Flashback #92: Bulls’ Free Agent Pursuit (2010)
As of 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary on January 3rd, the station has begun to reveal (in chronological order) the Top 100 Chicago Sports Stories that have occurred since they first went on the air 20 years ago. Once all 100 of these “flashbacks” have been revealed, fans will be able to vote for which stories they believe are the most significant in the 20 year history of The Score. To see all of the Flashbacks that The Score has posted so far, please visit 670 The Score’s 20th Anniversary page.
July 1, 2010 – ‘Bulls free agent pursuit
This was the free agent class that had been talked about for years.
Never before in the history of the NBA had free agency stolen the summer like it did in 2010. Players such as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer were all free to sign with whichever team they wanted.
The main prize in this derby, however, was the 26-year-old James, who had a number of suitors to choose from.
Eventually, it was decided that James would welcome six teams – the Bulls, Nets, Knicks, Heat, Clippers and Cavaliers – to his home in Cleveland to try to woo the forward into joining their teams.
During this time, the Bulls also pushed hard for Wade and Bosh to team up with Derrick Rose and new head coach Tom Thibodeau.
The first of the three main dominoes to fall was Wade, who decided to stay home and re-sign with the Heat. Shortly after Wade’s decision, Bosh announced that he, too, would travel to Miami to team up with his good friend.
Still, however, there was James. There was speculation the Bulls were the front-runner, as they were the final team to meet with James. The Bulls sent out Jerry Reinsdorf, John Paxson, Gar Forman and Thibodeau to elicit the help of James, but it was never clear which was he was leaning.
Finally, James announced he would tell the world his choice during a one-hour program on ESPN simply called “The Decision.”
There, James famously said “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.” James’ decision was met with severe backlash throughout the NBA. Some criticized James for leaving the city of Cleveland, while other said he took the easy way out.
Though Chicago missed out on the top-three free agents, they were able to sign Carlos Boozer to a five-year, $80 million deal.
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