Monday, November 24, 2008

LeBron James -- Living In The Lake House

Man, have I been in a state. No, not a Fav-ruh-induced Jets just schooled the undefeated Titans state. A state that, incidentally, has prompted some rather troubling dreams in which the world is overpopulated with a species of Brett Fav-ruhs, and I have to decide if it’s ethical to hunt him--the way he hunts, well, just about anything with a pulse. Mine is a different kind of state.

You know when in a soap opera one of the characters gets into an accident and then when she wakes up all this time has passed but she doesn’t initially realize it until she looks at a newspaper or something? Well, that’s what I thought was happening to me. But it turns out it wasn’t the case. I wasn’t in an accident and it is, apparently, still 2008. I realized that when I got past the sports page and saw that we were still in an economic crisis and confused about which bailouts were going to rescue the good people on main street. What a relief.

The downside, of course, is that this must mean I’m crazy, right? How else could I have possibly gotten confused about the friggin’ year, for crying out loud. You might hear such a tale and wonder if I’ve been living in the lake house. But, in my defense, reading some of the following headlines, couldn’t you just as easily have gotten confused?

"Teams Prepare For the Courtship of LeBron James.” "New Jersey Nets Think Knicks Eyeing LeBron James." “The Knicks Get Ready for Their 2010 Free Agency Pool."

So, you tell me; who’s living in the lake house?

All this gossip about LeBron in New York has been pretty inescapable of late what with the recent Knicks trades that cleared salary cap space for the summer of 2010. And I get that people, sports journalists particularly, are intrigued by the recent developments. But, honestly, and I say this with all due respect, and nothing against sports journalists, but seriously, stop talking about it.

First of all, the Knicks have sucked so much for so long, and now we’re finally a little bit not so sucky. My thought? Let's focus on that. How do we capitalize on the current state of not-so-suckiness? This season. Maybe next season. Try, perhaps, to figure out how we can work through the communication breakthroughs that leave some players saying that they had been willing to play in certain games while other coaches are saying that they weren’t. Because guess what? People will be more likely to actually want to come play for New York if we can get through a year or two without all the dramamine. Well, that’s not true; if history is any indication of anything, people will want to play for whatever team offers them the most money. But you get what I’m saying. Can we, like, be here now a little bit?

Second, I am a Knicks fan as much as anyone can really be a Knicks fan—they make it hard. Would it be good for the Knicks if LeBron came to New York someday? Barring unforeseen injury or psychological disorder, obviously. Is LeBron currently playing in New York? No. Given that he’s playing for Cleveland, that he has established his fan base and stardom in Cleveland, is his obligation to tell everyone to shut their yaps because the only thing he’s focused on is bringing home a Cavalier championship this year? Uh, yeah. Kind of.

Even though it’s totally sacrelig for me to say so, I prefer LeBron as a Cav. The Knicks are like a dysfunctional family that you love because you have to but you wouldn’t really wish on anyone who you actually liked. LeBron will do what he wants at the end of the day, and, from I understand about him, he is ultimately his own chief advisor. But assuming for a second that we lived in some kind of fantasy world where what I said mattered to him, I’d tell him to stay put in Cleveland, where the team is awesome, the owner is salt of the earth, and the fans are Midwest like high fructose corn syrup—as is he.

Either way, like I said, until the time comes for the King to make his decision, I think it’s incumbent upon him to be making more of an effort to silence the speculation. To let people know that whether he’s a Knick, a Net, or a backup dancer for Beyonce come 2010, it's of little consequence because, currently, his only goal is getting the good people of Cleveland their trophy. Their shiny stuff, put in words that Stephon Marbury would understand.

But better do it, and do it soon. Because it’s no longer just about crazy futuristic headlines that confuse intelligent but, perhaps, easily disoriented people like me. That was just where it started. It has since evolved into this: “Knicks Could Help Lead CC to New York.”

Yes, the latest in this tiresome thread of news stories is that CC Sabathia is going to sign with the Yankees—not because they've offered him a a disgustingly enormous sum of money—but because in two years, he speculates the Knicks will probably go after LeBron and that he will probably say yes. And apparently CC loves LeBron so much that he is willing to make major life choices around the possibility that some day in the future they might eventually live in the same city, assuming a number of other things happen or don’t happen in the interim. And, by the way, Sabathia is married with two kids. But, yeah, I guess the prospect of staying up nights and watching old Golden Girls reruns with LeBron while braiding each other’s hair in their lofts in Tribeca TWO YEARS FROM NOW is a compelling enough possibility to outweigh any other considerations about what might be best for his family.

I’m going to hit you with a truth bomb—Tim McCarver style. Despite whatever conversations CC Sabathia and LeBron James may have had with each other in the past about how cute and fun it would be to play sports in New York—and, sure, maybe they have had such conversations—those conversations are not going to dictate the real life decisions they make. The ones that will determine their futures. Even if those conversations did involve pinky swears. Good God. These are grown ass men. And this is sports. Not camp.

Oh, Lawd. And I thought golf was crazy.

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