Wednesday, June 30, 2010

EVERYTHING CHICAGO BULLS by Docksquad

The Chicago Bulls season ended yet again with another hard fought first round playoff exit. Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah played great again, and they did all they could vs. the Cavs in this year’s first round playoff exit. But just like last year, they came up short on advancing into the second round. Two years in a row, the Bulls played as well as they could, but they couldn’t even get into the second round of the playoffs. All I can say about that is that it is depressing foo! I guess the big question remains…is this going to become a recurring theme for the Chicago Bulls for the next few years to come, or will Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls get back to NBA relevancy again, starting next year? I want to talk about that question and then take a look at some other topics concerning the Bulls in this post. Sorry if the post is all over the place, but when it comes to the Bulls, I have a lot on my mind, so here goes…


The Golden Age


Just to recap really quickly about how I became a Bulls fan and how being a Bulls fan changed my life. I still remember it like it was yesterday. It was 1986 and I was in grade school at Peterson school when I first became a Bulls fan. Until then, the Bears were my only love, and I would watch or read about the Bulls on and off in my free time. But then things changed in 1986. I got a chance to watch MJ play on a little more of a consistent basis, and it was sick. All I can say is that he was amazing and so much fun to watch. I found myself trying to read the paper as much as I could about the Bulls, and trying to ask my parents to let me watch the Bulls play after I was done with my homework. One of my fondest memories from that time is that I still remember my buddy Jimmy and me talking about Jordan’s 63 point performance against the Celtics when it happened. I was hooked after ’86, and I’ve never looked back…I’ve said this before, but looking back at the past, I can truly say that MJ changed my life. I fell in love with basketball and after we got Pip and became a dynasty, all I could think about was basketball. I would say now that it is honestly because of basketball and Jordan/Pippen/and Da Bulls title teams, that I am who I am today. Without the Bulls, I probably would not have grown up loving Basketball or Sports in general. I wouldn't have played basketball in grade school (Peterson), in HS (Von), at the parks (Hollywood and Peterson mostly), in leagues, at College (Marquette), or in IPB(Indo-Pak Basketball). I wouldn’t have stayed out of trouble all those years. Come to think of it, basketball has been a common bound for me with pretty much all of my best friends in life right now. Lastly, I probably wouldn't even have started this blog without Jordan/ Pip and the Bulls. I wonder if anyone else’s life is like this, or maybe I am just that much of an obsessed loser?!?!


The Dark Ages


Before I answer that main question I posted, let’s first go back in time to the worst days to when the Gods shined down upon us again. Here is a quick summary of a time I like to call the Dark Ages…After the Dynasty was broken up, the Bulls went from owning the NBA, to becoming one of its laughingstocks. We went from the Golden Ages to the Dark Ages. During the Dark Ages, true Bulls fans like myself, suffered immensely. What’s sad was that we still ended up watching every Bulls game in the Dark Ages, even though the Bulls put out an inferior product onto the court. But we couldn’t help it; we still had to watch every game, because we were addicted. All true Bulls fans were. Call the addiction the Championship Hangover, call it the Jordan effect, call it being a loser, but every new year we had hope that somehow our organization would do something to make us better! There was always some glimmer of hope that they would get the Bulls back to relevance! That hope would always disappear 20 games into the season when we would be in last in the Central. I still remember watching all these players, coaches, and teams with my dad like it were yesterday. The Bulls went through coaches and players that were just plain twang. Bulls fans, you may remember names such as Corey Benjamin, Kornel David, Dalibor Bagaric, Dragan Tarlac, Dickey Simpkins, Eddie Robinson, Jake Voskuhl, washed up John Starks, Khalid El-Amin, Luke Schenscher, Mike Ruffin, Paul Shirley, Rusty LaRue, Eddy Curry, Marcus Fizer, Ron Mercer, and A.J. Guyton, to name a few…Yes I watched pretty much every game that all these guys were apart of with the Bulls. I’m sure I’m missing a few names, but this is all I can think of right now, without thinking about all the time and money I wasted on these teams and without blowing a gasket! I forgot to mention the times when we had money to sign people and we signed players like Ron Mercer and Eddie Robinson! Remember when Grant Hill, Tim Duncan, and TMac were free agents and we sent Benny the Bull to pick them up at the airport?!?! And then on top of it, we signed Eddie Robinson and his crook shot?!?! How can we forget…AHHHH!!!

