Chuck's Check In - 8.17.20
Chuck Swirsky gives some thoughts on the departure of Jim Boylen and looks ahead to an unprecedented NBA playoffs in the bubble.
Remind Me Later •
We received an incredible amount of feedback on last week's CCI question, "After MJ/Scottie, who is the THIRD best player in Bulls franchise history?" Responses and results below.
Obviously, the big news was Friday's announcement that Jim Boylen will not return as Head Coach. A few thoughts:
First, I want to thank Jim for the professionalism and kindness he showed me throughout his time with the Bulls. I was with Jim every game day conducting interviews for Bulls radio and Bulls TV. He was always accommodating. I know he tried his best and put forth the effort.
The Bulls now begin a thorough coaching search. The Bulls vacancy is a great job for a variety of reasons. We can start with the sports passion of the city; the fan base is second to none. The United Center and Advocate Center are fabulous. Ownership is committed to winning. A new front office will bring fresh ideas and concepts. The Bulls feature a core group of young players who have huge upside. The women and men inside the United Center are among the finest employees in the NBA. The Bulls brand remains strong globally. Everything is here for a new coach to be successful. I am excited to see how the process unfolds. I am confident the Bulls will get the right person. I can guarantee it. Player development is huge. There will be a ton of candidates for this job and I am excited to follow the process.
CCI NEWS AND NOTES:
Depending on the "bubble" if rosters hold true to form, I still expect the Raptors to play the Clippers for the NBA title. Nick Nurse is a brilliant coach. Period. Look out for Boston.
In addition to the Bulls, Brooklyn and New Orleans are in the market for a new head coach. Ty Lue's name could be a name to watch for either team. He has connections with Pelicans GM David Griffin from their days in Cleveland. According to published reports, Chauncey Billups could be in line to assist Lue as his lead assistant in the event Lue is pried loose from the Clippers organization.
Alvin Gentry won't be unemployed long. He will be on someone's bench as a top assistant next season. Gentry is very well respected in NBA circles.
The Kings shook up their front office with Joe Dumars emerging as the face of the front office replacing Vlade Divac. This was a strong message delivered by Sacramento ownership that they need to make the playoffs-now! It's easy to second guess in 2020 but the Kings and Suns passing on Luka Doncic will be one NBA observers will be talking about for generations to come.
The play in games was everything and more that the NBA had hoped for. Will we see a similar format in 20-21?
Congrats to Damian Lillard who put Portland on his back as the Blazers captured the eighth seed. They'll give the Lakers all they can handle.
Ja Morant played the final four games with a fractured thumb. The Grizzlies sustained numerous injuries and ultimately lost a hard fought play in game to Portland. The Grizzlies now must identify players who compliment Morant as the Bulls did with Derrick Rose.
I'm thrilled for Head Coach Monty Williams who guided the Suns to an unblemished bubble record. Phoenix can certainly build off this for next season.
Last week's CCI question, "Who stands as the third best player in Bulls franchise history behind MJ/Scottie?"
I received a ton of responses and while you may think it's a lock for D. Rose, my tabulations revealed Dennis Rodman narrowly edged Rose out. Here are a few postings from our great Bulls Nation fan base on the subject:
"My pic is Bob Love because he could score the ball he could rebound and play defense he also made two all-star teams in 1972 and 73 he was also one of the original bulls in 1966." -Tre
"Chuck, the third best player in Bulls franchise history behind MJ and Scottie is hands down D ROSE Derrick Rose." -Rumen.
"My name is Tom and I'm from Newcastle in England. The number 3 all time Bulls player for me is a toss up between Captain Kirk Hinrich or Dennis Rodman. The reasons for Kirk are this: he was committed to the Chicago Bulls. He has always been a solid PG and helped Chicago through rebuilds. I believe that he is one of the most underrated players in the NBA let alone the Bulls franchise. My reasons for The Worm: He is one of the greatest defenders of all time! He was a maverick but most of all he was just so damn entertaining! As somebody who was born in the UK in the 90's, it was difficult to get access and updates to the NBA. Watching clips from YouTube and "The Last Dance" helped me form this opinion.
"D Rose. MVP." -David.
"Jerry Sloan." -Mike
"Jerry Sloan! The best I saw in college when I was at St. Joseph's College and he was part of the Evansville Purple Aces. I met you and Bill a couple of times in Sacramento when we had great seats behind the Bulls bench. Keep up the great work." -Bob
"I think the answer has gotta be Chet Walker over Artis Gilmore and Derrick Rose. He's 3rd all time in Bulls' win shares according to Basketball Reference. He has 4 all star appearances with Chicago and 7 overall. He's in the Hall of Fame, and led the Bulls to 2 straight Western Conference Finals. The only issue with that is the fact he's only played 474 games in Chicago, but there are few Bulls with more games played that have as impressive a resume." -Nilay
"Hi from Italy, I started watching basketball as a Bulls Fun in the 90s.... So I remember Bulls players from 1993/94 to today, after MJ and Scottie a player who made my heart beat was Derrick Rose." -Mauro
Always a pleasure. All In. All Bulls. 365. 24-7.