Ask Sam | 04.30.10
Sam Smith opens his mailbag to respond to the latest round of e-mails from his readers.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.
While Rose and Noah are undoubtedly attractive pieces, I've been hearing the biggest obstacle for Chicago's free agent chase is the organization itself -- mixed opinions on Del Negro and Paxson (though I personally tend to defend them both) --and the issues in the Bulls' front office is mostly trickle-down from being a "Reinsdorf operation." Do you believe the higher-tier free agents would be hesitant to join the Bulls because of Reinsdorf -- a la Donald Sterling in LA? Obviously, players like James and Wade remember what happened to the Jordan team in '97. What can you say on that subject as a Bulls employee?
Sam: I know no matter how much I might protest—so I won’t, well, not too much—there’ll be a question of whether I can give a fair opinion given I am on the web site. The Bulls never once have tried to censor anything I’ve had to say, though I did wear red on “See Red” playoff night. I wasn’t asked, but I got caught up in the moment. As for complete editorial independence, if you think it exists just about anywhere these days you are fooling yourself. The radio and TV stations have contracts with the teams. The national broadcast networks have written into contract certain limitations on NBA commentary. The Tribune owned the Cubs for years and was hardly immune. The newspapers have ad contracts with the team. So factor all that in. That said, I believe most of the reporters and columnists try to do their best and fairest. As for the organizational issue, I’ve gotten several emails about this and I don’t believe it will be an issue. Sign and trade will, but I’ll get to that in another email. First of all, not one Bulls player in the post games or exit interviews said anything but wanting to be back with the franchise. Rose and Noah both said they’d love to recruit for the team. The Bulls have been in free agency over the last decade and actually have a great reputation because they overpay for bad talent. Agents love the organization. Fans are not as happy. They gave Ben Wallace $12 million more than anyone was offering. Similarly with Ron Mercer and Eddie Robinson. Did they get shut out of better talent because of the management? I never saw that. Vinny is still the coach. So I actually thought it was inappropriate when I read of coaches recently saying they’d have interest in the Bulls. Why would they if the management were so bad? The Bulls have not paid the luxury tax of late because they weren’t true contenders. But when they were winning titles they had the league’s highest payroll. They took a sign and trade they didn’t have to so Scottie Pippen could get his best deal ever. Pippen, by the way, has been hanging around the organization a lot in hopes of eventually working something out. If it were so bad, why would he want to be a part of it? The Bulls amenities for the players are as good as anywhere. There’s a chef at the Berto Center to cook all their meals; there’s a traveling masseuse. You get that, and you don’t have to listen to the owner screaming at you from near the bench. When the organization won, everyone in the organization with families traveled to the games on the team. The only thing some players were upset about was too many employees got big bonuses. I know it’s hard to believe, but some NBA players can be selfish. When I hear fans talk about the team I keep hearing they overpaid too many players. They are trying to clear space to pay the maximum salary to two free agents. They are trying to spend money. Yes, Paxson and Del Negro had a dispute. So what? It wasn’t great, but do you think any player cares? I’m around plenty and mostly if they ever mention it they joke about it. To me, it’s been an overblown media issue because media isn’t always great understanding the game. It’s tough to break down horns down 4/5, one of the Bulls sideline pick and rolls. Other stuff is easier to get righteous about. I’ve gotten several emails from readers who said there was a podcast—whatever that is--on ESPN about the Bulls management scaring off free agents. I liked the observation I got from one reader, Blake Mitcham, about that and ESPN. Here’s what he wrote me: “ESPN is like the trans fat of the sporting news world. It just makes things taste better.” Exactly. Not good for your (long term knowledge), but fun at the moment.
From what I read, it seems like you give the Bulls very little possibility of acquiring Wade. I think the opposite. If it's about money, Wade is a no-brainer. He'd OWN this city. If I were Paxson, I wouldn't even court him, I'd send the Bulls marketing team after him. "D-Wade and D-Rose, the hometown D-namic Duo". Oh, the possibilities.
