Chicago Sun-Times

Bulls' contingent heads home after LeBron meeting

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CLEVELAND -- After spending roughly three hours in the IMG Building downtown -- presumably much of it meeting with prized free agent LeBron James -- the Bulls' four-man contingent left the building without comment and headed home late Saturday afternoon.

The departure was worthy of a presidential motorcade. Two large black SUVs at first parked outside the front of the building at the time the meeting was scheduled to break up. But after a crowd gathered at that location -- many fans thought the vehicles were for James and his entourage -- a security guard came out and had the drivers pull into the building's garage.

About a half hour later, the vehicles quickly exited as a few in the crowd of about 100 who gathered to greet James booed. Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was seated up front in the lead car with coach Tom Thibodeau up front in the other. The back windows were tinted, so it was impossible to tell which car executive vice president John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman rode in.

A few minutes later, James left in a silver Mercedes, again with the windows rolled up and without a word to the fans or media.

Three hours earlier, the Bulls made a surprise entrance through the front door of the building. With the assembled media waiting by the garage entrance on St. Clair St. -- where James and the five other teams he met with had entered -- the Bulls were dropped off across the street from the front entrance. They walked across East 9th St. and entered before hardly anyone noticed.

For what it's worth, the Bulls were the last of the six teams to meet with James. His current team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, had the first meeting on Saturday. Owner Dan Gilbert, general manager Chris Grant and new coach Byron Scott met with James for just under two hours.

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Bulls appear to have an incompetent management team. We recall John Paxon being quoted during the Kobe Bryant courtship as saying "The Bulls are good enough to compete for the Eastern Conference title without Kobe."

All you need to do is show that quote to any of the top players available and none will come to Chicago. With all the attractiveness of the city, the large capacity United Center, the endorsement that would come with winning, and still has to consider the group running the show.

Do not kid yourself into thinking James, Wade, Bosh, Boozer, and others haven't talked with Jordan or Pippen on what Reinsdorf is really about.

Chicago, a great town, great history with teams including the Flubs...but make no mistake - none of the superstars want to play for this group.

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This page contains a single entry by John Jackson published on July 3, 2010 4:17 PM.

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