Bulls Get Consolation Prizes

pau-gasol-carlos-boozer-nba-los-angeles-lakers-chicago-bulls-850x560Since the end of their second championship run in 1998, the Chicago Bulls haven’t quite lived up to the hype of being a champion. The closest they have been to getting to the title was losing to the Miami Heat back in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, 4 games to 1.

In the span of the last 16 seasons, the Bulls seem to let big name superstars slip through their fingers and grab just “consolation prizes” through free agency.

During the seasons from 1998-2003, the Bulls have had the opportunities to lure in such players as Tracy McGrady and Tim Duncan. Both said no to¬†Chicago. McGrady went on to Orlando and played for a slew of franchises. Duncan went on to win 4 more titles with the San Antonio Spurs. The Bulls went after free agents¬†like Fred Hoiberg, Ron Mercer, Brad Miller, Eddie Robinson, and believe it or not…Scottie Pippen. Clearly, ALL CONSOLATION PRIZES. At the same time, those teams were horrific which included¬†that 13-37 strike-shortened season back in 1999.

From 2003-2010, the Bulls signed 1 free agent…Ben Wallace, believe it or not, a consolation prize. Wallace, of course was the backbone of those Detroit Pistons’ teams that won 2 Eastern Conference titles and captured the 2004 NBA Finals. He¬†signed a 4-year deal with the Bulls and never lived up to that deal, being dealt after just 1 and a half seasons with Chicago. So much for that idea.

It was very easy and widely known about the 2010 free agent class that came out (LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Carmelo, etc). Plus, Chicago already had Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah from draft picks, yet now were looking for a key free agent to add to their possible contention at a title.

As the reports and rumors were coming out that summer, the Bulls looked like they could have gained their piece. But none of the big names signed their name on a¬†contract with Chicago. The¬†Big 3 (as its famously known) assembled in Miami, thanks to LeBron. The Bulls however took…the man on the left of the photo, Carlos Boozer, aka yet another¬†consolation prize.

Boozer, who was coming off a stellar year with the Utah Jazz, SEEMED like the solid piece that the Bulls needed. In his 1st season with Chicago, he helped them get to a 62-20 mark and the best record in the East. His numbers were solid but not the same as he was in Utah. He wasn’t a vital part of Chicago’s defensive scheme orchestrated by head coach Tom Thibodeau. He was a main liability, getting punked by other power forwards in the league, good AND bad. In this past season, he averaged under 14 points and 8 rebounds a night and hardly ever played in the 4th quarter of ballgames. Again, he was a defensive liability. It also didn’t help Chicago when Rose went down in back-to-back seasons. Nonetheless, Boozer was amnestied after the season and won’t be a part of the Bulls’ future.

Here we are 4 years later and Bulls’ management still can’t seem to lure a major free agent in a huge market. They even couldn’t get ‘Melo (personally I’m glad they didn’t) to play in Chicago. They went out and signed…the guy on the right side of the photo…Pau Gasol from the Lakers. AGAIN, another consolation prize. However, this one could benefit more than it could hurt. This new core could possibly win the East, thanks to LeBron again (going to Cleveland).¬†Yet, it will definitely raise a lot of questions before training camp begins. I’m not going to ask¬†them or answer them now. Stay tuned. Training camps and preseason will come faster than you think.

The A-Train

The A-Train Rant 13.0!

296958_1545752100335_1731016917_773274_1225805634_n1.jpg

It’s the weekend and I have some things that need to be said…

  1. Jason Kidd coaching the Brooklyn Nets is like Whoopi Goldberg’s character Eddie coaching the New York Knicks…it’s a joke.
  2. Chris Petersen is a great hire for Washington, he’ll start stealing those Pac-12 recruits from USC, UCLA and Oregon.
  3. Might have to start watching the 2014 World Cup, if not, I should start playing FIFA.
  4. Maybe Jay-Z is a smart guy after all. Kudos to him netting former New York Yankees 2nd baseman Robinson Cano a $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners. Maybe Cano might humble himself after all in a new uniform. Then again, it’s Robinson Cano. Shoutout to Stephen A. Smith for calling out the Yankees on First Take. (NOTE: I rarely watch that show)
  5. Watched Bulls/Heat last night…I guess it’s one of those times the Heat plays like crapola before turning it up in the month of April.
  6. I really want Mizzou to win the SEC Championship just to see how screwy the BCS gang will be towards them.
  7. Curtis Granderson got $60 million from the New York Mets…Hey Mets management, how did that deal with Jason Bay work out? Curt, make your money! If you screw the Mets, I love every minute of it.
  8. Gary Kubiak getting fired from the Houston Texans was understandable, but don’t fire the man when he just got off a stroke. I don’t care how big or how small it was. Damn. I guess 11 straight losses made sure he got that ax quick.
  9. To the gamer who cussed during the middle of a game on NBA 2K14…do that again, it was hilarious.
  10. I want to see how the Downtown Athletic Club treats Jameis Winston now that he is not charged…My race card is ready to pulled if he doesn’t win the Heisman. He’s the favorite. Johnny Manziel and A.J. McCarron can both go to hell.
  11. I actually miss Lovie Smith. It’s time for him to get back in the saddle as head coach for a team…maybe the Houston Texans come to mind. I don’t know.
  12. I would actually laugh if the Miami Heat trade Dwyane Wade.
  13. What was the point of the Indianapolis Colts getting Trent Richardson? I’ll leave that for YOU to answer.
  14. DeMarcus Cousins should have no reason saying anything about anybody. You play for the Sacramento Kings dude, the Kings.
  15. What happened to the St. Louis Blues? Please EA, be correct on this prediction.
  16. So…is Kobe coming back?

