NBA Rumors: Knicks Thought New York Would Be A ‘Logical Place’ For LeBron James In 2010 Free Agency
The New York Knicks suffered a huge embarrassment when they were snubbed by their top two targets, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, last summer. Months before free agency started, Knicks owner James Dolan proudly announced that multiple superstars would be heading to New York in the 2019 NBA offseason. While Durant and Irving ended up leaving their respective teams in free agency, they both signed with the other team situated in New York City, the Brooklyn Nets.
Being unable to acquire big names on the free agency market isn’t a new story for the Knicks. In the summer of 2010, the Knicks were among the NBA teams who aggressively pursued LeBron James. According to Brad Botkins of CBS Sports, the Knicks thought that James considered New York as a “logical place” to stay after he bolted from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“We felt he would definitely leave [Cleveland], and we thought [New York] was the logical place for him,” a source who was within the Knicks organization in 2010 told CBS Sports. “Madison Avenue, [we would be able to] build around him because we had a lot of cap room we had emptied out for that summer, we had a couple good young players and we played in the Garden. CC Sabathia was front row at many of our games, which fueled [the rumors] even more. People’s assumptions were all pointing him our way.”
It’s not a surprise why the Knicks were optimistic about acquiring James in the 2010 NBA free agency. The Knicks entered the summer of 2010 with enough cap space to offer James a maximum contract and chase another superstar on the free agency market. Before the free agency started, the source who spoke to Botkin revealed that the Knicks were already having discussions with other NBA superstars whom they were planning to pair with James in New York.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to convince James to sign with the Knicks as he ended up forming “Big Three” with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat. According to a previous The Inquisitr article, the Knicks had a realistic chance of acquiring James, who considered them as their “first choice” in the 2010 NBA free agency. However, after a “disaster” meeting with the Knicks, James decided that it would be in his best interest to take his talent somewhere else.
In hindsight, there’s no doubt that James made the right decision to sign with the Heat instead of the Knicks in the 2010 NBA free agency. The Heat’s “Big Three” of James, Wade, and Bosh made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won back-to-back NBA championship titles in 2012 and 2013.