Anyways, this went on for a long time, until the Bulls got back to the level of respectability with the BGeezy, Hinirch, Deng squads, coached by Scotty Skiles. Bulls fans were happy with those squads, because the Bulls finally made the playoffs, and that gave us some hope! The Bulls went from a laughingstock, to mediocre, but since we had been so bad for so long, we took it and overhyped our team at that point. We were just happy to be in the playoffs again. Even GM John Paxson bought into the hype and drank the Kool-Aid, pretty much never trading away the assets that we had assembled. In the end, it all crumbled again. That run came to an end with the Bulls not making the playoffs after a couple of good seasons, and Skiles being fired on Christmas Day. During that stretch, Paxson made a ton of bone headed moves which notably included over paying for Ben Wallace and trading Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas. And you have to ask yourself, after all those lottery picks, why did the Bulls have not one All Star? Yes, Pax brought us back to respectability, but should that alleviate him from us ridiculing him for not getting one Star player after all those years of bad seasons? In the end we were left with another lottery team, and Jim Boylan as our Coach. The worst part about all of this was that all this time, Bulls management knew we were addicted to the Bulls, and they did what they do best. They strung us along nicely and collected money from the cash cow that Jordan built. In the end, the fans played right into their hands. The Chicago Bulls continued to put out garbage, but they knew we were spoiled while growing up, so we couldn’t stop watching. Bulls fans still watched every game, and went to the stadium, come rain or shine. We prayed every night to God and to MJ’s ghost to help the Bulls get some players that could make a difference and make us relevant again. And on May 20th 2008, all our prayers were answered!


PING PONG BALLS


I still remember that day in May like it was yesterday. I was at the XSport in Pipers Alley working out with my then bash brother Sanket. We stopped working out to watch the draft order. He’s a Pistons fan, so he at the time, he was hating like usual. But even he started getting nervous when they didn’t call the Bulls name when it was supposed to be called. Slowly by slowly the Bulls crept up in the Draft, and slowly by slowly everyone started gathering around the TV. Finally they pulled the Bulls logo card for the first pick, and everyone at the gym went nuts. I was running around the gym and jumping around like a little kid! Sanket was salty and hating like usual. And I still remember the look on Steve Schanwald’s face too. It was like he had just literally won the lottery, it was the funniest/greatest thing ever. The Bulls destiny finally changed after the ping pong balls bounced our way, because we got Derrick Rose with the Number 1 pick two years ago. Really the fate of our organization changed that day, with the Chicago Bulls finally getting their first Star since the Jordan years, someone that they could build their franchise around. And if we don’t get Derrick Rose, then we probably don’t make the playoffs the last two years. If we don’t get Derrick Rose, then we probably aren’t even in the talks to get one of the big Free Agents this year. Yes, those ping pong balls literally changed NBA history!

On a quick side note, I don’t care what anyone says, but Derrick Rose is going to be a star in this League. DRose is humble, a hard worker, and more importantly, he’s a winner. Winning is all he cares about and he puts in the work to get better everyday. DRose was already faster and stronger than most point guards in the league when he came in, but he has somehow gotten better and more exciting every time I watch him play. Even his shot has improved, and last year you could see that he extended his range a little bit, even popping some 3’s towards the end of the year. Yes, his defense needs work, but that’s what Coach Tom T is for! We all know he is going to work hard, so I can’t wait to see just how good he is going to be next year! And for real, DRose has already has excited me more in these past two seasons, then pretty much anytime when I was watching the Bulls during the Dark Ages. Making Andre Miller fall, everything he did during the Celtics series, dunking on Dragic, and shaking Lebron everytime Lebron guarded him in the playoffs this year are some memories that immediately come to mind. On top of that, Derrick Rose became the first All Star the Bulls had since the Jordan years. Sorry, but if for those people who don’t think this kid is special, just keep watching, he will prove it to you soon.


