Free Agent Watch: The people of Chicago want LeBron James

Translation: Please sign with the Bulls! Were begging you!

Translation: "Please sign with the Bulls! We're begging you!"

Well, the people running Send LeBron to Chicago do, anyway. They sponsored that snazzy billboard shown at the top of this post. Notice the phrase “unfinished business” and the seventh NBA championship trophy? I think we all know what they’re getting at.

Accoding to Daarel Burnette II of the Chicago Tribune: “AJ Barthold, 28, said he and a group of friends were able to raise $1,750 through his Web site,, enough to pay for the billboard’s placement for two weeks. … If the billboard doesn’t work, Barthold’s Web site — which includes links to a letter-writing campaign, ways to volunteer and a “die-hard-fans-only” corner — makes a ‘logical’ argument for James to choose the Windy City.”

The argument being “The Bulls will be really, really good if you come here…so please, please come here!” Ah, sweet logic.

But wait, there’s more. According to Jay Busbee of Yahoo! Sports: “Chicagoland Speedway president Craig Rust has offered to rename his joint ‘LeBron James Speedway’ for the upcoming race weekend July 9-10 should LeBron sign with the hometown Bulls. Rust told LeBron he’d be named the ‘king’ of the speedway, and that all proceeds from the sale of ‘LeBron James Speedway’ to a local charity.”

These crazy courting gestures come on the heels of Cleveland’s “We Are LeBron” video and Clippers fans holding a parade in LeBron’s honor. And, of course, the President of the United State has even gotten involved, stating LeBron would fit “pretty well” with the Bulls but that it would be “wonderful” if LeBron stayed in Cleveland.

Okay. That’s it. I have to say it: This is officially the craziest free agent saga I have ever seen.

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45 Responses to Free Agent Watch: The people of Chicago want LeBron James

    BULL4EVER June 4, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    So obama says it will be wonderful if he stays in Cleveland,yeah okay,he will just be totally heartbroken year after year,man come on,because it would be totally unbelievable how many NBA titles he will win in the Windy City if the King signs with these good old Bulls.LeBron is guaranteed so many NBA titles in the Windy City,he is just guaranteed heartbreak year after year.GO BULLS.

    Enigmatik June 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    I’m falling into the camp that if he doesn’t come to Chicago, it will be ok with me. His sense of entitlement is disgusting to me. I would much rather see the core guys get the championship than see LeBron play the role of ‘savior.’

    I’m not going to sit here and lie and say I don’t want him on the Bulls, but the way he’s trying to outshine the Finals right now is just ridiculous. And all of this worship of him needs to stop immediately…dude has won NOTHING…

    bullsfandom June 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    This has been a huge storyline even before the finals, and I don’t see how doing an interview with Larry King (that was announced before the Finals and thats being shown on a Finals off night) is trying to outshine them.

    I still hope he comes here, but I think all of the shenanigans of people trying to ‘lure’ him anywhere are a waste of time and money. Lebron is a basketball player, not a tourist who will be swayed by fancy billboards and parades.

    BadDave June 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    How’s it feel to live in Lebrago?

    Alex June 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm #


  6. BullsFan22 June 4, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    Is Lebron James the only basketball player in the NBA? There is this thing called the NBA Finals going on right now. Yeah yeah it’s not the Bulls that are playing in it, and I realize that the norm today is to hype someone as much as possible and compare him to previous era players, cough cough….MJ. People hate him when he is on the opposing team and now they want to welcome him like he is Jesus or something. Freakin nausea if you ask me. There are gonna be how many free agents available? If Lebron is there for the taking, why not? If he is not, what will the Bulls do? Give up and not sign or trade anyone? Give me a break. There are plenty of good players in this free agent market right now, why should we ignore every single one of them in favor of Lebron? Becaue he is the proclaimed ‘king?’ I will root for him if he is on the Bulls, but people need to stop acting like this is a life or death situation here. I hope the organization realizes, unlike a lot of fans, that there are other great options, great coaches available that have interest in the Bulls, whether Lebron personally knows them, has a great relationship with them, had afternoon tea with them or what have you. Sorry Matt, this isn’t news anymore, it’s fill in the blanks stuff.

    ctw724 June 4, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    I’m still in the Wade, Bosh, Cheeks and Pippen camp.

