If you’re looking for a lengthy basketball podcast to help get you through the day at work, you’re in luck!
ESPN published their preview podcasts for all of the divisions in this upcoming NBA season, and as was a common theme over the summer, people project the Bulls to be bad. Really bad. Like, team-most-likely-to-implode-on-itself-this-season bad.
These aren’t just some schmucks saying this, either. Five of the most popular basketball names at ESPN all are in unanimous agreement that this Bulls team does not fit well together, is ill-equipped coaching-wise to make the most of its talent, and is being comically mismanaged into oblivion. Have you heard this take before?
“The pieces don’t seem to fit whatsoever. Everyone talks about the offense where now you’ve got—with Wade, Rondo, and Jimmy Butler—three guys, none of whom are great catch-and-shoot guys—Butler’s maybe okay in that role—but all of them want the ball in their hands, they play best with the ball in their hands. Wade can be valuable as a cutter but that’s probably going to wane as he gets older. The real thing to me is, you know, Butler has been good defensively when he’s locked in there. But this was a team that was not good defensively after Noah got hurt last year, and you bring in Rondo who is maybe the worst point guard defender in the league AND Wade who just was not putting forth almost any energy defensively at his age. And how is Fred Hoiberg going to get the most out of this group? It seems like the absolute worst coach for this team possible.”
“This is the conspiracy theorist in me: I feel like this is the push-Fred-under-the-bus free agency. I think they went out and got dudes who—especially when you talk about not only the basketball pieces not fitting, but how headstrong and kind of opinionated these guys are. There’s no chance they did this thinking about Fred and Fred’s best interests, right?”
“But is Gar Forman gonna recruit a guy, and be in the Iowa State Mafia, and have this guy on his purview for a decade and then all of the sudden turn around and throw him under the bus after two years?”
“Yes! If it means saving his job, yes!!!”
Ethan Sherwood Strauss:
“I feel like they’re trying to sabotage Jimmy Butler’s career. That’s what it feels like. It’s bad.”
“Gar Forman... at the end of free agency, he said ‘our number one goal is become younger and more athletic,’ and then to go and at the beginning of July and you get Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade, it’s just laughable to consider what their leadership is doing right now. Either they had a complete turn-of-face and determined that, ‘there’s two champions on the market and this would really help us,’ or more likely he didn’t believe what he was saying to begin with.”
You can listen to the entire podcast here, with the spicy Bulls takes starting at roughly 37 minutes in.
Also, I’m not normally a fan of Strauss, but he does this character at the very end of the podcast called “Radio Ethan” that is sure to have you doubled-over laughing. It starts at about 1:17:11 and includes him criticizing Wade for leaving Miami, praising Rondo as a triple-double machine, and ridiculing Andre Drummond for not shooting his freethrows granny-style a-la Rick Barry.