The Chicago Bulls and many of their fans approach to the next NBA season reminds me of why cities like New York and Los Angeles are often considered by many to be greater cities than Chicago. I had the opportunity live in New York years ago coming from Chicago. I was struck by how much the living conditions in New York were tougher, it was much more expensive, and it was not as nice as Chicago aesthetically. However, ask almost any New Yorker about their city and without missing a beat they will tell you that it is the greatest on earth. Back in Chicago, a community with an equally impressive amount of assets, architecture, and a sports culture that rivals any in the world, they seem to accept a good degree of failure. There is a lot of complacency and complaining about the weather, traffic, and of course being unable to field competitive sports team.
The Chicago Bulls are in danger of adopting that second city moniker once again as they look to mitigate the impact of losing their star Point Guard Derrick Rose due to injury as they head into the 2012/2013 season. The current reported strategy is to try to move up in the draft by trading away some of their assets. The problem with this is that if true, it reeks of a team that has decided that they are going to give up on next year when they do not have to. There are very few players in the draft that can immediately impact a team, and it is doubtful that the Bulls would be able to trade that far up. So why do it. The Bulls appear to be hoping that that player will be able to impact the team positively – in the future. The Bulls have stock piled a draft pick, a European player and potentially now a player in this year’s draft. My question is WHY? At this rate when all is said and done, we could very likely see a New York Knicks Championship or another Lakers Championship before the Chicago Bulls make it back. And the reason is that once again those teams don’t settle for “good enough.” New York has already mortgaged a good team to field a team they feel is better…not spent their assets stockpiling “future” talent that could very easily be a bust. Los Angeles is almost always involved in blockbuster trades that have netted them Shaquille O’ Neal, Pau Gasol, and very nearly Chris Paul and I am sure they are far from done. Despite the doom and gloom naysayers the Bulls could put together a team that can win now. I have already outlined a strategy to do soon on this post and more recently on others…
…and I am sure there are other creative ways to improve the team immediately without having to wait for Nikola Mirotic to come riding to the rescue or hoping that the Charlotte pick is a high pick in a draft three years away. The Bulls need to be savvy not scared; courageous and not conservative. Like other large market franchises they could increase their chances of fielding a playoff bound team in this very next year…or risk continuing to be “second” best.