It wasn’t the type of conversation Bulls forward Taj Gibson anticipated having when he accepted a spot on the USA Select Team last summer to work out against Team USA as it prepared for the London Olympics.
Then again, it isn’t often LeBron James tries to recruit you to join him with the Miami Heat.
‘‘We talked about it a lot because I was coming up on my contract, possibly becoming a free agent,’’ Gibson said. ‘‘We were kicking it around, and [James] was saying: ‘Come to Miami. Come in, and we’ll treat you right there.’ I was like, ‘Nah, I’m cool with the Bulls.’ ’’
At the time, he really wasn’t.
Gibson entered training camp with an uncertain future. The Bulls had until Nov. 1 to give him a contract extension or allow him to become a restricted free agent after this season. James knew that and was planting the seed.
‘‘Very flattering,’’ Gibson said of James’ offer. ‘‘I mean, that shows that there is a sense of respect about your game. It means that there are other guys around the league watching you, other than just going up and down the court and banging bodies against each other.’’
Expect this whole circus to pick up once again as LeBron James can opt out of his contract after the 2013-14 season. Gibson said that he would join the recruiting pitch in bringing LeBron to Chicago, but if Derrick Rose helped it could make the difference.
Gibson said he would have no problem playing recruiter in the process, but it would carry a lot more weight if Bulls star Derrick Rose joins in — a practice he has said he wouldn’t take part in when asked in the past.
‘‘Of course, I would try,’’ Gibson said of talking with James. ‘‘But at the same time, guys have to want to come here. There are a lot of different elements that come with it. Guys want to be able to play in different locations, play in front of certain crowds, play in places with certain weather, so you have to look at all those different aspects.
‘‘But you know what? You never know.’’