LeBron James' Decision: Did Michael Jordan's Legacy Hurt the Chicago Bulls?

Mike PendletonCorrespondent IMarch 23, 2017

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

When the Cleveland Cavaliers were ousted from the NBA playoffs in mid-May, the hottest item in sports was named LeBron James.

Only a few teams were able to pursue this man's talents: Chicago, Miami, Cleveland, New Jersey, and New York.  Now, the teams LeBron left "hung out to dry", must look back at their presentation and wonders where they went wrong.

For New York and New Jersey it's simple: you simply did not have enough pieces built around your teams, or a stable enough organization to make LeBron feel comfortable.

New Jersey was one of the first rumored destinations for LeBron because of his rapper friend Jay-Z, a minority owner of the Nets.  However, when the Nets didn't win the No. 1 overall pick and John Wall, their chances took a huge decline.

The Knicks thought the acquisition of Amar'e Stoudemire, and the prospect of being the most popular guy in town (sorry Jeter) would be enough to swing LeBron to New York City.  Who wouldn't want to live in New York, wine and dine in the finest restaurants, and have the city adore you? Someone who wanted win a title, that's who.

New York, eliminated. 

Cleveland, you guys simply didn't put enough around LeBron.  Now, he is the "villain", but the city and its fans will rally around this tragic event, and eventually return to glory.

Onto Chicago.

What was wrong with their pitch? Was a starting four of Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah not enough to sway him? LeBron would be inserted and that group would arguably be the best starting five in the NBA.

So what was it LeBron?

The answer is simple: he wore No. 23 and led the Bulls to two separate three-peat's.  He's also the biggest global icon the NBA has ever produced.

His name is Michael Jordan.

The Best Ever.

He did it all in Chicago, and ever since then, Chicago has never seen the likes of any player come close to his level.

Then, in 2003, LeBron James entered the league and spent seven seasons trying to reach the same level that MJ did.

He couldn't.

LeBron had the chance to come to Chicago to follow in Jordan's footsteps, but he could never fill them.

He had the shot to play in the city of his childhood idol, but he chose instead to play with his superstar friends in Miami.

LeBron, could you not live up to the challenge of following MJ? Will Michael and his legacy scare superstars away from Chicago forever?

LeBron, you had your chance.

Michael Jordan will forever be number one in Bulls fans' hearts.  Meanwhile, LeBron will be known as the guy who left his hometown team out to dry so he could go play with his buddies down in South Beach.

Good Luck.