Bill Simmons says the New York Knicks were favorites to sign LeBron James in the summer of 2010. However, he says, they failed to close the deal because they messed up their presentation to LeBron and its representatives. This revelation 10 years after the fact was courtesy of credible unnamed sources. This alone seems contradictory.
While it’s true that the Knicks missed the mark in their presentation at LeBron by focusing on the appeal of the New York market rather than their vision for building a championship team, there is more to the story.
As Dwyane Wade explained in an ESPN podcast in 2017, the Knicks “were not prepared for what [LeBron, Bosh and Wade] were trying to do.”
The Knicks didn’t have much to sell because they had entered the LeBron game too late. They hoped he would bet on himself and try to convince other players to follow him to New York, which is why they pushed the corner of the market so hard.
In fact, they overlooked the grand plan that LeBron had apparently planned for several years, which required the organization to be able to immediately turn it into a champion.
It required planning and execution long before the Knicks were introduced to LeBron in July 2010.