LeBron cements legacy with second chance

LeBron James dominated game seven of the NBA finals to look the part of super-duper-star helping to cement his legacy as an all-time great rather than a guy who chokes in the clutch, and it's amazing just how tenuous that moment was.

A Spurs missed free throw and two missed defensive rebounds are all that separate LeBron James from ultimate hero and ultimate goat. Imagine if Kawhi Leonard connects on both his attempts or if San Antonio grabs the defensive board after LeBron's first miss from the three point line in game six? How different would LeBron's historical legacy look?

It's sort of crazy when you think of it that way. Same guy, same player, but a few events totally out of his control may drastically alter the way he's viewed in the future. It probably means he'll get a bit too much credit for coming through in game seven which was only necessary because he didn't come through earlier, and it also means he likely was probably would have been given too much blame had the Heat not won, especially since Wade/Bosh came through even less and had greater statistical fall offs from the regular season.

However, I doubt LeBron (or anyone else) will lose much sleep over him getting a little too much credit, and the Heat escaped with another NBA championship. Gregg Poppovich was all class in defeat, warmly embracing everyone on the Heat and giving them all the credit in the world for the win. In the moment, he didn't talk about the pain of loss, but the accomplishment in getting as far as they did.

Given that Spurs team, I'd have to agree with him. Incredible accomplishment to get as far as they did both in terms of making it to the finals and pushing the Heat to seven games. In the final game, the Spurs couldn't find much shooting going just 37.8% from the field and 32% from three. Tony Parker shot just 25% from the field, and the Spurs struggled without their primary play maker having a quality game. Parker wasn't even on the floor for their last attempt to reel in the Heat as the Spurs substituted in Gary Neal to get more shooting.

Tim Duncan had another great performance to give San Antonio a shot, but he missed his layup and his put back attempt, both good looks, to tie the game with under a minute to go. Miami never gave them another chance. LeBron was magnificent in the moment this time, knocking down clutch shot after clutch shot. Killing San Antonio with the mid range jumper he hit all season. The shot he'd missed all playoffs.

Of everyone in this series, Kawhi Leonard has to hurt the most. Leonard missed the free throw that ices the championship, and though it took a perfect storm of other events for that to matter, he'll likely never get another chance in his life to make it up. To his credit, he put that behind him and had an incredible game seven for the Spurs, but you know he'll lose sleep over that one for life.

Now the real off-season for the world of basketball begins. It will be interesting to see if Miami keeps the team together, if they're willing to absorb the tax bill, and in particular what happens with Chris Bosh. There's been talk about dealing Bosh, but I'd bet he gets about as much interest as Pau Gasol does right now.

Potentially two years and around 40 million on the hook, and Bosh really doesn't look like much of a bargain to anyone in this massive tax area. Certainly not a guy you're giving anything of value up to get which means if Miami does trade him, they'll come back a considerably worse team most likely. One potentially interesting idea for them might be to move him for Omer Asik and change to Houston.

If the Rockets fail to get Howard they might like a more offensive minded big man, and if they get Howard they may not want to spend so much on a backup center and prefer to strengthen their starting lineup. If Howard does go there then the salaries become more difficult to match with Houston not being able to absorb Bosh any longer which means Miami isn't necessarily saving anything.

The Heat would gain the defensive/rebounding/toughness that they need with such a trade while possibly helping out their payroll while Houston gets a guy capable of being a #2 player who's been stuck having his talents minimized in Miami.

That said, I think the best move for the Heat (if they can stomach the cost) is to stand pat and give it one more run with this group. They'll be the favorites to win again next season, and there's a good chance the team breaks up after that, so it's probably best not to mess with success. LeBron's original exuberance of winning eight titles doesn't seem in reach, but three titles looks like a reasonable goal and is enough to start placing him near the top of the all time greats list.

Is basketball the only sport where number of titles is a meaningful measuring stick rather than just yes/no on whether you've gotten at least one? It might be. At any rate, congratulations to the Heat. They've always had my respect and while they should have never let it get this close, they woke up in time to get it done.

