It’s not often that two of the shortest players in the NBA are put together for a comparison. With Derrick Rose out until 2013, the Bench Mob gone and the season looking like nothing but a dreary, cold, winter night the inevitable KryptoNate vs. Luke Skywalker debates might provide a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. There will be three different criteria extrapolated in today’s comparison: cheerleading ability, chances of having the Napoleon Complex on the court… Continue reading
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It’s been an exhausting, depressing off-season if you’re a Bulls fan. As if watching the bench mob deteriorate and watching the under qualified replacements sign their contracts wasn’t enough, hearing fans genuinely trying to put a “spin” on this famine of a summer has me perplexed… even the smallest bits of acceptance are making me nervous. Have Bulls fans had to endure Jerry Reisndorf’s reign of terror for so long that they are now thinking like him. I’m tired of… Continue reading
In what’s been an off-season full of mind-boggling signings, constant Dwight-drama and shocking announcements, the Chicago Bulls front office has decided to do… nothing. Well, not nothing. They did drop CJ Watson for Kirk Hinrich. Even as a huge Hinrich advocate, it was a minor upgrade at best. This brings me to the theme of this week’s column. I’m assuming most of you have watched Saturday Night Live’s “Really?” segment with Seth Meyers. If you haven’t, get on YouTube and do so, because it’s… Continue reading
With the off-season in full swing, the Bulls have a lot of things to assess and a lot of hefty decisions to make. Dominating this week’s Bulls round-up will be the draft selection of Marquis Teague and the status of Omer Asik as a free agent. Last week, Chicago kept the 29th pick in the draft and decided to select former Kentucky guard and NCAA champion, Marquis Teague. While the reaction to this selection has been mixed, I couldn’t be… Continue reading
With the NBA Draft just days away, trade rumours are buzzing all around Chicago and almost all of them involve trading Luol Deng for a lottery pick. We all know what the craziness of draft night entails. Last year the Bulls – predictably – came out pretty untouched. This year, things are looking different as the front office seems to be much more involved. I’m here to tell you guys why the Bulls need to get in on some of… Continue reading
After Carlos Boozer’s performance this past post-season, which was nothing short of terrible, the majority of Bulls fans have began to lose hope in his ability to help the Bulls win a championship. The suggestions have ranged from using the amnesty provision on his contract, giving Taj Gibson the starting role to staying put until the next off-season. The Bulls did go 50 – 16 with Carlos Boozer this season, after all. When it comes to statistics, Carlos Boozer beats Taj… Continue reading
After taking the “leap” in his third year, from perennial all-star to MVP and possible all-time great, the Bulls still finished the season on a sour note… losing four straight games to the Miami Heat and getting bounced out of the Eastern Conference Finals. After an off-season of depression, reflection and watching hours and hours of mind-numbing game tapes, Derrick Rose wanted to come back smarter and stronger than ever. Bulls fans couldn’t help but salivate at the thought. Derrick… Continue reading
1. Grade the playoffs so far. What has been surprising? What has been disappointing? Billy Hoyle – Keeperofthecourt.com 2011-12 playoffs: B minus. The good: 1) The discovery of a super-intelligent, team-oriented, and seemingly unbeatable team in the SAS 2) Two enormous performances by James and Rondo, totaling to 89 points, 23 rebounds, and 15 assists 3) In displaying both discipline and an understanding of good basketball, several young teams – IND, PHI, and OKC – showed the world how bright the league’s future… Continue reading
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The Bulls, looking at what could be their last game of the season came in to Game 5 with a purpose on the defensive end. Holding Philadelphia to just 26 points at the half on 29% shooting, they grinded their way to an eventual game six in Philly. Lu opened the game with a midrange jumper, scoring the Bulls first four points. An Evan Turner tip in transition put Philly on the board for two, two and a half minutes… Continue reading
I never thought I’d use this site to vent. Luckily, I’m still venting about sports. And of course, it’s about the Chicago Bulls. I’ve been a little lazy and a lot busy for the past few months but I promised myself I’d do write-ups of every Bulls playoff game. After tonights “victory”, I was a little too distraught and partially in denial. Instead, I’ve decided to write this to make up for it.
I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around everything that’s happened today. Anybody who follows me on twitter has had to witness my state of… well, distress. I’ve learnt two things today though. One of which has made me feel like I’m insane and another that helps keep me sane and optimistic.
1. The attitude of your team’s best player and your team’s coach matters more than anything else.
2. I, and most of everyone who is reading this, care way too much about professional sports teams.
I’ll start with number two, because like everything that’s happened in the past 18 hours, it doesn’t make sense. Let’s face it. I’m aware of who my audience is. This isn’t on the front page of ESPN. If you’re still reading this ___ words in, you’re either a really great friend (Thanks, pals!) or you’re a die-hard basketball fan. The importance we place on the ups and downs of sports franchises and famous athletes is massive, and at times, a bit unhealthy. Some people say they like to watch sports because it’s a stress reliever, an outlet in which we can guide the negatives of our daily lives.
