The likelihood of LeBron James coming to the New York Knicks during free agency this upcoming summer is slim to none. But that hasn’t stopped the organization from going for it.
A report over the weekend by Marc Berman of the New York Post disclosed that team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry reached out to James’ agent, Rich Paul.
However, it wasn’t about James, which could have been classified as tampering considering the Cavaliers forward doesn’t become a free agent until July 1. Instead, the Knicks and Paul discussed the credentials of David Fizdale, whom the team hired as their head coach last week.
Even if James wasn’t mentioned, it very well could have been a move with him in mind.
James worked with Fizdale during his time with the Miami Heat, the latter once an assistant under Erik Spoelstra. The superstar has had nothing but good things to say about Fizdale, (h/t Cleveland Plain Dealer):
“I think he’s a good coach, a good communicator. He’s never going to shy away from whatever he feels is right. I’m happy for Fiz, obviously. He gets an opportunity to showcase what he’s about. So, we’ll see what happens. Obviously, I don’t speak for the Knicks at all, but I’m happy for Fiz.”
Fizdale himself admitted that he and James have a good relationship due to the fact that there is “respect through telling the truth to each other,” (h/t Steve Serby, New York Post) while “being there for each other when we hit the low moments.”
James was one of Fizdale’s biggest supporters after he was suddenly fired from his gig as Memphis Grizzlies head coach at the beginning of the season.
Regardless, don’t expect the hiring of Fizdale to be enough to lure James to Madison Square Garden this summer. There will be greener pastures calling with the likes of young and reloading teams like the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers.
Compared to them, the Knicks have little to offer as their star, Kristaps Porzingis, might not even play in 2018-19 as he continues to recover from a torn ACL suffered in February.
For a veteran who will turn 34 midway through next season, James doesn’t have time to help completely reverse the fortunes of another NBA franchise like he did with the Cavaliers.