For Knicks fans who still desperately want to believe that LeBron James will be coming to New York after this season, the linchpin of their argument is the city itself. James is from Ohio, can make more money staying with the Cavaliers and they've got a better team around him, but there isn't a New Yorker alive who honestly believes that a person would choose living in Cleveland over the Big Apple.
Urbocentrism at its worst? Maybe, but its true and the latest tidbit to come out of LeBron's current home isn't going to do much to shake their certainty that James will choose our city when push comes to shove. On March 5th, the Cavaliers are trying to secure the world record for largest gathering of people wearing fleece blankets by giving Snuggies to every fan who comes through the gates.
The fans will then be asked to check their dignity at the door, slide their arms through the sleeves and sit for five minutes so that the faded Rust Belt city can be known for something other than a river that catches fire. Whether it is actually a less shameful identity depends on one's point of view, but it's hardly something that serves as a selling point.
Let's review. In New York, LeBron would play in front of Jay-Z. In Cleveland, a guy in a Snuggie. In New York, LeBron could go to restaurants or clubs after the game filled with celebrities. In Cleveland, there will be a long line of guys with Snuggies at the drive-thru. In New York, captains of industry will be falling all over themselves to get into the LeBron business. In Cleveland, guys in Snuggies will be spilling on themselves. How does a man make such a choice?
Kidding aside, we know that the fact that a bunch of Cavaliers fans are forced to wear backward robes probably won't factor into James's decision. We also agree with the many, many people who believe that in this day and age, playing in New York or some other market with entertainments that don't involve infomercial products isn't as significant as it might have been in the past for someone's financial and marketing success.
Still, the truth is no one outside of James and a select few others has any idea what he's thinking. He hasn't re-signed with the Cavs, even though he knows there is a maximum salary that he can make there or elsewhere. Obviously part of that is so that the Cavs don't get complacent or cheap about keeping up the caliber of the players around him, but it is equally obvious that he wants to see what else is out there in the basketball world.
Cleveland's giving him Snuggies, now it's our move.