Saturday , Apr , 05 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Knicks or Nets? Which New York Franchise Has Inside Track on LeBron James

An economic slow-down has delayed the Nets’ stadium construction. James-to-New-York is still a possibility, but the three-man could be bound for Manhattan instead of Brooklyn.

After years of futility, a light is appearing at the end of The Garden’s dark tunnel. Donnie Walsh, the Pacers’ veteran executive, is now running the Knicks …

Knicks or Nets? Which New York Franchise Has Inside Track on LeBron James

Like you, I’ve heard endless rumours LeBron James will opt-out of his contract in July 2010 and head to The Big Apple. And like you, I always assumed he’d join the Brooklyn Nets.

After all, Brooklyn, the Mecca of basketball, is building a posh new stadium to house the New Jersey franchise. In New York, the sponsorship cash would flow like champagne backstage at a Jay-Z concert. Speaking of Sean Carter, the rapper owns part of the Nets and he regularly hangs with James.

Free agency. New York. The Jigga Man. Over the years, analysts have added these factors up and just assumed James would leave the Cavaliers for the Nets.

Hold on. There is a twist. An economic slow-down has delayed the Nets’ stadium construction. James-to-New-York is still a possibility, but the three-man could be bound for Manhattan instead of Brooklyn.

After years of futility, a light is appearing at the end of The Garden’s dark tunnel. Donnie Walsh, the Pacers’ veteran executive, is now running the Knicks.

At a recent press conference, he set two goals. First, he wants to restore the team’s credibility. And second, he wants to spend two-to-three years reducing salary and saving cap space.

Suppose Walsh achieves both goals. James would surely give the Knicks a New York minute as a free agent in the summer of 2010. Sponsors, like Nike, could also provide financial incentives for him to sign in such a major market.

Of course, the biggest incentive for James would be healing the NBA’s flagship franchise.

Knicks, Nets, or Cavaliers? Where will LeBron James sign in the summer of 2010? Get at us in the comment box below and click here to read and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA blog. Image appears courtesy of flickr.com.