Sam: Yes, that’s a good slogan. You might try to copyright it. But, now, he wouldn’t own this city, unless he wears a Bears helmet and says he watches 1985 season tapes all day. It is about money, and that’s the biggest problem teams like the Bulls face. If you cannot work a sign and trade, the most a free agent can get is about $95 million over five years vs about $125 over six. The problem with a player like Wade who is hurt so much is he’s 28. Five years from now at 33 given the pounding he’s taken at his size he’s not going to get a $25 million season, that sixth year he gets from Miami. He cannot make that up in endorsements anywhere. The truth is there isn’t that much to make off the court, and Wade isn’t exactly perfect given his ugly divorce situation. He has a nice phone deal being in Miami. He will wait to see if the Heat can get a free agent. Unless they strike out completely, which even means not overpaying someone like David Lee, which is unlikely, he’ll find a way to stay and collect that extra $30 mil. He’s as much as said so already. The guys to watch for more are the ones with the really questionable teams, like Bosh with Toronto and Johnson given the Hawks troubles.
Will the Bulls go for the home run with LeBron James, kind of like the White Sox tried with Albert Belle? I see James getting tired of playing with the stiffs in Cavs uniforms Chicago's got a great nucleus with Rose and Noah and James ...
S J Stanczak
Sam: Well, that Belle thing didn’t work out that well. Cleveland wasn’t that upset that time. I get a lot of mail from fans saying they wouldn’t want James because of his attitude, his dramatic antics, his superiority. Look, the Bulls would do anything to get the best player in the league. Probably deal anyone but Rose. You get the best player you have a chance. See Michael Jordan. I assume the Bulls make a perfunctory inquiry, but it seems doubtful. I tried to make the case to him during the Bulls/Cavs series, and I think it did help whatever cause the Bulls had in playing the Cavs and playing them well. It’s why I felt that was the best matchup: Show LeBron the city and the team. That said, I still cannot see him leaving. Though the Bulls would let him walk on their backs all the way to Chicago if he’d come.
I tolerated the dream that Lebron would want to come to the young and upcoming Bulls next year to create a legacy. Now it would be my worst nightmare. You can add "child hater" to the laundry list of things that annoy me about Lebron. Attention seeking, self proclaimed king, the over glorified "look" in his eyes, inappropriately timed dancing, polluting the air with hand powder, manipulates the state of Ohio, holds poor Cleveland under hostage, sometimes lets Mike Brown sit in the big boy coach chair, and now his mishandling of children. I cannot believe the way he treated the equipment boy after he came back out onto the floor from his elbow thing in game 4.
If you didn't see.: The kid was right next to Lebron waiting for him to take his warm ups off. Instead of handing the clothing directly to the kid, he threw each of them on the ground so the kid had to pick them up. The kid was two feet away from Lebron and when the kid bent down to pick up an article, Lebron threw another article the opposite direction making the kid run around like a headless chicken.. Lebron knew the kid was there.
Next thing you know he'll get a microphone before every game to announce, "Finally, the king... has come back... to (enter city name here)!!!
I don't care how good he is. It will not be satisfying if you have to sell your soul to win championships.
Sam: Yes, several fans sent me this video, which you can find on Youtube of LeBron tossing his warmups going into the game. Actually, and unfortunately, a lot of players do this. I have heard that LeBron doesn’t always treat people around the organization so great, but I have heard that as well about some of our famous Bulls over the years. Sometimes when the public makes you an icon you can lose touch with how to be gracious. Let’s say you don’t get a nickname like “No Tippin’ Pippen” for no reason. It’s hardly uncommon among pro athletes, and politicians when they are not on camera. And, actually, a number of bosses I’ve had over the years. Oh, right, “People, they’re the worst.” As I always tell people when they ask me in general about pro athletes, most are very good to deal with and I’ve rarely had issues with any. Still, appreciate them for what they do not how they live. I don’t know of a single person in the Bulls organization having seen that video who wouldn’t want James on the team, including the ball boy.
