Sunday's game was a farce from tip-off: we all suspected the Knicks wouldn't show up and they didn't. It didn't serve much as an evaluation of how well the Bulls are playing (well!), though it did provide an interesting national spotlight in the environment the two franchises are currently in. And naturally that then focused matters on the two stars on either side: Carmelo Anthony and Tom Thibodeau.
Melo has been pretty savvy and non-committal with his upcoming free agency, though the spectacular and public nature of his team's defeats may be getting to him. So why not run with the idea of Melo to Chicago (hat tip to a destoyed fanpost on that one) even on nothings like him stopping in the Bulls locker room or commenting on Chicago fan-made signs on Sunday.
And if you're in New York, forget that noise: if Melo is intrigued by a Thibodeau team so much, and they share an agency, instead keep talking Thibs to the Knicks...though 'it's a long shot'. While the Thibs-Forman feud has died down as a reason for Thibs to jump ship, there's always money. Even famous shit-stirrer Mitch Lawrence couldn't seem to come up with another reason as to why Thibs would try to force his way out of the remaining 3 years in his contract than the simple idea that James Dolan is willing to trump any offer for his services.
Either Melo to the Bulls or Thibs to the Knicks is possible, if nothing else because the NBA is crazy sometimes. But the most likely scenario is neither happens. Anthony may talk about 'taking less for a winner' but it's hard to see it happen, and though we can have a whole missive on the ways the Bulls can acquire Carmelo, the route that's a huge financial and team-building risk isn't the one the Bulls usually take.
And on the Thibodeau side, both he and John Paxson talked a great game last week in downplaying merely the chance Thibs leaves. As even the source to the NY Post article said, Thibs "loves Chicago, loves the players, and the players love him". Whether the feud with the front-office remains or not, it's no doubt assuaged a bit by the team playing well. And though it doesn't help any lottery dreams that the Bulls are merely 'above average' (egads!), cultivating a winning environment proves the worth of the coaching and the rest of the roster, which could have an impact in free agency. Just look at the alternative: if the Knicks were playing nearly as good, there'd be even less chance of Melo leaving. Or Thibodeau coming.