Have no fear Cavs fans, LeBron isn't going anywhere.
Despite all of the hullabaloo, there's only one crazy chance that he'll end up in New York: If he really does believe that he's superhuman enough to transform the Nix into a championship team. But it's hard to believe that even LeBron is that delusional.
Otherwise, the Knicks are out-of-bounds for several reasons: Even though Mike D'Antoni is touted as being a players' coach, the truth is that he communicates only with his favored corps of 7-8 key players and rarely deigns to even talk to the others.
Also, it would take all of LeBron's talents to raise the Knicks to a .500 level.
Moreover, given his universal celebrity, LeBron is already at the center of the NBA universe. Playing in NYC wouldn't result in more endorsements, bio-pics, books and what-not coming his way.
And, the entire discussion of the possibility of his coming to New York is a bogus one. That's because the metropolitan-area media is so hard-pressed to find anything remotely interesting to say about the Knicks, that the idea of LBJ signing there is big "news" only by default.
It should also be noted that Nike is quietly, but effectively, playing up the mystery of LeBron's ultimate destination as a way of getting more publicity for him and of selling more boots.
The whole shebang comes down to this: If James does leave Cleveland, the entire franchise would instantly become moribund. It's highly doubtful that LeBron wants to have the dissolution of the Cavs as the centerpiece of his legacy.
You are frequently critical of the post play in today's NBA, so I am curious to know who you think are the best post-scorers in the game right now. No versatile players like Kobe and Carmelo -- big men only, please. If you want to throw in your five best all-time post scorers, that would be a great bonus. - Doug Seibold, Evanston, IL
Discounting put-backs and dunks/layups created by incoming passes, today's best big-men point-makers in the low post include the following: Carlos Boozer, Elton Brand, Tim Duncan, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Chris Kaman, Luis Scola, Shaq and Yao Ming. Of these, only Duncan, Gasol, Shaq (even in his dotage) and Yao (if he ever returns to his previous level) would qualify somewhere on the list as all-time greats in this category.
The five best ever would include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Elvin Hayes, Bob Lanier and Moses Malone. The next five are Hakeem Olajuwon (only because he scored as much facing up as with his back to the basket), Kevin McHale, Willis Reed -- plus George Mikan and Neil Johnston, who dominated the paint in the early days of the league.
TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY
Here's the retro evolution of basketballs' most illustrious high-flying superstars: Kobe/LeBron from Jordan. MJ from Dr. J. Erving from Connie Hawkins. And the original of this particular species was Sherman White.
An unsophisticated young man from rural New Jersey, White enrolled in Long Island University and proceeded to become the game's best player in the late '40s and early '50s. That's right. Better than anybody then playing in the NBA.
At 6-foot-7 and about 215 pounds, White could handle, create, defend, rebound, shoot, run and sky. However, he confined his fancy dunks to pregame warm-ups only because dunking in a game was deemed to be a grievous insult and would be repaid by a rival player knocking the foolish dunker on his butt ASAP. From 1949 to 1951, LIU went 59-21 but were 40-9 in White's junior and senior seasons.
Unfortunately, besides winning basketball games, conspiring with gamblers was another tradition at LIU. And the naïve White was easily convinced by his crooked teammates to join their cartel to shave points and occasionally dump games.
Hey, everybody was doing it! It was no worse than lying on your income tax returns!
In the late winter and early spring of 1951, the betting scandals were revealed. Players on several college teams were implicated, including LIU, NYU, CCNY, Toledo, Manhattan, Kentucky, Bradley and Toledo. Several others escaped public detection only because several religious leaders convinced Manhattan District Attorney Frank Hogan to lay off certain sectarian schools. In fact, several secret shavers went on to have outstanding NBA careers.
White's lawyer never showed up for either his trial or his sentencing, and where those white players involved all were given the option to avoid prison by enlisting in the Armed Forces, most of the black players (including White) were forthwith sent to jail.
After serving his six-month sentence, White could only find employment wading knee-deep in blood and offal in a slaughterhouse.
Even so, White's talents were so highly respected by his peers that, every so often, players in town to play the Knicks would travel to East Orange, N.J., and engage in respectful scrimmages with -- and to honor -- Sherman White.
I've had the distinct privilege of playing against White and also of interviewing him for my book, The Scandals of '51 , and was surprised to find him without any trace of bitterness.
Indeed, White tried to redeem his youthful indiscretions by devoting much of his adult life to counseling at-risk teenagers.
A forgotten on-court genius and an unsung off-court hero, Sherman White has become a role model for all of us who have made bad decisions either in public or in private.
If you have a question or comment for Charley Rosen, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and he may respond in a future column.