That will wrap up this rant for today. More to come. Make sure you tune in to “Beyond The Ropes” on Youtube, comes on every Monday night after Raw. It’s LIVE and you can chat with the crew.

N The Zone TV is coming soon. You don’t want to miss that either.

The A-Train

AS A WINNER…LEBRON STILL LOSES

The Miami Heat knocked off the Oklahoma City Thunder in 5 games to win their 2nd NBA title, the topic will always go around one man…LeBron James. LeBrick, who I love to call, played much better than he did in last year’s Finals. The primary purpose for this is to shut up his critics. Well…I got news for him. THEY WON’T and I WON’T! As a matter of fact, winning this “tainted” title (don’t thank me, thank the “god of basketball” David Stern), he still loses. LeBron haters will remain “the king” and not him. While Heat and LeBron fans will celebrate the title and proceed to try and shut up every hater. Some friendships will end when this happens. Just saying.

Switching to something every LeBron fan dislikes hearing…

THE DECISION: YES I’M STILL ON THIS!! I will not get over that. So what! You will live just like I will. Sorry. But for this man to be the BEST player in the NBA, he surely came off cocky for that ESPN program. People, understand why I’m upset at LeBron for this. LeBron and his agents (mostly his friends) milked the idea of putting together a one-hour special on ESPN just for 2 seconds of announcing his decision to play for the Miami Heat and run away from the Cleveland Cavaliers because he felt that he wasn’t going to get anywhere with them. FOR WHAT? That sounds like pure cockiness coming from an athlete. Now you know without shadow of a doubt this could have been handled much differently. YOU KNOW THAT! He didn’t need the ESPN cameras, he didn’t need Jim Gray, he didn’t need Mike Wilbon and whatever ESPN analysts to ANALYZE this decision. It wasn’t needed. I lost a lot of respect for this guy. POINT BLANK

He won a title…with an asterisk. The same way, the San Antonio Spurs did back in that shortened 1999 season. Look who they played in the Finals. They played an 8th seeded New York Knicks team with “I’ll Choke Your Coach” Latrell Sprewell, Larry Johnson and Allan Houston. I still wondered how they got there after beating the #1 seed, (the pre-LeBron) Miami Heat. But I respect them now because of them winning back in 2003, playing in an 82-game season.

Now, why did I see with asterisk? Oh, the A-Train is on something? He needs help. He needs to lay off the meds.

No, that’s not the case at all. This could lead to another thing but. LeBron played a 66-game schedule and won a title. Last season, played in an 82-game season and lost in the championship. So, it takes for him to play shortened seasons and win titles? It looks like it. In his 9 seasons, only this season he won a title.

WELL, THAT’S NOT FAIR. Sure it is. In his first 8 seasons, he has played in 82-game seasons and has come up short. Even last year, when he practically had the same team. LeBRON WAS DIFFERENT LAST SEASON. He wasn’t any different this season, just put up more statistics. There was nothing impressive about LeBron. He didn’t take over the last 2 minutes of a game like he’s supposed to do. HE DOESN’T HAVE TO DO THAT WITH THIS TEAM. But this is LeBron’s team now, right? Dwyane Wade has given it up. ¬†Critical moments during these 2012 playoffs, he hasn’t shown up. Sorry.

However he did get some help from the black and white. Something about referees and their ways of calling games just boggles my mind. From Tim Donaghy’s nutty scandal some years ago to the old refs like Danny Crawford, Dick Bavetta, and Joey Crawford. The game that once was a game has now been tarnished. Once again, I thank the “god of basketball” David Stern.

Once last thing…stop with the comparisons of Michael with LeBron. They don’t match. MJ still is the GOAT. MJ won 6 titles and didn’t lose a single one of them. LeBron has been in 3 Finals and won 1. Tough luck for the kid. You not Jordan, never will be. Greater than he, forget it. HAPPY FAKE TITLE TO YOU, LEBRON! IT’S WELL DESERVED!

A-Train

The Fight Begins, OKC vs MIA

Although some NBA commentators and Sports Illustrated writers have predicted that the Oklahoma City Thunder will win the 2012 NBA finals… the world thinks different!  The majority is rolling with the Big 3 Miami Heat.  I am standing solid with OKC, since the CHI Bulls were thrown out long time ago. OKC plays as a team and there is more cohesiveness there than what Miami has.  If Miami is expecting to win this series, they are going to need for Dwyane Wade to step up and really be the leader of this team.  The Heat need to take control of the ball and play together as a team. Although Lebron James will put up the points needed, everyone will need to bring their A game every night. Regardless of what happens, I predict that Miami Heat’s head coach, Erik Spoelstra will be dismissed.

Lets get ready to ruuuummble!!!!

Game 1 – Miami 94 Oklahoma City 105 – Thunder lead series 1-0

Game 2 – Miami 100 Oklahoma City 96 – Series tied 1-1

Game 3 – Oklahoma City 85 vs. Miami 91 – Heat lead series 2-1

Game 4 – Oklahoma City vs. Miami – Tuesday, June 19, 9:00 PM ET, ABC

*Game 5 – Oklahoma City vs. Miami – Thursday, June 21, 9:00 PM ET, ABC

*Game 6 – Miami vs. Oklahoma City – Sunday, June 24, 8:00 PM ET, ABC

*Game 7 – Miami vs. Oklahoma City – Tuesday, June 26, 9:00 PM ET, ABC

*if necessary

All games on ABC and ESPNRadio.

Image