Monday, January 26, 2004

Quotin' the Vets

Much has been made over Scottie Pippen's comments last week about the Baby Bulls, if you haven't read the story already, here's the money quote:

"If you don't have the effort inside of you, I can't pull it out of you. Coach can't pull it out of you," Pippen said. "Eventually, people are going to give up on you. They're going to give up on what they think you can do, what potential you possibly have."
Harsh words indeed. As much as some fans want to talk about how young these guys are, I sincerely doubt that the vets in the NBA want to hear that kind of talk. They don't like their minutes and their jobs taken by unproven talent based on 'potential'. They want results. The theme continued Sunday when the Toronto Raptors came to town, a game highlighted by the return of Jalen Rose and Donyell Marshall. Marshall's take on the situation was a lot like Pippen's:
"Those guys are playing in their third and [fourth] years, so it's not like they're getting thrown in the fire for the first time," Marshall said. "The team has been turned over to those guys, so you have to meet expectations. They want to name themselves the franchise. That's what they came in the league for."

 He recently called the Bulls "the worst team in the NBA", and supposedly it was locker-room motivation for the Bulls and led them to victory. (Jalen backed off and clarified calling Orlando the worst.)  I agree with Rick Telander's column today, which is essentially saying "whatever" to the whole thing. The Bulls have a lot to worry about if a game against a struggling Raptors squad at home is cause for great motivation. And Jalen Rose, who I'm not missing in the least as a player, still can oftentimes be counted on for speaking the truth:

"If a quote I didn't say is what it takes to get you motivated...'' Rose said in semi-amazement. "You got 82 games. What are you gonna do for the other 81?''
Right on, Jalen.