It’s draft week, and so Paul Zipser news may not be what you’re looking for. Then again, the drafting of Zipser in the second round two years ago simultaneously gave the Bulls a positive data point for their late-drafting and international scouting...yet also somehow proved in their mind that second rounders are useless so might as well sell them for cash?
This Zipser interview comes from Rhein Neckar newspaper, and though by way of Fansided’s Bulls site I didn’t want to trust their auto-translation. Instead I crowdsourced (free labor) and found Felix Benkenstein (@F_Benk), a basketball fan fluent in both languages, or at least it looks that way on his profile! So blame him if this is actually an interview about Zipsers’s integrated branding for a home cleaning product or something.
Zipser first spoke to his foot injury that cost him the final stretch of the season:
The nature of the injury wasn’t really clear. If your foot hurts, you simply can’t play as hard as normally. You don’t want to suffer a serious injury and be out for some time. It was difficult to focus on the game - I didn’t manage that very well. But the injury must not be an excuse.
Right after the season I wanted to slow down a bit, go on vacation and then starting working out slowly. That’s when I felt that my foot hurt a bit more than I expected. And it didn’t get any better. After the stress fracture was diagnosed we decided to go ahead with the surgery....Surgery was successful. Recovery is even better than the doctors anticipated. I even was able start working out and do some lighter exercises.
And more interestingly, described what life was like with a tanking team under a tanking coach, a season he said he never wants to experience again:
At the start of the season, things weren’t communicated to the players very well. Later came the announcement that the rotations would be changed but it wasn’t the fault of the players. That finally destroyed the morale of the players. But even before you could notice that some decisions didn’t make any sense with regards to having a successful season. The conversations with the coach were always very honest, I really appreciate him.
And the kicker:
I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t pick up my option. [And if they do] I’m pretty sure that I won’t be playing in Chicago in the near future.
Zipser went on to say he likes the NBA style and wants to remain in the league, feeling that his rookie year proved he belonged. But he also wouldn’t rule out playing in Europe next season. Zipser’s guarantee date for a ~$1.5M non-guaranteed salary next season is on 7/18.
Despite showing some signs as a rookie, Zipser has produced pretty woefully overall, and for a team overall lacking in quality talent the Bulls do have a lot of guys taking roster spots. So Zipser may have been out due to a numbers game even before taking into context how he feels about the team’s direction. Plus it’s a bad sign he’s injured and in Germany...that’s, by definition, not ‘in our building’ which is extremely important for the executives-for-life.
And, sure, nobody weeps for Paul Zipser’s competitive spirit, and a top-3 pick would’ve made up for any bad feelings generated by
intentionally losing getting a look at our younger guys. But it does go to show yet again that last season was a total waste to the point of detriment.