With Derrick Rose out of the picture, the Chicago Bulls have lost their chance at the 2012 NBA Championship title. Right? Wrong. The Bulls are still one of the best teams in the NBA and still have a chance to make a run at the title.
That’s the message that former Bulls all-star Scottie Pippen has for the current members of the Chicago Bulls. Pippen wrote an open letter to the Bulls, saying:
“Yes, you lost one of your brothers — a warrior in every sense of the word — but I know and you know you’ve still got a lot of fight left. You’re still the best team in the NBA until an opponent proves otherwise. So go out there and play like it. You’ve earned that much with Derrick along the way, but you also won a lot of games without him. It’s time to meet the challenge.”
And Pippen isn’t just grasping at straws. The Bulls really are (according to born-in Chicago roots) still one of the best teams in the NBA. The Bulls played 27 games this season without the reigning MVP and still managed to earn the best record in the NBA. They won 18 of those 27 games, two of which came against the big three of the Miami Heat.
The Bulls have an incredibly deep bench, amazing rebounding talents, and players like Kyle Korver, Richard Hamilton, and Loul Deng who are all capable of putting up big points. And of course, there’s John Lucas III who just may turn out to be the playoffs MVP… maybe.
Pippen writes that Derrick may have been the leader, but in reality, he was just a member of a great team. Pippen writes:
“Yes, Derrick was the reigning NBA MVP, but he epitomizes the team concept and you all followed his lead. So it’s been the effort of the group, as well as a tremendous job by the coaching staff, which has gotten us to this point. And it’s exactly why I feel good about this team right now. You’re a group that remains together. You’ve repeatedly lifted each other up when a teammate has fallen.
“With or without Derrick, the ship has to continue to sail… And as he told many of you, it’s time to re-dedicate yourselves to staying on track. I know none of you are ready to stop working and you want more than anything to win for Derrick. That’s the best tribute you could make for him. And in a way, it would very much make him a part of it.
“He’ll be with you the rest of the way whether he’s in the gym or not, watching and supporting. While you hate to see what happened happen, adversity often brings a team together even more than they were before. It’s all about how you react to that adversity.”
The Chicago Bulls have suffered many injuries this season, but no matter who goes down, someone else steps up. The road to the NBA championship is going to be difficult for the Bulls, but don’t count them out just yet.
Kyle Korver wrote on his Facebook page that the Bulls aren’t going to go down without a fight, but they need the fans of Chicago to rally around them. Korver wrote:
“We need YOU to believe with Us. We need You to believe for Us. We are going to keep going strong. One quarter, one game, one round at a time.”
Do you think the Chicago Bulls still have a chance?
Before the Bulls worry about the Miami Heat or the NBA title, they’ll have to get past the 76ers. The Bulls Philadelphia tonight for the game two of the first round series.