Knicks believe they still have a shot at James

A day before LeBron James’ decision, the New York Knicks believe

they still have a chance.

A team spokesman says the team has not been told it is out of

the race for James, who is set to announce where he will play next

season during an ESPN special on Thursday night.

The Knicks made their pitch to James last Thursday in Cleveland

and believe they became even more attractive to him when All-Star

forward Amare Stoudemire agreed to sign with New York on

Monday.

Stoudemire said he would try to recruit James to come along. He

wrote a message to James on Twitter on Wednesday, telling the MVP

to join him in New York and saying “Oh let’s do it!!”

New York has enough salary cap space to sign two players to

maximum level contracts, and learned Wednesday it will even some

money left over. The salary cap was set at $58.04 million, nearly

$2 million higher than the $56.1 million that was projected.

That means the Knicks will have about $18.9 million left after

Stoudemire signs an expected five-year, $99.7 million deal. The

team will introduce him at an afternoon news conference, then turn

its attention to James’ announcement planned for 9 p.m.

A person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press the

interview will take place at the Boys & Girls Club of

Greenwich, Conn., not far from where the Knicks practice in

Westchester County, N.Y.

If they don’t get James, the Knicks will begin turning their

attention to other players, with point guard being one of their

biggest needs. Chris Duhon, the starter most of the last two

seasons, has agreed to sign with the Orlando Magic.

AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this

report.