NBA Free Agency Rumors: 5 Reasons LeBron Should Stay Away from Chicago
The NBA Finals are here and while Celtics and Lakers fans sharpen their knives, the rest of the NBA world knows that the NBA Finals means the free agency period draws even closer. That means LeBron James is that much closer to entering formal discussions about where his next home may be.
One of the main suitors is expected to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have the max dollars and the atmosphere that will fulfill LeBron's desire for media mega-stardom. But is Chicago truly the right fit? Plenty of sports talking heads paint Chicago to be the top choice for LeBron, but here are five reasons why LeBron should stay away.
Michael Jordan's Shadow
Talk about being the shadow of greatness. Signing with the Bulls would cloak LeBron in the biggest shadow arguably in sports history.
LeBron, who wears "23" as a tribute to MJ, would step into an environment where Bulls fans will expect him to carry their team to similar heights that Jordan brought to Chicago. Six titles is a lot to live up to. Can the Bulls and their fans stomach anything less? Can LeBron handle those expectations?
No More Hometown Flavor
The Cleveland area is the only home LeBron James has ever known. From high school ball in the Akron area to suiting up for the Cavaliers, LeBron has for the last decade been accepted as a hometown icon, a legend even.
LeBron has endured his downswings during his professional career, but many of them have been softened by the fact that Cavs fans are cheering for "one of them." Even without a title, LeBron has done so much to support Cleveland and the fans have responded in kind. That goes away with a jump to Chicago.
The Bulls, like the Cavs, currently have a head coaching vacancy. The scuttlebutt was that the Bulls were going to pursue Lakers coach Phil Jackson, but Jackson was quick to dispel those rumors a few weeks ago.
The Bulls, also like the Cavs, will likely hesitate to sign a new coach before they know if they can lock up LeBron James. But it is also impossible to think that LeBron won't have a hand in a new coach whether it's in Chicago or Cleveland. Can Chicago wait another four to six weeks to hire a new coach?
Ball Out of Hand
Though he is not a point guard, LeBron controlled the ball movement with the Cavs. He was the dominant ball handler and the offense went through him. That element will change in Chicago. The Bulls offense runs through Derrick Rose. Rose likes to penetrate and go to the basketball. His position on the floor is different than LeBron's, but his playing style is very similar.
Will LeBron be comfortable standing on the perimeter waiting for someone to distribute the ball to him? Will Rose? Will a LeBron/Rose tandem, as attractive as it may be, create a tense play making environment? These are elements LeBron must think about vis-a-vis the Bulls.
No Big Man
The Cavs experimented with Shaquille O'Neal and had Zydrunas Ilgauskus on the roster, but the lack of a dominant big man held the Cavs back in the playoffs. That problem doesn't change in Chicago.
The Bulls' big man combination of Brad Miller (who is a free agent) and Joakim Noah still may not be enough to get the Bulls over the hump against an Eastern Conference big power like Dwight Howard.