As if the Boston Celtics haven’t given me enough reasons to despise them over the years – winning all those championships and going from irrelevant to world-beaters in the course of a few months by importing Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen – the Cs have now done something that may be unforgivable from my viewpoint: they’ve given Knicks fans hope.
The out and out cheerleading for LeBron James from New York Magazine and the Daily News was innocent enough. Frank Isola, before he was openly belittling reporters from Ohio, was telling me to “not take myself so seriously” for mocking the Daily News for their ridiculous pandering to James in October. But now that the Celtics have successfully knocked off the Cleveland Cavaliers with their 94-85 victory last night, I think all Nets fans who are unfortunately immersed in NYC media have to brace themselves for what’s about to happen. If you thought this idea that it’s LeBron’s “destiny” to come to the Knicks was bad before, it’s about to reach intolerable levels.
I have believed all season that LeBron would stick it out in Cleveland, but a lot of that was based on the idea that the Cavs were such a good team, I couldn’t imagine a scenario where they weren’t at least in the Finals this June. The fact that they were knocked out in the Eastern Conference semifinals, against a team that resembled a barely warm corpse a few weeks ago (remember that stunning punch in the mouth you took from Courtney Lee and the Nets in February, Celtics fans? I’m not letting you forget, yet) may change things up a bit. I’ve maintained that LeBron goes where he has the best chance to win it all. If that team they built up in Cleveland this season can’t even get past the second round, then I have to wonder if that franchise is ever going to put the pieces together, especially as they become more financially limited with LeBron holding a max contract.
With that said, I still think it would be beyond ridiculous to assume that if LeBron leaves Cleveland, it’s only to come to the Knicks. Notice how I don’t write “New York” there. Because while Frank Isola, Will Leitch and their gang of cheerleaders may think that New York only means the Garden, I think Daniel Goldstein and his $3 million buyout will tell you that the Nets and Brooklyn are very much a reality and if LeBron and his agent don’t think they can’t make their “billion” playing two years in a major city 10 minutes outside of NY before spending the rest of their remaining years in NYC’s best borough (and I say this as a newly minted Brooklyn resident), then they’re nuts. However, I would be remiss in mentioning teams like Chicago, Sacramento, the Clippers and Miami, who will have the same ability as the Knicks and the Nets to sign LeBron or another max guy this summer. But don’t expect Frank Isola to let those facts to get in the way of a good photoshop contest, or an exclusive interview with Lenny the cab driver, who “knows” LeBron is coming here to win championships with Eddy Curry and the cock, Rooster, Danilo Gallinari. Because those guys are superior components when compared to Shaq, Antawn Jamison, and Mo Williams.