  8. bobbysimmons June 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Actually I sorta feel for Cleveland, just like Barracks of Osama. They’re covered in rust and crap and need their homeboy to stay in town. Who are we big city folks from Chitown and NYC to claim the riches of Akron, we just want it all, us spoiled brats, let him stay in Cleveland. Though then again Chitown aint NYC, NYCers just think their town is the shiznit and there is no other city in the world that people should even think about living in, I hate those basterds.

  9. PTFC June 4, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    Thank you bobby simmons for that great reminder of how our schools systems are failing.

  10. Ryan June 4, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    The ‘courting’ of Lebron is whack! I would rather have a solid GROUP of players instead of a ‘cornerstone’ – we already have the foundation built (Rose, Deng? and Noah), a cornerstone will be unnecessary. Get it? Lebron would be great, but not essential. We need a shooter and some size down low.

    As mentioned in game 1 of the Finals – The Celtics TEAM disposed of every Eastern Conference MVP. Wade (Heat), Lebron (Cavs), and Howard (Magic). It was a classic point that *team basketball* still wins Championships… er Gets to the Finals.

  11. BullsFan22 June 4, 2010 at 11:56 pm #

    Yes! Thank you Ryan! Someone finally making some sense, lol.

    Bobby June 5, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    BullsFan22 who is it you have talked to that believes if we don’t get Lebron we aren’t worried about anyone else? There have been talks about just about every free agent out there. You can’t criticize people for wanting the third best player in the NBA. I have hated the guy since he was named “The King” which Im pretty sure was when he was still in high school. I hated him all last year for his incredible ego problems and Im still not sure that I want him. But I do want championships and Lebron would bring that. Not because he is Lebron but because he would be joining Rose and Noah. I think you would agree with that but I can’t see how you can criticize people for wanting him so badly. Lebron to Chicago guarantees championships and I would not guarantee that for any other free agent.

    bill thomas June 5, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    I wish Lebron James would come to Chicago next year and play for the Bulls but, I highly doubt it. =(

    Adrian June 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    Honestly, I like Dwane Wades Game, and Mind Set better. He has more miles and more baggage, but he has proven that he has championship pedigree. He doesn’t shoot a high percentage from three because he has never played with a decent play maker, Rose could get wade open looks from deep, they could alternate driving and dishing and save both of their bodies. Granted this all would be true for lebron but to me it just doesn’t seem that he as the focus, presence of mind or the tenacity and killer instinct to get the job done in the playoffs, would MJ have let his team give up like cleveland did against boston… no, more importantly would MJ try to do everything in his power to win even if his teammates were shittting the bed? YES. Did Lebron give up as well… thats a BIG FAT YES? I don’t care if his contract is up and his teammates are all half retarded the man has been the consensus best player in the league and he has a responsibility to show up and take care of business.

    After this year, I really question Lebrons Character, would I like Im on the bulls? obviously hes Lebron James. But he is in no way guaranteed a championship in Chicago, that is more contingent on Rose and Noah’s Continued development and awesomeness.

    Bam! June 5, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Adrian

    BULL4EVER June 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    That GM danny ferry won’t even be back next season with Cleveland,now this may be a turning point,LeBron also leaves Cleveland and signs with a true title-contending team like the Bulls.There are quite a few teams for LeBron to sign with,but a team like the Bulls is totally beyond any other title-contender and the worthiest team to play for,while places like new york or new jersey have been nothing but losing traditions so do yourself a favor King James,sign with the Bulls if you leave Cleveland.GO BULLS.

    BoppinBob June 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    There are only two players available in FA worth max contracts, LBJ and D Wade. Should the Bulls be lucky enough to land one of them it would be great. But please remember that the Bulls built the starting line-up of their first championship over 4 years and then waited 3 more years to win it all. Jordan, drafted (84), Paxson, FA signing (85), Pipen, draft day trade (87), Grant, draft (87), and Cartwright, aquired in trade with Knicks for Charles Oakley (88). First championship won in 90/91. So James or Wade do not guarantee a championship in 2011.

