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Thursday, July 1, 2010

“But does Cleveland have Spike?”

It’s like LeBron’s high school Hummer all over, this bidding war. Only now, it’s a choice of cities to live in. Here’s what’s going to happen. LeBron isn’t going to the 212. Not for a billion that won’t happen and not because their video plea sucks like a 1982 tourism vid, but because Riles will walk in all chill with D-Wade. He’ll have the ring on, maybe play with it ever so slightly, and start in not about life on Ocean Drive, but about how Shaq *probably* has one more year in him to help LeBron get his. But then he’ll say how you don’t need the dominant game changing center the way you used to, and look what the Celtics did last year with their starting three (and almost again this year).* While he knows the Knicks and the mess that Dolan brings to the table, he’ll keep that part to himself. Instead, he’ll mention casually that now as team president, he has the power to surround LeBron with who and whatever he needs, something he didn’t have in *other* cities as coach. How he understands the game as both a scrappy bench player himself and then as coach of Magic just what the other GMs couldn’t possibly know, that the importance of role players to a championship run is critical. Then he fusses with the other ring from the City he’s in now before he tells King James to follow his heart. But Riles biggest trick will be convincing everyone else on the team that LeBron is The Man™ because The Man™ doesn’t flourish in an environment where he can’t be, The Man™.**

*Shhh. Is Gasol as good without Kobe? Shhh. No. Please, just stop right now.

** I have zero proof of any of this, just my sports fan intuition that the Knicks will never recapture Willis Reed glory in my lifetime.

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