Umenyiora to LeBron: Stay in Cleveland

Updated: May 19, 2010, 8:01 PM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

Osi Umenyiora has some advice for LeBron James -- stay right where you are.

The Giants defensive end chimed in on the impending LBJ free agency sweepstakes and said the glare of the spotlight in New York can be a harsh and painful one for stars to play under.

"I know New York would love to have him and I'm sure Knicks fans hope he comes," Umenyiora wrote on his PlaymakerMobile.com blog on Wednesday. "Personally, I think he should stay in Cleveland. They need him and he's a Cleveland guy. It would be great to have him in New York but I think he should stay there. Ultimately, he has to make the decision that's best for him and his family."

Umenyiora explained that there's nothing quite like winning in New York City. The defensive end and the Giants were the toast of the city after winning a Super Bowl in the 2007 season.

But Umenyiora knows how quickly things can sour. The Giants went 8-8 last season and missed the postseason after a 5-0 start. And Umenyiora lost his starting job while trying to come back from knee surgery.

This offseason, Umenyiora told reporters at the Super Bowl that he'd rather retire if he doesn't start again this season. He then heard all the speculation that he was going to be traded prior to the draft and then thought he would be dealt after the Giants used the 15th overall pick on another defensive end in Jason Pierre-Paul.

Umenyiora, though, wasn't traded and he blogged earlier this week that he is committed to helping the Giants win. He said he didn't understand "what all the fuss has been about with me."

"I think people have been looking for me to do something to cause dissension, but that's not happening," Umenyiora blogged on Monday.

Umenyiora knows what he has gone through is nothing compared to what James will experience should he become a Knick. He warned James what will be in store for him should he leave his cozy home in Cleveland for the biggest basketball stage in the world and fail to deliver with the enormous expectations of being New York's basketball savior.

"I will say this, if he does come to New York, don't have a bad game," Umenyiora blogged. "Not one because Knicks fans will come down on him. There is no better place to be when you're winning than New York. And there's no better place to be than New York, it's a great city with great energy. But it does go both ways. When you lose, it's tough."

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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