In roughly thirty-six hours, we will know where LeBron James will be playing basketball next season. Three of the kingpin free agents have already fallen, leaving James as the final of the ‘Big 4’ players still available. With Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade going to Miami, I think it’s a no-brainer that LeBron James will join Amar’e Stoudemire in the Garden next season… I’m so confident that I purchased a ton of Madison Square Garden (MSG) stock today…

LeBron pondering his next move... (1010 WINS)

Sources say that LeBron James will hold a one-hour press conference tomorrow night at 9:00 pm on ESPN to announce his decision. It’s rumored that this press conference will take place in James’ old Akron high school, St. Vincent’s/St. Mary’s. For some reason, no other player needed a press conference to announce their signing. So, why is James doing this?

He’s trying to pad the fallout from Cleveland. I view it like breaking up with a long-time girlfriend. LeBron will always have fond memories of Cleveland and will probably talk about it at a nauseating length tomorrow, but that hot blonde, ‘New York’, is just too good to pass up.  LeBron’s business partners have also cited all sponsorship money raised during the event will be given to the Cleveland Boys & Girls Club of America. Another attempt by LeBron to pad the fallout.

LeBron has said it all along that he wants to play with another max contract player. If true, this would leave only the Knicks and Heat in the running for his services. Could Dwyane Wade and LeBron James co-exist? Maybe, but their games are way too similar. Since the ‘Larry Bird Rule’ will come into effect with Wade re-upping with the Heat, LeBron wouldn’t even be the highest paid player. Plus, how many sold out Miami Heat games were there this season? Basketball has always been on the back burner on South Beach. Why should he play for a team with a spotty fan base and not even be the highest paid player?

What about Chicago? Well, Derrick Rose has already publicly said that he’d rather have Joe Johnson. Playing in Michael Jordan’s shadow every night would be a daunting task and Bulls ownership is known for being frugal. In addition, Chris Bosh is heading to Miami with Dwyane Wade, so LeBron would go there alone. It just doesn’t add up for me.

Cleveland? I think they only had two chances at re-signing LeBron. A sign and trade with Toronto for Chris Bosh or a mega-trade with New Orleans for Chris Paul. New Orleans ownership has already sign that they aren’t trading Chris Paul. Unless Cleveland puts something over-the-top together in the next thirty-six hours for Paul, LeBron is gone. Why would he do this whole press conference anyway if he was just returning to Cleveland? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

How about New Jersey? I think the Nets are the most intriguing piece in this equation. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov put up a huge Nets billboard outside of Madison Square Garden, promising a ‘blue-print’ for the future. The Nets haven’t landed any big-time free agent pieces, but have the best young core among the contenders. Devin Harris and Brook Lopez are perennial All-Stars while Derrick Favors has big-time upside. But does LeBron really want to play in Newark for two years? No offense, but Newark airport is one of the worst in the country. The surrounding area isn’t nice at all. I just don’t think it happens.

Welcome to NYC, LeBron. We have Amar’e Stoudemire ready to go for 2010 and beyond. Just image throwing lobs to him. The pick and roll game. Spike Lee! The Knick tradition…We have one of the best knock down young shooters in Danilo Gallinari. If we get James, we can still sign a Raymond Felton-type to run the point. Not sexy, but we have something no-one else has, a dominant force in the l0w post.

Basketball aside, owner James Dolan has two lucrative public entities that LeBron could personally buy into, Cablevision (CVC) and Madison Square Garden (MSG). Now, Dolan cannot give LeBron stock, but alike everyone else, LeBron could invest into himself by playing in New York. LeBron James takes the Knicks to the NBA Finals, MSG stock soars. Talk about a business opportunity.

Even though Nike is probably salivating at a LeBron James NY signing, I won’t go into all of the sponsorship possibilities. I’ll save that for next week.

In the end, everything LeBron has been looking for is in New York. He has a max-player team mate in Amar’e. He has a good younger shooter (Gallinari). He has a chance to leave a permanent mark on New York City. Imagine him in the Canyon of Heroes parade….

Finally, ESPN has been so down on the Knicks’ chance since they simply do not like New York. It’s apparent with their broadcasting that they tend to favor Boston sports and make every attempt at bash the Yankees and Mets. How many times have you heard their analysts make cracks about ‘Yankeeography’? ‘Oh, let’s start filming Damaso Marte’s Yankeeography!’ LeBron inking in NYC will make them all eat their words.

Ultimately, he has the chance to make a billion dollars and play in front of the most passionate fans in the world. He has the opportunity to restore one of the NBA’s most storied franchises and leave his all-time mark. What else could he possibly want?