LeBron James Comes To Chicago ... For a Day

LeBron James stops by Chicago for a charity event

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Naturally, LeBron's only offseason trip to Chicago is for charity. I guess we can forgive him for that.

    Today, LeBron James comes to Chicago. We wish that headline meant more than it did.

    He's in town for a charity event, but wouldn't it be great if he was our starting small forward?

    The Chicago Bulls could vie hard for James's services in the offseason summer of 2010, when James will become a free agent. LeBron recently told the Cleveland Cavaliers and his fans that he wanted to "keep his options open," foregoing a new contract extension with the Cavaliers this summer. It's rumored that James has his sights set on New York, but Chicago could be one of the few other teams able to afford James's services.

    (OK, so maybe this is a little bit of wishful thinking. We'll admit to that.)

    Alas, at 2 p.m. today the city of Chicago will get as close as it might ever to James, when the 6'9" forward hosts an  event with Mayor Daley at Seward Park on Elm Street. The event will honor AfterSchool Matters NeighborSports youth, a summer sports program aimed at teaching teenagers valuable life skills.

    Naturally, as James is involved so is Nike, and the shoe company will be there to present the Nike Air Max LeBron VII and give one free Chicago-inspired design away to a lucky kid. The Chicago event is just the first stop on a worldwide Nike marketing blitz, which will include 10 stops at various locations throughout the U.S., China and Europe.

    Locals are encouraged to stop by to participate in pickup games, and WNBA players will be on hand for skills clinics.

    Whether or not Nike will allow homemade videos of the event is less certain. Locals are also encouraged not to dunk on LeBron. (Just kidding.)

    Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.