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Are the Bulls now the leaders in the LeBron sweepstakes?

Jun 25, 2010, 9:51 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for lebron celtics game 5.pngThere are a lot of jittery Cleveland Cavaliers fans right now. And not just because they had four cups at the Cleveland Coffee Company.

Clevelanders woke up this morning to a new landscape. Yesterday morning they were still the most logical place for LeBron James to play — they had shown him a serious commitment to winning, he got more money, he got to stay home and they were as close to getting a championship team together as anyone else.

Today, that is not the case. Chicago suddenly looks much closer to a title, and they have shown a serious commitment to winning.

That is, if the Bulls can land both LeBron and Chris Bosh. They traded Kirk Hinrich and now are right on the edge of being able to add two max contracts to go with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Land two big free agents and Chicago will get penciled in to take on the Lakers in the 2011 NBA finals.

Chicago has done all it could and now is in a great position. Cleveland has done all it could for the past couple years, making big moves to try to bring LeBron a ring. Both front offices have shown what they are willing to do. There are pitches to be made, but the foundations are set.

There are reasons this might not work in Chicago. Maybe Chris Bosh really wants to be option number one, and the thought of playing on a team where the ball will always be in LeBron’s or Rose’s hands has him heading to Miami or New York. Maybe LeBron really wants to play with Wade. Maybe LeBron really always wanted to play in New York, who cares how far the team is from a title.

Let’s hope the “LeBron doesn’t want to play in the shadow of Jordan” argument doesn’t ring true. Because that would be sad and speak of a weak-minded LeBron. You didn’t see Kevin Garnett shying away from the legacy of Larry Bird and Bill Russell – he embraced it and added to it. You don’t see Kobe shying away from the legacy of Magic and Jerry West, he saw it as a challenge. (Of course, Kobe sees everything as a challenge.)

It comes down to this:

Chicago is a place he can win and maybe be the heart of a dynasty.

Cleveland is home.

LeBron will have to choose. After all the fancy dinners and celebrities and long talks with general managers, it comes down to what LeBron really wants in his heart.

And if that truly is titles, Cleveland may no longer be the front-runner.

  1. ken - Jun 25, 2010 at 6:17 PM

    Some one lied to you. Bynum is trash…good knee or not. Kobe said it himself in a spontaneous interview. He’s big, sure, but he is not a game changer like you claim he is. If bynum plays, gasol probably wouldn’t have done as well and the Lakers would have lost. Have you been taking acting/flopping lessons from Gasol and Fischer to think Bynum is this awesome player?!

  2. tommygun - Jun 25, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Lebron James is a top player, no question about it. His only problem is producing mvp qualities in the playoffs. He made it to the finals once and they were swept. Usually you have to lose one before you win one but unfortunately it hasn’t happened for Cleveland. Probably a change of teams will do it for Lebron. It happened to Shaq when he left Orlando to join the Lakers.

  3. Drew - Jun 25, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    Bynum had a big game in Game 2 of the finals (the best Laker of the game) when his knee was “healthier” and they still lost. How exactly would the Lakers have swept the series? If Ray Allen makes even a shot or two in Game 3 (as opposed to 0-13), it’s possible the Celtics would’ve closed it out in 5. Woulda, coulda, shoulda…Lakers won.
    I think Chicago makes the most sense for Lebron right now. Young cast (Rose/Noah), with the potential to add a Bosh/Stoudemire/Boozer. Wade is another shooting guard who needs to dominate the ball. I don’t see Lebron fitting in there. Adding Lebron and Bosh is a championship calibre team right away. No guarantee of that anywhere else.

  4. canman - Jun 26, 2010 at 1:49 AM

    hey retard, don’t make excuses about injuries. Bynum barely played because of his injury.

