When the Knicks meet with LeBron James on Thursday, they'll be offering the free agent a vision as bold as New York itself: Create your own dynasty.
A league source with understanding of New York's plans told SI.com that the Knicks will recruit the Cavaliers' two-time MVP with a grandiose vision of surrounding him with Hawks shooting guard Joe Johnson as well as an elite power forward -- Chris Bosh of the Raptors or Amar'e Stoudemire of the Suns -- to form a starring trio capable of contending for championships for years to come.
So basically, it's the exact same thing, except instead of Dwyane Wade, the Knicks are touting Joe Johnson as a sidekick. Doesn't sound very convincing to me.
How are the Knicks trying to sell it?
The Knicks have decided to target Johnson instead of Wade because of concerns that Wade and James are too similar in style and could clash over control of the ball, according to the source. Though 6-foot-7 Johnson is a four-time All-Star who has led Atlanta to 100 wins over the last two seasons, he is viewed as a complementary player who is capable of joining with James and other stars in a constructive way.
The Knicks will enhance the offer by pointing out the numerous off-court opportunities available to star athletes in the world's largest media market, enabling the players to ultimately make more money in New York than each could on a max contract in other NBA cities.
There are two problems with this. One, Johnson is much worse than Wade, and dominated the ball just as much on a Hawks team that had a much more talented supporting cast than Wade's Heat. Two, while New York may offer endorsement opportunities, Miami offers no state income tax and, well, Miami. Considering it's 2010, and you can market yourself from anywhere, that has to be worth more to LeBron.
So yeah. It's an admirable effort you're making, New York, but that doesn't mean it'll actually work.