June 1, 2009
As we all know by now Lebron and his Cavs were ousted in a lopsided Game 6 victory for the Magic on Saturday night. Once people got over Lebron’s quick exit off the court, the attention has once again turned to where the King may land in the summer of 2010. Will he stay in Cleveland, will he end up on the Knicks, will he join his buddy Jay-Z and the Nets? The predictions will run rampant for the next 12 months if Cleveland doesn’t lock him up before then, so let us join in on the fun. I present to you our first of many sports hypotheticals, this one is for NBA history fans and Bulls fans especially.
As the next 12 months unfold: The Chicago Bulls have done a masterful job of shedding salary to clear way for the NBA’s biggest free agent prize in history; they find themselves with enough capspace to make a serious push at Lebron James. A few days of negotiating go by and all the talk from the “sources close to the situation” is painting a picture as if Lebron will be a Bull by week’s end. As the contract is presented to Lebron he decides to hold an impromptu press conference with local and national media present. In this press conference he makes one statement: “After several days of working with the Bulls I am excited about the opportunity to be part of the organization. I told their front office what I am about to tell you right now: I will sign the contract immediately under one condition, I must wear the number 23. I cannot play with any other number on my back, I respect all the things Michael Jordan did here but I would also like the number removed from the rafters but of course his name can stay retired. If I cannot wear number 23 I will no longer consider Chicago as a destination of mine.“
Obviously this sends the media and fans into a frenzy. Some people cannot believe the audacity of King James, while others are in the camp that it is just a number. Let’s say you are the key member of the Bulls front office who needs to make this decision. Do you grant Lebron’s wish or let him go to another team? Why do you make this decision?