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  • This is like "Game of Thrones" where the bad guys kill all the good guys and then you watch them gloat about it. D-Wade is a D-Bag. LeBron "inspires" with the message: If you can't beat'em, join'em.

    The NBA has lost me as a fan, so you guys won't be subjected to my homerism and sarcasm anymore. Thanks to Doug for entertaining me with all of his great work.

    Have fun following the NBA everyone!

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Hmmm...sounds like an awful lot of hate in your comment. The NBA is what it is and now with the CBA as it is, owners and management of every other team in the league have to have a pretty good knowledge of the players of todays game and just some common sense when it comes to the game of basketball in todays NBA. If an organization really wants to beat the Miami Heat, they're going to have to have to be 1000% dedicated to winning and putting together the kind of team to beat the Heat. And we as fans and every other team in the league better hope that Miami doesn't entertain trading Bosh for other players like an Asik or Demarcus Cousins. If that happens this team just may make it a four-peat or more. Congrats to Lebron James, best player on the planet and dude cannot be stopped when he is totally focused. So all i can say is dont hate on the owner of the Heat, Pat Riley and the Miami organization cause they are all in for winning championships. I hate them as any other fan but you have to give them their props. So again CONGRADULATIONS TO THE MIAMI HEAT FOR WINNING BACK TO BACK CHAMPIONSHIPS.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Somebody call the WHAmbulance for Roman. Man does he sound like a sore loser. 'The Heat won so I'm going to stop watching basketball'...really? Big time team in a big time market and he's going to quit? Imagine being a fan of the Bucks, Bobcats, or Kings who's Owners doesn't have the same competitive advantages as our's does. Whatever man, but at least we know he's a bandwagoner.

    Now onto Bosh being traded. I don't see SAC giving up Cousins for Bosh unless they could throw back salary like Salmons, Hayes, etc...which if I was MIA I would still do. I don't see HOU adding Bosh UNLESS they get Dwight and want to pair Bosh with him. And if all else fails, I would trade Bosh for Pau straight up because Pau plays in the post.

    Ultimately though, I think Riley keeps the team together again because they won the title again. Everything would have been different if they lost, but winning it all cements the 'Big 3' coming together and Riley/Heat stresses family and loyalty so I don't see them trading Bosh.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    That game 7 was some of the highest level play I've ever seen in the NBA. For so so long I've felt sorry for all the kids who weren't around to see the Lakers & Celtics or have to rely on crappy youtube compilations to experience the Jordan years. Finally those young fans aren't getting cheated by life anymore. They got to see championship basketball at the highest level.

    Don't leave now man. It's just getting great again!

  • Is Chris Bosh on the Heat? I have to say I was totally unaware of that, he must have played a similar role as T-Mac did for the Spurs.

    As it stands right now the Heat are probably the favorites again, but not by much and honestly I don't think they've got a threepeat in them. The reign of terror I thought we would experience as basketball fans, post "the decision," hasn't really been that bad and I think it's about over. Of course Lebrin will probably just team up with some other group in his attempt to coast to Championships, so who knows? However, he has discovered, I suspect, coasting is not a easy as he hoped.

  • In reply to Hoover:

    I think the HEat are definitely the favorite still, but you're right, they aren't quite as scary as they were. Dwyane Wade looks like he's slowing down, Chris Bosh looks like a shell of what he was after being forced into a 3rd option jump shooting role.

    They have considerable weaknesses, and their role players are all declining and at ages where they're all facing the talent cliff. It will be difficult for them to reload with a bunch of new ones.

    I think they'll still be the favorite next year, but I think after that, they may not even be the favorite again unless Riley works some considerable magic. It will also be interesting to see if they opt out or not and if Miami brings people back.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    The one thing I'm taking away from this series is that Miami is beatable. LBJ played out of his mind in game 7, but I agree with Doug in that Wade looks to be slowing down and Bosh has regressed a lot since coming to Miami.

