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LeBron told Rose’s brother Rose is “one player away”

May 28, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Chicago Bulls - Game Five Getty Images

There’s been a lot of speculation that last year when the Celtics tossed LeBron James against a wall, stole his lunch money and left him beaten and humiliated, Kevin Garnett spoke to James and reminded him of certain things about the reality of how things are when you’re trying to carry a team on your own. Garnett said post-game when asked about James’ then impending free agency that “loyalty can hurt.” Garnett understood how James felt trying in vain to win with an inferior cast and never getting over the hump, and wanted to share with James his feeling that he should have ditched Minnesota sooner. (Note: Don’t tell Minnesota fans this, they still worship him like the ex-boyfriend who doesn’t mind when the ex-girlfriend comes over, steals his food, makes him do her laundry, and then goes and messes around with one of his richer friends.)

Now LeBron James is passing the message down the line to the next in the franchise martyr line. From the Chicago Tribune, via

Before getting caught up in celebrating his teams series-clinching victory over the Bulls on Thursday night, Heat star LeBron James embraced Reggie Rose, Derricks older brother, and whispered a few words in Reggies ear.

“He said, Tell young fella hes a hell of a player and that hes one player away from a title, Reggie Rose said, relaying James message.

via Derrick Rose: Derrick Rose cant overcome fourth-quarter woes –

We’ve already discussed how James understands what Rose went through in this series, and this just illustrates the connection players who have felt that frustration and disappointment, more than the average player who loses a playoff series. This just shows that James is explicit in his support of Rose, despite the media-driven concept that they have some sort of “humble guy vs. egomaniac” feud.

James is correct in his assessment of the situation. But what everyone’s glossing over is Carlos Boozer‘s money. Not Carlos Boozer, he’s being torched in every Chicago blog, message board, radio station program and print publication there is, but Boozer’s money. Boozer still has over $60 million owed him in the five-year contract he signed. This was the big move the Bulls made. Carlos Boozer. I questioned it at the time pretty roughly, so much so in fact that I overlooked how great of a get the rest of the roster and Tom Thibodeau was. I was wrong for it then and I’m wrong for it now, but I was right about Boozer. He is not the go-to guy. He is not the sidekick. He is not the supporting structure. He’s Antawn Jamison, a bit younger and not as good of a teammate or locker room guy. The Bulls don’t just need a weapon, they need production.

The big call right now is for a legit 2-guard. O.J. Mayo is most often mentioned, as is Anthony Morrow. The problem is that both those players are best used as spot-up shooters. Mayo is considered to have the playmaking ability to create his own shot, but in reality his isolation production simply isn’t good enough to warrant being considered a number two option. He’s not going to draw attention away from Rose.

The idea is that a stellar wing player with size and length, next to a better legitimate big man to go with Rose as the MVP-caliber guard will make the Bulls a contender. Sure it will. It will make them the Heat. LeBron is supportive of Rose and everything he’s going through. And just like Garnett, it’s the example James has set that Rose needs to follow, only without the theatrics and franchise abandonment. That’s the big gap here between the three. Chicago’s the place you can get free agents. Rose can do it, it’ll just take time.

And a way to get rid of Carlos Boozer’s money.

  1. Justin - May 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    I do not worship Garnett. In fact, most everyone knows that used to like him no longer do because of how classless he was in a few road games vs the Wolves.

  2. mondzy805 - May 28, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    Boozer is a liability.

  3. worldbfree4me - May 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    This is true no doubt, but how will the Le Bron haters, Dan Gilbert included read into this piece of advice.

    I watched Mello get vilified in Denver for trying to do what they said Le Bron should do (Give the Fans and Management a heads up that you are leaving). Now Dwight has the same dilemma to deal with in Orlando.

    In the real world, most people give a 2 week notice before deciding to move on, but then again some companies just tell you to hit the road “Today” anyway. But in the World of Million Dollar salaries, you don’t give a notice, you just say “I’m out” or “Deuces”, because the writing was already on the wall months ago. Just like San Antonio with Tim Duncan a decade or so earlier, Orlando knows what It must do to keep Howard on board having lost their last Franchise player eons ago in Shaq as a result of indecisiveness.