Interesting predictions for the Bulls roster next season, but I think you were too generous. Obviously the Bulls need to build around Rose and Noah, but another name I would like to see thrown into that conversation is Gibson. This kid impressed everyone: attitude, work ethic, good overall game for a rookie whose going to get a lot better! On the other hand, Deng has to go! and so does Pargo. Deng is too inconsistant, dribbles with his head down, and has been considered one of our top guys for years now: with not much to show for except some 1st rounds. If we are clearing house this summer, I think its time to part ways with Deng. Try to get Bosh and move Noah to power forward where he belongs. I like Vinny too but why hasn't anyone mentioned Daa Coach, Coach Ditka! With him, anything is possible.
Sam: I know I shouldn’t answer this one because of the stupid Ditka part. But it is a point about the Bears I wanted to make regarding free agents here. It’s another reason why Kobe wasn’t leaving L.A. Guys like Kobe and Wade are the stars where they are because there are no other sports. So some extent in Cleveland. No one knows Joe Johnson in Atlanta. Canada still is about hockey, and, really, Buddy Ryan was the difference with that Bears team. Ditka was a comic sidelight for the media and fans. And just a bit off the topic again, Noah is a center. Bosh is not a center. One issue with Bosh and Miami is Bosh absolutely refuses to play center, which was an issue in Toronto. He doesn’t like the pounding and won’t go anywhere he has a chance to play center, which is why the Bulls remain an option. But to the main point. I like Gibson a lot. He got two rookie of the year third place votes. Mine was one. I’ve written one reason to pursue Joe Johnson as the top priority is Gibson can be a decent four but Kirk cannot in the long run be your two. But that said, you are going to need a sign and trade to get someone like Bosh, and Gibson is one of the really attractive pieces you have. The Bulls problems a few years back were falling too much in love with the players they had and overvaluing them. They cannot make that mistake again. Just because you scored in the draft on a guy, you cannot get caught up in being too prideful and failing to try to get a better player, which is what happened before.
In your opinion which potential free agent would have made a bigger difference for the Bulls if they were on the team in this most recent Cleveland series - Joe Johnson or Chris Bosh? All things being equal but you can only have one, which is the bigger need for the Bulls in free agency - a low post scorer or a taller shooting guard? I personally think a line up of Rose/Johnson/Deng/Gibson/Noah beats one of Rose/Hinrich/Deng/Bosh/Noah but it's just personal preference. I think there's less difference in Gibson-Bosh than there is in Johnson-Hinrich.
Sam: Well said, though I may feel that way because I agree. There’s always been this low post talk, and I’d take Bosh in a second if he would come. But if you had to make a choice, right now I agree the Bulls are better at power forward than shooting guard and only because Gibson is more the power forward than Hinrich is the shooting guard. Though I could be comfortable with either free agent. This is not going to be a market where you get to choose as much as if you get one guy just to be thankful, and basically any one of the guys from the top three tiers of players. This is going to be way harder than fans think.
At first glance I agreed with you on the point that Jordan had a better supporting cast then James, that is, until I did a positional comparison.
Center: Shaq vs. Bill Cartwright- Shaquille O'Neal admittedly isn't half the player he used to be. Still, I'll take Grandpa Shaq over an aging Bill Cartwright any day.
Power Forward: Horace Grant vs. Antawn Jameson- was a fantastic role-player, who fit perfectly into the Bulls lineup. However, at 12 ppg and 8rpg he's more comparable to Cavaliers backup Anderson Varejao than starter Antawn Jamison. Jamison has been an allstar, and fills the role of "stretch four" that the Cavs so desperately lacked. He also has consistently averaged around 20 ppg despite his age.
Small Forward: Lebron James vs. Scottie Pippen-Scottie Pippen is a top 50 all-time player who might be one of the only players in history who could even think about guarding Lebron. That being said, this match-up is a foregone conclusion.
Shooting Guard: Anthony Parker vs. Michael Jordan-Duh
Point Guard: BJ Armstrong vs. Mo Williams-BJ was a solid role player at best. Mo Williams is coming off an allstar season and has shooting range for days.
