The King is headed to Miami, and those who would have been his minions in the Big Apple weren't happy.
A crowd of a couple hundred held vigil outside Madison Square Garden last night waiting for LeBron James to announce where he would be playing this coming season. Many kept their Blackberrys updated, while others listened on the radio.
When James announced at 9:29 p.m. that he'd be joining Team USA teammates and fellow All Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Heat, boos rose from the crowd, which soon started a chant that containing expletives and "LeBron."
"I'm very disappointed," said Jesse Kass of Brooklyn. "I could understand him going to Cleveland. But going to Miami, it just seems like a cop-out. It seems like he's just scared."
The two-time MVP, who turns 26 in December, would have had plenty of reborn Knicks fans here in New York. With Amar'e Stoudemire's news conference just this afternoon, there was plenty of reason for optimism in the streets despite widespread speculation that James was headed to South Beach.
Dave Gregwolimsky of Dix Hills, who was selling (and blowing) vuvuzelas with his buddies, was dressed in a shirt that read "LeBron or Bust 2010." To say he was upset after the announcement would be an understatement.
"He could have come to the land of opportunity, New York City," he said. "This city will burn to hell tonight. Madison Square Garden will be demolished."
Marc Philosophos, a South Florida native transplanted to New York who was dressed in a red Miami Heat shirt, sought out Gregwolimsky in hopes of securing a Knicks vuvuzela and tooting away to throw salt in Knicks' fans wounds.
"I came here to get [a vuvuzela] to let all my co-workers know what happened tonight," said Philosophos, who was with friends from a local sales firm. "I've been rooting for the Triple Threat. They've been talking about it since the Olympics.
Gregwolimsky composed himself long enough to deliver a final thought.
"I will say one thing, he's only one piece of the puzzle," he said. "There are five guys on the court. Amar'e is now No. 1 and [Eddy] Curry is No. 2."