Another Season Under .500 Puts the Bulls in Some Very Bad Company
With their second-consecutive loss to a short-handed team on Wednesday night, the Chicago Bulls made it official: They will finish the 2022-23 season below .500.
This comes just one season after an organizational overhaul helped build a roster that finished 46-36 and top 6 in the Eastern Conference. The goal heading into this third year under the new front office was – duh – to improve on last year’s mark. But don’t take my word for it! Let’s recall what Arturas Karnisovas said at Media Day.
“The expectations last year, we knew we were going to be in the playoffs. This year shouldn’t surprise us that we’re going to be in the playoffs, but we have to do better than last year,” Karniosvas told NBC Sports Chicago. “Yearly improvement is what I’m looking for. Ultimately, winning it. That’s the goal. High expectations.”
Considering those words, I think it’s safe to declare the 2022-23 campaign a failure. Even if the organization were to crack the playoffs with the 8 seed, they would have to miraculously upset the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round for us to view this season as displaying any genuine progress.
Anyway, with all of that in mind, I thought I’d just make matters worse and remind everyone that this organization now has just one winning season over the last seven. In other words, since Derrick Rose left town.
Here’s a look at the Bulls’ record in each season since 2016-17:
If we take the Bulls’ 545 games that have been played between the Three-Alphas Era and now, the Bulls have a 41.7 percent win percentage. This ranks 4th-worst in the NBA over that span, sitting behind only the Knicks (40.8), Magic (37.3), and Pistons (35.9), per Statmuse. The latter two teams at least have a No. 1-overall pick to show for on their roster. As for the Knicks, they are at least putting together their second winning season in the past seven and currently sit 5th in the Eastern Conference.
While I understand that change takes time, how much freakin’ time do the Bulls need? We’re inching closer and closer to a decade of complete and utter irrelevance in the NBA. And that’s a pretty troubling fact when we consider the market size and world-renowned brand of the Chicago Bulls.