Why Have Superstars Avoided the Chicago Bulls?

Haddon Anderson@HaddonAndersonAnalyst ISeptember 12, 2012

Whether you're a Chicago Bulls fan or a mildly interested NBA follower, one rather perplexing development over the last few years is the hesitancy of superstar players wanting to join Chicago.

In 2010, native Chicagoan Dwyane Wade toyed with the idea of playing for the Bulls before re-signing with the Miami Heat, according to Jose Martinez of the Huffington Post.

In that same summer, LeBron James and Chris Bosh met with Chicago before heading to South Beach to join Wade. As a result, the Bulls were left with consolation prize Carlos Boozer.

In the past year, Dwight Howard trade rumors buzzed louder than a hornet before he finally landed with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Interestingly, despite the Bulls being active in the Howard talks, "Superman" never seemed intrigued at the thought of playing in Chicago, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN.

That makes four superstars in a matter of two years, who have—for whatever reason—decided that Chicago is not the prime place to play.

Why is this?

This is a great question. In the year after Wade, James and Bosh spurned Chicago, the Bulls won a league-high 62 games and their starting shooting guard was Keith Bogans. Can you imagine if Wade joined the Bulls prior to the 2010-11 season? A lineup of Rose, Wade, Deng, Boozer and Noah would have likely won close to 70 games and the NBA title.

The same obviously goes for James. Insert James into an already formidable Bulls lineup and Chicago would currently be entering this upcoming season with its eyes on a three-peat.

You won't hear Wade, James or Bosh question their decision to join Miami because they won the title and all is well.

However, you have to wonder if in the back of their minds, they know they could already have two titles if they joined Rose in Chicago. You have to wonder this when concerning Wade, who would be utterly beloved by his hometown and playing alongside a fellow Chicagoan in Rose.

What's even more interesting is how Howard never voiced distinct openness to playing with the Bulls. In the case of Wade, James and Bosh, they likely did not know how good the Bulls would truly be entering the 2010-11 season. In 2009-10, the Bulls won just 41 games.  

But Howard has witnessed how stellar the Bulls are now, particularly on the defensive end, and their one major need is a second superstar. He would seemingly fit in perfectly.

And yet he remained mum on the idea of playing in Chicago.

Is it the weather? I can't believe this because he appeared continually open to playing in Brooklyn, where the weather is every bit as frigid in January, according to ESPN.

Is it because he didn't want to play second fiddle to D-Rose? If this was really true, it's a shame.

Or was it the whole adidas issue with him and Rose, according to Matt Moore of CBS Sports

Whatever the case, he's not a Bull, and neither are a handful of other superstars begging us to ask the question, why?

Once Rose is healthy, the Bulls have a roster suited to do major damage come the playoffs. The only thing lacking is another All-Star caliber player. 

Plus, Chicago is a classic city. It speaks for itself. There's every reason to believe pro athletes want to play in the loyal fan base of Chi-town.

Lastly, the Bulls boast two great assets for any All-Stars interested in joining: Rose and coach Tom Thibodeau. Rose is the ideal teammate whose focus is centered upon winning. He's a superstar who isn't about padding his stats and attaining individual glory. He brings out the best in others and simply wants to win a championship, which is exactly the kind of teammate a fellow All-Star should long for.

And Thibodeau has a way of getting the most out of his team. On paper, there's no reason why the Bulls should have had the best regular season record the past two seasons. But Thibodeau's defensive schemes and his overall dedication have carried the Bulls at times. He's the kind of coach you want to play for if your chief goal is gaining a ring.

There are obviously other ideal locations for free agents. Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Miami and New York are all destinations that compel the league's best. 

But it is quite interesting that Chicago has received the stiff-arm on multiple occasions now.

The speculation here is whether we're reading into this developing trend and it's only a matter of time before a superstar lands in Chicago. Or is there something about the Bulls that All-Stars are avoiding? And if there is, what is it?

According to Friedell of ESPN, could it be because Rose doesn't recruit? This could play a small role, but I highly doubt it's a pressing issue here. Just because Rose doesn't recruit is no indication he is opposed to playing with a fellow elite player.

Overall, there doesn't seem to be any valid reasons for superstars to neglect Chicago. It only takes one to reverse this trend, and perhaps we will witness this at some point in the next few years.

Until then, fans of the Bulls will continue to shake their heads and wonder what's not to like about the city of Chicago and their proud basketball franchise. 


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