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No use thinking what if with LeBron

Leslie Monteiro

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Sports fans and sports media love to play the game of revisionist history and what if. It helps get through the day. No one does it well here than our town.

After the Los Angeles Lakers celebrated a 108-105 victory over the Miami Heat on Monday night at Staples Center, LeBron James told Dwayne Wade that it was fitting their final ever matchup either had to take place at the Staples Center or Madison Square Garden while exchanging pleasantries. This had some sportswriters in this town and fans wondering once again what could have been if James signed with the Knicks.

It’s a trick the flagship player of the NBA relishes doing all the time, and we play into it often. It’s hard to understand why. The Knicks have moved on, and so has James.

The Knicks offer nothing for sportswriters in town since they stink, so there will always be a sportswriter blaming James Dolan for not finding a way to get James and Wade to be a Knick when they were free agents in 2010. It’s been eight years, and we are still wondering how this did not happen to this day. One would think we would have other things to worry about, but that’s the way it goes when the Knicks have another losing season.

Knicks fans have been wallowing in self-pity for a long time. That’s what happens when Dolan has given them a bad product for two decades.

There has to be a point in time where everyone has to get over it. James had no intention of ever being a Knick because he did not want to deal with the national and local scrutiny of winning his first championship and ending the franchise’s championship drought at the time. He also did not want his family to be besieged by the local media often. In other words, New York was never for him to go to work and live.

James sure loves to play us along since he loves the attention that comes with it.

As for Dolan, if we are being honest, he did not even want James in the first place. He did not want to deal with the headache of James and his business associates. He certainly did not want to be an irrelevant figure with James being on the Knicks. He enjoys the publicity that comes with owning the Knicks whether it’s good or bad.

He sure did not seem worked up about James not playing for the Knicks during the summer of 2010 and this past summer.

The Knicks are focusing on building from within, and eventually hoping they can get Steph Curry or Kevin Durant as free agents. They know life has to go on without James, and they have acted accordingly. The fans and certain sportswriters need to follow their lead. We can only mourn for so long, especially eight years ago when the Akron star decided to take his talents to South Beach.

The focus needs to be on the Knicks to get it right by winning and drafting a core nucleus that can win. That remains to be seen since this is actually the first time they are actually dedicated to a youth movement after years of going for short-term fixes by signing free agents that were past their prime.

This is going to take time. The once -proud Knicks franchise have been zeros since 2002, and they haven’t won a championship since 1973. What’s another few years? It’s imperative they have to be bad for couple of more seasons to draft a franchise player. That’s the price they have to pay for neglecting on youth movement for a long time.

The focus should be about what Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Allonzo Trier, Frank Ntilikina, Damyean Dotson and Noah Vonleh can do. It should be about how the roster will mesh when  Kristaps Porzingis recovers from his ACL injury. It has to be about the job David Fizdale is doing as the first-year Knicks coach.

With the Knicks being 8-21, it’s hard to do that. Fans have been beaten down with the losing and false promises. No one said this was going to be easy, but the journey itself is more interesting than the destination at this point, even if the Knicks appear like they are in nowhere land.

By talking about James, it’s a waste of time. It does not get anything done. It’s not bringing him back. It becomes a nuisance after awhile. It’s not even fair for the current Knicks to answer the sins of Dolan from 2010.

What’s done is done. James will never be a Knick, and that’s the end of it. There’s no need to rehash what happened in 2010.

The Knicks moved on, and James moved on. It was not meant to be, and that’s okay.

Life goes on.

it’s past time for jilted Knicks fans and the local media to move on.

Leslie Monteiro is a syndicated sports columnist who writes about the Tri-State area teams for the Upstate Courier. He is based in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and can be reached on Twitter @MongoGoesInSane.