    It gives me hope for the Bulls for next year, but as the Spurs showed, you need to have 3 point shooting! I think teams are starting to catch up to Miami (in terms of how to beat them) so I think next year will be another great season!

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    I don't think so. Miami could easily be healthier next year and will be cause they'll keep finding more ring chasers for the minimum who will be able to help limit the minutes of their main guys. If you look at next year, Spurs have nowhere to go but down, OKC has no chance since the Harden trade (and will continue to let guys go to save on salary). Other than that... who you got? the Bulls?

    Let me say also that game 6 of the finals will join my list of games I would never ever watch again along with game 7 of the western conference finals (the Pippen blazers choke against the lakers) and the Josh Howard missed FT game in 2006. The bulls are nowhere on this list as for better (jordan) or worse (every other bulls team) they haven't played in one of those games since 1990 probably. Watching the heat win is truly sickening... lucky i skipped game 7 and I won't open the ESPN website for a week at least tilll all the heat ball licking boils over. Looking forward to the draft and offseason for the bulls....NOT.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    Here are the negatives against MIA next year. The last team to have made it to 4 straight Finals were the 84-87 Celtics...That's 26yrs ago. Wade is slowing down. Unless he flat out uses PEDs, he's not all of a sudden going to get healthier. Like Doug said, Bosh has been limited to his jump shooting role. The role players are all old.

    The are $85mil into payroll so have no room to add anything of significance. They have the $3mil MMLE they could use but will Arison spend it with that payroll? The other 'ring chasers' for the vet-min had been Rashard Lewis, Mike Bibby, and Erick Dampier. Lets stop pushing that misconception.

    The Heat will be at their weakest since coming together and if a y team wants to win, it's now. Spurs have $20mil in cap space and they have nowhere to go except down? I don't believe in OKC without harden either, but if their rookies last year (Lamb and Pj3) can improve like butler did for us this year, you never know. 3pt shooting is needed against MIA? IND will be getting back Granger, or trade him for other assets. And of course we're gettin back Rose. If the Bulls re-sign Nate, I think we will beat the Heat.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    Exactly. Miami will get more vets like Juwan Howard to sign at the min. They don't have a cap room to make any significant moves.

    The Bulls are definitely a contender, they have a chance to win it all. I'm not saying it's a huge chance, but a chance none the less. They have a superstar, which is more than most of the league can say.

    Also, the Pacers smacked the Heat around in the ECF, and the Thunder also have 2 of the top 10 players in the league.

    You said the Spurs are a year older, well so is Wade. I think the playoffs showed that he just isn't a consistent force anymore. He's still a great player and a top 3 SG though.

    I'm excited for the Bulls next year though. With Rose coming back, I think this team has a chance. I think people quickly forget how good he is. We really haven't seen him helathy since his MVP season.

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    Let's just hope Rose is better than ever after his knee injury and his game has indeed went to a higher level. I wouldn't get too excited yet til we see how his knee holds up for an entire season. Hope all will be spectacular tho.

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    While Ray Allen certainly contributed, essentially saving the championship for them, most of Miami's other vet minimum guys haven't played never mind contributed. Miller and Battier were both full mid level guys, and Haslem got more than the mini MLE, but less than the full level.

    Miami is in the exact same position that we are cap/tax wise, other than being a more desirable destination.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    To destination I think we must add more desirable management and ownership. Pat Riley is the best GM in the NBA, and Micky Arison has shown a willingness to allow Pat Riley to put basketball decisions ahead of financial decisions. That is a considerable advantage over GarPaxDorf.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    How many of their valuable role players are ring chasers playing for the minimum? As far as I can tell Chris Anderson is the only guy who fits that description. Cole, Chalmers, Haslem, Miller, Battier, and Allen all make more than the minimum.

    Miami will have their pick of the best minimum salaried players available, but not many people are giving up money to play in Miami. I think people forget how much money a million dollars is when that's the difference between playing for Miami and maybe playing for another team.

