- Associated Press - Thursday, July 8, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - A day before LeBron James’ decision, the New York Knicks believe they still have a chance.

A team spokesman says the team has not been told it is out of the race for James, who is set to announce where he will play next season during an ESPN special on Thursday night.

The Knicks made their pitch to James last Thursday in Cleveland and believe they became even more attractive to him when All-Star forward Amare Stoudemire agreed to sign with New York on Monday.

Stoudemire said he would try to recruit James to come along. He wrote a message to James on Twitter on Wednesday, telling the MVP to join him in New York and saying “Oh let’s do it!!”

New York has enough salary cap space to sign two players to maximum level contracts, and learned Wednesday it will even some money left over. The salary cap was set at $58.04 million, nearly $2 million higher than the $56.1 million that was projected.

That means the Knicks will have about $18.9 million left after Stoudemire signs an expected five-year, $99.7 million deal. The team will introduce him at an afternoon news conference, then turn its attention to James’ announcement planned for 9 p.m.

A person familiar with the plans told The Associated Press the interview will take place at the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich, Conn., not far from where the Knicks practice in Westchester County, N.Y.

If they don’t get James, the Knicks will begin turning their attention to other players, with point guard being one of their biggest needs. Chris Duhon, the starter most of the last two seasons, has agreed to sign with the Orlando Magic.

___

AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.

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