Enough of the talk and rumors.
You've read and listened to the different expertise and conflicting sources about where LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh "will" go.
(Though I must admit, I enjoy all the speculation because it doesn't make one team safe. It leaves all the free agent options up in air.)
Instead, let's think of the game itself: basketball. Let's draw some possible X's and O's on who'd be better alongside LeBron James.
James has the choice of playing alongside Dwyane Wade or Derrick Rose...or Mo Williams, if he buys Wade's loyalty speech.
D-Wade and D-Rose, both point guards, both possessing unique killer instincts and athletic abilities.
Yet, Wade is simply the better player. But just because Wade is better, doesn't mean he'll complement LeBron on the floor very well.
It’s hard to measure intangibles, but measuring egos with James and Wade is something you can’t ignore. They say (or just Yogi Berra) that sports are 90 percent mental, and the other half physical.
James and Wade are two stud superstars; they’re scoring machines, ball-hogging machines, clutch-playing machines. They’ve got shoes named after them; they’ve got posters and billboards glorifying them in their own cities.
You’d need a coach who could take over and teach them how to share the ball, and their fame. (That's another story.)
And in crunch time, who is going to take control of the game? Sure, D-Wade can step up when James has an off day, and vice versa. But neither one will have a lot of off days.
James averages 29.7 ppg, and Wade averages 26.6 ppg. Those statistics come from the offense running through them.
The Cavs’ offense ran through James, and the same for the Heat’s. Put the two together under the same game clock, and one of those scoring numbers will have to diminish. How often do you see a team with two players averaging over 25 ppg?
Does either one have the will to sacrifice their ego, especially if ego is part of his name and game?
Derrick Rose doesn’t have to join the battle of egos. He is known to be an unselfish, passive point guard, which does hold him back from being ranked up there with Wade.
But Rose’s unselfish play is what makes him the better playmaker.
All three like to attack the basket, but Rose will give up the take when he sees the defense collapse on him. He’ll keep moving to create plays and dish the ball right where his teammates want it. He’s like a mix of Steve Nash and Dwyane Wade.
Rose is quicker on his feet than Wade, and Wade admitted that himself. Rose’s quickness and youth along with James’ aggressive play would wear down their opponent’s defense.
Not to mention, Rose is only 21. James is 25. Imagine those two next to each other at their primes (though with a big age gap). Wade is 28, already in his prime.
In crunch time, it doesn’t bother Rose if he’s not the go-to guy. The Bulls have relied on having a dangerous shooter (Ben Gordon and John Salmons).
Though Rose’s shooting isn’t that impressive or reliable, he’s worked with plays on dishing the ball to the open man.
But Rose can still be that go-to guy.
What makes him better with James is that he is willing to accept a less star-studded role on the team.
Rose isn’t very vocal. He’ll shy away from attention. The media puts a recorder to his mouth, and he’ll mumble his words.
LeBron and Wade are loud, peppy leaders. Put them on the same team, and it’ll sound more annoying than a million vuvuzelas during a World Cup match.
This isn’t Team USA, where the best All-Stars combine to form a dream team to dominate the basketball world.
This is the NBA, the best league in the world, where the best want to be better than the best. And the only way to show that you’re better than the best is to defeat the best, not join them.
James and Wade are two of the best right now. Little Rose has his time to bloom. I envision him to be like Rajon Rondo, a perfect piece to a Celtic puzzle.
The Boston Celtics had the perfect pieces of a championship 2008 team. Their problem, though, is that they can’t have a dynasty era because of the age differences.
The Bulls, with their youth, have most of the pieces of a dynasty era. All they need is a big, brighter superstar. And those only a select few.
LeBron is that missing piece (but I wouldn't mind taking Wade, if that's possible). Michael Jordan was that piece in the 90s.
Right now, Rose can just be an Allen Iverson, a Jason Kidd, a Steve Nash. He’s good, he can be great, but he can’t lead the Bulls to a dynasty era.
But, he complements James better offensively than Wade. Rose is a distributor, and at his age and character, he'll let the team mold him into whatever the Bulls need to win.