    Maybe guys who've made 100+ million don't care, but even guys who've made 40-50 million probably do care.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I am certain that it would matter to Ben Gordon.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    While not minimums, the advantage of Miami's salary distribution is every player other than the Big 3 has a very reasonable/low salary. Every salary is from $1 - $4 million, save Mike Miller at $6 million.

    Miami has no overpaid 8-figure contracts! Whereas Boozer, Deng and now Taj ($8 million) are all overpaid. The Bulls are paying more for lesser talent, that's the disadvantage.

  • I wonder what Miami will do to stay on top as well, I think the big 3 stay in tact 1 more season too (Bosh will get to stay solely based on his game 6 heroics). Here are the main things they'll have to address this summer.

    1) Do they amnesty Mike Miller or Joel Anthony? Miller has 2yr/$12.8M remaining ($6.2M '13-'14 and $6.6 Player Opt '14-'15) on his deal and occasionally provides some shooting but not worth what they're paying him given his injury history/production. Anthony has 2yr/$7.6M remaining for equal amounts over the next two years (final year is a player opt which he will most likely exercise). My guess is it will be Joel Anthony because at the very least Mike Miller will give you something.

    2) Does Ray Allen opt in? He has a player option for next year at $3,229,050. A team like OKC could give him a raise and another year (2yr/$10M). He would still be in contention for a title and the season saving shot in game six is excellent leverage in getting paid, plus he could start there. We all know Ray Allen is a mercenary anyway, so it's not like he feels like he owes the Heat anything.

    3) What to do with Mario Chalmers? Chalmers is inconsistent and struggles with turnovers at times, but he makes big plays in big games Miami was 6-1 this postseason when he scored at least 11 pts. and he hit a momentum shifting 3 at the end of the 3rd quarter in game seven that deflated the Spurs when they were about to go into the 4th quarter up 2, instead he drains that improbable 3 and puts Miami up 1 to start the 4th. He's also a tenacious defender and a decent value at $4M this year. However, we know that with the graduated punitive luxury tax that goes into this effect this offseason he'll end up costing them about $10M this year and that is not worth it. My guess is that he ends up getting let go if Miller isn't amnestied.

    If Allen, Anthony and Chalmers leave and James Jones, Rashard Lewis opt in and they waive Jarvis Vanardo; the Heat are looking at 74,646,707 in salaries next year for 9 players. Once they give Sam Dalembert the MMLE and sign three minimum salaried undrafted FA's, the heat will be in roughly the same luxury tax situation we're in and they'll still be the favorites to win it all next year, now excuse me while I go vomit.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    I second that vomit.
    The bulls really boxed themselves in didn't they... Taj Gibson deal, Hinrich deal, Rose little extra fuck-the-bulls rule-millions. Not looking good,.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    No they didn't box themselves in. They could continue to spend money to improve the team....there's always that option, but the bulls won't. The 'extra' Rose rule added about $3mil more to his contract. So the Bulls will be at $75mil in payroll instead of $78mil. What were the Bulls going to do with that difference? I'll tell you...nothing.

  • In reply to nolebron:

    I hope that the Bulls go after Dalembert, wanted to trade for him at the deadline, using Rips contract.

    Besides the ring chaser element, Miami might be willing to give him the full 3 year MMLE whereas the Bulls will likely only offer a one year deal. Elton Brand might be a guy that we can get for the minimum as a backup big, then again he might like Miami better too.

  • Yeah, Lebron did a lot to cement that legacy last night. This despite one fact I haven't heard many people talking about. This series turned when Parker got injured. But you can't really say "what if" because injuries are part of the game, and especially part when your superstars are way past 30.

    I'm not with the guys who are saying this series proves the Heat are beatable. I've thought the were beatable all along. I think this series is the beginning of the period where Miami is un-beatable. When you take a 7 game series off an experienced team like San Antonio with a HOFer like Duncan playing like an absolute warrior it teaches you more about winning than anything else in the world. It's almost like Highlander, all the strength and experience just flows into the winning team. This was the changing of the guard that last year wasn't. The Heat have never scared me before but they scare me now. Because Lebron didn't just cement his legacy, I think he just began his prime.

