This is absolutely the easiest of these things I am probably going to write. Because there is only one thing you can say about this year’s Bulls squad: they absolutely deserve this, top to bottom, for basically any reason you can possibly imagine. One Hundred Percent.
Some teams are bad because the universe is extracting some unknowable karmic debt, slowly setting them up to eventually be paid off and successful once more. The Bulls’ karmic debt is not unknown. Everyone knows it and everyone knows that it is impossible to pay off and, if the universe has ANY inherent sense of balance, it will never, EVER be totally paid off. This team deserves to spend another year struggling as Hoiberg withers on the sideline. It deserves two months without Lauri. It deserves a year bathing in Jabari Parker’s tears.
In case you are not familiar with the reasons they deserve this, I will list them below.
MICHAEL JORDAN: The amount of winning the Bulls did in the nineties was obscene, and almost completely earned off the open and active suffering of everyone Michael Jordan came into contact with. Those squads just… TOOK and TOOK and TOOK so much, devoured everyone in their path, choked slow teams to death and muscled fast teams off the court like it was nothing, all while their star became the most famous man on the planet and netted himself more than a billion dollars in the process.
AND THEN, when it was all over, the Bulls had the GALL to continue operating as a team, acting like they’re ever going to be anything meaningful aside from the conduit for Michael Jordan’s glory, going so far as to ship out everyone else involved and adopt a… chilly relationship with His Airness. You simply cannot indulge like that and not pay the price.
THIBS: Those teams were a horror show, man, playing everyone maximum minutes and wrecking their careers in the process, all in service to a style of basketball that was basically stout defense punctured with Derrick Rose running at guys. After Rose went down, that also disappeared, and the team became even more hideous, bleeding out of their eyeballs just to get like… 45 wins. It was a nightmare of craving, like watching Thibs in his underpants, squeezing a rock to find water he could drink to live. Any organization that would let that happen should never win another game.
FRONT OFFICE: They’re terrible and they never change, because they rule at making JR money. John Paxton and Gar Foreman, year after year, just… messing up in ways small and large, and it never changes. Why? Who knows. Nature is dynamic, I suppose, but there are ways it is deeply obstinate. Maybe it is Jerry trying to speed up the karmic process by flogging himself with these two bumbleBoyz. Truly impossible to say.
So, anyway. Zach Lavine, baby! The living manifestation of the price you pay for employing a shooting guard who was, decisively, not Zach Lavine in any way. Bulls fans, take pleasure in the truth that this is the universe at work, night after night, seeking equilibrium at the expense of your weird, wildly mismanaged squad. It’s good, actually.