If the Cavaliers lose to Boston, does that mean LeBron goes to New York? The New York Daily News says yes. Darren Rovell – of CNBC – disagrees. Although no one knows what LeBron is really thinking about his impending free agency (at least, no one who is willing to talk to the media), Rovell’s arguments about the money involved has considerable merits. As Rovell notes
- LeBron will get maximum NBA money in New York or Cleveland
- LeBron and the Cavaliers appear on TV far more often than the Knicks. Why? The Cavaliers win and the Knicks are losers.
- Endorsement deals are not just driven by market-size but by winning.
Yes, the Knicks will win more with LeBron (a point made in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago). But right now, the Cavaliers supporting cast trumps what the Knicks can offer (in other words, LeBron wins even more often in Cleveland). And if that doesn’t change, Rovell argues (and I agree) LeBron is better off playing for someone besides the Knicks. Certainly in terms of the emerging Chinese market (a point Rovell also makes), the money is probably going to flow to an NBA champion. It will not flow to a really good player toiling away for a less-than-great team in New York.
So maybe Knicks fans shouldn’t root for the Celtics. At this point, it looks like New Yorkers are sacrificing their beliefs as sports fans for a very unlikely potential return.