  • In reply to Redwhitenblack:

    Eh, the thing is, San Antonio really isn't even that good. I guess the counter to that is Miami really played pretty poorly in the playoffs.

    They got pushed to seven games by two teams that I think a healthy Bulls team would beat. I think a healthy Bulls team would have had an awfully good shot at beating Miami this year.

    Granted, we may never see a healthy Bulls team in May/June due to the massive injury risk up and down the roster, but if we did, I think they'd have had a pretty good shot this past year.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Ok so you're saying that since this group of Bulls players can't stay healthy then everyone should just settle for that. If anyone thinks this way then there shouldn't be any expectations for this team to be a serious contender for a title. Tradez need to be made to this roster if this team can't stay healthy.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    If by healthy, you mean a team that still had Asik, I agree. We would have had a major battle against Indy without him, never mind Miami.

  • Well, the Spurs took Miami to the limit, and outplayed them as a team for much of the series. Sure Danny Green came crashing back to earth with 1-12 shooting sand bag in Game 7, but S.A. would never had made it as far as they did without his all world performance for most of the series.

    Pop getting performances like that out of Green, :Leonard etc. is no accident IMO In fact, getting one possession away from an NBA championship with that aging, well past their prime Spurs team is pretty amazing when you think about it. Players win games, but if ever a coach might have been the MVP(most valuable person) on that team, despite Game 6 missteps, POP was all of that.

    As for LeBron, he had significant stretches where he was an offensive no-show(for a player of his stature), but then he had some awesome stretches including late in games. He's a great talent, and currently the best player in the NBA, but IMO he far from dominated that series against an aging Spurs team well past it's prime. Hope he pays a portion of his playoff winnings to Ray Ray because without that last second HOF three scrambling for the line, his name is doo-doo right now.

    As for the Bulls outside of Chicago nobody thinks they are anywhere near contention nor should they. Derrick and the organization in unison wet the bed handling his injury status, and there's still some bad karma there. We'll see how he comes back next year(if he decides he's "ready" that is). If there is any further delay, a little hint: DONT Dunk and GRIN in warm ups before every f-ing home game.

    As for the draft, I missed the Kelly Olynyk post from Kevin, and myself, when a guy is that skilled and even shows one season of prolific scoring plus he seems to be a solid personality and competitor, I'd definitely be pleased if they took a chance on him. Defensively his foul rate isn't that bad and his combine numbers on lat quickness and overall court speed were far from Aaron Gray Turtle Wax proportions.

    They'd have to trade up(ha, ha) to get Olynyk though, and it looks like Hardaway will be there as he will likely be the best player available IMO I'd grab him, but they very possibly will go for need, and pick Dieng if he's still there. Of course there could be a DYNAMIC trade in the works on draft night.... (strike up the crickets).

  • Leonard missed that free throw and also had that rebound slip right between his hands before he could corral it. He was spectacular for most of the series, even with his outside shot not really falling, but if he accomplishes either of those two things, the Spurs win the 2013 Finals and there's no repeat for the Heat. This knowledge hurts... a lot. Also, the Spurs could have used Stephen Jackson. And what if they'd only played Manu 20 minutes instead of 35 in game 6? The Spurs were the better team. The Heat took advantage of otherworldly luck and a clutch three for all-time from Ray Allen.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    I absolutely despise Jackson as a human being(see malice in the Palace) but he could very well have made a difference in this series, but he is such a jackass that even the Spurs didn't think that his contributions were worth putting up with his non stop douche baggery.

  • Asik ending up on the Heat would be even worse than them winning the championship. Asik contributing to them winning even more would suck worse than watching Carlos the Bamboozler for 2 more years.

  • The Bulls core of Rose, Noah, and Butler looks solid. But they are going to lose Deng or Boozer or both in the next year or two. All the Bulls need is a strong trade and 2 solid draft picks. That, plus Mirotic, should make them contenders.

    Hopefully they will find their next impact player in this draft, and I do not mean a backup C or PF.

