We've got good news, and we've got bad news. Alright, it's all bad news.
The Bulls' plan to assemble a Big 5 of Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Joakim Noah? It really seems as if it was closer to coming to fruition than we thought.
First, ESPN's Brian Windhorst detailed the meetings leading up to The Decision back in the summer of 2010, laying out pretty clearly that the Bulls were in the final running for the free agents' landing spot along with only the Miami Heat.
Now, Nick Friedell, who was the ESPN Chicago Bulls beat writer in 2010, has fresh details on Bosh's talks with the Bulls, specifically. Here's what he said on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast on Sunday:
To me, the story (of The Decision) and the conversation starts with Chris Bosh. Because you talk to people in that Bulls organization, including former players, Chris Bosh said he was coming to the Bulls. Straight up.
Chris Bosh and the Bulls were supposed to be together, at least in Chicago's mind. And then as that week played out, as I know you (Windhorst) get into in the story, they went, 'Oh, what's happening here?' But as far as the Bulls were concerned, they felt like they had a commitment — at least some people in the organization did — from Chris Bosh. They felt like Dwyane Wade would follow, they hoped that that would work out, especially as the days continued into that first weekend.
And then to see everything kind of fall apart in that fashion, and see all three of the big guns go to Miami the way they did.. Frankly, I still don't think the Bulls are all the way over it. The storyline with the Bulls always will be, always, is Derrick Rose got hurt and it changed the course of the franchise. But I can just tell you living through it, that there are still people in that organization that have not gotten over all the different things that happened that summer.
Would a consummated committal from Bosh have spurred Wade and James to follow? How many chips could that Bulls team have won with that core? It's all lost in the ether.