Chuck Checks In - 05.18.21

Without question, from a professional point of view, the following day after the last game of the season is the toughest for someone like me who eats, lives and breathes Bulls basketball 24-7.

Broadcasters are creatures of habit. I get up the same time (5:30AM) every morning and put the finishing touches on "Chuck Checks In." I file the daily column around 6:30 so our readers can receive it bright and early in the AM. After that, my routine is pretty much in sync with every off day/game day during the season. I pour over every newspaper located in an NBA city, filing stories for future games and to keep up to date with league happenings. I love prep work. The best way I can describe it is that of coach who loves the element of overseeing a team's practice in preparation for a game. A coach leaves no stone unturned and neither do I. I am a perfectionist by trait and look for any nugget I can find that will provide our listeners with information to educate our audience on a particular player or team.

This year brought many challenges. Because of Covid-19, with health and safety guidelines in effect, broadcasters didn't travel nor were we able to connect with management, players and coaching staffs face to face. Everything went through Zoom calls. Honestly, I had never even heard of "Zoom" until 14 months ago! Now it's a daily way of life. I am a people person and I thoroughly enjoy bringing our listeners stories and information during the broadcast. That element was removed this season. My hope is that broadcasters are able to resume travel for the 2021-22 season. It truly benefits the essence of the broadcast with a stronger connection to a fan base.

While the end result was disappointing, the future of the Bulls is bright because of the commitment to excellence by the Reinsdorf family and the front office led by Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley. Their goal is to win an NBA title. Pure and simple. Head Coach Billy Donovan and his staff did an outstanding job facing a storm of obstacles that hit not only the Bulls but 29 other teams. Karnisovas and Eversley will leave no stone unturned to provide Chicago with winning basketball.

Some quick parting shots in my final CCI until the NBA draft.

  1. Patrick Williams has the chance to be a great player. I repeat, "GREAT."
  2. Zach LaVine is no longer just a "really good player." LaVine is an elite All Star talent.
  3. Nikola Vucevic is a headache for any big guarding him. The fact he has confidence in his three point shooting has given him an advantage over a ton of bigs in the NBA. With a full training camp next season, his ability to team with LaVine on pick and rolls will be wonderful. There's a reason he is a two time All Star.
  4. I can't say enough about the leadership traits of Garrett Temple and Thad Young. Young enjoyed a fantastic season, flirting with a possible triple-double on many nights. Both men care about the game, more importantly the people IN the game. Their leadership, mentor ship and personal concern for teammates on and off the court was valued .
  5. The Bulls, like every team, face decisions regarding free agents and cap concerns. These things will take care of itself in time.
  6. An ankle injury sidelined Troy Brown but the small sample size was encouraging.
  7. Coby White is terrific and I'm impressed with his focus and determination to be a better player.
  8. If I had votes for post season honors,( which I do not) : MVP: Denver- Nikola Jokic.
  9. Defensive Player of the Year: Utah's Rudy Gobert.
  10. Sixth Man of the Year: Utah's Joe Ingles.
  11. Rookie of the Year. Very, very tough . Anthony Edwards-Minnesota.
  12. Coach of the Year: Tom Thibodeau - New York.

Many thanks to all the Bulls and United Center employees, truly the best in the business. Our broadcast team of Bill Wennington and engineer Rich Wyatt made it fun coming to work every day. I love my job and love working with them. Our flagship radio home 670 The Score provided a wonderful foundation led by the best sports broadcasting executive in the business, Mitch Rosen.

Many thanks to the Bulls digital staff for their support and assistance during the season with "CCI."

I appreciate your e-mails and responses via social media I received this season as our passionate Bulls Nation offered many opinions which they are always welcomed. Agree or disagree I love the fact our fan base cares. That's a healthy sign. I love our fans. I love my job and as long as the Reinsdorf family want me around, I want to be calling Bulls games.

The 21-22 season is underway

My prep work for the 2021-22 season is underway. No short cuts. No mailing it in. I'm fired up.

In the meantime, we will resume CCI in a few months. You can always connect at: cswirsky@bulls.com or Twitter @ctsbulls.

Always a pleasure. All In. All Bulls 365. 24-7.