Still, the two-time NBA champion is preaching patience moving forward. Reflecting upon his time with the Miami Heat, James understands his new quest in Cleveland will be a process. It'll take time. A championship isn't guaranteed to come his way in year one. Clearly, upon retuning home, James knew what he was getting himself into.
It's good to have realistic expectations, which is something the Knicks' own Carmelo Anthony appears to share with James about the upcoming season. Speaking at "A Very Melo Weekend" in Puerto Rico, the forward asserted that he doesn't expect to win a championship this year.
There's no reason to be alarmed by this line of thinking.
Phil Jackson and his staff have made considerable improvements to New York's roster this summer. Whereas such impressive changes weren't expected to happen right away, Jackson has done what he can thus far, executing positive move after positive move.
Still, there's no doubt Anthony and the Knicks have a larger mountain to climb than James does in Cleveland. It'll take time to learn and adjust to a different sort of role in the triangle offense.
By signing with a team like the Chicago Bulls, Anthony would have put himself in immediate title contention. The Bulls' window to win is right now --- Anthony would have only bolstered their chances.
In New York, Jackson is building for the future. Though there still may be a longer road ahead, the opportunity is there to lay the foundation for a potential window to stay open longer, once the Knicks eventually reach such a plateau. Like many others in his respective situation, Anthony wants to win. But it appears more important to him to do so in the heart of the Big Apple --- his home.
It may take him a little longer to achieve such a goal, but Anthony's legacy will surely be longer-lasting, if and when he eventually wins big in New York. By bringing home a championship, he'd be celebrated as a legend and local hero. That's something that matters to him. He and James appear to share that sentiment as well.
Some have suggested that part of Anthony's motivation for re-signing with the Knicks was simply to ensure a five-year contract. Despite re-signing now, he could always "force" his way out of town via trade later on. That shouldn't be considered likely to happen, as Anthony has come back knowing full well what he is getting himself into.
Alas, Anthony didn't re-sign with the Knicks expecting to win right away. There's still an opportunity to do something special along the way, but the forward's decision to return is also assumedly tied to his belief that Jackson's vision can lead the team back to greatness...with his help, of course.