<
>

An open letter to LBJ

LeBron,

Sorry about the loss, but I think it may be the best thing that's ever happened to you.

You've got a chance for a fresh start now. You've got a chance to wipe the slate clean and start over in a new place with a new team.

That team is the Chicago Bulls.

You just said it yourself -- you want to win. You want to win badly.

Well out of all the teams that you are considering there is no team better equipped to win right now than the Bulls.

I mean, if you joined the Bulls at this very second they could contend for a championship. No more of this waiting for the right pieces stuff. The Bulls already have the right pieces in place. You'd be playing with Derrick Rose who is just 21 years old and is one of the hardest workers in the NBA. You even said after the end of the Bulls-Cavs series that you thought he was one of the two best point guards in the league right now.

Imagine how much better he'll be over the next three or four years.

You'll be playing with Joakim Noah who is just 25 years old. I know you guys haven't always gotten along, but I know you both respect one another. He wants to win badly and so do you. He will probably be an All-Star next season if he stays healthy and he can move a lot better than any center you've ever played with. Maybe you guys can even start dancing on the floor together, too.

Taj Gibson can play and he's only 24. Luol Deng, if he can somehow stay healthy, can play too -- and he's only 24. Kirk Hinrich can play as well, and he's only 28.

The scary part is that the Bulls have enough cap space to land another big name to play with you, especially if they end up dealing one of the three guys I just mentioned. That means that you could be in a starting lineup with two other All Stars and a double-double machine.

Worried about a coach? You shouldn't be. If you decide you want to play for the Bulls, they will let you pick the coach if you so desire.

You want to play for Phil Jackson?

Sure, OK. Jerry Reinsdorf doesn't have a problem with that. He'll pay whatever it takes.

John Calipari?

OK, yeah. You know Rose already loves him -- the organization won't have a problem with that either.

Worried about John Paxson and Gar Forman?

Why? The only reason they were fighting with Vinny Del Negro is because they didn't seem to like him to begin with. Now he's gone. They'll hire whoever you want.

Still not convinced?

OK, let's take a look at your other possibilities ...

Cleveland: I know, I know it's home. Actually, Akron is, but still. The Cavs have been good to you, but they haven't won a thing since you've been there. The team is actually worse than it was last year. I mean you guys couldn't even beat the Celtics this season and you clearly weren't going to beat the Magic. They already knocked you off last season. The team isn't getting any younger and it sure doesn't seem like everyone is enthralled with Mike Brown's strategy. Do you really want to play with Antawn Jamison anymore? He was terrible in the Boston series and now you're stuck with him for a while. The team doesn't even have much salary cap flexibility. Plus, seriously, what is there to do in Cleveland? The people there are nice but there isn't anything to do. I think your new buddy Joakim will be able to show you that The Windy City has a whole lot more to offer ...

New York City: Really? You really want to go play for the Knicks? They are terrible. Sure, they will sell you on the fact that you can play in the biggest media market in the world at the world's most famous arena ... LeBron, have you been to Madison Square Garden lately? It is a complete dump. They'll say that you can pick whoever you want to play with because they have another spot for a max free agent -- but who else would be on your team. You'll be losing games 130-115 every night. Have you seen the Knicks roster? It is awful. You thought passing it to Jamiro Moon was bad sometimes, just wait until you start throwing it to Danilo Gallinari. You'll never see the ball again.

New Jersey: The Nets won 12 games last season. 12. Just let that sink in for a moment. They've got a new owner who wants to spend a lot of money ... so what? You'd still be playing in New Jersey for two years. There aren't any Nets fans left in the world. I understand you could play with Brook Lopez and Devin Harris ... but wouldn't you rather play with Rose and Noah. OK, they land the first pick and take your buddy John Wall. That situation still isn't as good as the one in Chicago even if the Nets sign another big name to play alongside you. Have you seen the rest of the roster. Courtney Lee is the next best player and you guys play basically the same position. Did I mention that you would be playing in New Jersey for two years?

Miami: No state income tax, South Beach ... I see what you're saying, but let's get real. Would you and Dwyane Wade really be able to share the ball and the spotlight? Didn't think so. It's Wade's team. Heck, it's Wade's county, as he always likes to remind people. Pat Riley is a good coach, and would surely take over as the head man if you came to town, but even he can't fill all the holes to make you guys into a title contender. Do you really want to be on a team that relies on Michael Beasley to do anything? Didn't think so.

Los Angeles: I know you don't want to be a Clipper. Noooooobody wants to be a Clipper, LeBron. You're asking for trouble. On paper it looks nice, I know. But you don't win games on paper. Did you see what happened to Blake Griffin? Do you really believe Baron Davis can stay in shape for a whole season? You really want to play for a team that's owned by Donald Sterling? Yeah, I know. Who would?

Look, you and I both know you love the city of Chicago. You've said it over and over again for the last few years. People say you might have concerns about playing in Michael's shadow, but I don't believe them. You love Michael and you know there's room for another statue on the other side of the United Center. You're changing jersey numbers anyway, man. The No. 6 will become this generation's No. 23.

The city wants you, LeBron. They want to win now and so do you.

See you in two months,

Nick