    During the building process the Bulls added a lot of quality depth that filled roles. Armstrong, drafted 89, Hodges, FA 88, Hopson, trade 90, Levingston, FA 90, Perdue, draft 88, Williams, rookie FA, 90. Notice that the Bulls had 4 FAs, Hodges, Levingston, Paxson and Williams. None were superstars, none were HOFers, Paxson was a starter. But all of those FAs contributed minutes and energy in their roles.

    The current Bulls have a core of 6 players, if they land either LBJ or Wade it will be via sign and trade and they will have to give up 2 or 3 of their core players to get it done. That will leave them with 4-5 players on their roster and the need to find the quality depth to support a contending starting lineup.

    I firmly believe that the Bulls best route to a perennial deep playoff contender and possible championship is to add three to four potential starters through the draft and FA (SG, C, PF). Then look for 3 journeymen like Murray and Warrick to fill out the roster. I also like Acie Law for these Bulls. I know this is not the popular position but I do not expect a championship before 2012 no matter what the Bulls do, and I would rather do it in a financially sound manner that will allow the Bulls to keep the basic roster together to create another Bulls dynasty. Landing James or Wade may not allow that to happen. Remember the MJ Bulls lost Horace Grant to the Magic via FA the year MJ turned to baseball and it cost them a possible 4th consecutive championship.

  18. BullsFan22 June 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Great stuff BoppinBob. I will lower my critique of Lebron, I know he is a top 5 player in this league, but what if we don’t get him? That’s one of my concerns. Bobby, I haven’t talked to anyone, it’s just my feeling. I am no expert, I am just a die-hard fan who’s been following the bulls now since 95′. I will probably change my opinion on Lebron if we get him or not, maybe, who knows. People didn’t exactly ‘love’ Rodman before he came over, and look what happened. I guess will find out in the next few weeks. Hope for the best! Go Bulls!

    joe June 5, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    We got a new coach

  20. Mahmoud June 5, 2010 at 8:34 pm #

    Matt make a post about our brand spankin’ new coach. I’m really excited-having a good defense is the first step to having a great run and gun type of team. You can’t play fast if you can’t make stops, and I definitely see this team being the kind that has a strong defensive sequence, rebounds very well, and goes and gets easy buckets running the floor with DRose and Joey. I haven’t been able to say this a lot lately, but great job by the front office. Hopefully this won’t distract him from his series with the Celtics though.

    Max June 5, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    I can’t believe they hired this guy…….They could have at least interviewed more people.

    Trm3 June 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Well, thank goodness it’s not Lawrence Frank.

    I think Tom will do good.

    Luke June 5, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    The only way I will accept Tom is if he baths in the Chicago River for 1 hour to cleanse himself of all Boston Ties/connections/relations/roots.

    Brad S. June 5, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Agreed, Trm3. This was the guy I was hoping for, too. He is a fresh face and yet he has been around. Defensive minded coaches do much better in the playoffs than offensive ones (with the notable exception of the triangle.) I am just glad that the Bulls did not pick up another retread.

  25. BullsFan22 June 5, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    I think this is a real good decision. A coach known for his commitment to fundamentals, defense and team play. How will his hiring impact free agents? Hopefully it is a good impact.

    joe June 6, 2010 at 1:14 am #

    Tom’s not a Boston guy. He’s a long term NBA assistant who’s been around the league. He’s a fresh face as a NBA coach but a guy who’s worked hard for 18 years in the NBA.

    This is a very good hire. We know how Frank et al. can coach and there’s a wealth of information to be gleaned by contacts and former players on NBA coaches.

    My guess is Tom T. Had a rep of being a hard-ass on some players. The Bulls needed a face-to-face. Case closed.

    Also, Tom T seems to have postponed deciding on two two other job offers in NO and NJ to meet with the Bulls Org.

    BoppinBob June 6, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Jackson was a proponent of the Triangle offense, Tex Winter coached the Bulls on it.

