No matter what team LeBron James plays for, the Chicago Bulls will always hate LeBron. Bulls fans will especially hate him when his presence is in Chicago, but they will probably hate him more for the fact that he and the Cavaliers ruined the Bulls season home opener, which just so happened to be the official return of Derrick Rose. The Bulls fell short to the Cavs on Friday night in overtime with a final score of 114-108.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the New York Knicks 95-90 the night before in their season home opener, which was also LeBron’s homecoming debut game back in Cleveland. In Derrick Rose’s own debut return night, LeBron James was hungry to not have a repeat of the game from the night before as he only scored 17 points, which may have been a smaller number compared to what Cleveland was expecting. LeBron more than doubled those points Friday night and scored 36 points unsympathetically during Chicago’s home opener. He also had eight rebounds and four assists. Kyrie Irving scored 23 points, and Kevin Love added 16 points with 16 rebounds.
LeBron James and the Cavs led by as much as nine points early in the fourth quarter. The Bulls had a five-point lead over the Cavs as the fourth quarter was closing in, but the Cavs managed to tie the game and forced overtime in a thunderous United Center. Bulls fans cringed as LeBron James scored the first eight points in overtime and quickly became anxious. With 46.8 seconds left in the game, the Cavs were up 106-104. Tristan Thompson of the Cavaliers dunked a dagger with 24 seconds left in overtime to put Cleveland up by four. The Chicago Bulls still fell short as the Cavs went on to winning the game by six.
Derrick Rose’s official return to a regular season game and Chicago home opener was ruined by LeBron James. He spent the past two years on the sidelines as he watched his team grow and gain a team chemistry without their reigning MVP. Many anticipated his return, but Rose could not find a way to outplay LeBron. LeBron James played the game the way that Rose should have in front of his home crowd. Rose even had to leave the game in the fourth quarter after a sprained left ankle injury. Chicago anticipated for this return for two years and many probably still cringed every time Derrick Rose’s feet left the ground in both the preseason and in his games playing for Team USA over the summer. He stated that his ankle injury in Friday night’s game was just a simple small sprain and that he is walking. Chicago could now breathe a little. The Bulls, who are now 1-1 will travel to play the Minneapolis Timberwolves’, who are also 1-1 on Saturday night.
The Chicago Bulls home opener against the Cavaliers had more reasons to be historic other than Derrick officially returning back into the game of basketball. LeBron James may have ruined the game for the Bulls by taking Rose’s spotlight, but there was still one part of the night that even the “King” could not ruin. The Bulls celebrated their 20th anniversary of their traditional “Running of the Bulls” player introduction video by playing its official sixth newly iterated version. The video and music remain iconic throughout the NBA as it was part of the legendary Michael Jordan era, and still brings memories back to any Bulls fan.
Commentary By Tricia Manalansan
Photo Courtesy Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar -Creativecommons License