Friday, July 2, 2010

Chicago, Where It's All Going Down

Dwayne Wade was reportedly not high on the Bulls brass, deriding them for spurning old legends like Scottie Pippen from front office openings. But all of a sudden, Chicago is in their second meeting with the superstar, and there is talk of a Rose-Wade-Lebron-Bosh-Noah starting five. I mean, look at that again. That is 4 All-Stars and one heckuva defensive center. What gives?

I think there is an elephant in the room that no one is speaking about. And that elephant left Chicago professionally about 12 years ago. Yup, that's right. Michael.

The Bulls are Michael's team. He is the past, present, and sometimes, it seems like he is the future of the team. Every achievement will be measured against what Michael accomplished. Every championship will be compared to the ones Michael won. Every clutch shot, every post-season performance, every memory will conjure memories of what Mike did. That's why we all assumed Chicago might not get LeBron. Why go there and deal with MJ's ghost for the rest of your career.

But with this new power-play, I'm beginning to see something different. If Wade, Bosh, AND James all go to Chicago, they will wrest the team, the franchise, the city from MJ's hands and recreate the dynasty in their image. Make no doubt, with that nucleus and some bench shooting, defensive veterans, and a few more big bodies, you will win the next 5 championships, straight. But it's the manner that you did it. No one will have to compete with Michael alone, because all will be competing together. Each night is a night someone different can shine. Each post season can have it's own story. How well will Michael's ghost hold up then? Will people begin to forget the monotony of Jordan taking over every playoff game and start remembering a different scintillating experience from a different superstar each night? Could the Greatest Of All Time be replaced so easily by the Greatest Lineup Of All Time?

I think it could. I think that's what's at stake right now. Forget Cleveland and Miami. If these players are seriously considering taking an extra $30 million over the chance to play for the team of all teams, they are more myopic than I realized. They are all filthy rich. Let them win. Let them write their dynasties in stone. Michael can have his statue. We'll have ours, all of ours.

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