I know Sam Smith's most recent column may be used as fodder by some to point that even the venerable sweater vested-one thinks Hinrich's got to go. I wanted to jump the pass on that one to point out that Sam seemed to just be throwing shit against the wall. About the only thing I'd take seriously from Sam's column is when he indiscreetly wrote, "I told you so."I think back to October, after the Bulls' last exhibition game when all seemed so positive. Though I'd been equally optimistic and assured everyone the Bulls were on the upswing, I had my doubts and wrote about the team seeming joyless, bothered by some unseen, heavy burden.
After basking in the glory of being right, Sam offers what he thinks the Bulls should do. First he mentions the idea of the Grizzlies drafting Derrick Rose and, subsequently, making Mike Conley available. I doubt he really believes this. I'm not going to go into if Rose and Conley could share the backcourt because I just don't know anything about Rose. Wake me up the day after the Lottery drawing and maybe I'll bother to find out. If one of us had e-mailed Sam this idea, he would have shot it down and belittled the sender. Memphis has plenty of young PG's and aren't going to draft a guy who played for the local U to appease the fans who still won't show up anyways.
Sam's next stop is at the idea of acquiring Gilbert Arenas. He mentions packaging the likes of Hinrich, Gooden, and Thomas to get Arenas and then proceeds to trash Arenas for his refusal to play D. He at least mentions that Hughes had his best seasons playing next to Arenas. If he were actually the Bulls GM, I seriously doubt that he would pursue this avenue. I think he realizes that Paxson would not go after a player who's well outside the "shut up and play" mold he'd prefer. Coming off such a dysfunctional season, I have an even more difficult time seeing Paxson go down this road. Which is a shame, because Arenas would be a nice upgrade in the backcourt.
After reading this column, all I could picture was Sam being begged by his editor to leave the readers with something about the future of the Bulls. Sam then followed up with a half assed attempt at doing so. Which is truly ironic when you take into account Sam's dismissal of tanking.But the game transcends any individual or team benefit, and you never should embarrass it by failing to give your best. Play it out and get what you deserve.
I'll finish with my favorite line in the column. This is truly Sam at his cynical best and I wish I'd stopped reading after this. I'll miss Sam at the Trib. It won't be the same without him.I could answer, "Nothing," because they're in the grip of a thrilling playoff race with Friday's do-or-die game against the Atlanta No-Screeners. In this we-want-to-pretend-like-there's-still-a-season-going-on race so you'll read the newspaper, Friday probably ranks as the must-not-lose-yet-again game, with the Hawks eighth in the East and three games ahead.