Monday: Does LeBron need NYC?

It’s an off day for the Yankees and Mets, but we’re on. We’re launching a three-part series of LeBron Watch features, beginning with Kieran Darcy’s take on the Value Proposition – does LBJ need NYC to max out his brand and achieve his hearwarming goal: to become a billion-dollar athlete? We’ll have an original video feature to go with this, including interviews with Regis Philbin, Funkmaster Flex, Chuck Klosterman and Darren Rovell, among others.

Preview: http://sports.espn.com/new-york/nba/news/story?id=5244954

Also: The dust has settled on Isiah Thomas’s Reign of Error, and Tom Haberstroh has the final numbers: $122 million for eight players to play a total of 82 games. The collective stat line is impressive. With an original analysis on video by Chris Broussard.

Tennis anyone? The US Open is staging a stunt in Times Square today, and Jane McManus will be there with her notebook and flip cam.

The Yankees and Mets seem headed in opposite directions, but this week’s schedule should make both happy: Yanks head to Baltimore, and Pirates come to Citi Field. Andrew Marchand and Adam Rubin will have the setup. Man-on-the-street video coming later today on the Yankees’ struggles.

Weekend highlights include a don’t-miss breakdown of the Jets’ financial strategy by Rich Cimini, Ian O’Connor’s New York angle on John Wooden – a Yankees fan? Who knew? – and deep coverage of the Cotto-Foreman fight from Wally Matthews and Michael Woods. We have a poll on the site today in which 50% of ESPNNY.com users say they want more boxing in the Bronx, and only 10% say they are throwing in the towel on the sweet science.

So there you go.