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#pounditWednesday, January 20, 2021

LeBron James had a ‘disaster’ free agent meeting with Knicks in 2010?

LeBron James

LeBron James’ infamous 2010 free agency period seems like ages ago, and in fact, was a decade ago. James left Cleveland that summer for Miami, later returned to Cleveland, and then he left Cleveland again, this time for Los Angeles. His career has seen him put on several different jerseys, but is unlikely to include a chapter of him wearing the blue and orange of the New York Knicks. But 10 years ago, he seemingly was close to choosing them.

Back in 2010, James met with the New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls in addition to the Knicks and Heat as he contemplated his future. It’s easy to forget that James was said to be seriously considering the Knicks at the time. In fact, there was even a strong rumor that LeBron was going to choose the Knicks.

So what happened? Bill Simmons said on his podcast that the Knicks’ meeting with James was a “disaster.”

“They had the legendary meeting. Donnie Walsh was in the wheelchair, and (James) Dolan was Dolan. And it was just a complete – they didn’t have anything prepared. And it just couldn’t have gone worse, by all accounts. It was a disaster,” Simmons said.

Maybe Simmons was exaggerating for effect and the meeting didn’t quite go as badly as he says, but James didn’t pick the Knicks. Instead, New York landed the Amar’e Stoudemire/Carmelo Anthony combination and made the playoffs three years in a row, peaking as a 54-win team in 2012-2013. They haven’t made the playoffs since.

James won two championships with the Heat and a third in Cleveland. Now he’s trying to win his first with the Lakers and fourth overall. It seemed like James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh had plans to team up in Miami all along, but maybe the Knicks’ meeting with James made the debate easier. Plus, Wade got the feeling the Knicks didn’t want him anyway.

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