The Runner Sports

Several Immature Kids Get Together To Play Basketball; Become The Chicago Bulls

This week on the Reality TV show “The Chicago Bulls,” immense drama developed. Jimmy Butler called out his teammates for not trying. Rajon Rondo, like the 30-year-old adult he is, took to Instagram to seemingly question the leadership of Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler. Dwyane Wade–like the veteran, all-time great leader he is–shot back at Rondo directly. He also took the mature approach of posting his response on Instagram. The melodramatic, social media-based approach is an exact representation of who the Bulls are this year: several immature kids brought together to play basketball.

Honestly, Gar Forman is to blame. He assembled this mess. Forman got rid of a respected, no-nonsense coach because Forman couldn’t put together a complete team, and he didn’t want to take the blame. He replaced Tom Thibodeau with Fred Hoiberg. Because many Bulls players were upset with their coach, Tom Thibodeau, getting shown the door, Hoiberg didn’t come in with a lot of fans. The only fan was Jimmy Butler, because Butler is a diva, and he wanted a coach that would let him do what he wanted. Hoiberg’s mild nature has certainly allowed for that.

Forman also went out and went for big names and media attention in free agency instead of addressing needs. Forman blatantly ignored the negativity that always seems to come with Rajon Rondo, and signed him. Knowing the point guard he signed wasn’t a good 3-point shooter, Forman went out and got a shooting guard who also can’t shoot from deep. Dwyane Wade has a lot of glitz and glamor to his name, but he is a shorter version of Jimmy Butler.

Essentially, this happened: Gar Forman saw he had round holes to fill–3-point shooting–and tried to jam a square and a triangle into those holes; why are people surprised they didn’t fit? The rationale became the Bulls have Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott. Mirotic shoots 30 percent from deep. McDermott can shoot, but he has never done it consistently at the NBA level. Both are tremendous liabilities on defense. So Forman’s justification for fitting a square and a triangle into round holes was that he had two slightly misshapen circles that didn’t fit, but they didn’t not fit.

The result? Hoiberg has no idea what to do with lineups because none of his pieces fit well, and he is trying to make pretentious divas happy. Players are getting frustrated because they aren’t succeeding, and they are responding by either checking out completely or getting mad at others for checking out completely. There is a certain tension a viewer can see when watching the Bulls play. They are never quite in sync, never really celebrating for each other, and never really communicating.

The solution is for the Bulls players to grow up. They are not in an ideal situation, but there is enough talent on this team to win. Calling each other out on social media just hurts the chemistry. No one is more motivated to play for their teammates after they are thrown under the bus to millions of followers. The leaders on this team–the “three alphas” if you will (please don’t)–cannot keep acting like immature children.

Actually, scratch that. I coach children in basketball. Recently, I saw a girl accidentally score on her own team’s basket. Not a single other player condemned her or tried to call her out for her temporary lapse of focus. This means that currently, the Bulls players are behaving on a level below that of 12-year-old girls. There is no control by the coaching staff or the management, but these are also grown men. Do they really need a coach to sit them down before practice to talk about behavior? Let’s address each player specifically.

Jimmy Butler: if you want to be a leader, be a leader. Do not complain about others not working as hard as you do. You work very hard. You set a great example. Encourage your teammates to work out with you. If they don’t follow your example, that is on them. Trying to micromanage behavior just makes the behavior worse; lay off them.

Rajon Rondo: come on, man. Why do you always do this? You are an emotional guy, I get it. However, at your stage in life, you need to have the maturity to control that. Are you going from stop to stop really thinking it is always someone else’s fault you are getting moved? Are you really not going to take ownership for the lackluster effort that got you benched? You can’t go your entire life blaming others for the problems you create or facilitate.

Dwyane Wade: You are an idol to so many people. The behavior you just exhibited just gave kids everywhere the idea that it is okay to passive-aggressively call someone out on social media. You are someone people rely on to set a positive example of behavior on and off the court. Please do not exhibit the idea that kids can address their problems in the manner you are currently using.

Robin Lopez: Cut your hair. Please cut it. I know you aren’t a part of this, but please cut it. It looks ridiculous.

Rob Wegley

TRS co-owner and resident draft aficionado.

Author of Extraordinary Girl.