Leon Rose is running the show in New York now and the Knicks have not been relevant since they last made the Finals
1999 and no I don’t consider Carmelo Anthony’s time in New York anything to reminisce about. LeBron has a player option next summer in which he could decide to opt in to the last year of his Laker contract or opt out and test free-agency. It’s not looking like Damian Lillard will be hoisting up a championship trophy anytime soon, you can be optimistic all you want about a healthy Jusuf Nurkic rejoining the line-up next season which will help a ton but the guy is a injury waiting to happen and no one knows what will be of Carmelo Anthony or whether he will be brought back for next season. Sure the Blazers can make a run next season and who knows maybe they blow the NBA away and Damian Lillard finally captures that long-alluded title but I would not bet on it with the Clippers,Rockets,and Lakers more than likely coming back looking the same next season assuming Anthony Davis decides to remain a Laker.
We are seeing LeBron James at the point guard position this season and he has led the league in assists all year and arguably the leading candidate for the MVP award considering he has the Lakers atop the West but I think LeBron James knows no matter how many titles he wins in Los Angeles he won’t be praised the way Kobe Bryant was since he is only on a tour there and hasn’t been a long time Laker. The objective for LeBron was to bring a championship back to LA whether it is this season whenever it resumes or next season his mission will be accomplished there and he could move on. LeBron will be making $41 million dollars on the last year of his deal and will be 37 playing on the Knicks, he won’t be flying around like he was in Miami but I think Damian Lillard and LeBron James could make some noise in New York and maybe LeBron could bring the Knicks their first NBA title since 1973. If LeBron is able to bring a title to the Lakers and Knicks before his career is over he would be the undisputed GOAT and it won’t even be a conversation any longer.
I am sure LeBron James loves playing with Anthony Davis and maybe LeBron re-ups with an extension to remain a Laker for the rest of his career and chase titles alongside Anthony Davis but the NBA has become a business meaning player movement is normal nowadays. Anthony Davis left the Pelicans and did not sign an extension because he wanted to start racking up titles and the Pelicans granted him his wish but trading him to the Lakers where he can play alongside 1st Ballot Hall-of-Famer LeBron James. Just something to throw out there as the Knicks are looking for that next disgruntled star and I was just connecting the dots and it all makes sense to me. LeBron James loved playing alongside Kyrie Irving and was ready to hand over the offense to Kyrie Irving but Kyrie Irving ultimately wanted out of Cleveland, LeBron and Lillard together would bring back memories of Kyrie and LeBron since Lillard is a high scoring guard just like Kyrie Irving and Damian Lillard would take a load of pressure off LeBron James’s shoulders as LeBron no longer has godly athleticism he once possessed which allowed him to steam roll opponents in his younger days. The big question is how would the Knicks build around Damian Lillard and LeBron James and who would they trade away to bring over Damian Lillard?
The Knicks at the moment have a ton of young talent with untapped ceilings in Frank Ntilikina,RJ Barrett,Mitchell Robinson, and Kevin Knox. They also have draft picks they can offer the Portland Trailblazers to sweeten up the deal. It has been failure after failure year after year with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum leading the way and them getting swept by a Durant-less Warrior team in last year’s Conference Finals is a big red flag in my opinion, if the Blazers fail once again next season it’s time for Neil Olshey to consider a rebuild. Continuity is great and the Blazers have been loyal to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum awarding them with extensions despite losing once again last season but the makeup of the roster is not championship material. They have a young combo guard in Anfernee Simons waiting on the wings who would be ready to step in and usher the Blazers into a new era along with young guns Nassir Little and Zach Collins so the future in Portland is bright. The breakup won’t be ugly and if Damian Lillard is mature he would not take him getting traded away personal as it is simply the Blazers looking to move in a different direction.
As for LeBron James on the Lakers he has all the pressure in the world to win a title in dedication of former Laker legend Kobe Bryant and hopefully he pulls through and the Lakers capture the title. Looking at the team they have a ton of veterans with short term-deals and I just get the sense Rob Pelinka put this team together to win a title or 2 and move on. We don’t know how LeBron James is looking at his tenure on the Lakers, he seems settled in LA with his family and has been accomplishing a ton off the basketball court from TV Shows to the up and coming film Space Jam 2. I remember when LeBron James came to New York in his last year in Cleveland and him donning King of NY shoes which lead me to believe he loves playing at Madison Square Garden and there is a correlation there, it’s been there since 2010 when LeBron became the biggest free-agent in NBA history but him coming to New York was considered a pipe dream at that moment. Ultimately LeBron James in New York sells and the NBA is all about revenue and even though the Knicks have been mediocre for the most part over the past 20 years they still fill up the arena.
To conclude we know LeBron James loves the spotlight and the Lakers are a storied franchise just like the Knicks so maybe LeBron ultimately decides it would be better to catch Kareem on the all-time scoring list in a Laker uniform but if there is any franchise where it would be even better to accomplish the feat it would be in New York. I look at LeBron and I think about Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar two former superstars who played late into their 30’s and statistically came second to none as they sustained high levels of production consistently through their whole careers that will be LeBron James as well. Maybe it is a bit far fetched to believe LeBron James will win titles in LA and NY but if he wants to become the greatest player of all-time winning two more titles one in LA and one in NY along with becoming the all-time leading scorer would put the stamp on it. Sorry Michael Jordan yes you won 6 rings but we never saw you outside Phil Jackson’s triangle offense and when we did you never won anything of significance. Although I already believe LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all-time a ton of NBA fans still aren’t convinced and maybe they never will be but to uplift 4 different franchises and carry them to titles is something that has never been done in the history of the NBA, we shall see how it all plays out till next time.