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The Bad Taste Of Chicago Bulls
- Updated: January 29, 2017
The dysfunctional state of the Chicago Bulls has now reached the eye of the entire public, and these current affairs seem to go much deeper than just basketball. Throughout the season, the Chicago Bulls have been up and down as a team hovering around .500. There were games that they won against the Spurs, Cavs, Raptors, and other top level conference teams that led you to believe that this team could figure it out and put it all together. Then there were losses that absolutely shouldn’t have occurred, yet did, over and over again.
The Bulls soon became this conundrum of a team that couldn’t figure out its identity, due to what seemed like lack of proper decision making with the roster at times. Meaning, at first, it seemed like it was just an issue of Fred Hoiberg and the coaching staff not putting players in positions to succeed. Having Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade surrounded by shooters as much as possible to maximize their offensive potential sounds good, but Hoiberg fails to do it consistently and when necessary. Another thought was to have Rajon Rondo surrounded by at least three-four shooters to maximize what makes Rondo who he has been his whole career.
Now granted, the team doesn’t exactly have the best all around talent, but certain guys on this team came into this league with certain roles and expectations. Though they are still young and learning the ropes, the young players of the Bulls need experience to develop. Fred Hoiberg was finally starting to explore the depths and possible potential of his bench and starters to maybe create better lineups, but then the loss Wednesday to the Atlanta Hawks happened.
In a blink of an eye, the focus went from Hoiberg trying different lineups and exploring different possibilities to Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler calling out their teammates for lack of effort and heart. After their media performance, Rondo followed it up by defending the players Wade and Butler were ripping via an Instagram post, and essentially exposing the lack of leadership within the team and truthfully, within the whole organization from my standpoint.
When it comes to Butler and Wade, it’s not that I disagree with their assessment of the team, because when you look at the team play, some guys out there just don’t seem to understand what needs to be and what has to be done in order to succeed in this league. Wade knows because he has been in the league since 2003, and became a young champion by 2006. So when he sees something isn’t what he is used to, I understand the frustration. Butler is the current franchise player so he felt he had to voice his frustration as well as the “leader” of the team, pretty much saying what Wade was saying in a nutshell. The problem I have with this is that in calling out your team in front of the world, you could create more locker room turmoil than you possibly had before.
Both Butler and Wade see themselves as leaders and a huge part of the Bulls organization, and that’s fine. However, other than Rondo, there is no other Bulls teammate of theirs that can say the same for themselves and actually believe it. The main reason why is because instead of seeing themselves as equals and teammates willing to endure the same fate as the rest of the team, Wade and Butler basically told them in so many words, “we are doing our job, the rest of you guys need to do yours, we’re losing because of you.” This is their type of leadership, and I’m sure they see it as getting a fire lit under the players that are underperforming, which in some cases have positive potential, but its only potential because it can easily be taken the wrong way and be made into something even worse.
Like most that are under pressure, people say things in the heat of the moment due to emotion and frustration. This was the case with Butler, Wade, and even Rondo, as he pretty much told Wade and Butler what real veteran leadership is like and how it’s lacking severely in Chicago. This isn’t so much a situation of who is right or wrong, but more so of the unveiling of disaster by a disorganized franchise ran by Gar/Pax. If Wade and Butler did do one thing right out of all of this, it was that they put more pressure on the front office this year than they have felt in a while. This could be the start of a much-needed makeover in Chicago, and Butler and Wade’s actions could end up meaning more than we initially see at the moment.