I’ll give John Paxson this: at least he’s making himself available to the fans, this time through broadcast partner 670 The Score on the Mully and Haugh show this morning. In prior years he’d hide until December 24th, giving 20 minutes to David Schuster that nobody would hear.
Though he didn’t have too much to say, but some bits were interesting:
- For those playing GarPax bingo, he did consistently say how ‘difficult’ his job is but did not say ‘I’m not here to make excuses’. He did bring up Derrick Rose’s knee, and it only took like a minute into the interview, though it was in the context of Zach LaVine’s own injury rehab and not their own rotten luck.
- Jabari Parker is fat.
- Offered up proclamation on Bobby Portis “being probably a Sixth Man (of the Year) candidate”, which reminded me of Michael Porter Jr. supplying his own pre-draft hype.
- The team is “not going to waive somebody to add somebody” when it comes to filling in for injury. Now, for one thing, they might be able to add an additional, albeit temporary, roster spot. But I fear the Bulls have not seen enough of the likes of Payne and Arrivederci, the latter being someone Paxson says “isn’t getting talked about” so we know that Gar’s Grit Study is still laminated on their desks.
Then near the end there was a brief discussion of ‘tanking’, something (extremely unfortunately) more prevalent again in the wake of these injuries. I’m not sure what actual tanking actions could be taken, the young options are all playing and the veterans are too bad to influence victories too much. There was a question regarding holding out the injured players longer than if you the team was in a playoff chase, and Paxson said they would keep them out cautiously regardless due to their long-term investment in those players.
One strange part was when asked about his own media day comments about ‘not going through last year again’, Paxson is still very noncommittal on what the point of this season even is. Though that stance is actually more understandable in the short-term given the injuries. But then Paxson says “this year, right now, is so much different than where we were last year”...
...and it may be different, but I guess he is implying that they were still going into this season trying to win more games versus last? Because it was LAST year, when though having an awful start, where they were getting veteran guys back that would actually help winning (Niko). And this year actually looks more like a ‘tanking’ roster with a younger roster, the backup PG situation, and experiments like Tubbs Parker as a small forward.
Maybe it was just another indication that Paxson’s intent was to be more competitive, they just are accidentally doing the opposite due to poor talent evaluation. The result will likely be the same, at least for 4-6 weeks.