Derrick Rose Doesn’t Want LeBron James on Bulls?

| by Alex Groberman

Apparently not everyone wants to play with LeBron James.

According to recent reports, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose would have preferred to play with Joe Johnson over James.

The rumor was confirmed this week by Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

(LeBron) really likes Rose & Noah. But there's lack if shooters on roster. Also it doesn't sound like he's exactly being welcomed by Rose.

Didn't say Rose was anti-LeBron. But the word is preference was Joe Johnson. They have same agent. That is what multiple people tell me.

If there was ever a moment to use the term “lol” in a sports article, this is it.

Granted, there is some basic logic behind the fact that Rose would not want another guy who needs to have the ball in his hands to be effective on the team. The Bulls all-star guard is an excellent playmaker with impressive athleticism who needs shooters around him to keep defenses honest. Essentially, he’s a good but not-as-good, smaller version of James.

Based on this, it is kind of understandable that Rose would rather have a scorer in Johnson on the team.

Of course, that’s where the logic ends. James is an already legendary talent who has the potential to go down as the greatest player of all-time (he just needs to start winning NBA titles). There is a reason that teams have been tanking seasons for the last five years for a chance to sign him. To want to play with considerably less talented player in order to keep yourself more valuable to the team is a bit self-centered, to say the least.

Rose seems to have conveniently forgotten what James did with his Cavs team this past season.

If you take a look at the 2009-10 Cavaliers roster and cross out LeBron James, there aren’t many other household names. Unlike other well-known superstars James does not have a Pau Gasol/Ron Artest or Kevin Garnett/Ray Allen backing him up. Granted, Antawn Jamison is a versatile scorer, Mo Williams is a solid guard, and you could count on 10 good minutes every few games from Shaquille O’Neal. However, none of these players could be the “number one option” on their own.

Statistically, James wrapped up his second MVP campaign with yet another monster year. The Cavs forward put up 29.7 points on 50.3% shooting, 7.3 rebounds, 8.6 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1 block per game. He had a PER of 31.37, and a lower assist-turnover ratio than anyone in the NBA not named: Chris Paul, Carlos Arroyo, Luke Ridnour, Jose Calderon, or Mike Bibby.

Either way, Rose will not have the opportunity to play with the free agent he covets most. Two days ago, Joe Johnson accepted a six-year, $119 million contract offer with the Atlanta Hawks. The deal was worth nearly $27 million more than any other team could offer.

You have to wonder if Rose was the only person in Chicago disappointed when the news broke that Johnson, not James resigned with their original team.