"Son, go to New York."
Because we are sports fans, and sports fans are often knuckleheads (myself included), we tend to overlook (or ignore) everything that's actually developmentally important in a person's life. When we debate whether LeBron should stay in Cleveland or bolt, we talk about wins and losses; about coaching styles; about Q-ratings and marketing opportunities and the willingness of an organization to bring in the proper teammates to take a franchise to the proverbial promised land.
I, on the other hand, would like to talk about bagels.
New York has great bagels. Absolutely amazing bagels. They say it's the tap water here, that it has a certain hardness other places lack. Whatever. All I know is that, between Hot & Crusty and H&H and Absolute Bagels, I can spend my days blissfully schmearing whitefish salad across a warm cinnamon raisin bagel.
Oh, and the pizza! There's this place down by Union Square, Mariella Pizza, where the cheese and sauce ooze together into one magnificent explosion of taste. Seriously, seriously amazing. Makes Nunzios taste like cardboard.
I know ... I know -- How will LeBron co-exist with
Over the course of my sportswriting career, I've known too many athletes who fail to see the opportunities in front of them. They stay in the nicest hotels, fly luxury jets, eat expensive meals, yet know nothing of what it is to explore, to embrace, to live. Back in the late 1970s and '80s, the St. Louis Cardinals had a first baseman named
The same can go for the NBA's MVP. Cleveland is a nice city, in the same way beige is a nice color and strawberry is a tasty flavor and
LeBron James should come to New York, not because the Knicks are serious title contenders (they're not, with or without him) or because Madison Square Garden is the world's greatest arena (in 2010, that's merely an honorary title) or because
Basketball is important. To James, it's clearly very important. But let's not confuse the game with life. One day, when he is old and gray, when the scrapbooks have yellowed and the tributes are increasingly sporadic and people speak of him in the distant way they now do men like
He'll ask himself a simple question: Did I settle -- or did I live?