Yet no one's shown a greater willingness to sacrifice their time, their livelihoods, even their dignity, to curry King James' favor than the long-suffering fans of the New York Knicks. Count among the supplicants Mayor Bloomberg ("As the good book says, lead us to the Promised Land—and that's a quote from the King James version!"), Police Commissioner Ray Kelly (who advocated the use of bribery), the general manager of Scores (lap dances for life), and, most creatively, Moishe's Movers, which set up a mobile storage container in the parking lot across from Madison Square Garden for fans to fill with tchotchkes and personal messages before delivering it to LeBron's palatial home.
Still, we couldn't help but notice that there's one enormously influential sector of NYC's population that has yet to be consulted: gay New York. "With teammates you have to be trustworthy," LeBron said soon after John Amaechi became the first former NBA player to come out of the closet in 2007, "and if you're gay and you're not admitting that you are, then you are not trustworthy." One thing LeBron can trust: The offers below are ready to be redeemed.
MICHAEL KOKELL, Commissioner, New York City Gay Basketball League
"Where else will pink #23 jerseys fly off the shelves? Come to New York and see your gay fan base explode! Sure, many of us are impressed by your play on the court, but who do you think is really buying all those shirtless photos of you online? Gay New Yorkers! So, at the risk of hearing my partner's father (and Cleveland resident) complain about NYC buying more championships, come to New York! Don't tell Derek Jeter I said this, but you'll have a great shot at unseating him as NYC's hottest athlete and, more importantly, inspiring an entire community of gay athletes."
"As one of the NBA's top scoring players, we would like to offer you the opportunity to position your well aimed balls at some of the most enticing baskets in the USA."
NICO MUHLY, Composer
"What you clearly need in New York is appropriate music. It can follow you around: a leitmotif to be folded into any context. I'll write a brassy fanfare, a thundering bass line for the club, a subtle thing for the morning time, and something to be blasted during games. And if Jean-Georges' double-chicken extravaganza is too much, we'll take you on a sea urchin crawl."
JOHN BARTLETT, Menswear Designer
"Dear LeBron, please come to the coolest city in the world. As a men's designer, animal activist, and yoga freak, I can promise you three things that make the Manhattan man! I can hook you up with my tailor, who's made suits for two presidents and Michael Jackson. I can find the perfect shelter dog to keep you warm at night. And because New York can be a bit stressful, I can hook you up with the most smokin' hot yoga teacher around!"
TOM KELLEY, Director of Operations, Nickel Spa for Men
"To get LeBron James to come to NYC and join the Knicks, we have created the new LeBron James NBA-Style Sports Massage with Hot Pepper Oil and will offer him unlimited treatments for his entire life at the spa!"
JONATHAN ADLER, Interior Designer
"Dude, if you come to New York I will decorate your phat pad and make it insanely squishy for entertaining all the fab people you will meet here. You can't be a true metrosexual in Cleveland! Also, New York has a range of fab tattoo-removal facilities, should you ever choose to pull back a bit on the ink."
PARKE & RONEN, Menswear Designers
"NYC is fit for a king—just look at all the queens we have walking around! If you come here we can offer you a limited edition LeBron James bathing suit—with drop crotch to accommodate."
HARRY ALLEN, Interior Designer
"I've come to the honest conclusion that I just don't care if LeBron James moves to New York. I know very little about basketball, and I don't like team sports in general. I would certainly help him decorate his apartment, or supply any of my design services, but he would have to pay like everyone else. Besides, most of the people I want in New York are already here."
Suit Up—Or Shut Up: Charles Oakley on the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in NBA Style
4 Reasons to Love The World Cup: Fast Cars, Billionaire Pawnbrokers, Non-Stop Sex, and Ronaldo
Johnny Weir v. Evan Lysacek