Bulls Fans Given Little Hope in Tumultuous Season
Same Old Song
Stop me if you have heard this before, but the Chicago Bulls lost again. I wrote how the NBA is in a really fun place right now with the young talent and intrigue across the league. Not a part of that feel-good aura surrounding the Association, the Bulls. The place where they reside is neither fun nor intriguing; unless of course, you enjoy rubbernecking.
Expectations were not high coming into the season. The second year of a rebuild, a coach with job security questions (he has since been fired), and a roster that, despite some young pieces, is largely devoid of the talent needed to turn around the fortunes of a franchise. They drafted early last year – likely this year as well – but haven’t been the worst team in the standings despite the on-court product.
Not All Bad
That is not to say the front office duo of John Paxson of and Gar Forman have drafted poorly. To the contrary, the embattled pair can actually hang their hat on identifying talent that exceeds their drag slot. They can even claim development as a plus. That is where it ends, however. How they have handled players beyond that has left a lot to be desired.
More concerning is that it has come in a variety of forms. There were players the Bulls had and moved (Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkic), players they sold the chance to get (Jordan Bell), even players that hinted at wanting to be in Chicago (Michael Porter Jr.). Granted, there is no guarantee those players would be who they are or that the Bulls would have even known what to with them.
Perception is Reality
Chicago’s inability to string together successes in the draft and free agency, then parlay that into a championship has been omnipresent under this leadership group. In a recent interview on local radio, a former Chicago beat reporter asserted that, around the rest of the NBA, players consider the Bulls a laughing stock.
Half-way through the 2018-19 season – and two coaches in – it is hard to argue those players are wrong. There have been personnel and schematic issues that have continued. Why that is important is because it was fundamentally why Fred Hoiberg was relieved of duty. Under Jim Boylen, the team has played better defensively, but have largely dropped across the board offensively.
Fans Deserve Better
So fans are left to wonder. When will the team be competitive again? They seem committed to being bad this year after denying the need to in the past, but they continue to win games they shouldn’t. It’s bizarre cheering for your team, not necessarily to lose, but definitely not to win. Since they do well on the draft and develop aspect, it makes sense to want them to have their pick of prospects.
This is life at the moment for Bulls fans. It is similar to the Chicago White Sox, also owned by Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, and their situation with Kenny Williams. He had a heck if a run, but it is time for a change. The GarPax era has under delivered. Hopefully this coming offseason – yes it is already at that point – brings the sweeping changes. Hopefully, those changes bring another championship.