Chicago reacts to LeBron's move to Miami

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, applauds during a speech by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, during the NBA MVP award ceremony for James on the University of Akron campus, Sunday, May 2, 2010, in Akron, Ohio. The trophy is in the foreground. ((AP Photo/Phil Long))

July 9, 2010 11:01:41 AM PDT
While rumors built Thursday that LeBron James was headed for Miami, Bulls fans still hoped that Chicago could get him.

It was not to be.

The crowd at one South Loop bar took in stride that LeBron James is not coming to Chicago and will not be donning a Bulls uniform, but before the announcement, there was still great hope.

For many in Chicago, the decision announcement by the NBA's most sought-after free agent amounted to an hour-long ego-a-thon.

"I just didn't think there was going to be enough ball to go around," said Andray Napolez. "I mean, you've got Dwayne Wade, you've got Chris Bosh, it's a super-team, but I think it's too much talent stacked on one team."

With the suspense given to the normal comings and goings of a South Loop spot, the trash talking began.

"I'm excited," said Dawn Randall. "I'm from L.A. - I'm a Laker fan, so this gives us some good competition."

James said he is not going to get as much money in Miami as he would have earned in Cleveland, and he spurned maximum salary offers from the Bulls and two other teams to go to the heat and play with fellow superstars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

Sports executive Mark Ganis of Sportscorp says that James will now face real pressure to succeed.

"If he does not win championships, if he goes to Miami and he does not win championships, he will have damaged his brand," said Ganis.

"I think it was the right move," said Darwin Brown. "Would love to see him in Chicago, but it was the right move for him.

"It doesn't come as a surprise - I think it is a good combination," said Bulls fan Bryant Monteihl. "He went where he thought he would get a ring. I think that's what his goal is now."

The 2011 NBA schedule comes out in about a month, and it seems likely that fans nationwide will be circling the dates the Heat visit their home teams to see if James can rise to the challenge.


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