Just the other day, I wrote that until I saw the Raptors hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy high in the air, I would refuse to believe it could happen. Well, I saw it last night, and I think I’m still trying to comprehend what we all just witnessed.
On one end, I’m happy for a city, nay, a country, that rallied behind a single organization since 1995. Raptors fans deserve to be rewarded for a 24-year stretch that feels defined by the words “just not good enough.” Heck, Toronto could never win a Championship. How could they? It’s NBA Siberia, no free agents are going to sign there. Vince Carter forced his way out. Chris Bosh left. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry were split up. Kawhi Leonard would only be there for a year, and you can’t win a championship after throwing all your eggs in a one-year basket, right!?
The Raptors took almost every perceived NBA notion and turned it right on its head. And then they shoved that head straight into the ground like an ostrich. You have to love it.
Now, on the other end, we saw a great dynasty hit a massive speed bump. The series has not only changed our preconceived notions regarding how to win a championship, but it also changed many of our thoughts about the future of the NBA. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both suffered a career-altering injury in a result of this series. And this is, most likely, why there was a look of contentment on the faces of the Warriors players once this was all finally over.
The 2019 NBA Finals gave us storylines that could fill an entire NBA offseason. Instead, we have to close that chapter and move on to what’s next. Congrats Toronto.
Your turn, Chicago.
- If I could smash the RT button on the first answer in this mailbag, I would. NBC Chicago Sports’ Mark Schanowski appears to be in the majority of the Lonzo Ball to the Bulls concept: don’t do it. In fact, Schanowski believes that the idea of throwing Zach LaVine into any kind of package for Ball would set the Bulls back a couple of years. In this case, I would agree. LaVine isn’t necessarily a fan favorite in Chicago, but, remember, you don’t put 23.7 points per game on accident. And, hey, he’s been improving on the court as of late, and at only 24-years-old, still has potential to get better:
Alright #NBA fans, we have some #NBAFinals2019 halftime reading for ya! @MarkSchanowski answers YOUR questions in our latest #Bulls Mailbag, including breaking down the ongoing trade rumors https://t.co/IXCIFLZUCy
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) June 14, 2019
- Schanowski goes to talk about the idea of bringing in Chicago-native free agents (hmm I wonder who that could be) and also gets into several draft-day scenarios. Similar to what your teachers would tell you at school, someone might have the same questions as you, so it can’t hurt to give this a read.
- Most mock drafts are placing Coby White on the Chicago Bulls come June 20th. We have talked plenty about the one-and-done point guard out of UNC, but if you want even more information, go listen to Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux give their scouting report on the Dunc’d On Podcast.
- Disagreeing on NBA free agency moves feels like human nature. You might believe the Bulls should hold on to the No. 7 pick and take the best available; then, your hot-take friend might be saying trade Zach LaVine and Otto Porter and try to sign Kyrie Irving!! Hey, we all need a good hot take sometimes. Anyway, don’t worry, all of us who cover the NBA tend to disagree nearly as much as you and your friend. The Athletic’s John Greenberg recently shared an edition of his Editor’s notebook, and he is pretty upfront about him disagreeing with his co-worker Darnell Mayberry. Greenberg is all for the Bulls making a move at Lonzo Ball and hitting the trade market. Make sure to go give a read, and check out what he has to say on the other Chicago sports going on.
- VANVLEEEEET. The boy came up huge in the NBA Finals (he even received one vote for Finals MVP!). Well, he may not be directly from Chicago, but the entire start of Illinois has been doing pretty big things in the NBA world as of late. Congrats, Fred.
Fred VanVleet with the shoutout for Rockford. This is the 14th time in the last 15 seasons an Illinois prep player will have his name on the Larry O'Brien trophy (if they did that kind of thing). Chicago, Peoria, Springfield, Tolono, Oak Park, Maywood all represented in the run. https://t.co/U29Zv7DZJs
— Mark Potash (@MarkPotash) June 14, 2019
- Well, jeez, thanks K.C. Way to bring to down the mood.
2 of most painful moments in Bulls franchise history happened in what is now called Oracle Arena. Lost Game 7 of Western Conference finals on May 14, 1975. Michael Jordan broke bone in left foot on Oct. 29, 1985.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 14, 2019
- Okay, sorry, I’m being a hypocrite. I also happened to bring down the mood last night.
Just a friendly reminder that Raptors Head Coach Nick Nurse and assistant coach Adrian Griffin were both former members of the #Bulls organization.
— Elias Schuster (@Schuster_Elias) June 14, 2019
- The 2018-19 NBA season is over, but me putting Michael Jordan content in nearly every bullets isn’t!
- I mean, I suppose I also enjoy my chips to be accompanied with dips, but can this whole Drake thing be over now? Oh, wait, no, we have a whole parade we’re going to have to get through too.
"I want my chips with the dip!"
— SportsNation (@SportsNation) June 14, 2019