Today, for me and a lot of fans, it was quite the opposite. For the past two years, a Bulls loss has meant that I’d be a not-as-happy person to be around. A Bulls win, on the other hand, wouldn’t make me as happy as it did when it meant that they were one step closer to qualifying for the playoffs. The Bulls winning a first-round playoff game three years ago? Greatest feeling ever. Getting all the way to the Eastern Conference finals and losing last year? Fetal position for the next two days. I guess as expectations change, our happiness towards the success of our favourite teams changes. Maybe we’re all better off cheering for mediocre, loveable teams. It almost warms my heart that that’s what the Bulls will be for the next six to nine months. Almost.
I’ll get on to the part about the insanity now (No, that wasn’t it). I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling what I’m feeling today. I’m also sure that I’m not the only one who really doesn’t care that I care too much. I’ve gone through the Kubler-Ross model of grief and have decided to accept that my feeling will always be tantalized by the happenings of the ChicagoWe can’t really help it, can we?
Bulls, a sports franchise that I have yet to watch live, of which I have never met any of the players or coaching staff and has directly done nothing for my life. For some reason, I’m still writing on my NBA blog, trying to become a successful sportswriter. My question is, why are me and a million other people this insane? Why isn’t cheering for a sports team considered drug use? I know that I’ve gone from being curious, to trying it out and then suddenly becoming fully dependent. Most of the people reading this have, as well. As I think about the things that could have gone differently, I keep having to remind myself that I never had control over the decisions and occurrences. For someone that’s always wanted to decide my own fate, I’ve invested a lot of energy in to something completely out of my control.
I’ll get on to the second realization I had today. I’ve always believed that the attitude of a team’s best player will extend to the teams mindset to an extent, but I never realized how much it mattered until today. I guess a lot of it remains to be seen until Tuesday. I included Thibbs as well, because I had to. Despite the questionable decision to leave Rose in the game so late Thibbs is an integral part to the resiliency of the Chicago Bulls. Today isn’t about him though. Today is about a kid from Chicago that wanted nothing more than to bring his hometown a championship.
Everybody knows all about what a great guy Derrick Rose is. People talk so much about how humble, hard-working and resilient he is that it’s almost become a running joke. It’s been talked about to death, there really isn’t a need to discuss it. Here’s why it matters though: Every single player on that roster would go to war for Derrick Rose. They’d scrap at every loose ball, go for every tip-in and extend their hands to contest every shot. Even before Dwight Howard’s … debacle, could you really say that about the Orlando Magic? If Rose was about to drop 81 points, the rest of the guys would be much more excited than they were here.
Not doing everything you can in your power to win a playoff game with Rose would be like watching your best friend scrap around for spare change when you’ve got a five dollar bill in your pocket. In other words, unless you’re a terrible person you won’t do it.
So what happens when the Bulls heart, soul and best player goes down for the rest of the season, and is unlikely to ever play at the same level again? For most teams, they’d fold. They’d probably be much too deflated, emotionally scarred and discouraged to believe that they could make a difference. Not this team though.
After reading those words, I don’t think I’ve been so proud to be a Bulls fan. it brought a tear to my eye and reminded me that the Bulls might just be okay. Derrick Rose has a must-win attitude and so do the Chicago Bulls. Yeah Kyle, I Bullieve. Yeah, once again, this is what helped restore my sanity. I think I need professional help.
Still don’t believe that the attitude of the best player matters that much? Check out rookie Jimmy Butler’s twitter. His tweet, #DoitforDerrick has become the motto of the guys in the locker room. You can’t just watch somebody you care about work so hard and want so bad to not do something about it. To not do everything about it.
It’s things like this that make it impossible to not love this team. Before this injury, before this outpour from the Bulls players that’s made Bulls fans collectively remember that where there’s a will there’s a way, I still believed that this team was special. I don’t think I’ve ever gone through a full season and loved a team as much as I love this one. Watching the first half of the Bulls win against Miami, sans Rose, was probably the most awesome time I’ve ever had while watching basketball. From Noah’s poster-slam to John Lucas III’s impossible shot over Lebron James, it was the perfect example of mustering greatness in the absence of greatness. On the other hand, there were nights that Derrick Rose just refused to let the Bulls go down without a fight. The step-back jumper against Brandon Jennings, the buzzer-beaters against the 76ers, the Clippers game, the second half against the Spurs. A healthy Bulls team could have led the league in offense, defense, assists and rebounds. Watching the guys “find a way” every night was one of the greatest things I’ve ever been privileged to watch.
Everything in life was unstable and uncertain. A Bulls win however… that was steadfast. It was a guarantee. Perhaps that’s why it was so much more devastating every night they lost. 2012 champs? Maybe not. The team I’ve felt most privileged to cheer for? Absolutely.