THE PAST TWO YEARS


I know there are going to be some people out there that don’t think the past two years were important for the Bulls, because they are going to say, well you lost in the first round, who cares? But to me, the past two years is exactly what the Bulls needed. The past two years pretty much set the ground work for the future of our franchise. You now know that you have a perennial All Star in Derrick Rose. You know after the last two years now, that Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah are the guys you need to build your team around. The experience these two got during the last two playoffs series is invaluable, to say the least. The experience has made them better players and now this experience will make them better players going into the future. Hinrich, BGeezy, and Deng were all good players and nice guys that did help us get back to respectability, but we all know that those teams led by them were never going to lead us to a championship. Getting rid of Hinrich and BGeezy, and even Tyrus and Salmons I’m sure was hard for the organization and us, the fans, but it was something that needed to be done. I also have to give a quick shout out to Gar F for making the moves that he did. I may not be a big fan of the GarPaxDorf triumvirate, but they have made some decent moves recently, if you think about the long term picture of things. The recent moves now give us a chance to be in contention for one of the biggest Free Agent classes in the history of the NBA. And during the past two years we were able to stay competitive by making the playoffs, we were able to get Rose and Noah some playoff experience and we were able to shed big money to now hopefully bolster our team with some free agents with max money to offer. Not many of the other teams out there can say that. Let’s see if Jerry will shell out the big bucks now if we do get some of the big Free Agents. Lastly, I truly do believe that with Noah and Rose, the Bulls really do have two guys that other big names want to play with already in place. I think they showed people something in the playoffs the last couple of seasons, especially Lebron James.


HEAD COACH


Good riddance VDN! I won’t waste much time here bashing VDN in this post. The guy did the best he could and he did take us to the playoffs for the past two years, but it is what it is. Fine, I will take a couple of quick jabs. VDN was terrible! Why did VDN always call the same play at the end of games? Or why was it that we all knew that the Bulls would turn the ball over at the end of a game after a timeout? Why did VDN call Kirk Hinrich, “Kurt”? How can you be a good coach if you don’t even know your own players names? I have literally 11938 other questions, but I’m going to have to move on here. In the end, to me, the Bulls won despite VDN’s coaching debacles over the past two seasons. Ok I’m done with VDN. Anyways we all knew his firing was coming sooner or later, so again, good riddance VDN!

So now onto our new Coach, Tom Thibodeau! WHAT A GREAT HIRE! I am elated that the Bulls got Coach Tom T, because I’ve actually been talking about him for a couple of years now. He is definitely the right man for the job, and I’m excited to see him Coach starting next year. Ok, here are a couple of quick reasons why I think he is going to do well…

1. He is a players Coach. Coach Tom T is pretty much loved by every single player he has ever Coached. The Celtics big Three and the rest of their team have literally gone out of their way to talk about Coach T and how much he has helped their games. I can’t wait to see him get to work with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. They are going to improve so much under his tutelage, that’s for sure. DRose’s one weakness is defense, so can you imagine how good he is going to be after learning from the best next year?

2. His work ethic. The guy lives and breathes basketball. Look up Coach T and pretty much every story about him will talk about his work ethic and about how hard he prepares. He is usually the first one in the gym and the last one out of it. He prepares by himself and with the players. All those articles you read will talk about how much film he watches and how much homework he does before games. How much he will work with the individual players and help them understand concepts and gameplans. I love it! I don’t know about you, but if I am going to hire someone to Coach my team, then I want someone like this.

3. His defensive philosophy. Have you guys seen the players and teams his defenses have stopped through the past few years? I mean it is incredible. Kobe, Wade, Lebron are pretty much the three best players in the game, and Coach T has stopped them all. The Celtics beat all of the best teams in the east because of their defense! You might say it was the Celtics players who stopped them, but if you ask all the Celtics about who spearheaded their defense, they won’t tell you it was KG, they will all say Coach T! Even Kobe Bryant said Coach T was the reason the Celts won that title a couple of years ago. His defensive game plans are second to none. The Bulls were already a pretty good defensive and rebounding team, can you imagine how much better they are going to get next year?