  • Doug wrote, LeBron "help[ed] to cement his legacy as an all-time great rather than a guy who chokes in the clutch, and it's amazing just how tenuous that moment was."

    I do not feel that LeBron cemented a legacy. He lucked out, and based on much of his play, he did not deserve the ring. If not for Chalmers, the Heat would not have won. Nor would they have won but for some key non-calls by the refs at the end of game 6.

    Neither did the Spurs deserve it, however, and someone has to win. It was basically a coin toss as to who it turned out to be. That is pretty weak for a legacy!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I think the Spurs deserved it. They choked and had one in a hundred bounces go against them. They were the better team and by all rights should have closed the Heat out in 6.

    LeBron will get all the accolades despite playing poorly for half the series and only scoring 37 in game 7 by hitting a ton of open jump shots which he should have been hitting all playoffs and inexplicably wasn't. But yes, prisoners of the moment are going to spend a lot of time talking about LeBron's legacy and where he ranks all-time. Oh well. While the Heat weren't better than the Spurs, they're still better than the Bulls. That's what I'm concerned about.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Again with the haters. Stop hating people, it was a very entertaining series, the Spurs had a chance to win the title in game 6 but the Pop made mistakes and some of the players choked at the end of the game, it happens. Ray Allen didn't choke tho at the end of game 6. Anyway...Bulls fans need to stop with the hate for theHeat cause it make all of you look like very sore losers. I agree that the better team didn't win, but the Heat came up with gigantic plays when it mattered and they are the champs for those very reasons.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    No hate here Reese, just the observation why LeBron failed to cement a legacy, IMO. But you may disagree. We all paid the same amount to express our feelings and opinions.

    Most of us did not lose anything, because our team was not even playing. So how are we "very sore losers"? You sound like a Heat fan on a Bulls site. That's OK, too, if you are not in masquerade, impersonating.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I've been commenting on this site far too long to be a Heat fan. I'm just not a Homer Bulls fan hating on the Heat for winning the championship. However I ama huge bbasketball fan that has enjoyed the Finals and thein the end the best team didn't win but the team that made the biggest plays won the title so again stop hating.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    It's ridiculous that people continue to bash Lebron as not an all-time great based on every Single play he makes or doesn't make.

    I don't like the guy (because he's not on my team, not personally...I have to point that out) and hope he loses, but I'm not going to be blinded by the delusional homerism.

    Sure, he probably won't ever match up what MJ has done, but that doesn't meant he can't be the 2nd best player ever. We act like MJ never turned the ball over, always hit every shot in the 4th quarter, and never had a teammate bail him out.

  • The Heat aren't going anywhere. They will stay together for the foreseeable future. I don't see the Big 3 opting-out to relocate. The only reason they may opt-out is to extend their contracts from 2016 to 2019.- well into the 2017 CBA which will usher in the HardCap.

    Miami has the best GM in the NBA, Pat Riley, and he's not quitting now or anytime soon. You think he's satisfied with 2 rings? This is the man who trademarked the term "3-Peat". Riley will create a way to keep the Heat on top, and he has Micky Arison's full financial backing! Arisonon has publicly declared that owning the Heat is a "hobby of passion, not a business." Arison's not concerned with making a profit, he just wants to bring a winner to Miami.

    Did anyone else hear and take notice of Jeff Van Gundy's comment postgame? "Micky Arison had the resources and willingness to spend into the luxury tax allowing Pat Riley to make Basketball Decisions."

    It's been a few months, but does anyone recall JVG's comment during a regular season ABC telecast with the Bulls? JVG was commenting on Bulls letting Omer Asik walk for nothing. "Look, you can't have it both ways. Either you're trying to win a championship or you're trying to save money. You can't lose an asset, a quality player like Asik, for nothing and win an NBA Championship. You can't! You just can't!"

    So there you have it boys and girls. Will GarPax, within Rein$dorf's self-imposed financial constraints, make the moves necessary to surround Derrick Rose with the talent to overtake Miami? Or will Pat Riley continue to dominate with Micky Arison's financial backing?

