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LeBron James believes NBA 'is simply better off when the New York Knicks are winning'

LeBron James scored 21 points the last time he faced the New York Knicks
LeBron James scored 21 points the last time he faced the New York Knicks
ANALYST
Modified 22 Apr 2021
News

Having their best season in seven years, the New York Knicks look back to winning ways - which even Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James can appreciate.

Tom Thibodeau and his team have rejuvenated the franchise and are on a league-best eight-game winning run. The latest of which, an overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks, saw them leapfrog their opponent into the Eastern Conference's fourth seed.

Their recent success, in particular, has sparked debate among the league's media and fans as to whether the New York Knicks are truly 'back'. The franchise were dominant in the 90s, making two NBA Finals appearances, though they have mostly missed out on the postseason since the Millennium.

One player who is certainly happy to show his appreciation for what the Knicks have achieved so far this season is LeBron James, who entered the Twitter debate on the topic on Thursday.

LeBron James comes out in support of New York Knicks recent success

Julius Randle has been dominant for the New York Knicks this season
Julius Randle has been dominant for the New York Knicks this season

LeBron James' input on the debate about the New York Knicks came in response to a fan's link to rapping group Dipset's freestyle rap on the MSG court back in December. Since its release, the Knicks have been playing their best basketball in years, which the fan attributes to the group's video.

LeBron James will have surprised many with his tweet, but there is considerable respect for how the New York Knicks are playing. Furthermore, Madison Square Garden is the mecca of basketball and a lot of modern players will have grown up seeing the arena full of roaring fans and viewed it as a hard place to win.

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Well, Thibodeau has certainly been able to replicate that this season - apart from having the Garden full of fans. With little expectation on the New York Knicks this year, their offseason acquisitions and defensive solidity have helped them into currently having home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Julius Randle, a former Lakers player prior to LeBron James' arrival, is having the season of his life, averaging 23.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per night. He leads all Knicks players in offensive output, though young star RJ Barrett has also come up clutch, putting up 17.4 points per game.

Combined with their two leaders, the New York Knicks also have a good balance of veteran experience - Derrick Rose, Reggie Bullock and Taj Gibson - and young talent in Immanuel Quickley, Mitchell Robinson and Barrett. The Knicks' defensive organization has led their rise, ranking 1st for the lowest points allowed per game and having the third-best efficiency in the NBA.

Having a franchise as worldwide as the New York Knicks building a platform on which to be successful is good not only for the fans but for the NBA as a whole. It is not often that LeBron James is wrong when it comes to basketball and if he believes the league is better for it then we should all do so too.

Published 22 Apr 2021, 21:03 IST
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