Sam: You can make that case on paper, but paper doesn’t play. The Cavs have kept patching to try to get LeBron to stay, which I fully understand. But the pieces don’t fit as well. Cartwright defended the other post men way better than Shaq can. Grant was a much better offensive rebounder and screen setter than Jamison. Williams becomes a standstill shooter. And of course, unlike Pippen, there isn’t close to a Hall of Famer in the Cavs lineup. And you saw against the Bulls the way they kept tightening up down the stretch other than LeBron. You have to give Jerry Krause and Phil Jackson credit they way they worked together—yes, they did—to find the pieces that best fit with Jordan and with the defense that made that team. I still don’t see one All Star with James.
It appears that Michael Beasley's tenure in Miami will soon end in a similar fashion as Tyrus Thomas's ended in Chicago: a talented high-lottery pick who never lived up to his potential, leaving fans and management wondering how things might have been had one of the players drafted soon after been picked instead. As such, I assume that the Heat will be looking to move Beasley this summer, even though his value around the league is probably at its lowest.
If the Bulls fail to land either Wade or Bosh, would they consider making an attempt to acquire for Beasley, to go along with whatever second tier free agent they land? Even though things haven't worked out in Miami, Beasley is a young athletic scorer and rebounder who might benefit from a change in scenery.
Sam: Yes, things change. Two years ago, as many fans were writing me at the time, the things to do was trade everyone to have Rose and Beasley. Well, we’ve found out Beasley isn’t a post player but a face up three/four who doesn’t rebound well but has a nice touch. He seems much better to deal with than the perpetually angry Tyrus, but is still a bit of an immature knucklehead. I think the Bulls are done with experimentation and I hope trying to find a nugget where everyone else missed one. I think you insult the commitment of guys like Rose and Noah to bring in a slacker like Beasley.
Any chance the Bulls go after Phil Jackson to coach next year?
Sam: I’ve refrained from writing about post-Vinny because it seems inappropriate to me as Vinny has dealt with everyone in the media fair and professionally and deserves to have his situation play out however it will. But Phil is in a different category. He is like Tony LaRussa for Reinsdorf and the White Sox. I’m sure Reinsdorf believes Tony has been the best manager in baseball, but he’s moved on. Same with Phil. Been there, done that. There have been rumors Phil might not come back to the Lakers if they don’t repeat and his girlfriend—love 60s guys when they talk about girlfriends—said the other day she cannot see Phil not working. But Phil, like Tony, is not a guy who lives life over. He looks for forward challenges and new adventures. I can see Phil coaching somewhere else, but never Chicago. And, I guess, never Albany, either.
I've often heard it said that, especially in the playoffs, the main difference between home and away success is that the non-stars play much better at home than they do on the road while the stars' production isn't affected nearly as much. I was wondering why this is the case.
Is it the second tier players find themselves slightly intimidated by their surroundings on the road in a playoff series? Or is it more that, because they're not as good as the superstars, they are more affected by variables such as sightlines, hotels, and how the ball bounces off the rim? I'm trying to figure this out since, for the most part, the guys who are scrubs in the pros were the big kahunas in college where their games were the ones unaffected by playing in a hostile environment. I can't figure out if it's that guys are emboldened or cowed by the atmosphere home v. away, or if it's just they aren't as good.
Sam: Yes, it’s often said benches don’t travel well in the NBA playoffs, or generally on the road. Yes, they all were stars, but the level of competition is different, so they settle in to their talent pecking order in the NBA in general. There likely is some intimidation because they don’t play as much and are not in those situations as much, but I believe the main reason is energy. The NBA, perhaps more than any sports because of the proximity of the crowd and lack of armor, is a sport where energy can infuse the home team. It’s why, I believe, home teams get more calls. You tend in those few hours to be more aggressive when you have that noise and support behind you. When you are the aggressor, you are fouled by the guy standing still more. Same with reserves, they tend to be more comfortable riding that wave at home. They don’t get it on the road and it’s more difficult for them to manufacture it like the guys who play more and are more talented.
