LeBron James abandoned Cleveland to join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
Steve Nash spent years hating the Lakers before heading to L.A. for some championship piggybacking.
That’s the NBA world we are now living in.
And it’s fair to wonder: Could that be Derrick Rose in some dark future?
During a recent interview on AM-740′s “The Game” in Orlando, Van Gundy had the following to say:
“I think the interesting one coming up in the future is going to be Derrick Rose. I think Derrick Rose is a great, great representative of our league, and he’s a great player. And he’s got good players around him, very good players around him, but if (the Bulls) can’t get another star there for him is he eventually going to look around and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got to work this out on my own and I’ve got to find somehow to get somewhere else so that I will have a chance to play with another star.’
“The league has changed. It used to be the stars wanted to sort of have their own team, they certainly wanted good players around them, but now everything’s changed. I think it started with the Celtics, bringing (Kevin) Garnett, (Paul) Pierce and (Ray) Allen together and everybody saw that and decided, ‘Look, this is the only way we’re going to win.’
“I think sometimes the players get sort of chastised for that, but if you’re a LeBron James and you’re looking at (the situation) you might want to win it in Cleveland, you might want to lead your own franchise, same with Dwight Howard, but you’re looking around.
“Chris Paul I think went through the same thing. You’re looking around and you see Boston and you’re saying, ‘I’m not going to be able to do this alone. I got to find a way, somehow, where I can get with a couple of other true stars. Not just good players, but true stars.’
“And so then LeBron goes to Miami and Chris Paul takes off and goes to the Clippers, which isn’t going to be enough for him, I don’t think. And so if you’re Dwight, you’re looking around and saying, ‘I got to get somewhere where there’s more people somehow.’ Either they’ve got to come here, which if you don’t have a way to do that then you’ve got to go somewhere else.”
They are solid points. But even though Rose has often expressed an ardent “I’m a Bull for life” attitude, he’s still young, and hasn’t had to deal with major hardship and heartbreak on the court.
Make that hadn’t had to.
Rose recently revealed that tearing his ACL was “the closest thing to death, the closest to death I’ve got to right there.”
The former MVP also received a harsh reminder this off-season that basketball is a business when Bulls management dismantled the valued Bench Mob (C.J. Watson, John Lucas III, Kyle Korver, Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer) and replaced them with Kirk Hinrich and several other low-cost alternatives (Marco Bellineli, Nate Robinson, Nazr Mohammed, Vladimir Radmanovic).
And look for the Bulls to find some way to get rid of Rip Hamilton during the season to avoid the luxury tax.
If the front office doesn’t acquire another star or stars to play alongside Rose, will he — like LeBron, Nash, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, et al. — demand a trade or start planning a free agent escape?
Maybe. Maybe not.
But it sure provides some incentive for the Bulls to make some major personnel moves in the coming seasons.