Rumors abound that LeBron James has played his final regular season game with the Cleveland Cavaliers and is also about to go into his last playoffs campaign for the squad. The Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Houston Rockets are all linked to the three-time NBA champion as potential destinations this summer, but the New York Knicks have recently emerged as another option for the King, according to Bleacher Report.
The 33-year-old James could opt out of the final year of his three-year, $100 million contract with the Cavs this offseason to once again enter unrestricted free agency. Amazingly, he is set to come off one of the best seasons of his career as he averages 27.7 points (the highest since 2009-2010), career-highs of 8.7 rebounds and 9.2 assists, and 1.4 steals in 37.2 minutes per game.
As expected, numerous teams are rumored to be interested in acquiring him with the Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, and even the Cavaliers all raising up billboards in an effort to convince him to come, or to stay in the case of Cleveland. The Knicks have reportedly joined the sweepstakes as well with a banner near the main entrance of the Madison Square Garden daring LeBron to prove he is “King of New York.” The Cavs play the Knicks in the last two games of their regular season campaign.
An article by Bleacher Report‘s Steve Silverman said that New York might try to pursue the 14-time NBA All-Star this summer after the team replaces head coach Jeff Hornacek with someone LeBron would adhere to. The reporter cited James’ former teammate, Dwyane Wade, as saying that ex-Memphis Grizzlies coach David Fizdale should be the man for the job.
Fizdale was one of the Miami Heat’s assistant coaches during Wade and LeBron’s championship-winning tenure in Miami. The two players are said to have remained in close ties with Fizdale off the court even after their stints with the Heat had already ended.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News had actually listed Fizdale as a candidate for the New York coaching job, together with Mark Jackson, Doc Rivers, David Blatt, Jerry Stackhouse, and former Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy.
Meanwhile, King James Gospel‘s Quenton Albertie said that “LeBron isn’t going to sign with the New York Knicks” for a number of reasons, and one of them is the presence of Hornacek as chief bench tactician. He noted that Hornacek’s reputation of “butting heads” with his players and his mediocre head coaching record would instantly be a turn-off for James.