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LeBron: “Its About Winning, Not Saving Franchises”

December 16, 2010

Following a victory against his old teammate in Cleveland, reporters asked James about the upcoming visit to New York. It appears LeBron is all about winning, period. He claims the Knicks had a good core, but the Heat just had the better fit for him. In the meantime, that statement about “not saving franchises” has to set a flame under Clevelanders.

From New York Post:

MIAMI — For LeBron James, there was no appeal over the summer of resurrecting the Knicks.

Winning, he said last night, was all that mattered. James said he believed winning in Miami was a better bet than winning at Madison Square Garden, or any other destination.

And he said he wasn’t interested in saving a team.

“Winning appeals to me. And it’s all about winning. I’m not about saving franchises or saving this or that,” the Heat superstar said approximately an hour before last night’s Cavaliers-Heat game and approximately 48 hours before he arrives at the Garden for the first time as a Heat player, and now a hated villain.

“It’s about me winning, and that’s what I said all over the summer when I decided to come here. I felt like this is my best possible chance to win. That’s why I’m here.”

He took his talents to South Beach, where he now plays alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The trio notched their 10th straight win last night, 101-95 over the Cavaliers. Standing in the locker room before the game, in shorts and a long-sleeve Heat T-shirt, James said his summer meeting with James Dolan, Donnie Walsh, Mike D’Antoni, Allan Houston and Co. went well and cast the Knicks in a positive light for him.

Little good it did. After that meeting, James shrugged and bypassed the chance to sign with the Knicks. Why wasn’t a team like the Knicks and a major city like New York the right fit?

“It wasn’t the fact that New York wasn’t the right fit for me,” James said. “I just thought Miami was the best fit for me. And that’s why I’m here.”

In the past, James’ visits to New York with the Cavaliers were spectacles, with him getting beloved treatment from the passionate Garden fans. It will be far different tomorrow.

“So does that mean they didn’t love me, really?” he said to laughter.

But James has relished playing at the Garden in the past, praising the court for its meaning to him. That hasn’t changed.

“It still will be [special],” he said. “It’s the Mecca of basketball. As a fan and then as a player, [that’s] one building in America that you would love to play at before your career is over. I’m blessed that I’m being part of the NBA and get an opportunity to play there, if not twice, well, at least once a year.”

This time, though, for the first time in New York, James won’t feel much love. He’ll be booed, heckled and jeered by the sell-out crowd.

“It can’t be worse than when I went to Cleveland,” he said. “I’m all uphill from here.”

When he returned to Cleveland on Dec. 2, he ripped up his former club by shooting 15-for-25 from the field and pouring in a season-high 38 points — 24 of which came in the third quarter. Tomorrow at the Mecca, he’ll hear plenty more venom.

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