ATLANTA -- By the time LeBron James announced his "Decision" that he was going to Miami to join forces with All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, the Chicago Bulls had become an NBA afterthought. They'd been rejected by the hometown kid, Wade, and by arguably the best player in the game, James. There were more people sending condolences to the Bulls than predicting they'd reach the conference finals within 10 months.
Fortunately for the franchise, Gar Forman, the team's general manager, wasn't wallowing in pity.
"There was no time for despair," Forman recalled Thursday night, "because while it was unlike any free agent class in league history there were also more teams with money than there were players to give it to. We had Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and Plan D lined up. We knew we'd improve our team. There was no time to feel sorry because we had to move to the next plan and the next guy."