Some people have brought up the point that his defense might be solid, but what about his offensive philosophies? First off, can any offense be worse than the one VDN employed? Anyways, if you listen to the Coaches and players who have surrounded Coach T through his previous gigs, then you will hear a lot about Coach T and his offensive ideas/philosophies. His D gets the most props, so it is out there more in the media, but Coach T has been credited for a lot of offensive improvements for his teams and players. The biggest name I can think of and the one example of this I will give is Yao Ming. Coach T worked with Yao non stop and it showed on the court. That was the year that Yao was a beast in the league and was a MVP contender.

Some people also bring up Coach T’s lack of experience, and point towards the VDN hiring to prove how terrible no experience can be. To them, again I say you are wrong. This isn’t just someone who we brought out of the front office to Coach our team. This someone who has been in the League as an assistant for almost three decades! He also was a Head Coach in College. He has been coaching since 1981! Coach T spent a lot of time being an assistant for Coach Jeff Van Gundy, who I respect a lot as a Coach. If you ask JVG about Coach T, he can’t stop raving about him.

I guess in conclusion, I’m hyped about this Coach T hire. And I’m really glad we ended up with him and not Lawrence Frank!


Free Agents


I have no clue how to get all my thoughts together on this year’s free agent class, but I will try my best, so here goes….

The Big Guns I Want:

Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Dirk

If the Bulls get any of these guys, I will be ecstatic. Can you just imagine the possibilities with any of these guys on the Bulls? They will become legit contenders to win the East overnight, even if we do just get one of them. I truly do believe that the Bulls core is really that good right now, and they are the most READY team to pair up with a Superstar right now. Also, if the Bulls actually do pull off the steal of the century and somehow get two of these above listed guys, then it’s a wrap. Records will be shattered, and banners will be hung. Every other city will cry, while we rejoice! If that somehow does happen, honestly there is nothing more to say about that!

Now some people have told me they don’t want Lebron or Wade here because of how they are on and off the court, or how they will hinder DRose’s game. First of all, even with all the Lebron hate that I spew, even I’m not that dumb. The Bulls come first to me and if you can get some of the best players in the game on your team, and can improve your team, then you do that in a heartbeat. With any one of these guys, your offense and defense improves automatically. Also, did you guys not see DRose get trapped up top during everytime the Bulls ran the pick and roll, or pretty much did anything for that matter? Teams started to double DRose, and unless you get him some help, just like anyone else, he can’t do it alone. No one can in the NBA now. But out of the two points above, my first point is more important, but I just wanted to throw that second one in there as well.

I also disagree with those people that say Rose won’t be able to play with Wade or Lebron because they all need the Basketball. I watched Wade play in College, and Travis D ran point then and Wade was off the ball a lot in those games. But, he was still highly effective, playing out of this world Basketball and taking us to the Final Four! If anything, DRose lets players like Wade and Lebron pick and choose when they want to go off in a game, and conserve their energy. Also can you imagine teams having to come up with gameplans to defend both DROSE and Lebron or Wade? Also, if you watch the All Star game or even the Olympics, you can see how all of these guys can co exist if they need to, share the ball, and still win games.

I also do think Bosh or Dirk would fit perfectly with Derrick Rose’s game. And I think both would be much better alongside Rose than Boozer or Amare. They would also fit perfectly next to Joakim Noah who can take care of the defensive side of things, while these guys do work on offense. Can you imagine the pick and pop with these guys? Honestly, if we don’t get Wade or Lebron, but get Dirk or Bosh, I would be happy. More so Bosh, than Dirk for me, because I would love to see Rose, Bosh, and Noah grow together and become the next big three Celtics style. And if you can get Bosh and even a shooter like Ray Ray or Morrow, we would be money! Anyways…

Next Three I Prefer:

Amare, Joe Johnson, David Lee

If the Bulls fail with the big four, then I really think they need to go after 2 of the guys I listed above. I know Joe J had a terrible playoff run, but he is still the best 2 guard available in Free Agency, not named DWade. I don’t think he is worth max money, but if he would take less to sign with a solid team, then that would be fine with me. Amare has knee concerns and struggles with rebounding and defense, but he is still a beast on offense. If the Bulls are running, Amare and DRose should be able to fill it up like the Suns did back with Nash and Amare. David Lee is someone who has really improved recently in my eyes. I’ve seen him get better year after year, and I really do think he will be effective next to Noah downlow, if we pair them up together. He will give us the points we need downlow on the offensive side of the ball.