    • denverhoopdreams - May 28, 2011 at 1:59 PM

      Just a side note… Melo(one L) was getting vilified(nice vocab btw) long before he asked to be moved out. Have you ever been to a Nuggets game prior to Melo leaving IN DENVER?

      I know one reason Melo left was because he wasn’t idolized in Denver. That’s for sure.

      • denverhoopdreams - May 28, 2011 at 1:59 PM

        And I know some people are going to come on here and say, “you’re just mad still.” But I never was. :)

  4. benoitbenjaminnumba1 - May 28, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Why didnt Lebron just say this to Rose? Seems like a half hearted compliment with more emphisis on reminding people why he himself left Cleveland. Great originial advice though, Bron.

  5. davidly - May 28, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    “Garnett understood how James felt trying in vain to win with an inferior cast.”
    What I saw in that Boston series last year was certainly not a guy “trying in vain” to win.

    As far as the inferior cast goes: Didn’t they win 61 games and beat the Bulls 4-1 in the playoffs? Didn’t they win 66 games the year before that and sweep their first two playoff opponents? Didn’t they go to the NBA finals two seasons before that? Oh, that’s right, King James did all of that stuff by himself. The losing part was all the Cavs fault.

    • strexon - May 28, 2011 at 2:36 PM

      Didn’t the Bulls win a lot of games this season? And then get stomped by the Heat 4-1. Oh that’s right Rose did all of that stuff by himself, the losing part was all the Bulls fault.

      • davidly - May 28, 2011 at 7:40 PM

        You just reinforced my point.

  6. metalhead65 - May 28, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    here we go again with lebron did not have the supporting cast in Cleveland excuse. and once again everybody ignores the fact that the cavs did all they could do for him under the cap rules. somebody might want to ask lebron if winning was so important to him why he had to have a max deal on his last cavs contract? why with the millions he had made before and with the obscene amount of money he gets from nike he had to have the last dime he could squeeze from the cavs. then he complains because he did not have a superstar sidekick? and even without the second big star the team still had the best record in the nba for 2 years and made it to the finals so stop talking like he was playing for a team like the clippers while he was in Cleveland.

    • strexon - May 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM

      He was playing for a team like the Clippers. Did you see their record this year without him? 19-63

      • cosanostra71 - May 28, 2011 at 11:04 PM

        yes, partially because they were a completely different team… only 4 players in 2009-10 Cleveland’s top 10 in minutes were in their top 10 in minutes in 2010-11… and one of them was Mo Williams, who was traded away. It wasn’t a simple case of just taking LeBron away from the roster this year like many have insinuated.

      • borderline1988 - May 29, 2011 at 12:46 AM

        You look at any Championship team over the last 30 years, and none of them can hold a candle to the ineptitude of the Cavs rosters. Verajao, WIlliams, West, Parker, Ilgauskas…these guys are all nice bench players, but none of them would get any playing time on the Celtics, Lakers, Spurs, Pistons, or any other championship team of the last 30 years.
        Nobody is saying that Lebron didn’t have ANY help. They were truly bad this season, but perhaps they would have won another 5-10 games if they were healthy and had the same team as last year (minus Lebron).
        But this simply was not a championship level roster. And anyone who thinks that is just a total idiot who has no idea about basketball.

        I’m not a big Heat fan (Im from Toronto, and I think Bosh is a total asshole – so I know what it feels like) but I cant be stupid enough to think that the Cavs surrounded Lebron with a championship level roster.

    • david8726 - May 28, 2011 at 3:30 PM

      Nobody, and I mean nobody in the NBA ever takes significantly less money than they’re worth. And guess what? You wouldn’t take less either. 5 to 10 million is a LOT of money.

      It’s easy for you to sit on your arm chair and tell another man to leave millions of dollars on the table, but very few people in this world would actually do it. Don’t hold LeBron to a different standard than any other star in the league.

      • metalhead65 - May 28, 2011 at 7:21 PM

        sure but then you would not hear me whine about how the team did not do enough to help me. as for leaving money on the table didn’t he do just that so he could play in miami? so he was willing to take less money to play for the heat and that’s ok but not ok if he took a little less to play for the cavs and get the superstar sidekick he says he wanted? it just shows it was all about the money in cleveland and about winning with the heat. nothing wrong with that if you just come out and say it and stop saying the cavs did not do all they could for you.

