The Chicago Bulls need to acquire at least one marquee superstar if they want to join the list of teams who can be considered legitimate title contenders next season. And one of the names that could be on the market, as was the case four seasons ago, is LeBron James.
As you know, James and the Miami Heat came up short against the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals mostly because of the lack of a supporting cast—a fact that was not lost on the Bulls front office. While James has yet to decide if he will opt out of the last year of his contract, there has been talk about where the four-time MVP may go next, and according to CSNChicago.com, the Bulls supposedly have the third-best odds of being the next landing spot for King James.
But before you get your hopes up, Bulls fans, I have to tell you that the chances of James playing in a Bulls uniform next season are between slim and none, and here are a few reasons for that sentiment.
Heat are still contenders
In 2010, James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Boston Celtics for the second time in three seasons. Following another disappointing playoff exit, James realized he could not lead the Cavaliers to a title on his efforts alone, which led to James taking his talents to South Beach.
What was the result of the infamous decision? Well, with James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh leading the way, the Heat made four consecutive appearances in the Finals, winning two titles during that span.
Although the Heat were soundly beaten by the Spurs in several areas, including lack of a rim protector and bench depth, they are still the best team in the eastern conference for the time being.
That being the case, it wouldn’t make sense for James to part ways with an organization that is still capable of contending for a title. Now, as team president Pat Riley has mentioned, the roster will need some tweaking of course, but depending on who goes and who remains, the Heat should still be one the favorites to represent the East in the Finals next year.
In addition to that, Riley also stated that he is willing to do whatever it takes to put the team in position to contend for titles for the next several seasons. With that kind of commitment from the front office along with the fact that James and his family love Miami, it would be difficult to foresee a scenario where he would want to leave and start over again.
James does not like Bulls
The Heat and Bulls have developed a bitter rivalry that dates back to the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals. After Chicago won the first game of that series handily, the Heat stormed back to take the next four games, including a come-from-behind victory in Game 5 at the United Center. That disappointing loss led to Joakim Noah calling the Heat “Hollywood as hell.”
As you can imagine, there was no love lost between the two sides after that series.
Then, two seasons later, the two teams met again in the 2013 conference semifinals and the result was eerily similar to the previous playoff meeting. Chicago took the opener on Miami’s home court, but dropped the next four games.
And like the first postseason meeting between the teams, this series had a memorable moment as well. During Game 3, Nazr Mohammed shoved James near half court, much to the delight of the United Center crowd. But James and the Heat were not phased, as they handed the Bulls consecutive double-digit losses at home before closing out the series in Miami.
And if you want further proof of how James feels about the Bulls from a competitive standpoint, the four-time MVP stated that the teams do not like each other as the Heat were preparing to host the Bulls in the season opener back in November. That being said, Bulls fans should probably not count on James viewing Chicago as a viable option should he choose to become a free agent.
James would not and should not want to play in Michael Jordan‘s shadow
James has drawn comparisons to Jordan for several years. And while some of those comparisons have been favorable, in the eyes of some of his critics, James will never eclipse Jordan as one of the greatest players in NBA history.
But let’s pretend for a moment that James would actually consider the Bulls as a potential landing spot. One of the reasons why this would be a bad idea is because the United Center is often called “the house that Jordan built”, which would mean that James would be playing in the shadow of the one former player that the media continues to judge him against.
Being that James has grown tired of these comparisons and rightfully so, it is not likely that he would put himself in a situation where he would be compared to Jordan even more so than he is right now. So while James would certainly make a nice addition to what has been a makeshift roster the past couple of seasons, Bulls fans should not lose any sleep over the fact that James will pass on their team once again.
James Tillman is a Staff Writer for HoopsHabit.com and a sports contributor for Football Nation and Sports Kings/Pass The Pill. James is also a former Featured Sports Contributor for Yahoo! Contributor Network.