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LeBron is to Cleveland as Wade is… not to Chicago

Aug 24, 2010, 12:41 PM EDT

Wade_okay.jpgLast week we discussed how the fine folks of Chicago cannot muster the hate for Dwyane Wade that Clevelanders have so easily tapped into for LeBron James.

Why is that? He is a born-and-raised Chicago guy who flirted with the city before deciding to stay in Miami (and join forces with LeBron and Bosh). Why not hate?

A couple things hold it back, from the sports attitudes in Chicago to Wade himself. We asked your friendly neighborhood Bulls blogger, Matt of Blog-a-Bull — one of the longest-running and most-respected bloggers out there — about Wade and Chicago.

He said the LeBron and Cleveland dynamic was very different than Wade in Chicago, in large part because Wade wasn’t Chicago’s to lose.

‘Chicago’ and the ‘Bulls’ aren’t entirely in sync. The Bulls are a worldwide fandom (thanks to Jordan, of course), yet will always be an afterthought in Chicago sports behind the Bears and baseball. There are many Bulls fans who aren’t from Chicago and don’t care about the city aspect of it.

Also, Wade wasn’t a major star when he was a high school player here. He was definitely good, but famously was under-recruited before going to Marquette. So it was more of seeing his star blossom elsewhere and being a returning hero than the homegrown version.

…which of course brings to mind someone who WAS a star through high school here, and that’s Derrick Rose. Basically, if there are any special feelings toward a hometown superstar (and there are), they’re given to Rose, and Wade is then an afterthought…

I believe most fans feel that Wade was at best merely giving the Bulls a courtesy, but at worst leveraging his family situation to throw the Bulls off and help Riley with his master plan… But even so, he’s not nearly as reviled as LeBron or Bosh, maybe as at least some kind of respect for a guy working for his franchise. We’d be alright with Rose doing the same to help the Bulls recruit free agents. So Wade will be booed upon his return, but that’s just because of his jersey. I think the ties to his home are personal and separated, and that’s probably healthiest for us as fans anyway.

  1. bobby from the job - Aug 24, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    nope..us Chicagoans should have more disdain for Wade than Cleveland has for Lashon because James didn’t betray his home town, he betrayed Cleveland while Wade came here and played pretend on behave of Riles, so Wade should feel the brunt of it. South beach made dude forget how we get down in the Chi. We generally keep it real, most people from here are str8 shooters, so all those smoke & mirrors he and his “boys” pulled this summer won’t be easily forgiven. The only good that came out of all this is no other player would be dumb enough to follow in James’ footsteps in regard to their “home town” team. But then again, who thought Reke Evans would be dumb enough to get caught driving like a wannabe racecar driver twice… It’s obvious most of these dudes, need coaches off the court too! But back to Mr Wade, we won’t be forgetting how you played us anytime soon, homie!

  2. jase - Aug 24, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Good observations. I would also hope that Chicago still likes Wade simply because of everything he does for the city charitably.
    But, that probably goes to the distinction Matt made between Chicago residents and Bulls fans. The city itself is still warm towards him because it claims him, but Bulls fans from outside the city only care about the Bulls, and don’t care about everything he gives back to the city.

  3. Colin Zvosec - Aug 24, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    The least you could ask for is a hometown guy wanting to play for his hometown team. The Bulls have that in Rose. Does it make up for Wade being a prick? In a way, it does. Chicago already has their guy.

  4. Ross - Aug 24, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    I can’t stand Wade. The Bulls already have the greatest home town guy. Wade could never of handled that. I think the 3 in Miami are in for an aweful time. LaBron is going to regret ever going there.
    Bosh will be nothing more than a garbage man on the court and Wade will get hurt like he always does. I think it is going to come down to Chi and Boston for the East Finals.
    See ya Mouth Beach!

  5. Crash - Aug 24, 2010 at 11:12 PM

    Chicago? Lmao! I’m not sure how old you are but Chicago won’t win a championship in your lifetime. Enjoy your old Jordan videos and cherish the rings that he brought to your hometown. Rose isn’t better than Wade, your a fool if you think so and adding Da Boozo is not going to win you the East. I guess one thing about Chicago is true; I heard the chronic is really good and by your words it looks like you’ve been smokin some Ross.

  6. Abdurrahman - Aug 24, 2010 at 11:17 PM

    I am happy for lebron and Dwyane Decisions >>that mean bulls is derrick team and He deserves a chance as they had obtained
    chicago guys leads top tow franchise
    go rose go bulls
    go dwyane
    beat the heat

  7. jase - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    See what I mean? Look at most of these commenters in this tread. They’re Bulls fans obviously, but the charity work Wade does on behalf of Chicago means nothing to them. All they care about is the fact that they believe Wade led them on about the possibility of playing for the Bulls and previously criticized the Bulls organization.

  8. scott@az - Aug 26, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    troll much?

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