  7. strexon - May 28, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    He was playing for a team like the Clippers. Did you see their record this year without him? Cavs were 19-63. Clippers were 32 50.

    • metalhead65 - May 28, 2011 at 7:28 PM

      yea they sucked without him but who else that was on the team last year was not with them this year?how many injures did they have? my point is while he was the star he did not win all those games by himself. he was just not good enough to finish the job and went to miami where he would not half to carry the load and be the man. I don’t care how many rings he wins he will never be in the ranks as the greats of the past.

  8. david8726 - May 28, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    News flash – Every NBA title team over the last 30 years has had either –

    1) Multiple hall of famers
    2) Multiple perrenial all stars.

    How many all stars or perrenial all of famers did the Cavs have? Shaq doesn’t count because he had one foot in the retirement home at that point.

    You can’t win NBA titles with just one great player. You need multiple great players. LeBron had every right to go join with other great players and put himself on the same level playing field as Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan.

    All three of those guys played with two other hall of famers (McHale, Parish for Magic, Pippen, Rodman for Jordan, and Kareem and Worthy for Magic). Now LeBron has his two future hall of famers to play with.

    • david8726 - May 28, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      Obviously I meant mchale and parish for bird.

  9. zrbk - May 28, 2011 at 6:10 PM

    From a conservative point of view, the Bulls’ only chance is to duplicate the 2006 Heat (and their luck). Bring over abandoned players from rebuilding teams. Possible options are Brandon Roy, Monta Ellis, Kevin Martin, and Stephen Jackson. Otherwise, bring back Ben Gordon! He was amazing during his Chicago years.

  10. egls7 - May 28, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    I didn’t know he played for Minnesota

  11. purdueman - May 29, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    This just confirms my theory that James isn’t as big of a bum as he’s being made out to be nationwide, but that he has, and continues to be, badly hurt from an image standpoint due to the size and influence of his “posse”.

    Time for James to “man up” and cut all of the leeches that hang to him wherever he goes loose; until such time? Good luck with improving his image!

  12. diablito0402 - May 29, 2011 at 1:50 AM

    Jordan won six titles by himself he didnt have other hall of famers with him. Pippen dont count becsuse he was all he was because jordan made him from the start. Pippen would of been an average joe without jordan.

    • zrbk - May 29, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      Pippen didn’t manage to win a championship without Jordan, but neither did Karl Malone, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing, and Charles Barkley. Pippen will always be remembered as Jordan’s sidekick, but that doesn’t deny the fact that he is one of the greatest small forward to play the game.

    • zrbk - May 29, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      Pippen didn’t manage to win a championship without Jordan, but neither did Karl Malone, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing, and Charles Barkley. Pippen will always be remembered as Jordan’s sidekick, but that doesn’t deny the fact that he is one of the greatest small forwards to play the game.

  13. delfunk34 - May 30, 2011 at 12:44 AM

    diablito0402 may have just made one of the mot asnine statements regarding basketball that I have ever read. Pippen is a hall of famer who is described by other hall of famers that played agaisnt him as one of the top 5 defenders ever. His versatility on the offensive end also complimented Jordan’s tendency to dominate the ball. Let’s not forget that Jordan also played with another future hall of famer named Dennis Rodman, who Phil Jackson regards as the best pure athlete he’s ever coached. Jordan didn’t win a title by himself, no one has ever won a title by themselves.

  14. neeciekay - May 31, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    I don’t care for Lebron’s attitude, never been a fan of his, I AM aware that he’s a great basketball player/athelete. I do appreciate his honesty about Derrick Rose though, maybe it will raise some flags for the Chicago management, and they will solidify the Bulls some legitimate help for not just Derrick Rose, but, the entire team. NO MAN CAN DO IT ALONE!! That’s why Lebron’s in South Beach right now, KG in Boston, Melo in NY. . .you get my drift. I must say though, D.Rose’s humility sure does make him alot more likable than most of these butt-holes in the league, one-man band or not. . .

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