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The Choke

Knicks showing ‘no interest’ in LeBron James, will pursue J.R. Smith instead

LeBron James J.R. Smith James Dolan

“THE CHOKE is a parody website. Everything seen and heard here is purely for entertainment and comedic purposes.”

The Summer of 2018 has begun, meaning LeBron James is freely available to sign with whichever team he chooses. Though it’s a familiar story—beginning with The Decision eight years ago—teams can’t help but fall over themselves for The King’s services.

Every NBA would sacrifice things that cannot even be admitted to snag James. YMCA teams and overseas teams are even salivating with the full knowledge it’s an impossibility. Yet there’s one franchise that’s shockingly saying, “No thanks.”

Meet the New York Knicks.

According to an unnamed source within the Knicks front office, the Knickerbockers are, indeed, uninterested in LeBron James. Instead, there’s a keen eye on his teammate, J.R. Smith, whose Game 1 actions has kept him atop the NBA narrative until this very day.

For the most part, Knicks owner James Dolan has allowed general manager Scott Perry and president Steve Mills to do their thing. As it pertains to LBJ, Dolan seems to be fully entrenched.

“He does not like LeBron James,” the source said. “In fact, it borders on hatred. The moment LeBron seemingly took the side of Charles Oakley after his ejection from Madison Square Garden (in early 2017), Dolan has secretly planted the idea of ‘no LeBron’ no matter what.”

“He ain’t like that, and if you ask any player in our league now who knows him, they’d say the same thing,” James said.

It’d be absurd enough to reject a top-five all-time player due to words, but there’s more—a whole lot more.

The Knicks are interested in bringing back J.R. Smith.

I caught up with Dolan and his henchmen after one of his electrifying performances on stage with his band JD & The Straight Shot. Perhaps it was the feel of the night or just one of those rare frustrating moments, but something inside Dolan allowed him to fire back answers at me instead of taking his usual “get out of dodge” routine.

“Did MJ (Michael Jordan) ever win without Scottie Pippen?,” Dolan yelled back at the question of, “Why J.R. Smith instead of LeBron?”

“Did (Larry) Bird ever win without (Kevin) McHale? Did Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal) ever win without Kobe (Bryant)? Maybe that fills you and all of the other peasants in on why J.R.’s caught our eye. LeBron should have demanded the ball (at the end of Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals). He’s the leader. It’s on him (not J.R.).”

Indeed, Shaq did win without Kobe, but to remind a James Dolan of this is like running to the corner and yelling at the top your lungs. To actually introduce the idea that J.R. cannot be compared to McHale or Kobe would border on madness.

For now, the organization remains mum on the entire situation. Rest assured, though, J.R. Smith is completely in play to make a long-awaited, glorious return “home” for the New York Knickerbockers while LeBron James remains out in the cold with no luck.

Something tells me LeBron will make it through OK.