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And here I thought we were past the past

A Bulls tidbit was buried in Barry Rozner's column today:

Toni Kukoc is telling friends he plans to play another year, and that his choice is between the Bulls and Milwaukee, with a strong leaning toward returning to his first NBA team.

The unrestricted free agent probably doesn't have a lot to offer any team physically at 38 (Sept. 18). But he might be able to give the Bulls some key minutes here or there, especially in the postseason, and as a mentor perhaps he can impart some wisdom from his three-peat days under Michael Jordan.

Kukoc is one of the last links to a great time in Bulls history, a time Paxson was part of as player, coach and broadcaster, and the kind of time Paxson hopes Bulls fans will experience again very soon.


I hope the organization is over this kind of thing, after seeing how the Scottie Pippen retirement tour turned out. Or if that didn't bring back enough bad memories, how about the return of Charles Oakley?

Bringing back a player from the dynasty days does absolutely nothing for this team. And it should do nothing for the fans either (I guess including melodramatic columnists is too much to ask). Do you want a link to the glory days? John Paxson is the GM! If that's not enough, you can see Stacy King on the TV pre/post game shows, or Bill Wennington doing color on the radio. Or Pippen at courtside, or Jordan occasionally appearing in a luxury suite...or how about just looking at the banners when the spotlight shines on them during the player intros?

This team needs no identity link to the past. It already has an identity, thanks to Pax, Scott Skiles, and a great group of players who share his attitude and work ethic. If they think Kukoc can contribute, fine (I would think the likelihood that he couldn't practice much would be a dealbreaker), but there is no need to sign him just to pander to those in the city who haven't moved on.

For a link to a great time in Bulls history, win an NBA title. That's the only type of connection to the past Bulls fans should be worried about.