I love Rose's game, he's my favorite player in the league but there is 1 glaring hole in his game and it's his ability to yell, I mean YELL, every time he goes to the bucket and draws contact. It's obvious to everyone he gets fouled and I know you've talked about how he doesn't do all the annoying antics that LeBron, Wade, etc. do to get calls, but I'm telling you all he needs to do is yell. It draws attention and it's not like he's not getting fouled, the refs just overlook it. I play in a rec league and I'm a slow, white guy but every time I go to the basket and get contact, I yell and 9 times out of 10 I get the call. Now, I'm not saying my buddies don't laugh at me and give me crap every time I do it, but it works!
Sam: I basically only get emails from slow, white guys, so you don’t have to explain. It is a sad commentary on basketball, and perhaps more the American way of life. You know, the guy being rewarded for being the squeakiest wheel. It isn’t right and I’ve probably suffered some in my career as a result. I worked for way too many guys with a mouth full of nothing who made more money, though had greater falls because they were full of what was coming from them. You hope they all suffer that fate, but, sadly, life isn’t that fair but in Clint Eastwood films. I have seen it all too often in the NBA, and it’s a sad reflection on the league. Stern has made a big issue of fining coaches and players for daring to comment on the referees. But if he wants to make the game better he’d shut up all these stars who moan and whine all the time. But the stars are his meal tickets, so you see he never says anything to them. I’ve talked with Rose about this and he understands it and thinks about it, but it’s not in him. I respect him overall for that. He’s much classier than LeBron, Kobe or Wade. He’s more about what the game is about. Wade, for instance, doesn’t come down on defense half the time because he’s moaning on every no call. But with all the free agency stuff no one dares speak to them on their teams. My guess is Rose never quite becomes the spectacle those guys make of themselves. Probably he doesn’t get as many calls as a result, but there is something to being who you are and standing for something that is right and not selling yourself out for the extra dollar (or call). Of course, then Rose never could work on Wall Street, either.
It's unbelievable how much contact was allowed without a foul call when Derrick Rose drove the lane in Game 5 tonight, compared to how little contact it takes for Lebron to get sent to the line. It seems like it's all about "star power," especially at playoff time, and of course we were on the right side of it for so long with Jordan.
Reggie Miller, for one, was going on and on during the telecast about how the Bulls were getting shortchanged on the foul calls, or non foul calls-- especially the one where it was determined after an official's conference that Rose did not in fact have an "and one" opportunity in the fourth quarter. Instead, it was an inbounds, and the Bulls turned it over.
Do you think that if Rose were a 7 or 8 year veteran like Lebron, he would be getting those playoff foul calls? Or do you think it's more about complaining a lot to the refs, like Lebron does?
Sam: It’s a good point about Jordan that no one in Chicago should forget. No one around the NBA did then. The Bulls were notorious then in everyone’s belief for getting every call and unfairly winning. It happens. Which is one reason I usually don’t make a point of the officiating. I believe they do try to get it right. That said, the Bulls got numerous bad calls in the fourth quarter of Game 5, from that Rose continuation to allowing Shaq to run over Miller and Noah and get them into unnecessary foul trouble. The crew didn’t have a great game. That said, the Bulls had more than enough chances down the stretch to win the game and sometimes you have to play through the calls and make bigger plays. The Bulls couldn’t. The refs didn’t cost them the series.
Who has the better chance: joakim to win defensive player of the year or rose to win an MVP at some point in their careers?
Sam: I guess the question should be two part: How many more years will LeBron and Howard win their awards and who is right behind them. For Howard, it’s probably no one, so I’d say Joakim. Rose has Kevin Durant right behind LeBron now, and Durant is going to be good for a long time. So I’d say Noah.
You tweeted, "Bulls crowd occasionally engages in an obscene chant which makes me feel like I'm in Cleveland or Detroit. Pretty low class." Are you referring to the "Cleveland sucks" chant? I heard that several times during game 3.
