Before LeBron James brought his talent to South Beach and signed with the Miami Heat during the 2010 offseason, he reportedly had a real interest in joining the New York Knicks.
According to The Ringer's Bill Simmons, the stars were lined up for James to go to the Knicks and possibly establish years of winning. Simmons said Monday that the Knicks "could not stay on the sidelines."
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"From everyone I've spoken to knowingly since, it's clear that the Knicks were the first choice. And I'm sorry, Knicks fans, ear muffs. But basically it was the Knicks who lost, and just couldn't stay out of their way. And the stories are legendary, "he said on his podcast.
“They had the legendary meeting. Donnie Walsh was in the wheelchair, and [Knicks owner James] Dolan was Dolan. And it was complete: they had nothing prepared. And it couldn't have gotten worse, by all accounts. It was a disaster. I think at the time, combined with the decade that the Knicks just had, I think those guys were like "f – k".
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That disastrous meeting reportedly included hiring "The Sopranos" actors James Gandolfini and Edie Falco for it. James refused to give the Knicks a second meeting and eventually signed with the Heat, joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and ultimately winning two championships.
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New York would eventually sign Amar’e Stoudemire and trade for Carmelo Anthony. The team has not reached the NBA Finals since 1999.