I guess all of the possible combinations are endless, so I don’t know if I can go through all of them here right now. So here it is in a nutshell. If we can get two of the first four listed, then print the banners. Otherwise, if we can get any combination of players from these first two tiers that I have listed, then I still think we have put our team into contention for the Title in the immediate future. The East’s beasts, the Celtics, are going to either all breakdown, or that team is going to break up. The Heat will probably be strong with their signings, but I don’t see the Knicks or Heat having as much depth as us and being able to contend immediately if we get the right combination. The Magic will be the team to beat, but we will be able to contend with them, that’s for sure.

Players I don’t want if it's just them and no one else…

Boozer, Gay, Pierce, Ray Ray

If the Bulls end up just signing just one of these guys, then I really might either commit suicide, or goto jail because I will be throwing tomatoes at the Berto Center and at GarPaxDorf’s cars! Also, please don’t give me just Carlos Boozer! We have already seen how he struggles vs length, and I highly doubt that he is going to play as many games as he did last year! I also just can’t forgive him for what he did to the Cavs a few years ago, even though I hate the CAVS MAN! The only way I am cool with Boozer is if we get Lebron or Wade, or if we can get some shooters along with him, then sign away. Pierce and Ray are awesome, but they are too old for me to scoop. PP will be 33 and Ray Ray is 35. Please do not give them big, long term money. But here is my only disclaimer with Ray…if they can get a Ray Allen after getting someone on the first tier, then give me that, but please don’t sign just him, or anyone listed on the list above and then tell me that we are going to win a championship soon!

Others I would Like To Get:

Anthony Morrow, JJ Reddick, Scola, Brad Miller, Korver, Kleiza, Wes Matthews, Travis Outlaw, Haslem

I’d love to grab some of these other guys to fill out our roster if possible. The only thing is, I doubt any of these guys will take less money to sign. My own quick breakdown of these guys…

Anthony Morrow’s J is so wet! I don’t know why, but I love Morrow…probably more than most people. I think his shot is so money, and a shooter is definitely something we have been lacking since BGeezy left. He can space the floor for Rose, Lebron, or Bosh perfectly. Same can go for Reddick. I’d love to have Brad Miller back too, if he doesn’t mind signing for cheap. Scola’s always been a nice reliable big man to have downlow, so that can’t hurt at all. Wes Matthews – MU REPRESENT! The kid was great last year, and he can really help the Bulls at the 2. He’s a strong, big guard, who can shoot and play defense. Korver's one of the best shooters in the game...DRose would love him for sure.  Haslem’s always been a hart hat guy, and I think having someone like him around can really help guys like Noah and Taj Gibson. Outlaw’s always been one of my favorite DL ballers in the League. I really feel like he can excel in the right setting, and that can definitely be with the Bulls.

Now that all that is done, where will they go? I don’t think anyone really knows what any of the Big Guns are going to do right now. Everyone is breaking news and is claiming to have an insider or a source, but I think everyone is just poohing (bs’ing) right now. And I think that is exactly what makes this particular Free Agent bonanza even crazier than any other one in the past. Anyways, I’ll take my shot at some of the big names below…

DWADE – I think he stays in Miami. He won a chip with them there, so he will show his loyalty to the city and to Pat Riley. They will also be able to pay him the most amount of money and give him the most amount of years. Since DWade is older, to me this will be his last HUGE contract, so he has to take the biggest and best one of them all. They will also give him someone to play with like a Bosh or Amare. Other random reasons why include South Beach and it’s hunnies, there is no state tax in Miami, and him and his wife are beefing and she lives in Chicago!

Lebron James – I think the King will stay in Cleveland, but with a clause. I think he will sign a huge max money deal, but have an opt out clause in it. This way he can get the most money and the longest years, but then he also has the opt out if things are going bad. He can then say that he tried his best, and people will understand if he leaves. I also think he will do this because in 3 years the Nets move to Brooklyn, so he can go there. This deal with the Cavs also works for him because even if the NBA has a lockout, he got paid! Also if it doesn’t have a lock out, by then the billionaire will probably have scooped up CP3, have built a sick new stadium, and then Jay Z, Lebron, the Russian, and CP3 can rule the world.

