They grow up so fast …
If I showed you this photo right after it was taken and used my psychic powers to tell you this group would amass a total of four rings, you would probably nod in acceptance and take a sip of your coffee.
If I then informed you all four of those rings belonged to one person, you would likely instantly hack up some of that coffee all over my white shirt. While there is no question that winning an NBA championship is one of the hardest things to do in professional sports, these are five players who are all Hall of Fame-caliber and looked more than capable of winning a ring at one point in their career. Crazy.
- Do we think the Bulls would have made a Finals if Rose stayed healthy? Yes, I know Bulls fans have debated this question more than arguably any in the past two decades, but for good reason, right? At just 23 years old we watched him lead this franchise to the Conference Finals. As quick as the series may have turned out to be, the deep playoff run sure felt like a “watch your back” performance for the rest of the East. Whether or not they could have actually ever made it past the “Big 3” Heat is certainly arguable, but we did see repeated regular-season success against that group. And that isn’t nothing. Like, who is to say one year they don’t finally pull off the shocking upset?
- If we’re assuming no injuries ever crept up on Rose, Bulls might have had an even better chance when LeBron James left for Cleveland. The roster would have potentially struggled with the 3-point era shift in the NBA, but a foundation of Jimmy Butler and a healthy Rose – as awkward as the fit would be at times – would have set the Bulls up for so much sustained success. Indeed, that’s what continues to make the Rose saga hurt so darn much. Chicago might have been set up for years and years of contention (I say “might” because that previous FO could screw up anything), but instead they watched themselves become one of the worst teams in the league near the end of the decade. Ugh. I’m sad.
- The NBA is a cutthroat business, and I think we tend to forget how quickly a career can come crashing down. Whether it be through injury or simply the league’s interest in finding the next best thing, so many players end up on the outside looking in every summer. As Bobby Marks points out, there are 55 fee agents who – despite finishing last year on an NBA roster – still don’t have a new home. Tyler Cook and Tristan Thompson are two examples from the 2021-22 Bulls.
- Ehhhhhhh …
- Type “Coby White” into the Bleacher Nation search bar, and you’ll see just how high on him I used to be. Coming out of the draft, I was gaga over White’s scoring potential. He had a promising 3-point stroke, a ridiculously speedy transition game, and a surprisingly strong frame to help him finish around the rim. To be sure, all of that is still true, but to say his failure to play consistent basketball and defend even remotely adequately is the Bulls’ fault feels … well … wrong.
- If anything, White has been given a tremendous amount of opportunity to succeed in Chicago. While I do believe that it’s been difficult for him to adjust to so many different roles, he has been given more chances to show his value as a potential starting guard than a handful of young players. Even last season on a winning roster, White ate up 27.5 minutes per game and did so in what should have been his most beneficial role yet. While he may have been able to muster a career-high 38.5 percent from 3, he repeatedly struggled to play plus-basketball on both ends of the floor. Look, I’m still keen on what White can become in today’s NBA, particularly as a go-to scorer off the bench and catch-and-shoot threat. But let’s not pretend his NBA shortcomings thus far have not partially fallen on his shoulders.
- Today’s big MLB news has Zach LaVine excited.
- ICYMI: DeMar DeRozan inked a fresh deal with Nike to be the fact of Kobe Bryant’s iconic brand.
- Long-time staffer Shaun Hickombottom has departed the franchise for a new venture. You may not know anything about him, but NBC Sports Chicago fills you in on what made him a valuable part of the organization:
- Candace Parker has got some new kicks coming out soon.
- I think it’s undeniable: Candace Parker is among the coolest current Chicago athletes. Not only is she considered a Hall of Famer in her sport, but she’s a true superstar whose celebrity crosses the professional sports landscape. She’s awesome in commercials. She’s awesome on TNT. She’s just awesome.
- A Bulls Legend signs with the reigning Eastern Conference champs.
- The Blogathon continues!
- What a weird situation: