How could the Chicago Bulls insult their fans the way that they have in the past couple of days?
Those words about the Bulls were quietly being evoked on several fan websites and Chicago sports chat rooms. How bad their season was is being discussed, along with the fact that no one’s head will roll in the Bulls’ front office. This season was a year of false promises. Fans are dealing with the idea that the Bulls’ bosses did not do enough to right the ship as the season was swiftly falling off the rails. Some would argue that the Bulls did nothing at all.
Finishing the season without a playoff appearance is the last thing the Chicago Bulls’ front office expected. Though if you took a poll from the fans, they would suggest that they saw it coming. Just about everyone outside of the Chicago Bulls’ organization saw it coming. What was unexpected is the announcement that no one was going to be fired.
It was made known by Chicago Bulls’ Vice President John Paxson that a roster upheaval is being discussed.
The need for tinkering with the roster was echoed by Bulls’ general manager Gar Forman. Forman stated that the tinkering could include trading star guard Jimmy Butler.
“I would say, I think John made it pretty clear we’ve got to take a look at everything. We’ve got to explore all options and I don’t think there’s anything that’s off the table when you have a disappointing year like this. With that said, obviously Jimmy has had a fantastic year. From where he was to where he’s gotten to, he’s become a very, vey valuable player for us.”
Jimmy Butler had a strong season as far as the statistics go. His struggles came in the leadership department. When he went on a tirade about how Bulls’ coach Fred Hoiberg needed to coach the team harder, it somehow signaled the downward spiral of the season. If Butler remains with the Bulls, he will have to dial back how he chose to be a leader. His play speaks louder than his voice. Jimmy Butler must understand that.
Another player who was mentioned was Derrick Rose. Despite his status as a hometown player, it was made clear that he is not untouchable. What the Chicago Bulls must determine is if they are going to try and re-sign Rose next offseason. If the Bulls have every intention on letting Derrick Rose test out free agency, then they must entertain any legitimate trade offer they receive for Rose.
During the trade deadline, the Bulls failed to make a deal of significance. Although they added guard Justin Holiday, no one expected him to be a contributing factor. Holiday turned out to be what the Bulls expected guard Tony Snell to be, a solid defender with a good jump shot.
If the Chicago Bulls want to return to the playoffs, they will have to do more than trade for a complimentary player to come off the bench. The Bulls need a star, or at the very least, a player with star potential.
Gar Forman and Bulls’ Vice President John Paxson will have to explore all avenues to make the team better, including with the acquisition of free agents. Players who are brought in will have to be fit for Fred Hoiberg’s run and gun motion offense.
The Chicago Bulls’ front office is confident that they will right the ship. During hastened press conference that was put together immediately after the final game of the season, the future was addressed (courtesy of the Chicago Bulls’ team website).
“It’s obvious this roster isn’t going to be exactly the same coming back. We have to make some changes. What we have to do is determine that path, whether it’s through trades, free agency, draft, all those type of things,” Chicago Bulls’ V.P. John Paxson on imminent changes to the Bulls’ roster.
The fact that change is finally being discussed is refreshing. Several fans have asked for change for the past couple of seasons, only to have their pleas fall on deaf ears.
If it took the Bulls’ executives this long to figure out that changes need to be made, maybe those changes need to start at the top? The tone deaf Bulls are now ignoring pleas from fans asking that Gar Forman be shown the door, following the mess that was the season.
In a subtle reversal, the talk about the Chicago Bulls’ future got lost in the chatter of Kobe Bryant’s retirement game and the Golden State Warriors breaking the all-time wins record. The fact that the Bulls hurried and put on a “State of the Team” address while Kobe was on his way to scoring 60 points and the Warriors were winning is an indication of their mindset. Change is irrelevant.
What a dark time to be a fan of the Chicago Bulls.
[Featured Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]