Bill Simmons suggests that Tom Thibodeau to Chicago means LeBron James to Chicago, via Arne Duncan and Barack Obama

Say what you will about best-selling author and ESPN columnist Bill Simmons - and I probably shouldn't say anything too critical until I've actually finished The Book of Basketball - but he's been on his game in the past few months (roughly dating back to the piece he wrote embracing sabremetrics) and both his column and his Twitter have been pretty good reads during the Celtics' somewhat unlikely (admit it, C's fans) run to this year's NBA Finals.

One of Simmons's favorite topics in his years of writing about the NBA has always been conspiracy theories - he even once asked David Stern about two of the most prevalent theories out there (that the 1985 draft lottery was rigged so the Knicks would get the first pick and draft Patrick Ewing, and that Michael Jordan's two-year retirement and foray into minor league baseball was actually a commissioner-mandated vacation to help him get his gambling problem under control; Stern denies everything, of course). On Sunday, while conducting a live chat during Game Two between the Lakers and Celtics, Simmons dropped a new one on us: namely, that soon-to-be-former Celtics assistant coach (and incoming Bulls head coach) Tom Thibodeau is part of Barack Obama's masterplan to get LeBron James (and Chris Bosh apparently also?) to sign with the Bulls this summer.

Before we go to Simmons, some disclaimers: first off, regardless of this free agency craziness, Thibodeau, a defensive strategist of the highest order, was a great hire for the Bulls. Second, as numerous people have pointed out, James to the Bulls, weirdly, might not really make that much sense from a basketball (would James and Derrick Rose work well together?) or non-basketball (wouldn't James just be stuck in the shadow of Jordan?) standpoint.

But still, Simmons's ideas are intriguing, if a bit convoluted and not very plausible (sportsguy33 is his handle, for those who don't know):


1. Quote from Adrian Wojnarowski's excellent Yahoo report 
on the stars seemingly aligning for LeBron to sign with Chicago this summer: "It wasn’t until Tom Thibodeau – who swore he never again wanted an agent – signed with William Wesley’s CAA that the Chicago Bulls grew serious about the coach’s candidacy. Something pushed Bulls officials to get on a plane, fly to Los Angeles on the eve of the NBA Finals and meet with the Boston Celtics assistant coach. Within 48 hours, the Bulls had a deal for Thibodeau to become their head coach. For several weeks, the Bulls had chances to interview him. They never did."

1. LeBron repped by Leon Rose (CAA), Bosh repped by Henry Thomas (CAA). LeBron's mentor? Uncle Wes (aka, William Wesley).


2: This spring, Uncle Wes becomes a CAA agent for college/pro coaches. Quietly signed Boston assistant Tom Thibodeau a few weeks ago.


3: Thibodeau = longtime mentor of Sec. of Education Arne Duncan (big Bulls fan, once Chi. supe of schools).

4: Duncan = buddies with boss Barack Obama (also a big Bulls fan, on record as hoping LBJ goes there), they play pickup hoops together all the time.


5: Jerry Reinsdorf = Bulls owner and unabashed Obama suckup.


6. Thibodeau signs with Wes. Never mentioned for vacant Bulls job until a few days ago. Gets it within 72 hours. 


7. Connect the Bulls dots: Lebron > Wes > Thibodeau > Duncan > Obama. You're telling me Obama/Duncan aren't quite possibly maybe a little bit involved with influencing in the LBJ Sweepstakes this summer if he becomes a Bull? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Again, not sure I totally buy it, but it's something.


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