Thursday, May 20, 2010
LeBron the talk of draft combine
By Nick Firedell
Evan Turner grew up cheering for the Bulls, but he isn't sure that his hometown team has the enough good fortune left to land LeBron James this summer.
"I honestly don't know," Turner said, when asked where he thought James would land during free agency. "I don't know how lucky Chicago is to get two of the greatest players to play there within 15-20 years of each other, but if he does I think he'll like it here. Chicago is the greatest city in the world and it will be fun."
The Ohio State star admits that it will be tough to still cheer for the Bulls once his own pro career starts.
"I'll always be a fan of the Chicago sports," he said. "But whatever team I go to, I'm focused on them right now. I won't be rooting for [the Bulls] when we play them."
Plenty of other people will be though, especially if James lands in the Windy City. A lot of rookies think that when all is said and done Chicago will be James' final destination.
"Chicago," Syracuse standout Wes Johnson said when I asked the LeBron question. "I don't know, I'm just thinking Chicago. They keep saying New York and Chicago, I'm saying Chicago."
Xavier guard Jordan Crawford wasn't as strong in that belief, but he was a Chicago proponent as well.
"I don't know where he'll end up," Crawford said. "But you talk about what would be nice -- if he went to Chicago with Derrick Rose. That would be nice."
The rookies scoffed at the notion that James and Derrick Rose wouldn't be able to play together in the same backcourt.
"I think he'll be able to play with D. Rose just fine," Johnson said. "The way he can [dish] the basketball, man, yeah he'll be able to play with D. Rose. You see LeBron average almost a triple double he can find a way to play with D. Rose.
"They both share the ball and they both love making assists so they'll complement each other great," he said.
Johnson has gotten a first-hand scouting report on James from his college buddy, Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Jonny Flyyn.
"He said it's not real," Flynn said of facing James. "Just seeing him on the court and seeing him in person, how big he is and how fast he runs. It's like a machine basically. It's like a robot out there."
Crawford and James go way back: Crawford became a national celebrity last summer when he dunked on James at the MVP's summer camp. It's a memory that he is reminded of almost every day. If he had a dollar for every time somebody asked him about the dunk he would be a wealthy, wealthy man.
"I'd be rich," he said.
How much exactly?
"I don't know," he said. "It would be up there, though. I wouldn't have to worry about ... I could spend a little bit of cash, if I had a dollar for every time [people asked]."
Line of the day: Fresno State swingman Paul George recently worked out for the Bulls and had this to say when asked about the possibility coming to Chicago team which featured James: "He'll probably take all my minutes, but we'll be winning."