If you are like me, you are probably sick, tired, burned out and not at all intrigued by the hoopla surrounding the “Where will LeBron play in 2010?” hype.
If you’re like me, you were likely forced to watch Friday night’s Knicks-Cavs tilt—why was this a nationally televised game again?—with the sound down; that is, if you did not turn the game off altogether midway through the first quarter.
Will King James stay in Cleveland where management seems to have no clue as to how to build a winner?
Will LeBron jettison his hometown Cavs for a hapless Knicks team?
Will LeBron join forces with friend and fellow Global Icon, Jay-Z, to bring the New Jersey/Brooklyn/ Nets/Nyets into the NBA mainstream?
Will LeBron get serious about winning championships and sign with Portland or Oklahoma City?
Will LeBron sign with Kobe and the Lakers?
Will anyone care by the time July 1, 2010 finally arrives?
Seemingly, every scenario was hashed out. Except the one that, in my mind, makes the most sense. The scenario that, until this week , nobody talked about.
Will LeBron jump to the Windy City and build a Jordan-esque résumé for the team Jordan put on the map?
The better question is why wouldn’t he? It is no secret that the Bulls have the desire (and the cap space) to make a move this summer—most rumors currently point to Chicago native Dwyane Wade and Phoenix’s Amar’e Stoudemire—so why not make a run at the LeBron James?
If you are the Chicago Bulls, why would you settle for injury-prone Wade or Stoudemire when LeBron can be had for the same price tag? Moreover, if you are LeBron James, doesn’t Chicago seem like a natural fit?
(Wait, did I just pull a double Hubie Brown? I think I did. Let’s just move on)
LeBron, on multiple occasions, has thrown around phrases such as “Global Icon” and “Billion Dollar Athlete,” so, one could presume that playing in the nation’s third-largest market; a city that has global prestige like Chicago, would tickle James’ fancy—at least, a little bit, no?
If the prospect of playing in our president’s adopted home city (by the way, Obama > Jay-Z) has no effect on King James, the idea of playing with Derrick Rose for the next six-to-ten years—just as Rose begins to enter his prime, I might add—would make any man’s cookies a bit tingly.
With Rose, James and a nice, young supporting cast that would include the likes of Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich—all guys who could play vital roles on a championship team—you could definitely see LeBron’s Bulls hanging a few more banners in the rafters of the United Center.
And this is the underrated factor that people tend to forget. The Chicago Bulls are a storied franchise; a franchise that has won more championships than all but two in NBA history. Ask your average basketball fan anywhere in the world to name three NBA teams off the top of their head, and I guarantee that 90 percent of the time you will hear “Celtics, Lakers and Bulls” (in some order).
You cannot tell the story of the NBA without the Chicago Bulls being one of the main characters. You can get away with leaving out the Cavs, Nets, Blazers and even the New York Knicks, but not the Chicago Bulls and their dominance of the 1990s. That is a fact that neither you nor LeBron James and his plans for world domination can deny.
So, it is ironic that the only thing that may keep this perfect storm from happening is the very man who built the Bulls dynasty of the ‘90s, may be the very man preventing a second Bulls dynasty in the ‘10s. As strange as it sounds, I am not sure Bulls fans would accept it.
It’s almost as if watching James perform (almost) the way as MJ did, would tarnish the memories Bulls fans have of His Airness—kind of the way Yankees fans resented Mickey Mantle at first. Furthermore, I am not sure whether LeBron—or Dwyane Wade, for the matter—wants to put himself in that position.
As seems to be the case with the enigmatic LeBron James and the Free Agent Clusterfudge of 2010, there are so many questions, but, really, only one correct answer.