Friday, February 13, 2004

Too Much Barking from the JYD???

The big story in the papers today is not the 107-87 blowout of the Celtics last night, It involved the postgame comments of Jerome Williams. In a season like this, one win isn't as interesting a topic than the drama behind the scenes. Trade talks, locker room in-fighting, the good stuff. So what did Jerome have to say?

"I don't care if you're 14," he said. "If you're able to play and say you're ready for the NBA, then you have to be ready to do your job. Because the checks come, right? You can't blame [not knowing plays] on age. If you want to come into this league early, get ready to do the work." "It's getting better, but it's bad," Williams said. "As a professional, I look at it as a player has to take it upon himself. You can't rely on coaches to walk you through plays. You have to take the initiative to want to improve the team and know what's going on on the court as soon as the call is made.

"That's the least fans can expect. Know [your] jobs. That's like a trash man going to work and doesn't know where to pick up the garbage."

Very harsh words. It gets better though, as super-scrub Rick Brunson responds:
"Ask him how many times he has stayed after [practice] to help those guys?" Brunson said. "Look in the mirror."
Ok Jerome, how about that one?
"But coaches have told me not to pull them [aside] anymore," he said. "You can't keep dragging them along and say, 'Let me help you.' I did that when I first got here. Now you have to allow them to step up. They have to want to get better.

The JYD speaks some truth here. His message has been repeated over and over again this year, from veterans and coaches alike. The players need to step up themselves, they can't be coddled anymore, and its good to see that the coaching staff recognizes it enough to tell JYD to cut back on the 'teaching'. It may seem like harsh treatment for the young Bulls, but I'm sure they get enough attention from the coaches themselves to be called out every time in practice they are in the wrong spot (which Williams reportedly does).

All that considered though, Jerome Williams' comments are out of line. This is the kind of thing that should be kept within the locker room, and I don't see how it benefits anyone to call out your teammates in public. Especially after a game where they beat their opponents' brains out. Hold a team meeting or something. Talk to your teammates on your own. Talk to the coach.  This kind of stuff is simply uncalled for.

It has been speculated that Williams' comments are partly out of frustration as a result of being included in trade rumors. The most widely-reported trade proposal being him going to the Sixers for Aaron McKie (and a contract...supposedly Amal McCaskill). Even without learing about JYD's recent attitude, the Bulls should jump at the chance to make a move like this. McKie is exactly the kind of player the Bulls have been searching for, a small forward who can hit an outside shot and is a good defender. Plus he has all that intangible crap that people seem to like. Supposedly the deal is waiting to be approved by the Sixers side, so keep your fingers crossed.

Another rumor reported today involved Marcus Fizer. I think that Fizer has set the 4 season record for trade rumors. I mean he has been rumored to be gone since he was drafted. Now he's supposedly going to the Magic for Tyronn Lue and Gordan "G-Force" Giricek (and a contract....Shammond Williams will do). For all those who know how big a Giricek fan I am, its no suprise that I like this trade. I was once the biggest Marcus Fizer fan in the world, but he is completely out of the teams' plans, so getting anything for him would be a plus. Tyronn Lue hasn't been good as the Magic's starting point guard, but I believe he'd be better suited as a backup to Kirk Hinrich. And he's better than Brunson, who's occupying that post now.

So will the trade deadline bring Aaron McKie, Tyronn Lue, and Gordan Girecek in exchange for Jerome Williams and Marcus Fizer? Doubtful, but it wouldn't be a bad way for GM John Paxson to mark his first trading deadline.