Bosh – I really hate to say this, but I think Bosh goes to Miami to play with DWade. Same Agent, plus South Beach, big money, and him and DWade are buddies.

Dirk – I think Dirk stays in Dallas. I think he opted out to give them some flexibility to at least get him and the Mavs some help.

In the end I don’t see the Bulls getting any of the big four, but I really hope I am wrong. I do think that if the Bulls do somehow get Lebron, that Joe Johnson, and not Chris Bosh will come to the Bulls. I also don’t see anyway that Wade, Bosh, and Lebron play together. I just don’t see LeBoshAde happening, no matter what the hype. You all remember the look on Lebron’s face when Wade got that MVP in the ASG this past year? Yes, no way that trio is happening! GWS baby!

One other thing some people have brought up is the fact that if we use all our money to get 1 or 2 big guys, that we won’t have any money left over to fill up the rest of our roster. Again, to those people I say you got to go out and get the best players you can first, and then you figure out those other things later. If you can get the big guns, you still have guys like James Johnson and Taj Gibson on the bench. You still got guys like D Byars or Mo Almond on the summer league squad that you can bring up as cheap, backup 2guards. And I’m telling you, they are pretty good. I really see one of those two making the team and hopefully even contributing like Wes Matthews did this year in Utah. You also still got big man Omer Asik coming from Europe next year to backup Noah. So don’t forget about him. And you have to remember, if you get some of the biggest free agents in the game, you will get some veteran players who have never won a ring or who want to win a ring, signing with your team for smaller contracts. We have seen this in the past, so it can definitely happen. So to all those people worried about money that will be leftover, I say don’t worry about it. Our cupboard isn’t that bare afterwards as you might think it is.

THE END

Will the Bulls get back to NBA relevancy again starting next year? And by NBA relevancy, I mean actually having a team that has a chance to win the Chip. Making the playoffs are tight, but if you are going to have a team that just makes the playoffs and loses in the first round every year like the 90’s Cavs, is that really being relevant? Is that all you want from the team you love? Or will the Bulls finally get some star players to go along with their young core they have now and become legit title contenders next year? GWS (Guess we’ll see)…One thing is for sure, I can’t wait until Free Agency and the beginning of next season. I will either be one of the happiest people in Chicago or I will be DEPRESSED FOO! I will either be running around downtown in my wifebeater yelling DA BALLS, or I will be throwing tomatoes at the Berto Center (someone please come bail me out of jail if this happens). I guess all we can do now is play the waiting game. Let’s see what happens…GO BULLS!!!

12 comments:

SV said...

I hope LeBron doesn't go but Chicago is a good fit with DRose. Good thoughts in this article. Ahhhh khalid el amin raw truth.

Anonymous said...

BULLS FUKIN SUCK FUK U VIK PLEASE DONT STEAL LEBRON

Anonymous said...

AJ GUYTON FOO

Anonymous said...

Kobe > MJ

Ilyas said...

Nic post Vik......we gonna land the King though! balance of power to chicago!

Anonymous said...

ray allen would give you a solid shooter. if lbj leaves cle, its gonna be chi.

Anonymous said...

Nice post man. Very clear and concise.

Anonymous said...

no one cares about the bulls. they are garbage. sorry lebron's not coming.

Anonymous said...

hay good chicago bulls lover
nice article man keep it up.
man we will workout some nice good player good luck to you man
and lots of luck to city of chicago.

Abrar said...

Good post Vik. Wes Matthews received an offer from Utah making him a RFA, so he'll end up there. Bulls will end up with Amare.

Ed The Sports Fan said...

Beastie post brother, I think Rudy Gay is actually a sleeper if you want young talent. Dude's only 23, and he might not necessarily get better, but if you don't have to pay him a ton of money...and he's your #2 or #3 guy...you're doing aight.

-Ed.

Mush said...

Vic, LeBron is not coming to Chicago...Stop that PIPE DREAM.. Crack is Whack !!!