Chicago has a lot of intriguing storylines when it comes to the must-watch team of 2013. The Bears have one of the best records in the NFL and (finally) have a marquee receiver with Brandon Marshall. The United Center eagerly awaits both the return of Derrick Rose and the Chicago Blackhawks. And, try as they might, the Cubs look to rebound from a disappointing 2012 while the White Sox are a September collapse away from reaching the postseason.
Nominee: Chicago Bulls
We expect superstar Derrick Rose to return to the floor with the Bulls at the United Center at some point in the not-too-distant future. He's one of the most dynamic - and valuable - players in the NBA today, and is worth the price of admission by himself. The '12-'13 season could be a breakout season for the Bullies and it starts with #1. For tickets, click here.
Nominee: Chicago Blackhawks
We also expect there to be hockey played at the United Center at some point in 2013. While the Chicago Blackhawks have one of the great young teams in the NHL, those players are busy working out on their own while the league continues its lockout. Hopefully that is resolved soon and we can enjoy watching some of the best players on the planet soon.
Chicago's baseball scene will be interesting in 2013. The Cubs continue their rebuild, and the White Sox will spend the winter trying to find the one or two pieces that get them back into the postseason. For fans of those teams, there will certainly be entertainment on the diamonds this year, even if it's in the form of a party on Clark Street in Wrigleyville or unhinged facial expressions by Sox pitcher Jake Peavy.
Nominee: Chicago Bears
The Bears continue to play at a high level. They should be in the playoffs in January, but we're a long way from knowing who will be healthy and where playoff game(s) will be played. With free agency in the NFL being so fluid these days, it's hard to know exactly what the Bears roster will look like next season. That said, with their defense consistently one of the league's best over the last decade and the uber-productive combination of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, there's a chance for the Monsters of the Midway to be one of the NFL's elite teams.
Nominee: Chicago's High School Hoops Scene (Wait, what!?)
Yes, you heard me right. The Simeon Career Academy Wolverines are one of the best prep squads in the country, led by arguably the top prospect in the Class of 2013, Jabari Parker. He's been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and is the hottest recruit in the country. BYU's students printed 6,300 t-shirts in preparation for his visit earlier this year.
But Parker isn't alone on this uber-talented roster.
Senior guard Kendrick Nunn, who has committed to play for Illinois, is rated #59 on ESPN's top 100 prospects in the class of 2013. Also committed to play at Illinois is Nunn's backcourt teammate, Jaylon Tate.
There's a lot of great talent in Chicago, but the most exciting game in town might be in a high school gym in the coming year.
And The Choosie Goes To...
Two high school basketball teams will share the honor. Before you roll your eyes, consider making plans for the January 26th game between Simeon and Whitney Young. This clash of amateur Titans will feature perhaps two of the highest-rated rosters in the nation.
Whitney Young carries three of the top players in next year's recruiting class in Jahlil Okafor, Paul White and LJ Peak.
Both Parker and Okafor might be starting somewhere in the NBA at some point in the next 3-5 years, so this prep matchup could be one of the most talked about Chicago high school games since Derrick Rose graduated from Simeon.
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