Sam: First, I’m embarrassed to have tweeted, which I do sometimes in games for the Bulls. I basically still don’t understand it and remain uncertain why I am doing something for an audience, if you could call it that, of maybe 83 people with nothing really in their lives. Sorry, no offense to you. As for the chant, c’mon. We live in Chicago. Aren’t we above that? I’d expect that from uneducated fans like you’d find in New York. But how stupid is that? Isn’t being from Cleveland punishment enough? I just wonder who all these people are paying those playoff prices chanting quasi obscenities. Can they be that angry? Was Tyrus Thomas in the stands? Do they allow Blackhawks fans to come to Bulls game now? That, I guess, would be my only explanation. But I guess you can’t complain it’s a wine and cheese Bulls crowd, But Denny’s?
Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz said he is the league's best point guard during shootaround prior to Game 5 with the Denver Nuggets.
"I think I'm the best point guard in the league," said Williams. "I thought I was the best point guard in the league for awhile."
The last time a PG came out and said something like this and it was 2003 and it was Marbury.
Sam: Deron has had a great year, though I’m not sure that was his greatest moment. Can he be that insecure? You know you are courting embarrassment when you are acting Stephon-like.
Despite lowering his rpg and 3p%, do you think Deng his playing his best basketball ever?
Fernando Martinez Sans
Sam: I think Deng gets way too much questioning. I think he had a very good season, worked hard and did a lot that goes unnoticed, like rebounding when guys were out so much. His body breaks down at times, but you could do a lot worse. He’s a competitor and I’m glad he‘s on the team.
If you could have either at any point in their career, would you take Jason Kidd or Steve Nash?
Sam: Nash makes things happen and was a two time MVP, two more times than Kidd. But I’d go with Kidd, and not only because he took an amazingly bad Nets team to the Finals. The big difference was defense. Kidd was an all league defender and a stopper, bigger and stronger while Nash generally had to be hidden on defense. I think Nash still would have been great in Dallas, but he got into the perfect system for his skills in Phoenix. He’s not a bad consolation prize.
I wonder if the current circumstances and how everything played out so far in the play-offs puts the Bulls in the driver's seat to sign one of the top 3 free agents this summer.
The Raptors failed to make the play offs and I don't see Bosh staying in Toronto. He can really be our go to guy in the post.
The Heat lost (in 5) It seems to me that Wade finally realized he is on an average team with no bright future. Rose and Wade combo would be the best guard combo in NBA.
By playing Cleveland in the first round only benefits the Bulls since they didn't get swept, and Lebron could see how good this Bulls team can be if he signs with Chicago.
Isn't this what the front office was hoping to happen, or am I missing something?
Sam: Yes, on paper it went as well as the Bulls could have hoped, but there’s the factor of paper money.
I read your column over lunch, and was more than a little alarmed at the lack of Bulls presence on your free agent tracker. As in, you don’t seem too hopeful in the Bulls chances of acquiring any of the bigger name free agents. Not that it won’t happen, but you don’t seem to think the Bulls are number 1 on anyone’s list. Given the Bulls’ available money, attractive roster, and appealing city, why would this be? I realize that reasons 1-5 are money, but the Bulls have that. So all things being equal financially, what is usattractive about joining the Bulls?
Sam: That’s the point. Things are not equal. NBA free agency was set up to give the home team the advantage of keeping its best player. As I’ve mentioned above, that sixth year and extra $20 million or so will be huge given the age of players, injury issues and a new collective bargaining agreement coming in that could lower salaries in the future. So most guys are going to want to lock in that big total. I believe Chicago is No. 1 on Johnson’s list, but without a sign and trade, which a team must agree to, he’d stay if they pay him, I believe. After all, this was a guy who left a good Suns team with a chance to win a championship to go to a 13-win Atlanta team for the money. The question is whether Atlanta would pay him. If they don’t, that’s different. Same with Bosh, whom everyone assumes wants to leave. The Raptors will try for a star in a sign and trade, and depending on who loses in the playoffs could get one. So then maybe you fall to the level of a David Lee. A nice addition, but no one is calling you the next champion. Which is why the Bulls will consider deals and various alternatives and not get caught taking what’s left like in 2000. I think they’ll have plenty of contingencies, but it’s much more difficult than fans make it to be and I expect much less movement than has been hoped for. Of course, as rare as it seems I have been wrong as well.
