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 LeBron Files

The LeBron Files

So instead of my usual NBA 2K12 fix that I usually do after watching a playoff game, I said I’ll just get on my computer and start typing. So, I witnessed a beatdown last night. Am I surprised? Yes I am. I’ll admit it because I really didn’t think the Boston Celtics would clearly NOT show up on their own home floor. I mean DAMN! That’s the reaction that came out. It was over from start to finish. The Heat showed up…well at least the topic of this post did last night with 45 points and sent this series to the most ever popular words known to a man that’s into sports…GAME 7. Yeah it’s coming up Saturday night and that ticks me off because now I’m torn between two events to watch.

But back to the topic at hand.

If you can see the picture above, you can see that this is clearly a picture of Michael and Scottie…and the statements that were made about LeBron. Yeah it’s hilarious because of the silly things that Scottie said. If you remember, Scottie said that LeBron was better than Michael. Take it for what you will but…THAT DUDE WAS NUTS! But anyways…the purpose of this post is to dig in to: THE LEBRON FILES!!!

So I went to do some digging on LeBron and YES, I DISLIKE LEBRICK!! You want to know why? I’ll tell you. Many people have disagreed with this and that’s fine. Go back to the Summer of 2010 with this whole free agency frenzy and LeBron choosing that he was going to the Heat. That’s good. The not so good of making that choice was the whole TV deal from ESPN to do this decision. I said, “WHO IN THE HELL DO HE THINK HE IS?” This decision he was making on national TV would be for charity (I think it was downplayed to cover up himself), what I wanted to get across was…why? That wasn’t needed. Just say I’m going to the Heat and that would be that. I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST CHARITY! REMEMBER THAT PLEASE! But the NBA and ESPN decided to milk in the ratings and cash to get this 1-hour spectacle that was just 1 minute. You lose my respect for that kind of stupidity.  Sorry.

Moving on.

Consider the fact that this is only the 3rd Game 7 he’s ever played in and both times…he lost. Yes, I understand it was with Cleveland but the fact of the matter is…HE’S STILL BEEN THERE. This is his 1st as a member of the Heat and I really think history will repeat himself and he’ll go to 0-3. Even if the Heat get past the Celtic green. They won’t get past the Thunder even though it will really have the clear emphasis of “Must See TV.” With that said, LeBron having an outcome like he did on Thursday showcased that (in my opinion) he won’t have another “beast mode” game like that…at least not at the conclusion of this series. It’s funny because in that game he missed 4 free throws which is something you would think an athlete like him would work on. So the game plan for Boston should be to put him on the line at critical points during the game, mostly the 4th quarter, where he has disappeared numerous times in his playoff career, mostly during his time in Cleveland. I will never forget last year’s NBA Finals. He actually had to have Dwyane Wade literally go off on him and tell him that he needed to step up. THAT’S NOT A SUPERSTAR! That means you are a wingman. Why am I dwelling on the past because…you saw it, right? Time and time again, this guy has no clutch abilities. Even in his beast mode of a game, that was called domination not clutch as Mike Breen of ESPN referred it to. By the way, Mike Breen is a joke as well. It’s sad that I have to hear his voice for the Finals. Give me Kevin Harlan or Marv Albert than that clown. His commentary is worse than his play-by-play. That’s beside the point but the “King” (he really needs to check himself with that name) is a fraud. Here is the “world’s greatest athlete” and he has no clutch abilities to his name. Being passive in a game doesn’t really get you anywhere. To gain some respect you got to do some aggressive things. Not on a one-time showcase like Thursday night but consistently. Right now he’s #2 and shouldn’t have been the MVP of the league, that should have went to Durant (GUNSHOTS GONE OFF). I think the Heat would have been fine if James was not on the court. Just fine. Another thing, I have no idea what world Mr. Wade is living in. If it wasn’t for that the 3rd quarter spurt, one would think he was trying to throw the series. Must be that Gabrielle Union…I don’t know.

Oh yes…I don’t give two spits about what ESPN said about LeBron having more Finals appearances than Michael Jordan did at age 27. Understand THIS situation at hand, Michael didn’t jump in the league until he was 21, LeBron at 18. Ok you still want to believe in LeBron? Michael Jordan won a championship on his very first try. LeBron is 0-2 in the Finals, and Michael never lost a Finals. Chew on that. GOOD DAY!

THE A-TRAIN