Zach LaVine and I are similar in many ways.
We are both in our mid-20s and revolve most of our life around the Chicago Bulls. We are both freakish athletes who can complete a 360 slam with our eyes closed. And we are both on the verge of a massive new contract worth multi-millions (someone let Brett know).
But a rare instance where LaVine and I differ is in our excitement for last night’s
Oakland Las Vegas Raiders win. LaVine – a long-time Raiders fan – seemed perfectly giddy by the walk-off TD in OT last night. Meanwhile, I was left in utter despair after the 4th quarter caused me arguably the most painful fantasy football loss I’ve ever experienced. I refuse to go into detail, as the wounds are still fresh, but this one will sting for a long time.
CURSE YOU RAIDERS!
• Speaking of football, on behalf of all Bears fans, Billy Donovan should give Matt Nagy a call. Considering we are here to talk Bulls, I’m not going to rant too long on this whole Justin Fields situation. All I will say is the Bears have handled this so poorly from the jump, and it is absurd that the organization (1) refused to give Fields first-team reps during training camp and (2) seem to be playing the worse quarterback simply because of a promise. People can make comparisons to the situations regarding Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers all they want. But the fact of the matter is Andy Dalton is not Alex Smith, Drew Bledsoe, or Brett Farve. Those three quarterbacks could still lead a winning football team. Anywho, my point is that I’m usually an advocate for starting the new “face of the franchise” sooner than later.
• The Chicago Bulls wasted no time putting Patrick Williams on the court. And, yes, I know we are talking about two different sports entirely. And, mmhmm, I know a quarterback is the more important/harder to cover up position relative to what we are talking about. Yet still, the Bulls saw a part of Williams’ game that was strong enough to justify playing him big minutes right away (defense). They wasted no time getting him valuable experience and demonstrating to those around the league that they believe he is a pivotal part of what they want to build. I guarantee his 71 starts this season will pay off tremendously as he looks to step into the starting power forward role against a much more competitive team this season. Again, I recognize that there is no perfect parallel between these two situations/sports, but I generally don’t like beating around the bush. If the guy looks ready to play the game, just press the start button.
• Lather, Rinse, Repeat Talk About a Midseason Tournament.
The NBA is discussing having an in-season tournament in future seasons, with $1 million per player in prize money, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The concept was discussed on a Competition Committee call today.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 13, 2021
• Seriously, I feel like this concept has been hanging in the rafters for years. I don’t think anyone is doubting whether it would be a fun watch, but what is going to incentive the league’s top players to go all out with the playoffs looming? I suppose a $1 million per player on the winning team is a step in the right direction, but the best of the best might as well have that sitting in their wallet at any given time. I just have a feeling the league expects a playoff atmosphere for these games, but I don’t see any way that happens. Hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy and eventually wearing a ring is all these players have wanted since they were young. The Chick-Fil-A Tourney Award (I made that up, but you could believe it, right?) is not going to be a *close* second.
• In other league news …
This will eliminate the prolonged stoppages that occur at times late in NBA games. https://t.co/ThlYWOh49h
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 13, 2021
• I have already waffled on this a lot. On one end, I do believe removing the ref’s ability to review out-of-bounds calls in the final two minutes will speed up the game. Far too many times we have seen the last few seconds take 10+ minutes thanks to lengthy reviews. The viewing experience becomes rather brutal, and any momentum gained for a certain team is completely lost. On the other side of things, what if the refs initially make the wrong call? At least this review process allowed for them to make the right adjustment at the most pivotal part of the game. Putting this decision in the hands of a coach’s challenge also feels like it will negate the usage of a challenge in any other scenario. Coaches are going to hold onto that thing just in case some clearly incorrect out-of-bounds call is made (of which there are always plenty). With that being the case, at least give the coaches a second challenge to use comfortably when other wrong calls are made. I don’t know. I’m all for a better viewing experience, but there is no doubt this will lead to an excruciating missed call that decides the game.
• Keith Smith of Spotrac talked a bit more about the Celtics’ reported interest in Zach LaVine. And, much like the rest of us, he finds it hard to believe the Bulls All-Star ends up in Boston.
We're back with a new @FrontOfficeShow! On this new episode @Trevor_Lane and I talk rumors that Boston will chase Beal & LaVine this summer, what's happening with a PHI 2nd rounder, rules changes and a midseason tournament coming soon? Watch, like & sub!https://t.co/lXVjVzTjWf
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) September 14, 2021
• ALL SMILES!
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• The G-League is back!
— Windy City Bulls (@windycitybulls) September 13, 2021
• We could see this guy dominating some Windy City Bulls games this year.
— Chris Ramirez (@ChrisRamirezTV) September 13, 2021