Over the weekend, it was posited that the Knicks may be targeting Jason Kidd to be their next head coach mainly as an attempt to lure Giannis Antetokounmpo to New York when he becomes a free agent next summer.
How would that work out? We won’t have a final answer for sure until next summer (if ever), but if this story is any indication, perhaps the team might want to either re-think – or heavily ramp up – that effort.
In the latest edition of his BS Podcast on The Ringer, Bill Simmons relayed a story about how the Knicks were LeBron James’ preferred destination during the “Summer of LeBron" in 2010 – you know, the one so ballyhooed that his decision to “take his talents to South Beach” were relayed from a Connecticut Boys & Girls Club – but the Knicks couldn’t get out of their own way.
"From everyone I've talked to in the know since then, it's clear that the Knicks were the first choice. It was basically the Knicks' to lose, and they just couldn't stay out of their own way. The stories are legendary."
According to Simmons, the Knicks’ meeting was with LeBron was so bad that he refused a second sit-down in New York before deciding to join up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. And sit-down is an appropriate term, as the star-studded video presentation the Knicks reportedly put together for LeBron included a ton of New York legends, in sports or otherwise – including James Gandolfini and Edie Falco reprising their roles from “The Sopranos” to help James find a home in midtown.
Apparently, much like the ending to their show – one LeBron was a huge fan of, mind you – there was much left to be desired.
“Dolan was Dolan. They didn't have anything prepared. It just couldn't have gone worse by all accounts. It was a disaster. I think at that point, combined with the decade the Knicks just had, I think those guys were just like ‘(bleep) it,'" Simmons said.
The frustrating part of all this for Knicks fans is that, perhaps unlike with Antetokounmpo, the Knicks had the cap space and the ability to make what happened in South Beach star instead on Broadway. With $34 million in cap space that summer, all the Knicks would have needed to do to land the “Heatles,” as they came to be known, was leverage some of their younger assets into the sign-and-trade deals needed to open up another $10 million or so and still keep the superstar trio eligible for everything they got in their contracts with Miami.
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroWFAN