by Ryne Nelson

Sometimes, we think back about what could have been last summer if The Decision went another way. Another way, like Chicago.

It’s no stretch to be thinking about it now, as the LeBron James and Dwyane Wade-led Heat are set to square off against Derrick Rose and his No. 1-seeded Bulls. But what if LeBron, Wade and Rose — rather than meeting each other on opposing teams in the Playoffs — were advancing together to the Finals?

ESPN quotes details from Wade and Bron too good not to copy here:

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade said they each had days last summer when they woke up thinking they would join the Chicago Bulls, not the Miami Heat, in free agency.

“It was two mornings,” Wade said at Friday’s practice ahead of the Heat’s matchup against the top-seeded Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals.

Standing next to Wade to the Heat practice facility, James admitted he had similar thoughts.

“I definitely had one or two mornings where I woke up thinking I’d be a Bull too, but ultimately I decided to come here,” James said.

[...]

“It was flattering,” Wade said. “I grew up in the city and grew up with my dreams of becoming an NBA player with the Chicago Bulls. They gave a great presentation, great opportunity. I just felt that the Miami opportunity was better. That’s what it came down to.”

Henry Thomas, the Chicago-based agent for Wade and Bosh, said the competition for Wade was tight.

“I think it was very close,” he said to ESPNChicago.com. “We obviously — before the process started — we talked about how we were going to handle it. Once we began and once the presentations were made, the Bulls’ presentation was as good as any — if not better.

“The decision became a lot more difficult than he imagined how it would be. Obviously for him the Chicago one was special because he grew up here. As a young kid, he idolized Michael [Jordan] and all those teams. I know when we went in for the presentation, they had a uniform with his name and number on it. As a kid growing up here you dreamed of having that uniform on. For that reason it was difficult.”

When asked about his meetings with the Chicago front office, James spoke highly of them as well.

“It was definitely flattering,” James said Friday. “It was a great meeting with that team and that franchise knowing the history. There was great things that they said but at the end of the day, I felt like this was the best opportunity for me to win a championship. It was a great experience.”

So Wade and LeBron could have both been wearing Bulls jerseys now, but would they be in a better position to win championships with a teammate like Derrick Rose?

The trio might’ve worked because DRose is a “do what I need to do” type of player who would defer to Wade and LeBron. But would constraining Rose also hurt the team? DRose might settle to be a spot up shooter or a pure playmaker, which would limit the dynamism and fluidity of his offensive game.

So yes, it could’ve worked. And no, it could’ve not. And this, folks, if why we at the SLAM Dome dislike hypotheticals.