    BULL4EVER June 6, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    So the Bulls will already have Tom Thibodeau soon after the Finals,this will be a the perfect choice for this Bulls team on the rise in the near future,especially since he is a total defensive guru and he won’t at all be VDN or any other coach that has been a total failure since Phil Jackson left the Windy City in 1998.Tom Thibodeau will be the 9th coach of the Bulls since the ZEN MASTER left Chicago after Chicago’s 6th and last NBA title in 1998.Another thing is Tom T and King James also share the same agency and both are linked to each other so beware of the King possibly joining forces with Rose and Noah and even Chris Bosh possibly signing with the Bulls if he leaves Toronto because Bosh may go wherever LeBron goes.GO BULLS.

    Luke June 6, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    whoa whoa whoa Bull4ever… Let’s not be calling Scott Skiles and Vinny Del Negro “total failures”- Vinny has a .500 record in the regular season as a head coach, and those were his first two seasons. Skiles took us to the playoffs two years in a row, the second being a sweep of the defending champ Miami Heat. Those are not total failures. I am not trying to start an argument, just making sure former bulls are getting their credit

    DJ June 6, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    I hope this was a smart choice from the Bulls organization to choose Tom Thibodeau as their new head coach for 3 years.

    Hopefully the Bulls do not forget to much about their offensive game like they have had in the past with Scott Skiles, in struggling to score back in 07-08 when they didn’t make the playoffs.

    In order for the Bulls to be successful in winning a championship title, they have to have a balance of both: offensive & defensive and I am worry that they mate have to much defensive minds right now and least offense with Thibodeau.

    That being said, hopefully the bulls signs talented scores like:
    SF:Rudy Gay (replacing Deng in trade)
    SF:Travis Outlaw (replacing J.J in trade)
    PF:David Lee or PF:Carl Landry (as our starter behind Taj Gibson) SG:Mike Miller or SG:Kyle Korver or SG:Rasual Butler (as our bench backup SG to Hinrich)
    G:Steve Blake or G:Acie Law (as our third backup guard to Rose)
    C:Channing Frye or C: Jared Jeffries or C:Drew Gooden or Brad Miller (as our backup Center to Noah)

    and teach them how to play better defense to balance it out their games including our draft pick this summer in who ever they pick.

    DJ June 6, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    And if god wants: Lebron, Bosh or Wade to come to Chicago like my buddy Max tells me all the time, that would be also nice as well to replace Deng or Hinrich which I still highly doubt. lol

  32. BullsFan22 June 6, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    Hey DJ, let’s just get every single all star, how’s that sound? Talk about building a dynasty.

    Max June 7, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    Rudy Gay is so far off the Bulls Radar……The chances are higher of Lebron being a Bull than trading for a guy who can’t pass or play defense.

    robert June 7, 2010 at 3:47 am #

    if lebron ever wants to win titles its easy chi towncome on rose noah gibson plus lebron sign and trade with utah for boozer we give up hinrich and our first round pick oh and deng so the 5 would rose at the 1 lebron at the 2 deng the 3 boozer 4 noah the 5 can you say plenty of trophys

    DJ June 7, 2010 at 4:58 am #

    Are you serious Max?

    Rudy Gay is so far off the Bulls Radar……The chances are higher of Lebron being a Bull than trading for a guy who can’t pass or play defense.??? (please re-check his stat again the kid can play defense.)

    Hahaha and please don’t make me laugh Max, we have the same chances of landing Lebron just like everyone else in the NBA. Like I said before, it is not going to be a piece of cake like you think it is. Even if you don’t sign Lebron James this summer it is not the end of the world. Their are other good players out their as well that fix well with Rose and Noah. And Rudy Gay has the same potential in becoming a multiple all star player just like Rose and Noah.

    BullaFan22, Rose and Noah are our core dynasty players along with some other semi stars players.

    mike killer June 7, 2010 at 5:04 am #

    Hey Max, I kind of agree with dude that let you that comment. It is not the end of the world if the Bulls do not sign Lebron James this summer. Their are other good players out their in the market, if he signs back with Cleveland.

    bill thomas June 7, 2010 at 5:13 am #

    I also doubt it that Lebron James would come to Chicago. For example, even if the Bulls get someone awesome like Chris Bosh with their smart defensive coach like Tom Thibodeau that would not matter to him.

