The Cleveland Cavaliers are in Manhattan to take on the New York Knicks on Monday night, in a matchup between two teams that have had pretty unexpected starts to the season. LeBron James’ Cavs have struggled more than just about anybody could have anticipated, opening the new year 6-7, while the Knicks have opened with seven wins in 12 tries thanks largely to the brilliance of third-year forward Kristaps Porzingis.
After their Monday morning shootaround — a session in which four-time Most Valuable Player James made it clear that his recent comments suggesting the Knicks made a mistake by choosing Frank Ntilikina over former N.C. State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. with the No. 8 pick in the 2017 NBA draft were intended not as a shot at the French teenager, but rather at ol’ pal and ousted former Knicks boss Phil Jackson — the Cavs needed to get back to their hotel to rest up before game time.
Presented with the option of sitting on a team bus in 45 minutes of midtown Manhattan traffic — after already having a bus get caught in gridlock on the way to Madison Square Garden this morning — LeBron and the Cavs chose to get their Jam on instead and travel like locals:
Speaking as a native New Yorker, it is about as straight-out-of-central-casting as it gets that a New Yorker would either be A) so determinedly focused on shutting out all external reality during his commute that he doesn’t notice that the person pointing a camera at him is actually one of the most famous people in the world, or B) aware that the person filming him is LeBron James, but does not care even one teeny-tiny little bit …… and insists that this very large gentleman still Get All The Way Out Of His Face With That Camera, My Guy — even with a security detail riding shotgun.
On that score, I find in favor of the defendant. I know you’re just a kid from Akron, Bron-Bron, but filming random people on the subway is a no-no. Even if you’re not going for creepshots, dude’s just trying to get through midtown on a dreary Monday morning, and you’re out here turning him into content. Whatever the man’s reasons, he clearly wasn’t looking to appear on camera, so why you making it hot, LeBron?
We now await with bated breath the New York news media’s race to find “Can You Not?” Guy, for the publication of the first story about him (how he thinks Porzingis is better, or whatever) and for the publication of the second story about him, which, given the tenor of 2017, will of course be far, far darker.