Wade: LeBron could have fit in New York

Published Dec. 17, 2010 12:00 a.m. EST

Dwyane Wade could have seen LeBron James ending up in New York.

As for himself?

''I don't think they really wanted me here anyway,'' Wade said Friday.

Maybe not, but they definitely wanted James, essentially using two seasons to set themselves up to afford him and one other superstar when the summer 2010 free agency opened.


Knicks fans thought they would get James, and for a while Wade bought into the hype, too.

''At first, when it first came out there was possibility about him playing in New York — but that was about two or three years ago — I could have seen it at first,'' Wade said.

That began back in November 2008, when the Knicks made a pair of trades on the same day that cleared enough salary cap space to sign James. New Yorkers believed if he did leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and his native Ohio, he wouldn't be able to resist the business opportunities that would await him if he could bring the Knicks back to the top.

Wade also figured that would appeal to James.

''Maybe when I first heard it, from everybody in New York that thought they had him here, I was like, 'OK, maybe. Maybe it's possible,' '' Wade said. ''With the big stage, I know he likes the big stage, the big city. Of course, if you're a star in New York, you're a worldwide star, but after a while it was a lot of possibilities.''

James does not speak with the media after the morning shootaround.

Though James and Wade were the top players available, the Knicks probably would have preferred James and Bosh, or James and Amare Stoudemire, so they had a big man to balance the roster.

They ended up only with Stoudemire, who had scored 30 or more points in a franchise-record nine straight games entering play Friday. James, the two-time MVP, said Stoudemire is probably the leading candidate for the award so far this season.

And he has the Knicks on pace for the turnaround that Miami's Big Three all declined to lead.

''He's playing great. He's doing what he was signed here to do. You don't come to New York not ready,'' Wade said. ''Amare signed here and he was the first one to sign. That showed that he was ready for the challenge and he's taken that challenge and playing probably the best basketball he's ever played and his confidence is up high. That's the Amare we all know and see.''