LeBron, Wade love Madison Square Garden (just not enough to sign with the Knicks, apparently)

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Madison Square Garden remains one of the iconic buildings in the NBA. It’s New York — Concrete jungle where dreams are made of. Visitors get pumped up to play there — which for a long time meant guys like Kobe Bryant were going to drop a big number on the hapless Knicks.

The Knicks are respectable again, which makes it even more fun to play at the Garden. Tonight it is the Miami Heat’s turn again — and count LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as those who are pumped, as reported at ESPN’s Heat Index.

“It’s everything,” James said. “It’s everything that comes with it. It’s the history. It’s the crowd. It’s the atmosphere. It’s the Mecca of basketball. As kids, you always want to be able to play in the Garden. In my eight years and D. Wade’s eight years, it’s been great.”

It’s the best building in the best city in the world… but that wasn’t enough for James to sign there. Sorry, little tangent, done beating that dead horse for now. Thanks for indulging.

The Heat have been off for three days, so they were asked if there was any rust to shake off.

“No rust. We needed the rest and we’re going to miss some shots. We’re going to be a little bit tired early. That’s a part of basketball. But there’s not going to be rust going into the Garden. Our energy and our adrenaline will be going and we’re not going to come out and hit every shot. We’re going to miss some but we’re going to hit some as well, so –”

James interrupted Wade.

“Plus, we’ve got two guys playing on our team that really enjoy playing in that building,” James deadpanned. “I don’t know where they are right now, but we’ve got two guys on this team who thrive on playing in the Garden so I don’t think we’ll be rusty.”