Things I enjoyed watching this weekend:
3. Avengers Endgame (for like the 5th time)
142. Bulls basketball
- Anticlimactic drum roll, please! It’s officially All-Star Week in Chicago! If you weren’t already excited about the current state of Chicago basketball, let this week serve as a reminder of how far the Bulls franchise has fallen. As the days pass, I’m sure one of the biggest storylines across Chicago media will be the lack of Bulls’ representation over the course of this weekend. Not only is the event here for the first time since 1988, but the NBA itself has reached the peak of its powers. All of the shortcoming for this organization will be on full display over the next handful of days. The pressure is on.
- Chicago’s road to irrelevance has been long, but steep. The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg wrote a great piece about how the Bulls found themselves in such a messy situation. Spoiler Alert: It’s mostly incompetence.
- Zach LaVine tried his best to be an All-Star this season. He put up big numbers, and he shot game-winners. But unfortunately, he couldn’t change the fact that he’s a Chicago Bull. When he missed out on his first nod, it became a bit unclear what path he’d take moving forward. Would his offensive reign of terror come to an end? Would he welcome opportunities to rest? Well, I think last night LaVine answered a lot of our questions. The Bulls star player will not take his foot off the gas. He decided to play through a neck injury and dropped 32 points on the Philadelphia 76ers. Once again, he did everything he could to keep his team within striking distance, but alas, came up short.
- The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry and NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson spoke with LaVine about his endless pursuit for greatness. The quotes in these stories serve as a prime example of why I’ve grown to respect the heck out of LaVine. You have to admire his work ethic.
LaVine: "I’m a competitor. I’m going to try to fight for my team. I don’t care if it’s 1 vs 100. I’m going to go out swinging. We’re encouraging each other. That’s why I wanted to fight through this injury just to let them know that that I’m trying to help."
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 10, 2020
- Meanwhile, ESPN Eric Woodyard spoke with OTHER players about LaVine’s growth, including Damian Lillard, Marcus Smart, and Eric Bledsoe. Good read.
Can Zach LaVine be the star the Bulls need? Here’s how LaVine is embracing the challenge of becoming Chicago’s new franchise star with faith from the front office. “I'm still trying to learn this like everybody else because it hasn't come easy for us." https://t.co/jBVOK0khMj
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) February 10, 2020
- Did LaVine not volunteer or something because I feel like he should be on this list?
Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson — they're all on the @usabasketball 44-man preliminary roster for the Tokyo Olympics just officially announced … pic.twitter.com/Y6RzKfJer4
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 10, 2020
- All of the rumors surrounding the Bulls potential front-office shake-up have one common theme – John Paxson isn’t going anywhere. Let’s wait and see.
Bulls Front Office Rumors: New Head of Basketball Ops Could Be Coming, But Paxson Would Still Have a Role https://t.co/wzxsP2nahk
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) February 9, 2020
- I think it’s time we just stop referencing the Bulls playoffs position, right? I know it feels relevant, but the fact that they have to go 15-14 says all we need to know about their chances.
While it’s true Bulls remain 3 games out of final (L)Eastern Conference playoff spot, the Magic, current holders of that spot, are on pace for 34 victories.
Bulls would need to go 15-14 over tonight and rest of season to get to 34 victories.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 9, 2020
- Luke Kornet had a career-high 25 points last night … so I guess that’s kind of cool.
- “Almost every night, something stupid happens in a Bulls game.”
You forgot Boylen getting booed on the road for calling another meaningless late-game timeout.
— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) February 10, 2020