For the past few seasons, the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat have had an intensified rivalry between their players, fans, and the entirety of the two cities. The overall hate towards each other has grown season after season, and many may now be wondering what is next for the two teams. The Bulls and the Heat have hated each other, but with LeBron leaving Miami for Cleveland, could the newest NBA rivalry be between the Bulls and the Cavaliers? Despite what team LeBron James is on, the Chicago Bulls could take their grudges away from Miami and could potentially bring their hatred to Cleveland as they will always hate LeBron.
“We don’t like them. They don’t like us,” was quoted by none other than LeBron himself last season. He made this statement as he and the Miami Heat prepared for last year’s NBA opening game against Chicago. Since then, no matter if a game is in Miami or Chicago, fans anxiously expect their team to defeat the other on the court and sometimes even expect altercations due to the physical tension between the two. Most would recall the altercation that was made prior to this statement. The Chicago-Miami rivalry reached its ultimate peak in a previous playoff game in the 2012-2013 season. In Game Three, LeBron and Bulls’ center Nazr Mohammed became tangled up in a play that had Mohammed fall with a technical foul on LeBron. The foul was followed by Nazr using all his strength to shove LeBron to the ground after the whistle, which fired up both teams in Chicago’s United Center. The United Center lived up to its nickname, “The Madhouse on Madison,” as fans cheered Nazr on in that moment.
With LeBron in Cleveland, leaving Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami, this leaves the Eastern Conference as a whole new battlefield in this upcoming season. Miami lost its key player. This may not be as big of an issue for Miami versus LeBron’s potential trouble in Cleveland. The Cavaliers must adjust to having a superstar player on their team and must create a team chemistry to make and finish plays. With the recent trade rumors of Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love for Cavs’ Andrew Wiggins still pending, the offensive benefit of having LeBron and Love to the roster would still leave the Cavs struggling defensively.
The Chicago Bulls may have hated LeBron himself more than they hated the Miami Heat as a whole. The NBA’s newest seat-clenching rivalry could be between Chicago and Cleveland. The Cavalier franchise already pulled a fast one by snatching Kevin Love, after there was word of the Bulls being interested in a trade for Love also. If Chicago was successful in bringing in Love to the Bulls, this would have no doubt created the ultimate team. The Bulls would have strong players offensively and defensively, especially with the comeback of Derrick Rose, who was never a LeBron fan either. Knowing this, the Cavs immediately announced their interest in Love to increase their chances in having a spot in this year’s NBA playoffs.
The Miami Heat could be left at peace, at least to an extent, as LeBron James decided to go home to Cleveland. The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat rivalry will still exist, but despite that, Chicago will always hate LeBron no matter where he is in the NBA. As Cleveland welcomes LeBron home in hopes that this move will bring an NBA championship, the Bulls may be taking their grudges to Cleveland as well which could potentially create a new warzone between the two teams.
Commentary by Tricia Manalansan