Playing a Little Dirty Diplomacy
As far as I understand it, Scottie Pippen and Frank Thomas are being paid to represent their prospective teams as a public figure, attending games (for free), signing autographs, and occasionally writing something nice about the franchise. I would like to go Billy Beane and take this generic public relations move and turn it into an actual tactical advantage for the team on the field, or court, of play.
The Chicago Bulls are set to embark on a season with a much different and more difficult road in the Eastern Conference. The Milwaukee Bucks are a real threat to take the division, The Boston Celtics refuse to show their collective age, the Orlando Magic are hell bent on winning (luxury tax be damned!), and the Miami Heat were the overwhelming Vegas favorites before they started adding those quality pieces to an already fearsome threesome. How would the Bulls turn a seemingly innocuous position into a game changer?
The Bulls find a way to pry Delonte West from his new team, the Minnesota Timerbwolves, and make him the team ambassador.
This is working under the assumption LeBron can do nothing but shut down whenever he sees the former teammate who broke an unspoken rumor- do not sleep with your friend’s mom. We could send him to big games and let him stalk the King ala Stephen Marbury 2009, lurking in the stands. This might result in some fines, but it would disrupt the Miami Thrice and open up the Eastern Conference to teams without three stars entering their prime.
Imagine buying Bulls tickets to see LeBron choke as West stares at him from courtside seats. The fans would be chanting unmentionable insults and Derrick Rose would drive by Dwayne Wade and dunk on a defensively ineffective Bosh in the circle. It would be great and it would be a divisive move announcing to the NBA the Bulls are ready to win big without Jordan.