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Gibson doesn’t think it’s his place to recruit LeBron James

Updated: October 30, 2013 1:13PM



MIAMI — Backup big man Taj Gibson is in a tough place.

On one hand, Gibson would like to be the player who recruits LeBron James to come to Chicago if the four-time NBA most valuable player opts out of his contract with the Miami Heat and becomes a free agent after this season. On the other hand, he doesn’t know if that’s his place.

Player-on-player recruiting is a tricky game and usually is handled by one superstar meeting with another. It’s also a game Bulls superstar Derrick Rose continues to have no desire to get involved in.

James tried to recruit Gibson to the Heat when Gibson was part of the USA Select Team in the spring of 2012. He knew Gibson would be facing a free-agent decision after the 2012-13 season if the Bulls didn’t give him an extension.

But they did, and now it’s James who might be looking for a change of address.

‘‘It was back then, man, so I don’t know,’’ Gibson said Tuesday. ‘‘[James] knew my situation, but I just don’t know if that’s my place.
I mean, you never know what’s going to happen, so I wouldn’t say absolutely not. . . . But right now, no.

‘‘I think a lot of it depends on the relationship with the player and if you’re cool with them. That’s a tough one. If you’re cool with a guy, friendly, it depends on how friendly you are with that player. The problem is, almost everyone on this team, we’re not real liked around this league.’’

Up and running

Center Joakim Noah, who missed all but one preseason game because of a strained groin, started Tuesday against the Heat, but coach Tom Thibodeau was guarded with his minutes. Noah played just more than six minutes in the first quarter, then sat until there was 6:44 left in the first half.

That’s how life is going to be for Noah until he catches up with the rest of the team conditioning-wise.

‘‘It’s always a concern because the first step in the process is for everyone to put their game together piece by piece individually,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘The next part of that is putting your team together piece by piece. In order to do that, you need everyone to participate. So the practice component is critical.’’

Backup guard Kirk Hinrich (shoulder) was also able to play.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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