    1st: of all, he has to much pride in showing fans why he is the best player in the world. By not giving up and by not running away from his failures with the Cavs.

    2nd: he wants to be like MJ by, winning multiple championship titles with the team that drafted him, just like MJ with the Bulls.

    3rd: he made a promise to the city of Cleveland that he would bring them at least 1 championship trophy. Not only that he said it himself that Cleveland has the edge so far this summer in resigning him back.

    Max June 7, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    DJ no the kid can not play defense. I have watched him play very many times. Also the kid averaged 1 assist a game. That is Horrible. I have never said that it was the end of the world if the Bulls don’t sign Lebron. I have just said I want them to sign him. Big difference.

    The Rudy Gay theory on your part is all made up by you DJ. Never once has he been mentioned as somebody the Bulls are targeting. I just find it funny how you are so set against the Bulls having any chance to sign Lebron. You think that he has much better options than the Bulls (As you have said so many times before)

    If he stays in Cleveland oh well. I am sure that the Bulls will sign some good players this summer. Like I said before I don’t see it as the end of the world if he doesn’t sign with the Bulls. But unlike DJ and Bill Thomas, I don’t see why he would not come to Chicago. Bill what was he supposed to say when King asked him that question? No these people that have supported me have no chance. Give me a break. And when did he promise to get Cleveland a title before he left? Are you making shit up now?

    reggie June 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    I for one am not a backer of the choice bulls made to fire vinny, also not sure what TT will bring to our bulls hope its not bad tude team chemistry killer, also If james comes fine but hope the bulls do not wait long to make it happen they may miss out on some great player in the free agency also, bulla need to not trade anyone off current team will just be another void to fill if they do so solve one problem another comes that aint gonna fix much m my picks the bulls may want to go after Rudy Gay. Carlos boozer(tough hard player plays both ends I know he is lil short but got heart) also Ray allen sharp shooter, david lee these second tier guys will do fine with the bulls and make more sense get more for there money instead of just one player.

  40. Ryan June 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    @ Reggie,

    -Better posts by the way. I had to bust on you in the past, but I wasn’t the only one.

    Valid points. I think we shouldn’t just blow-off the opportunity to try to get a James or Bosh (it is too much talent to turn a blind-eye), but have to be mindful of the other options out there. I would hope this is common sense. Maybe with the new-hire of Thibs, it will give us an edge.

    Trm3 June 8, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    Don’t forget Mike Killer, Max…that’s another part of the DJ 4 headed monster, lol..f’in ridiculous!

    Dj June 11, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    OMG Max, their you go again!

    Here is Rudy Gay stats numbers on defense: 1.25 steals per game (throughout this hole career) and .87 block shots (basically almost 1 block shot per game) you are right, he can’t play defense with those numbers. Especially when he Bulls sign a defensive coach this summer that can help him improve his game even further on defensive. (dumb shit lol)

    Another thing, who care if he averages 1 assist per game, remember he is NOT A PG like Rose, he is a shooter that can hit big shots. That is why Rose needs him, to help him take pressure off of him in scoring!

    Here is your comment:
    Give me a break. And when did he promise to get Cleveland a title before he left? Are you making shit up now?

    Last year he made that promise and he didn’t keep it, that is why he mate stay with Cleveland to finish his job winning a championship if he plans to follow the same steps like MJ.

    And the reason why I am telling you that it is not the end of the world if Lebron James don’t not leave Cleveland is because you won’t stop talking about him. Seriously get off his nuts!!! lol

    What more do you got for me bitcha? lol jk

    Dj June 11, 2010 at 4:41 am #

    And I am sorry again but, what was that Max? I mean Trm3? lol seriously dude get a life. I don’t have to make up people like you do. They have their only opinions just like other fan here dumb shit!

    ??? ??? November 8, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

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