One of the biggest rivalries during the early 2010s was that between the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat. Before he got injured, Derrick Rose and the Bulls represented one of the biggest threats to LeBron James and his Heat Big 3. As it turns out, however, all these stars nearly joined the same team at one point.
In a recent episode of JJ Redicks’ The Old Man & The Three podcast, former Bulls star Joakim Noah revealed just how close he was to convincing LeBron, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade to all join him in Chicago (h/t Kass Sports Media on Twitter):
“I’m thinking that they’re coming to Chicago,” Noah said of the 2010 free agency frenzy. “… Chis Bosh basically told me, ‘Yo, I’m coming to Chicago.’ If Chris Bosh came to Chicago…
“I tried to recruit all of them. It didn’t matter. Whatever it took to get the Bulls better, I was doing. Derrick (Rose) wasn’t doing none of that s–t. I was doing all of that. People don’t know that, but yes, I did try to recruit LeBron. Yes, I did try to recruit D-Wade.”
According to Noah, Bosh had already given him his verbal commitment to join the Bulls. Bosh was a free agent at that time after his deal with the Toronto Raptors came to an end. As Noah implied, Bosh heading to Chicago would have changed the entire landscape of the NBA.
Let’s not forget that Dwyane Wade is a Chicago native, so he probably would have had no problem joining the Bulls. LeBron wanted to team up with Wade and Bosh, so he too would have likely taken his talents to the Windy City.
But it never happened. In his mind, this is also the reason why there was a lot of friction between the Bulls and the Heat whenever they faced off against each other.
“I think that’s where a lot of the animosity came from,” he continued. “… Chris straight up told me he was f–king coming to Chicago. So, I think it fueled the fire that much more.”
Joakim Noah on JJ Redick's podcast says he tried to recruit LeBron, Wade and Bosh to Chicago before they decided to join the Heat.
"Chris straight up told me he was f**cking coming to Chicago." pic.twitter.com/HzbQTJxaUx
— Kass Sports Media (@KassSportsMedia) November 7, 2022
Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Joakim Noah. What a starting 5 that would have been for the Bulls. It’s hard not to imagine how many titles this team could have won if they had all joined forces.