Airing of Grievances



– Frank Costanza

Happy Festivus everybody! If you’re unfamiliar with this lovely holiday, I’ll give you a quick rundown. Festivus is a Costanza family tradition that involves a couple of key ingredients: instead of a tree, you put up an aluminum pole. Every year you have to wrestle your dad and can’t stop until you’ve pinned him. Finally, there is the Airing of Grievances, a chance for everyone gathered around the Festivus dinner table to yell about what you don’t like about the other dinner guests.

Well seeing as today is Festivus I’ve decided that I’m going to air some of my grievances with the Bulls.

Derrick Rose

Don’t worry everyone, I’m not going to go all Dan Bernstein on you and say something crazy, but I do have some grievances to air with Derrick. After hurting his knee again, the Bulls wisely got ahead of the story and definitively said that Derrick would be out for the remainder of the season. The will-he-won’t-he game of a year ago did nothing but frustrate Bulls fans as well as the guys on the team who were battling through bumps and bruises of their own.  While I was obviously disappointed that this season would be another wasted one, I was glad that the Bulls at least were doing their part to squash a potential PR nightmare.

But in Rose’s first press conference after the injury on December 5, Rose had this to say: “I mean if I’m healthy and the situation is right, I’m going to be back playing.”

I understand that Derrick is a competitive guy and obviously wants to be on the court contributing to this team that so desperately needs him. I understand that after spending an entire season waiting to play that this second injury must seem too cruel for DRose. But leaving the door open, a door that the organization already tried to close, is one of the dumbest things he could have done. Constant speculation is the worst possible thing for Derrick and the Bulls. If anything, it simply demonstrates a lack of cohesion from the top of the organization on down. If the Bulls were a well run team, management would have made sure Derrick didn’t stick his foot in his mouth in front of hundreds of microphones and cameras.

Gar Forman

It must be pretty great being the GM of the Bulls when you basically don’t have to do anything. Seriously, when was the last time this team did ANYTHING remotely interesting in terms of personnel moves? (The answer is of course Carlos Boozer, and we all know how well that has gone)

When Derrick went down it should have immediately become apparent that the rest of this team was going nowhere. This roster, which has come together almost completely by luck*, was certainly good enough to compete with Miami and Indiana with a healthy DRose. But without him its a group of guys who at best will be slaughtered in the first round of the playoffs.

When Rose went down, Forman should have sprung into action to move Luol Deng. Deng, who is in the final year of his contract and who was unable to come to terms on an extension this offseason, definitely has value to other teams who fancy themselves contenders or who just want to make a push to get into the post season.

But no trade talks have been heard coming from Chicago, and I don’t think it’s because the team is leak free. Forman seems to be content with letting things play out. And while he’s been sitting on his hands, Deng has suffered an Achilles injury, severely depressing any value he might have.

My prediction for how the Deng situation plays out? The Bulls do nothing all season. Luol and the Bulls fail to come to terms in free agency. Deng will join another team and the Bulls will have nothing to show for it. Why do I think this? Former Bull Omer Asik was in a similar situation with the team, and the Bulls were unable to get anything in return for the valuable big man who Houston is allegedly trying to turn into a first round pick and a contributing piece.

* While a lot of contenders have come together thanks to a little luck, the Bulls are a special case. 25 teams passed on Taj Gibson in 2009. Eight teams passed on Joakim Noah, a player who might have gone #1 overall had he left Florida a year earlier. 29 teams passed on Jimmy Butler. And Derrick Rose is only on the team because David Stern rigged the lottery to get the hometown kid to a struggling franchise of the will of God.

Tom Thibodeau

JESUS CHRIST STOP PLAYING THESE GUYS SO MANY MINUTES. DJ Augustin, who may be significantly better than Marquis Teague, should never ever play 40+ minutes in an NBA game. I know Teague sucks but you can’t tell me that Augustin wouldn’t have benefited from a quick breather in the Bulls recent win against the Cavs.

And it’s not just the point guards who have wonky minute distributions. Deng, who has been nursing a calf/achilles injury, played 42 minutes against ORLANDO last week and hasn’t been back on the court since.

Thibs is without a doubt brilliant. His defensive scheme has been copied by countless teams across the league and his offensive play calling is spectacular. But until he learns how to effectively juggle an NBA rotation serious questions about his ability to lead a team will be asked.

Jerry Reinsdorf 

Jerry Reinsdorf is one of the most infuriating owners in the league. People say that he is no longer deserving of the “cheep” label as the current roster is above the tax threshold. The Bulls had never paid the tax before last year and are on pace to do it twice.

This is complete bullshit. You know an easy way the Bulls could have avoided paying the tax this year? Amnestying Carlos Boozer. Boozer and his massive contract have been so detrimental to the Bulls. Brought on to be the complementary star to DRose, Boozer has been nothing more than a lazy defender who lights it up in the first quarter but disappears down the stretch of close games.

But Jerry refuses to amnesty Boozer, a move that would basically force the owner of the White Sox to pay Boozer to play somewhere else. The move, which is expensive for the owner, would give the Bulls cap room flexibility to try again to find another scorer to pair with Derrick.

Chicago, if you are unaware, is the third biggest market in the NBA after New York and Los Angeles, cities that field TWO NBA teams. Explain to me why the Lakers, Knicks and Nets have no problem paying for talent while the Bulls live in perpetual fear of crossing the tax threshold?

Reggie Rose



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