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Rumor: LeBron James planned to sign with Knicks until ‘disaster’ meeting in 2010

Former Cavaliers star LeBron James after Knicks meeting in 2010

Free agent basketball player LeBron James, left, is driven out of the IMG building in downtown Cleveland, after meeting with representatives of the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks basketball teams on Thursday, July 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Jason Miller)


It feels like fait accompli now: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joining forces with the Heat in 2010.

But did the Knicks – owned by James Dolan and run by Donnie Walsh, who dealing with health issues – actually once have the inside track on signing LeBron?

Bill Simmons on “The Bill Simmons Podcast:"

From everyone that I’ve talked to in the know since then, it’s clear that the Knicks were the first choice. And I’m sorry Knicks fans, earmuffs. But it was basically the Knicks’ to lose, and they just couldn’t stay out of their own way. And the stories are legendary.
They had the legendary meeting. Donnie Walsh was in the wheelchair, and Dolan was Dolan. And it was just a complete – they didn’t have anything prepared. And it just couldn’t have gone worse, by all accounts. It was a disaster.

The Knicks made a dubious presentation, and it looks worse as we’ve learned more. Dolan reportedly handed out copies of his CD during free-agent meetings that summer.

But did LeBron really favor the Knicks before the meeting? I’m skeptical, at least how this is presented.

I wouldn’t be surprised if LeBron had different top choices – including the Cavaliers and Bulls – at different points in the process. He had a major decision. There was a lot to consider.

Yet, that’s different than the Knicks leading in July 2010 and coming up short only because they blew the meeting.

LeBron has also seeming enjoyed teasing the Knicks in the years since. Convincing people the Knicks nearly got him, accurate or not, would fit right in.