NBA free agency begins in about 60 hours. Expect much more of this “dartboard journalism” over the next three weeks. We’ll address the LeBron-to-Chicago chatter, which seems to be the hottest rumor.
Why, of all the cities in the NBA, would LeBron chose Chicago? Yes, it could be his best chance to win. The starting lineup would have be comprised of five guys who were all Top 10 NBA draft picks (though the bench would be Tayshaun Prince-thin). But when superstars get together, they don’t always win (see the 2003-2004 Lakers with Hall of Fame locks Kobe, Shaq, Mailman and Gary Payton losing in the Finals to the Pistons; yes, we’re aware two of those guys were well past their primes). And then there’s the chance Luol Deng will get dealt (hope the Bulls can land a shooter!).
LeBron gets to chose his future legacy (Kobe didn’t haven’t that luxury, but he wasn’t a potential all-time great coming out of high school, anyway). Why would LeBron go to a franchise where he has no chance of being the best ever? Chicago will always be Michael Jordan’s city. The Bulls drafted him, he won six rings, became the best player of all-time, is considered the ultimate competitor, blah, blah, blah. The comparisons to Jordan will haunt LeBron forever. Misses a game-winning shot? Jordan would have made it. Doesn’t win three titles in a row? Jordan did. In Chicago, no matter what LeBron does – the guy’s not winning seven titles in a row, we can all agree about that – he’ll never be the deity he is in Cleveland (or would be in New York).
Not to mention that it looks weak – well, at least in our eyes – following in Jordan’s footsteps, or at least trying to. In 27 NBA cities, LeBron could win a ring or two or four and would instantly be thought of as the best player in franchise history. He’d enter the discussion for G.O.A.T. So he’s going to go to one of three franchises (Lakers, Celtics being the others) where that can’t happen? Mistake.
And if this is all in homage to Jordan, well, that’s LeBron just conceding he can’t be the best player in NBA history, which would be pathetic.