Forget about the Yankees and their World Series victory, New Yorkers. There's something considerably bigger to celebrate. That's right, LeBron James is in town!
And the New York media loves days like Friday, when they can repeatedly grill a star over why he would willingly live anywhere else or play in any other market. Especially since this will be James' only visit to New York this season.
But here's a bit of news:
The Knicks stink.
Here's some more:
LeBron James won't be playing for them anytime soon.
OK, that's not news as much as it is a gut feeling. I don't throw around guarantees, but if I did, this would be one of them.
That's because LeBron James is from Akron. He still lives in Akron -- and commutes to work.
I am also from Akron. I still live in Akron, too, about eight miles from James. And I know I sure wouldn't want to move to New York for the right to earn less money.
But that's exactly what LeBron would be doing -- taking a pay cut to move to a larger, more expensive city.
For the uneducated, the NBA salary structure is set up so that no one can pay James close to what the Cavs can when his contract expires next summer. They are the only team allowed to go over the salary cap to sign him. (The operative word there being OVER.)
Now, you probably already knew that.
You're probably saying, "Duh, Amico."
You're probably getting ready to tell me how New York is The World‘s Largest Market, how James would triple his endorsement opportunities by playing there, how it'll be all bright lights in the big city for the king of basketball ... yada, yada, yada.
Yeah, well, hogwash.
Anyone who thinks LeBron's earning power will take a hit because he lives in the Midwest has never heard of the Internet or cable TV.
Where did LeBron live when he hosted Saturday Night Live? Akron.
Where did he live when he co-hosted the ESPYs with Jimmy Kimmel? Akron.
Where did his very own mother recently say he would stay? You got it. Akron.
Besides all that, New York is a dump. It's OK to say it, people. You know it and I know it. The place is just one gigantic pigsty.
And besides that, the Knicks aren't exactly the type of franchise that will have guys lining up to play for them. Not for less money, anyway.
Seriously. Have you looked at the Knicks' starting lineup lately? Is there really a guy in it who should be a starter in this league?
Oh, I know. New Yorkers dream of a LeBron-Dwyane Wade pairing, or a dynamic duo of LeBron and Chris Bosh. But unless the Knicks miraculously find a way to unload the hefty contract of hefty center Eddy Curry (signed through 2011), as well as the one belonging to stagnant forward Jared Jeffries (also signed through ‘11) ... well, if LeBron goes to New York, he'll be going alone.
Basically, this would have to be the Knicks' sales pitch to James:
Hi LeBron. We know you already play for one of the four best teams in the NBA, not to mention an organization that has proven it will do whatever it takes to surround you with talent. But we think you should come play for our sorry butts for a lot less money, because, you know, we're in New York. In other words, all we really have to go on is the theory you will receive triple the exposure living here -- which may or may not be true. One thing we don‘t want to mention is the fact it will also be triple the headaches.
Ah, no one is really saying that, huh?
After all, where does LeBron shop today? Akron.
Where does he go out to eat? Akron.
Where does he get a free pass, regardless of what he says or does, like no other athlete in Cleveland history? Akron, folks. Akron.
Heck, the Browns traded their best receiver for messing with one of LeBron's friends. Think the Jets would do that if Braylon Edwards and James crossed paths in New York?
So, hey, Knicks fans, enjoy LeBron's visit to your city while it lasts. He won't be returning until next season.
Unfortunately for you, he'll still be wearing the same uniform when does.
Sam Amico covers the Cavaliers and NBA for NBA.com, and is a regular contributor to The Cleveland Fan and SportsTime Ohio.