It's pretty clear Bosh and Colangelo are going to work together this summer in getting a deal (as both have reiterated over the past few weeks), so it's going to be up to Raptors to decide who has a better offer. What do you see Bosh/Toronto doing? 1. OKC - Green+Harden+Collison+1st Round Pick . CHI - Luol+Taj+Omer Asik+1st Round Pick .
Sam: That’s the point. I think the Raps are going to have some pretty good offers if Bosh won’t resign. Green, Harden and if they threw in Ibaka, I think, would make a deal. Golden State has some interesting stuff. Obviously, it will come down to where Bosh wants to go and no one truly has any idea at this point.
With LBJ widely considered this year's MVP, he'll
win in consecutive years.. Tell me, and please explain how on Earth
Jordan didn't win the MVP trophy in each of his championship
seasons??!!! Was there a hate/envy/bias/jealousy toward Jordan for
being the ultimate champion??? He should have won 10 Maurice Podoloff
Sam: Looking back, sure. One reason, and it will happen with LeBron, voters get tired of voting for the same guy every year. It was nothing against Jordan, but other guys had good years, like Barkley in ’93, and there also was a movement to honor guys overlooked, like Malone. The Bulls also didn’t have the best regular season record every year as the Suns won more in 93 and the Jazz won the tiebreaker in 98. Plus, the Blazers won more in 91 and the award generally goes, unofficially, to the best player on the best team. Jordan got four in six championships seasons, which isn’t bad.
Why hasn't vinny played warrick, isn't he scorer? Do you think warrick could have helped the bulls in the series w/ the cavs?
Sam: Warrick wasn’t a great matchup as he likes to play inside and Jamison plays on the perimeter and obviously you need someone quick on LeBron. They took a shot with Johnson and it didn’t work out. One of Vinny’s weaknesses was the use of the bench. Though that said, Vinny felt he was coaching daily for his job and stayed most with the guys he most trusted. He stopped playing Warrick and by the time he got to the playoffs Warrick wasn’t much help as a result after all the disuse. Though the dispute with management was a more exciting story to media, Vinny’s fate will be decided, as all coaches, on the eway he coached and managed the game in the opinion of the Bulls.
Watching this series makes me wonder what if BG7 is still around? LBJ would surely be confused who to guard DRose or BG7? If the Bulls had the full line-up of rose, gordon, hinrich, deng, noah, nocioni?
Sam: The Bulls would have lost and been committed for years to be the first round and out team Noah says he doesn’t want to be. That’s the point of this free agency. Yes, it may not work like people want it to. But the point is you have to try and go for greatness. The Bulls spent too many years trying to be competitive. You may as well take a shot. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s certainly prefer it to being satisfied with just being a good playoff team.
In my opinion the only free agents in this class that could potentially help the Bulls win a championship in the coming years are Lebron, Wade, or Bosh. If the Bulls fail to sign one of these three guys, they shouldn't panic. Signing a guy like Joe Johnson will inevitable pigeon hole our team into the 4/5 slot for the next four or five years with virtually no hope of ever winning a championship. The free agency class of 2011 doesn't have the same hype yet, but is equally as good. Kevin Durant or Carmelo Anthony are just as good as the aforementioned guys. With some more growth in Rose/Noah along with a healthy season, the Bulls most likely will be better than a 8 seed next year without a signing of a guy like David Lee or Boozer. Therefore giving the themselves a better name. Should we wait another year for a possible brighter future?
Sam: I don’t see that for many reasons. For one, it would be just as risky if you don’t get a guy now. Why would you be in better shape then. Plus, I believe Carmelo’s almost committed to New York and Durant likely will stay. Plus, you have to pay Noah and that will cut into whatever money you have. And you basically asked your fans to wait a year. Not two.
What do you think? Leave a comment below: