An Open Letter To Bulls Fans…
Take those skirts off.
by Bryan Crawford / @_BryanCrawford
Dear Fans of the Chicago Bulls,
So I go to the site and look around, and what I see literally disturbs me enough to cause me to write what you’re about to read.
The buzz around LeBron James possibly signing with the Chicago Bulls when he officially becomes a free-agent on July 1st is admittedly exciting. Teaming him up with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Luol Deng have Bulls fans in a frenzy over the championship a potential combo like that could bring to this city. I’d be lying if I sat here and said I hadn’t thought about a scenario like that a time or two since all of this speculation began, but I refuse to participate in what has amounted to outright begging LeBron to come here and play. This isn’t New York City, Los Angeles, or even Cleveland. I’d like to think Chicagoans are above stooping so low.
I guess not.
Billboards? Two of them? The first in Chicago, the second in Akron? Donations for said billboards? C’mon son. You can’t be serious.
Where’s the Chicago pride people? We don’t beg ’round here!
Here’s the thing, as nice as it would be to have LeBron in a Bulls uniform, we don’t exactly need him, OK? Not as much as say, the Knicks, the Nets, or the Clippers do. I can’t speak for those other teams, but as far as the Bulls current roster as it relates to being able to add one of these soon-to-be free agents, there’s more than one way to make it better outside of just adding LeBron.
Yes, adding LeBron makes Chicago a championship contender, I can’t argue that. But it doesn’t guarantee a championship either. For some reason or another, fans have become convinced that adding James to their favorite team’s roster will deliver the Larry O’Brien trophy sooner rather than later. Some are starting to treat this like it’s a life or death situation. As if the success or outright failure of their team hinges on being able to sign LeBron James this summer. I’m saddened that some of my fellow Chicagoans seem to have adopted this line of thinking.
I’m sure to be called a hater for writing this (which is nothing new), and I’m almost sure at some point my loyalty to the Bulls is going to be called into question (I can’t wait), but as the old saying goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat and this team is not in that bad of shape.
Yes, adding LeBron James would certainly be a step in the championship direction, but the organization is in a place right now where it has a great nucleus of young players, and multiple options in terms of putting together a championship caliber roster without the sole addition of James. This infatuation with adding LeBron seems disrespectful to guys like Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah in my opinion. I’m sure they’d love to play with him, who wouldn’t? But if we don’t get him, it’s almost as if people feel that Rose, Noah, and a few more solid pieces still wouldn’t be good enough to deliver another championship to this town. I wholeheartedly disagree with that notion, but it seems to be one that fans in Chicago are slowly adopting.
I know that LeBron is probably the biggest free-agent in the history of free-agency in any sport, yet it seems the whole “King” moniker literally has people bowing down and doing things that no self-respecting person would do otherwise. They just mask it in the name of supporting their favorite basketball team. I’m all for being a fan, and I’m all for LeBron James rocking a Bulls uni, but some of this stuff has gotten to be outright ridiculous and it borders on groupie-ism; if that’s even a word.
But back to these billboards…
Bulls fans, what happens when you take a portion of your hard earned money and donate it to getting these billboards up and July 1strolls around and LeBron either stays put or signs with a team other than Chicago? How will you feel then? Will you still be as supportive of “The King” as you are now? My money says no.
So here’s my advice to not only Bulls fans, but to the fans of the teams being regarded as potential places LeBron James could end up. An over-the-top showing of support may be fun, but it isn’t going to carry any weight. I know as fans, it’s fun to feel like you’re a part of the process, but at the end of the day, you’re not. LeBron James is going to do what’s best for LeBron James. He’s not going to come to the team whose fans did a better job of showing how much they want him. Don’t set yourself up for a big letdown in a few weeks. Just sit back and let it play out. If we get him, great. If not, it won’t mean the end of the world.
I guess you can say I kind of feel like this guy.