Osi Umenyiora to LeBron: Stay Out of New York

Giants defensive end tries on his ambassador cap

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, May 20, 2010  |  Updated 11:30 AM EDT
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Osi Umenyiora to LeBron: Stay Out of New York

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Osi ain't a fan of LeBron.

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If you took a poll of 100 people in the area and asked them if they'd like to see LeBron James play his basketball in town, 100 of them would say yes and then ask what they could do to make it happen.

The only way you'd get a different result is if Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora was one of the people involved in the survey.

The incessant complainer took to the Internet so he could suggest James remain in Cleveland and reject any overtures from the Knicks. Umenyiora thinks it is awfully tough to lose games when you play in New York and that it is difficult to play on such a big stage.

"I know New York would love to have him and I'm sure Knicks fans hope he comes. Personally, I think he should stay in Cleveland. They need him and he's a Cleveland guy. It would be great to have him in New York but I think he should stay there. Ultimately, he has to make the decision that's best for him and his family."

Thanks, Osi! Could you call Governor Paterson next and ask him to find some new taxes? And, while we're at it, thanks Jerry Reese for not trading Umenyiora to the Browns this offseason. Then his unique recruitment skills would actually be appreciated.

Listen, LeBron, don't pay any attention to this clown. Life in New York is tough for him, because he's the kind of guy who runs out of his team's practice, throws tantrums whenever he gets taken out of a game, starts trying for a new contract moments after signing one and threatens retirement if he isn't restored to the starting lineup.

Win or lose, there aren't sports fans in New York who like it when players act like four-year-olds instead of helping their teams avoid an epic collapse in the final 11 games of their season. 

This is a guy who publicly and incredulously asked earlier this week why everyone was so convinced he'd be a divisive force on the Giants. That's like asking a waiter why he's bringing you steak frites 25 minutes after you order steak frites. Maybe it is too many blows to the head, but Umenyiora isn't a guy who seems to understand the simple fact that what you say and do helps determine how people react to you. His experience won't be LeBron's experience, unless LeBron is dead set on making people not like him.   

Do players get booed in New York? Yes, they do. Did you happen to catch any of those Knicks games this year, though? 

Hopefully you did and hopefully it was one of the ones where the Garden was packed to watch Bill Walker, Sergio Rodriguez and Earl Barron and cheering their hearts out for a team on its way to 29 victories. We're dying for you here, Bron-Bron, and basketball fans will  welcome you with arms wide open.

Just as soon as they join Giants fans in hiring a skywriter to tell Umenyiora to do less talking and more sacking.  

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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