    Place Your Bets...

  • In reply to Edward:

    I'll say it will be the latter cause the Bulls don't plan on spending JACK----, but they want to convince the fans their trying to win a title...PLEASE!!!...

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And again, does anyone know if the Bulls are working out any other draft prospects besides the big kid from Kansas???

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Rickey Ledo said he would be working out for Bulls.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH56sEvQr5g

  • In reply to Talos4:

    Ok thanks, just thought i would ask cause i haven't read anywhere about the Bulls bringing in anyone besides tge Kansas center.

  • In the last 22 years, the Bulls won more championships than any other USA pro team in any major sport. But, "What have you done for me lately," right? I predict they will be back to the NBA Finals within 3 years (by 2016).

    As for Asik, think back to how the Bulls overpaid for Deng and overvalued the players they could have traded for Garnett or Gasol. Plus they overpaid for Boozer and Hamilton and Hinrich. So if you always know who to pay for and who not to, you are not on this site because you are a successful GM!

    The mistake with Asik was in signing him for only 2 years -- should at least have gotten an option for a third year. The Rose injury may have been a factor in that decision.

    BTW, with a healthy Rose, Deng, and Asik, plus the same bench with Belli and Nate, the Bulls could have downed the Heat this year. Moot point, tho, because it didn't happen.

    The Bulls have a solid core in Rose, Noah, and Butler, even if they lose Deng and Boozer. They have Mirotic coming at some point, plus a lottery pick from Charlotte. They only need one more impact player, either by trade or the draft, plus a couple more solid picks, and they will return to the Finals.

    Draft well this year and next, FO, and I feel sure JR will pay for the final piece!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    You like that number - 22? Try this number -15.

    I don't think its, "What have you done for me lately?" It's what has been done in the 15 years since the owner-led 1998 Lockout/CBA/Luxury Tax that coincided with Rein$dorf breaking up the 1998 Championship team.

    In the 15 years since, Bulls have 0 NBA Championships, 0 Eastern Conference Championships, missed the playoffs entirely 7 times, and just once have gotten past the 2nd round (2011).

    The 1990s are over, the 2000s are over, the 2010s are reaching the midway point. "Organizations win championships." Really? We're waiting.............

    Here's another question. Given that, back on April 28, 2012, everyone knew Rose was out for this 2012-13 season. What talent did GarPaxDorf add to this Bulls roster the last 12 months to improve their championship chances for 2014, 2015 etc?
    Answer:
    Two backup PGs, four 1-year vet minimums who won't return, and the loss of Asik for nothing. With results like that, GarPaxDorf should be out of the NBA and on this site!

  • In reply to Edward:

    Exactly, every team that has won a championship since the Celtics and Lakers owned the 80's has won another championship since then except Dallas who won their first 2 years ago. Boston has another title, the Lakers has a title, the Pistons won another title, the Spurs won have won titles since 1999, a year after the Jordan championships, and now Miami winning 3 over the last 7 years. Where are the Bulls in all of that?... Still living off of Jordans 6 titles and no real contending run in them unless some moves are made.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    This logic was so ridiculous i wasn't even going to bother responding, but it's so ridiculous that I have to.

    We get the best player in the history of the NBA, we win 6 titles and now we're suppose to believe this organization/owner knows what they're doing and put all our faith in them?

    You do realize the Bulls said 'organizations wins championships' and not the players right? You do realize the Team used that as motivation to win those titles right?

    Use your brain and think about that for a minute. Phil and the players HATED this 'great' Front Office (youre trying to push) so much, they used it as MOTIVATION to win. And the hatred was so strong they didn't just win 1 title, but multiple titles.

    And how does this 'great' FO respond? By breaking up the dynasty. Yeah, okay buddy. You continue to buy into their 2014 propaganda. When they fail to get any top stars and settle overpaying for a lesser FA, they'll just wait and hold out for a 2018 plan. And just like you are doing now, will fall in line with their propaganda.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    My post was basically about JR being willing to spend when the Bulls are on the verge of greatness. It was not about the current FO, altho they have drafted fairly well. They have made significant mistakes with Ben Wallace, then Skiles, then Boozer, and throw in overpaying for Deng, Hamilton, and Hinrich, all of which have hamstrung the team!

