LeBron thinks talk of move to NY bothers Knicks, not Cavs

Updated: December 3, 2008, 9:14 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James isn't bothered by the unending onslaught of questions about his free-agent future. He's sure his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates don't mind them either.

However, James thinks one team is tired of hearing about whether he'll end up in New York.

LeBron James

James

"It's a distraction for the Knicks," he said. "It's not a distraction for us -- we're good."

James' plans in two years -- he can hit the free-agent market on July 1, 2010 -- have become a daily topic in New York. The Knicks are 8-9 and have already made two trades this season to clear salary cap space so they can make a run at James, the biggest name in a stellar free-agent class that could include Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Tracy McGrady, Steve Nash, Yao Ming, Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Redd and Ray Allen.

James has answered all the New York-related questions. He senses the Knicks are done with them.

"Players on their team, they don't want to hear about LeBron James or Chris Bosh coming to their team," he said Wednesday night before playing the Knicks. "It's a year and a half away, they got better things to do. For us, we're all right. It's not a problem for us."

James said he's not surprised that the future free agents are getting so much attention, given the All-Stars who make up the group.

He knows the questions aren't about to stop, so he's not going to ignore them.

"You give questions and you guys want us to answer them and when we don't answer them, you get mad," James said. "I've never said anything about being a Knick or being on any team in this league beside being here in Cleveland. I'll leave it at that, and we'll see what happens."

James' flirtation with the New York media last week during a visit to Madison Square Garden, prompted strong criticism from former NBA All-Star and TV commentator Charles Barkley, who said James is disrespecting his teammates by talking about the possibility of playing for another team some day.

James was again asked if he had any reaction to Barkley's comments.

"I don't have nothing to say to Charles Barkley," he said.

First-year Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said his team has stayed together despite the trades, guard Stephon Marbury's messy situation and constant chatter about James.

"Our focus is great," he said. "We have solid, good guys in the locker room who are really pulling for each other. They listen. There are stretches when we've played really well. I'm looking forward to the day we have everybody together and see what we're missing."

D'Antoni was asked if everything surrounding the team has been a distraction.

"Not in the locker room," he said standing in a corridor inside Quicken Loans Arena. "Mostly out in the hallways, like right now."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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