By Sean Sarcu @seansarcu on June 25, 2014
LeBron James will enter NBA free agency on July 1 after opting out of the two years of his contract with the Miami Heat. The Heat aren't the only team worrying about losing a franchise player in free agency; the New York Knicks fear that their cornerstone, Carmelo Anthony, will also sign elsewhere. Those fears would, of course, be entirely forgotten if New York was to nab James. Here are five reasons why the Knicks must sign LeBron.
New York is the biggest market in America, almost one and a half times larger than second-place Los Angeles. The marketing opportunities that would be available to the Knicks upon acquiring James — one of the most famous athletes of the last several decades — would be out of this world.
Tyson Chandler protecting the rim and LeBron defending on the perimeter is a pretty daunting problem for opposing offenses to deal with. The Knicks just barely avoided being a bottom five team in defensive efficiency last year; throw James into the mix and they may just climb into the top five.
As things stand, Derek Fisher is set up to fail. With Anthony possibly heading for greener pastures, the Knicks' roster is a depressing amalgam of horrible contracts, selfishness and an overall lack of talent. Needless to say, the addition of LeBron would make Fisher's job far easier and give him the reasonable shot to succeed right away that he certainly doesn't have at the moment.
All 11 teams Phil Jackson has led to a championship as a head coach featured an all-time great: six with the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan and five with the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant. Adding LeBron to the Knicks' roster gives Jackson that elusive transcendent talent to build the team around and begin going after championship No. 12 as a coach in earnest.
James is a much better player than the rather one-dimensional Anthony; with New York, LeBron would more or less equal Anthony's point output while also being a much better facilitator and far superior defender. James wouldn't be just a replacement for Carmelo — he'd be a huge step up from him.
Sean Sarcu is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.
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