    Still, I feel the Bulls are close enough that if the FO hits on 2 picks the next 2 years, or one pick and one trade, they will be there. But, of course, I do not know that.

    You raise a lot of issues in your post.
    1) After the Bulls won their first 3-peat, the entire roster was changed except for Jordan and Pippen. Grant, Cartwright, Paxson, and Hodges all left/retired. Krause got Rodman, Longley, Kerr, Harper, and Kukoc, and the team 3-peated again, setting a season win record that we likely will never seen equaled. That was a great FO.

    During this run, I recall when JR gave Jordan a one-year salary of $30 million! The previous high for a sport All-star was about $10 million! So JR spent hugely but well, and Jordan was worth it. (if anyone was, which is debatable -- after all, this is just entertainment. I'm not sure all fans recognize that, given their intensity. But, then, fan is related to fanatic.)

    2) You added, "Phil and the players HATED this 'great' Front Office (youre trying to push)." Maybe, but then they were unrealistic, because without that FO they would not have won 6 titles! And I will push the FO of that time, but not the current one. Unfortunately, Krause never made the adjustment to the new NBA back then, and he was never as good.

    The principal owner is the same. Clearly he spent big for a winner in the 1990s, so it is logical to think he will again, but he will need to see more from the FO before he does. IMO, that is logical on his part.

    3) You wrote, "You continue to buy into their 2014 propaganda." I really haven't read any "2014 propaganda" from the FO, so there is nothing for me to "buy into." For me, as for you, seeing is believing.

    But fans have written a lot about 2014 because it interests them, as it does you and me. And I do see the potential. As I stated, the Bulls need an impact player, either from the draft or trade or FA. This is doable.

    Plus they need two more starters about equal to Butler (unless Teague develops fast, in which case one more will do). Also doable. This assumes Deng and Boozer are gone in one or two years.

    You do not think this can happen. I think it can. I feel it is logical, but it always involves talent evaluation, which is calculated risk/reward investing. And even if the picks hit, the element of chance (injuries, refs, unwise calls by a coach) will always be there.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Oh, JR is not cheap, he gave MJ $30mil.

    HAHAHahahahahahha

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    That was back in the early 1990s, so 20 years later, in 2013 dollars, it would be higher.

    Still, who today in the NBA draws that kind of salary? Kobe is close, but it is 20 years later. Rose is not close. LeBron is not close. In fact, LeBron and Wade together get per year about what Jordan did the last four or five years he played for the Bulls.

    JR has been talked into throwing money away on overpaid players like Wallace and Boozer and some lesser ones as well. He is wise to see almost all the pieces in place before he risks it again!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Reinsdorf may or may not be willing to pay for greatness. However, because of the people in his employ (GarPax) , he'll never have to worry about it.

    10 years, and only 1 conference finals appearance to show for it.

    In that time, the Cubs have made the equivalent of a conference finals.

    The White Sox have won a title.

    The Bears have been to 2 conference finals and a title game.

    The Blackhawks have been to 2 conference finals, won one title, and are on the cusp of winning a second.

    So, the Bulls went from arguably the most successful franchise in all of sports to not even being to outshine the Cubs (relatively speaking).

    If I were Reinsdorf, GarPax would be given the boot. However, he'll keep them around as long as seats are filled and profits are made. If Reinsdorf has a definite fault, it isn't that he is cheap, it is that he is overly loyal to people that are not performing.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Reinsdorf HAD to pay that money to MJ tho, because at the time MJ was talking about signing with the Knicks if Reinsdorf didn't fork over the loot and if MJ signs with the Knicks, Bulls fans may very well have burned down the UC. This is the same man that let Scottie go because he didn't want to redo his 7yr/$20MM deal, that was so ridiculously one-sided that its not even funny. Pip would be making max money if he played now!

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