Friday, October 15, 2004

When something minor was major

I originally was going to mention this article on because the author., Chris Mannix,  predicts Ben Gordon to win Rookie of the Year.  I never even thought of it to be honest, but if you factor in how much of a....factor ("allow myself to introduce....myself") he needs to be on offense, then he has a very good shot. But instead of pointing out the possible ROY credentials Gordon can accumulate, Mannix uses this space to comment on this year's draft:

Not quite as sexy as last season's Lebrellopalooza is it? Teams entered the draft calling it a crap shoot and sure enough wound up going home with crap. After the first 10 picks I was waiting to see if any of the remaining 19 GMs had the chutzpa to hand David Stern a card with the worst four letter word he could ever step to the podium and say: P-A-S-S. I think the Bulls had the right idea in '96 when they drafted Travis Knight with the last pick in the first round and promptly renounced him. You think Jerry Krause stays up nights regretting that decision?

That Travis Knight pick brings me back to the days when Bulls' first round picks were inconsequential. Just look at the stiffs you can get when you're drafting last.  But the important thing was that it didn't matter. Knight and Simpkins? Who cares if they stink. Now when you're spending lottery picks on Marcus Fizer and Jamal Crawford...well all of a sudden you're really setting the franchise back if you make a mistake.

Nothing mattered in time of the dynasty years though,  the team was set and they were winning championships. There wasn't even a salary cap to worry about, while Reinsdorf was 'disrespecting' MJ with $30m contracts.

Chicagoans actually used to say they were *bored* with winning all the time. How bored? I remember a week in 1998 when the Bulls traded one of those famed draft picks, Jason Caffey, to the Warriors for David Vaughn. Vaughn played a total of 6 minutes for the team before being released when Krause (re)signed aformentioned stiff Dickey Simpkins, who was dealt away earlier in the year. Local talk shows had callers criticizing Krause for trading away Caffey for essentially nothing. Jason Caffey! Of course Bulls fans knew none of it would make a difference in the playoffs, but you have to come up with something interesting if your team is winning nearly every game.

Those were the days.....

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Thanks a lot, capitalism...

The Bulls opened their exhibition season tonight at Boston (or nearby at least, in Manchester, N.H.). And I couldn't see the game.

True, the game was broadcasted on the newly christened Comcast Sports Net, owned by cable conglomerate Comcast in conjunction with Chicago owners Jerry Reinsdorf (Bulls and White Sox), Bill Wirtz (Blackhawks..not looking like a good investment considering there is no season), and the Tribune Co. (Cubs). This is similar to what Comcast has done in Philadelphia, and is a welcome addition with its proposed slate of local sports coverage. Now, I can listen to stories about Brian Urlacher's hamstring allll day.

However as of now this channel is only available to those who have Comcast Cable, and not to those who have DirecTV or, like me, Dish Network. Negotiations are ongoing, and a compromise should be inevitable since more Chicagoans subscribe to Dish than cable. And for good reason, since Comcast is expensive and their customer service is an absolute joke and I cancelled their cable just last weekend even though I knew it meant possibly missing Bulls games, because I hated them THAT MUCH.

Ok, just needed to get that off my chest. Seriously though, have a pow-wow and get this deal done Comcast, so I can enjoy the Bulls in some meaningless competition.

For tonight, at least, turns out I didn't miss much, as the Bulls got trampled in 30. Granted margin of victory in a preseason game really doesn't matter, but if you look at the box score you don't even see many moral victories. Curry and last year's 2nd round choice Tommy Smith had decent nights (Smith actually led the way with 13 points in 21 minutes). But they shot 36% from the floor, only 2-10 from 3-point range, and designated scorer of this year Ben Gordon had 0 field goals. Blech.

Next game is Friday at the United Center against the Hornets. Until then, I need to find the number to call and get my Comcast internet disconnected so I can switch to DSL....

Note: For some other Bulls season previews(mine will come eventually, I swear), check out courtesy of and These Days.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Parting Shots

Jamal Crawford:

"I would say it's a little different here. Here, there's no hidden agenda, there's no motives, it's just to win. This is a first-class organization,"

Whatever Jamal, maybe that that organization you used to belong to can take back that generous contract. Geez, maybe Pippen did a little too much teaching last year.

Argh, well this kind of thing happens all the time, I shouldn't get too upset. Anyway, I'm sure Jamal will be very productive in New York. Why, ask his backcourt-mate, Stephon Marbury!:

"There will be a lot of between-the-legs stuff. Jamal is very athletic and plays with a flair the way I do. You've got two guys with trickery to their game, and that's beautiful."

So, if anybody wants to go check out the new Harlem Globetrotters...