Hello darkness, my old friend.
I awoke this morning, hungover from my holiday party, to a pleasant reminder that the Bulls are awful, courtesy of The Ringer‘s Zach Kram. Give this a quick read, and you’ll notice a comparison to the 2011-2012 Charlotte Bobcats team, that only won 7 games and may have been the worst team in NBA history, if not for the lockout-shortened season. Also, as of this writing, the Bulls are currently the only team in the Central division with a losing record, standing at a sterling 3-18 while the fourth place Indiana Pacers are a mere 9 games better at 12-11 (!!!!).
I don’t often like getting hit by freight trains, but when I do, I prefer them to be mind-numbing hoops realities, inevitably doubling down on my willingness to blow chunks.
Here’s the thing about that Bobcats team: they actually had NBA talent.
Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo were rookies. DJ Augustin, Tyrus Thomas and Gerald Henderson were still young, decent rotation players. Boris Diaw, Corey Maggette and DeSagana Diop were seasoned veterans, on the downslope of their careers (Boris, I know you’re reading this – I don’t mean to offend you). Their big mistake was trading away Tyson Chandler the previous year, for Erick Dampier and ND basketball legend Matt Carroll. Don’t get me wrong – this team was definitely terrible; but they had many roster pieces that were or would be good fits on many NBA teams.
That’s what makes this Bulls team so, so sad, and Lauri’s numbers so, so unreliable. I know this is a rebuilding year. I know they are supposed to be bad. But the lack of established NBA talent on this roster is scary.
Aside from Robin Lopez, the journeyman Quincy Pondexter, and the semi-team member Nikola Mirotic, there is zero established NBA talent on this roster. Until I see Zach Lavine return to form, I’m too wary of knee injuries (thanks Derrick Rose) to be convinced he’ll last. If you told me that 5 years from now, the only guy on this team that would still be in the league is Lauri, I’d have a tough time arguing against you. I mean… just look at this:
There are more guys on your average Eurobasket roster that are at the NBA-replacement level than on this team – I honestly think the Bulls would be below .500 in Eurobasket – and they aren’t getting any better today. Also pointed out in Kram’s article: the Bulls are the fastest team in NBA history to lose by 30 points four times in a season, as they “accomplished” this feat in a mere 17 games, the latest being the 49 point drubbing by “former Bull” Jordan Bell and the Warriors (don’t get me started).
The Bulls were supposed to be, and are, atrocious. But to field a roster this pathetic and play to the level they have is a disservice to the fans. To think that at the beginning of this season I was hoping for 20+ wins out of this team is both an indictment of my judgment and a reminder that Gar Forman still runs this team. Deciding to ditch my Bulls tickets this year was the best financial decision I’ve made since buying Bitcoin, folks,,.
Regardless of your thoughts on who should be in charge on and off the court, one thing is set in stone: this rebuild is going to take a loooong time, and I don’t think I can trust this front office to figure it out. If they drop the ball on next year’s draft, I will grant amnesty to any Bulls fans who choose to jump ship and support the Greek Freak & Co. up north.
….and that’s some Bull$hit. Sing it, Aubrey!
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