  5. Stallion John - Jun 26, 2010 at 11:05 PM

    SNIPER -
    Kobe reigns ? Really. Kobe is a HOF for sure but to consider him the best ever to play ? That just means you are completely UNIMFORMED.
    He may be- maybe- the 4th best LAKER by the end of next year. The 3rd best after 2012. But he’s already been in the league forever and always been on a really good team -sometimes damn good ones- and most recently has been on a team that could be considered the best of this decade. But he ain’t been the one to carry or drag his team to the title game in each of his title winning years. He’ always had 2-3 other really good teammates who’ve helped put them into the final game. What I’m saying is that he ain’t been as good right NOW in his prime (the last 5 years) as Magic or Kareem. He’ll pass Worthy and several others by the All Star break next year. Meaning that he is still NOT as great as Magic and Kareem. Crazy Am I ? NO.
    Nobody redefined a role like Kareem did -until Magic changed the game. Kareem and Wilt chamberlain were sooo dominant that it took a
    player who could play all 5 positions and be great at all of them to exceed and redefine a BBall players greatness.
    Kobe is now heading into the last 3-5 years he’ll play. If he doesn’t win 2 more in the next 3 yrs then he’ll never be the best Laker -and certainly NOT the GREATEST TO EVER PLAY.
    The BEST EVER –so far –is MJ. And unless Lebron wins 6 titles with GOOD BUT NOT GREAT teammates then he’ll just be ANOTHER great player. That looks likley -UNLESS he goes to Miami or to Chicago NOW. ANd only if he wins 7 -8 with as many MVP awards.
    JORDAN IS THE BEST EVER – NO other player has ever had a team write an ENITRE BOOK on how to defend against him and no other player has said that – “HE SAW GOD PLAY BBALL TODAY as “- like Larry Bird did.
    Damned hard to beat those endorsements and Kobe and Lebron aren’t even close to that yet – plus IF KOBE wins the same # of titles – he still has tobe the MVP the same # of times – he needs at least 3 titles right now and must be the MVP at the same time.
    I never met a KING who didn’t have to answer to a GOD. Or the GOOD BOOK – JORDAN RULES …

  6. Stallion John - Jun 26, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    SNIPER -
    Kobe reigns ? Really. Kobe is a HOF for sure but to consider him the best ever to play ? That just means you are completely UNIMFORMED.
    He may be- maybe- the 4th best LAKER by the end of next year. The 3rd best after 2012. But he’s already been in the league forever and always been on a really good team -sometimes damn good ones- and most recently has been on a team that could be considered the best of this decade. But he ain’t been the one to carry or drag his team to the title game in each of his title winning years. He’ always had 2-3 other really good teammates who’ve helped put them into the final game. What I’m saying is that he ain’t been as good right NOW in his prime (the last 5 years) as Magic or Kareem. He’ll pass Worthy and several others by the All Star break next year. Meaning that he is still NOT as great as Magic and Kareem. Crazy Am I ? NO.
    Nobody redefined a role like Kareem did -until Magic changed the game. Kareem and Wilt chamberlain were sooo dominant that it took a
    player who could play all 5 positions and be great at all of them to exceed and redefine a BBall players greatness.
    Kobe is now heading into the last 3-5 years he’ll play. If he doesn’t win 2 more in the next 3 yrs then he’ll never be the best Laker -and certainly NOT the GREATEST TO EVER PLAY.
    The BEST EVER –so far –is MJ. And unless Lebron wins 6 titles with GOOD BUT NOT GREAT teammates then he’ll just be ANOTHER great player. That looks likley -UNLESS he goes to Miami or to Chicago NOW. ANd only if he wins 7 -8 with as many MVP awards.
    JORDAN IS THE BEST EVER – NO other player has ever had a team write an ENITRE BOOK on how to defend against him and no other player has said that – “HE SAW GOD PLAY BBALL TODAY as “- like Larry Bird did.
    Damned hard to beat those endorsements and Kobe and Lebron aren’t even close to that yet – plus IF KOBE wins the same # of titles – he still has tobe the MVP the same # of times – he needs at least 3 titles right now and must be the MVP at the same time.
    I never met a KING who didn’t have to answer to a GOD. Or the GOOD BOOK – JORDAN RULES …

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