the Knicks could already be a waste.
The Hawks, as Johnson’s last team, can add a sixth year to its contract offer, while the Knicks cannot.
Johnson appears close to accepting the Hawks’ offer, as he would leave nearly $25 million on the table if he were to sign with the Knicks instead of the Hawks.
However, there is no time for the Knicks to look back. The tour continued on its rapid pace Thursday afternoon as Dolan joined the group at LeBron James’ home in Ohio.
After Thursday, the free agency tour ultimately becomes the search for James’ perfect running mate, as the Knicks have scheduled meetings in Chicago with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, and Amare Stoudemire shortly after that.
James has told confidants he hopes to have made a decision by Monday. This gives the Knicks only the next few days to lure in a second free agent in order to sweeten the deal.
Dirk Nowitzki will also be in New York Friday night to have dinner with Mavericks teammate Jason Kidd. While it’s unknown whether or not he plans to meet with Knicks’ brass, they would have to fly back in from Chicago late Friday to make that happen.
After all the planning, due diligence, and anticipation, make no mistake Walsh (who is making trips in a wheelchair following his neck surgery two weeks ago) would certainly, nevertheless, lead his brigade back to New York if Dirk comes calling.
The team also met with swing man Mike Miller in L.A. on Thursday.