Does it totally NOT feel like Summer to anyone else? (Michael: I’m pretty sure it’s still April).
I know the weather has changed and July 4th is right around the corner, but ever since this pandemic kicked into high gear a couple of months ago, I feel like my brain has been stuck in Spring. With no baseball, tailgating, county fairs, pools, and all that jazz, it just feels like we’re in limbo.
• Remember when Coby White took a picture with Chris Paul after the Bulls lost to Oklahoma City this year and everyone got mad? Yeah, that was stupid.
• In case you weren’t aware, White has known Paul since his high school days. He’s opened up about their relationship numerous times in the past, referring to him as a big brother and a mentor. The two worked out together prior to this season, and I can only wish they do the same at some point over the next couple of months. Considering White was drafted, in many ways, to be the Bulls point guard of the future, Paul feels like a perfect role model. While the two share a similar knack for scoring the basketball, we all know Paul is one of the league’s more gifted facilitators. On his career, he has averaged 9.5 assists per game, so I think it’s safe to say there are a lot worse options to serve as White’s mentor.
• By no means do I expect White to become an elite distributor, but I see no reason why he can’t learn how to efficiently run an offense. The guy has always been a solid passer (something I think he deserves more credit for), and the more he proves to be a lethal scoring weapon, the more he can open up the floor for his teammates. Chances are, opposing defenses will pay extra attention to White next season, and the 20-year-old will have to learn how to take advantage of the situation and find the open man. In fact, we’ve already seen some improvement in this part of his game. Remember, over his last five games of the season, White average 6.0 assists. In more ways than one, he started to get into a groove, and I think we should be excited about his opportunity to lead this offense next season.
• Not to mention, doesn’t White just seem like a player you shouldn’t doubt? Everyone praises his work ethic, and I just get the vibe we shouldn’t undermine him. After all, when he played Paul at the end of the season – which I’m sure came with some added pressure and a pile of trash talk– he dropped a career-high 35 points with 3 assists and 7 rebounds. The Bulls may have lost, but he basically outplayed his mentor. Impressive stuff.
• Almost a decade later, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst gave us a behind-the-scenes look at The Decision. We all know the Bulls were very much a part of the discussion that offseason, but reportedly the finances became all-too complicated. While I understand it was hard for many teams to carve out a spot for three superstars, this still feels like one of those situations where an organization has to make it work. The Bulls couldn’t get a deal done for Luol Deng, and they also couldn’t get arguably their biggest selling piece in Derrick Rose to offer a helping hand. Miami’s offer was hard to beat, but the Bulls were apparently this close (*holds thumb and index finger very close together*). You just can’t help but ask “what if?” We got Carlos Boozer, though!
• This all comes down to front office management though, and it’s just another major blunder on the GarPax resume. Also, read what Windhorst wrote about how the Bulls showed up to pitch LeBron: “The Bulls went last. It was the Saturday afternoon of a holiday weekend, and their group had forgotten to book a car from the hotel. They arrived at the IMG Building in taxis but didn’t know to enter through the garage. They were stuck waiting on the street with the door locked.” Ugh, this hurts my soul. Please Arturas Karnisovas, make Chicago a legitimate free-agent destination.
• Anyway, it is what it is. Since Chicago didn’t land LeBron, I got to move forward happily hating his guts and loving Joakim Noah for sharing in that hate.
• Chuck Swirsky is a national treasure, and we must protect him at all costs.
If you follow #Bulls voice Chuck Swirsky’s tweets, you’ve likely noticed by now that he uses the platform not for self-aggrandizement, not as a bully pulpit, but rather as a warm, heartfelt hug. Here’s why: https://t.co/XOQYmZl6Qk pic.twitter.com/WgPOdHJJ6i
— Steve Greenberg (@SLGreenberg) June 28, 2020
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 29, 2020