Wade questions Bulls' loyalty

Perception can turn into harsh reality, and the Bulls’ image as
unfriendly to former stars could adversely affect the team’s ability to
land a premier free agent.

The Cavaliers’ LeBron James, the Heat’s Dwyane Wade and the Hawks’ Joe
Johnson plan to discuss their respective plans with each other before
making a decision once free agency begins July 1, Wade told the Tribune
on Wednesday.

And when the Bulls come up in the conversation, talk won’t necessarily focus on Derrick Rose.

"I think the biggest question that you think about has to be loyalty," said Wade, a Richards grad who added he has been a Bulls fan for a long time. "I know one thing about Miami: It is a very loyal organization. I see what they do with their players when their players get done with the game of basketball … how loyal they are. I don’t know about the Bulls."

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Wade said it appears to him that the Bulls don’t measure up to the Heat in the loyalty department.

"I see Michael Jordan is not there, Scottie Pippen is not there. … You know, these guys are not a part," Wade said. "Things like that. So that is probably one of the biggest things for me, because I am a very loyal person."

Bulls general manager Gar Forman insists top coaches and free agents will clamor to join the organization. And Bulls officials in the past have downplayed perceptions that the organization has a loyalty problem.

And even though the physical clash between John Paxson and former coach Vinny Del Negro did not help the team’s image, Wade said the choice of the Bulls’ next coach would not be a factor.

"I don’t necessarily get into all the coaches stuff," Wade said. "I feel the coach is only as good as his players. There are some great, great coaches around who can squeeze a lot of life out of their players, like Jerry Sloan. Every year he proves that."

Wade said he’s not sure when the top free agents will discuss their respective plans, though they have spoken informally in the past.


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