For almost two years now, NBA fans all around the world have been anticipating the Free Agency Frenzy of 2010. Now that it's here, many of us have been glued to the news, patiently waiting for new reports and player tweets to be released. While this may seem crazy, the decisions made are, indeed, important as they will determine the landscape of the league for years to come.
So far, we've been informed of where a few of the big-name superstars are headed. Early on in the process, we learned that Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, and Joe Johnson will all be remaining with their respective teams. Then, the first domino fell as Amar'e Stoudemire agreed to a blockbuster 5-year, $100 million deal that will reunite him with his former Head Coach Mike D' Antoni, in New York.
However, arguably the best player in the NBA still remains on the market. Two-time reigning MVP LeBron James has scheduled a press conference during which he will finally announce his crucial decision.
The teams expected to still realistically be in the sweepstakes include the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, and possibly even the New York Knicks. Despite endless speculation, nobody knows for sure who the favorite is and whether or not the King has already firmly made up his mind on where he wants his throne to be.
Even though Cleveland is his hometown, New York provides the ultimate city spotlight, and the Heat offer the chance to possibly form the greatest trio of all-time, I still firmly believe that the Chicago Bulls are the team that he should sign with.
First of all, the Chicago Bulls are by far the most decorated franchise of the four teams. Their six championships are 3rd to only the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics; coincidentally two of the best teams in the league today. While New York may be celebrity heaven, Chicago is the place to be for a professional basketball player.
Looking at the present day circumstances, the Bulls also have the most to offer. Unlike the other three teams, the Bulls already have a young nucleus of players in place.
In a point-guard driven league, they've got the best of the four in Derrick Rose. With that being the case, LeBron wouldn't be forced to be the primary play-maker like he was in Cleveland.
Moreover, with a defensive center in Joakim Noah and the awakening of the Carlos Boozer signing, the Bulls have one of the best front courts in the league, let alone of the four as well. As the Lakers demonstrated, a solid rotation of big men is an integral key to success.
Not to mention, the Bulls have a couple other pieces in place with Luol Deng and Taj Gibson and have the flexibility to surround the team with shooters.
The most important element that the Bulls possess, in my opinion, is chemistry. They showed that even without LeBron and Boozer, this is a playoff caliber team. Now, those two can come in as the final pieces of the puzzle.
Honestly, if you look at the big picture, there is truly no reason why LeBron shouldn't sign with the Bulls.
Even though he may feel a need to stay loyal to the Cavaliers, this should be a rational basketball decision as opposed to an emotional one.
Chris Bosh's refusal to play in Cleveland, alone, should be enough to prove to LeBron that recruiting talent to come play alongside him in Cleveland will be a struggle. Despite all the moves the Cavaliers have desperately made over the past few seasons, the franchise has nothing tangible to show for it.
At some point, he has to cut his losses and do what’s best for him.
As for Miami, while the potential is great, there is too much of a risk on, both LeBron's, and the Heat's side, to make the move. The Heat are better off signing legitimate role players, while LeBron is better off signing with the Bulls.
In addition, the argument that New York can make him a global icon is utterly ridiculous and shouldn’t even be considered. LeBron is already one of, if not, the most famous basketball player on the face of the planet. The only way for him to earn more respect and fame would be to prove that he is amongst the greatest of all-time. The best way to do so would be to win championships.
I’m confident that if LeBron James signs with the Chicago Bulls, he will be given the best possible opportunity to be a winner.
The ball is in his hands as he has a gold choice to control his own destiny. The big question now is, what will he do with it? Be sure, to tune in to ESPN at 9 PM ET to find out.
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