Hello, we’re doing the Bulls Bracket again. I did this last year. I also did this in 2013 (all hail Cuppy Coffee) and in 2014 (all hail queen Filomena Tobias) in case you want to remember what’s it’s like to actually be happy as a Bulls fan. I would never recommend reading my old work, but those are fun to click through if you’re bored.
This Bulls season has been mostly sad, but there were also tiny morsels of joy buried deep within it. Let’s find them. Thanks to Jason, Steph, Highkin, and others for jogging my memory on some of this stuff. As always, put your own results in the comments.
Bulls Bracket 2019
No. 1 The Leadership Committee vs. No. 16 Mitch Trubisky’s bad take
And we could have had Mahomes. Damn.
Winner: The Leadership Committee
No. 8 “People forget Ben Wallace ...” vs. No. 9 “Prepare the children for the road”
I applaud Michael Reinsdorf for being more transparent with the media this year, but some of his spin jobs would make a Soul Cycle instructor blush. Case in point, this interview with the Tribune’s K.C. Johnson:
We signed a top free agent in Ben Wallace in 2006. A lot of people forget he was the No. 1 free agent that year.
Our guy Jim Boylen should really have his own region, but I’m not organized enough to do things that way. This is one of his most Jim Boylen-ass quotes all season:
Jim Boylen out here spitting philosophy: “My job is to prepare the child for the road, not the road for the child.”— Jay King (@ByJayKing) February 23, 2019
Winner: “Prepare the children for the road”
No. 5 Wendell Carter Jr. guarantees the playoffs vs. No. 12 Lauri Markkanen takes on climate change
Shout-out to Annie for getting this misplaced teenage optimism on camera:
Meanwhile, our Finnish prince is trying to save the world from climate change:
This basketball has been modeled after this year’s world heat map. The world is choking, but we shouldn’t. Now is the right time to start making responsible choices. Are you with me? #DontChoke pic.twitter.com/f3PjY161hc— Lauri Markkanen (@MarkkanenLauri) November 26, 2018
Winner: Lauri takes on climate change
No. 4 Boozer’s Zion tweet vs. No. 13 Trey Kerby’s “state champs” bit
We need an update, Trey!
I will consider the Bulls state champs if they have the most wins of any D1 or pro team in Illinois. Gonna be tough. SIU, Bradley and Northwestern currently lead with seven wins.— Taco Trey Kerby (@treykerby) December 10, 2018
Truly a tough draw for Plano’s finest. This Boozer tweet has the potential to go all the way:
Never forget that Zion National Park responded. The seventh championship parade is in Utah.
Winner: Boozer’s Zion tweet.
No. 6 “You’re no Popovich” vs. No. 11 Lauri’s Michael Scott impression
Boylen repeatedly referenced his days on the San Antonio Spurs staff and instances in which coach Gregg Popovich pulled all five players off the floor to send a message, sources said.
A player responded, sources said, telling Boylen in essence that they aren’t the Spurs and, more importantly, he isn’t Popovich.
Now that’s funny. Quoting “The Office” in 2019 ... I’m not sure.
Winner: “No Popovich”
No. 3 “Road Dog Mentality” vs. No. 14 LaVine offers to pay Boylen’s fine
Live every day of your life with a ROAD DOG MENTALITY:
“That’s my mentality, road-dog mentality,’’ Boylen said. “Run when we can, but we’re going to set up and make people guard us through the clock. That’s a Coach Pop [Gregg Popovich] thing and I believe in it.’’
Zach offering to pay Boylen’s fine after getting ejected against the Clippers was a nice gesture. Zach seems like a good dude.
Winner: Road Dog Mentality.
No. 7 Lauri’s rap song vs. No. 10 Lauri’s other rap song
This shit bangs:
This shit also bangs:
“Never had time for no arguments // Big ass shotgun, look like Lauri Markkanen”
Winner: The second one
No. 2 Boylen daps entire team after ejection vs. Joakim Noah’s gold beard
This is my favorite in-game Boylen moment of the year. So in character, so perfect:
Doc Rivers and Jim Boylen got ejected... at the same time pic.twitter.com/xxwUR3QWvM— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 16, 2019
Winner: Boylen daps.
No. 1 “Double Lose” vs. No. 16 A new Jimmy Butler meme.
The Mutiny provided so much good content, it could have been its own region. I’m still not over “double lose”:
Please remember, you can’t spell Bulls without two-Ls (that’s Stephen’s line). Sorry Jimmy.
No. 8 Replacing Big Macs with Portillo’s vs. No. 9 Stacey King singing Lionel Richie for Otto Porter Jr.
Portillo’s over McDonald’s is a huge update. But not as big as Otto Porter Jr. over Justin Holiday:
The resemblance is uncanny. I still like Stacey King.
Winner: Stacey sings.
No. 5 Windy City Bulls dog jerseys No. 12 Saint West rocks Bulls gear
The eternal question: dogs or babies?
Bring your furry friends to our annual Dog Night presented by @MuellerCPA on Friday, Dec. 14! Catch the Windy City Bulls in these paw-dropping uniforms. Jerseys will be auctioned off benefiting @AndersonAnimal.— Windy City Bulls (@windycitybulls) October 31, 2018
Purchase your tickets and Pooch Passes at https://t.co/g5FRLxIR3W! pic.twitter.com/UO2cXGhmk6
Saint West stole the show. pic.twitter.com/w6UGQPv2gq— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 23, 2018
No. 4 Cash Considerations trades vs. No. 13 Arch’s bench celebrations
The Bulls literally hit the limit on cash considerations this year. Thanks for giving my podcast free publicity, though.
The Bulls have turned the remaining salary owed on Michael Carter-Williams ($366K), Carmelo Anthony ($675K) and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot ($594K) into $5.2M. If you have an open roster spot and are heading to the lottery, the cash transaction game makes all the sense in the world.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 2, 2019
I like Arch’s bench celebrations, too.
Winner: Cash Considerations trades
No. 6 This play vs. No. 11 Jimmy’s corny IG posts
We have our Bulls highlight of the year: pic.twitter.com/ppJUmjvAr9— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) March 7, 2019
Tough to beat Mr. Autumn quoting a Batman villain to achieve peak FAKE DEEP, though.
Winner: Jimmy’s IG posts
No. 3 No tacos for Lakers fans vs. No. 14 Nick Friedell singing
The Bulls preventing Lakers fans from getting tacos is honestly amazing. Please click that link and watch how hard the Bulls went on that final possession. Road dog mentality all the way.
I’m still partial to Now That’s What I Call Music Vol. 137: Nick Friedell Sings The Hits.
Winner: Singing Nick
No. 7 Stacey’s telestrator vs. No. 10 “Finnish raking season”
Some sneaky dog didnt know that the drawing tool was on and that they were back from commercial... pic.twitter.com/BVV5LmWvUl— Eddie (@EddieBarstool) January 31, 2019
Winner: Stacey’s telestrator.
No. 2 Jabari’s defense quotes vs. No. 15 Chandler Hutchison’s “awesome soul”
“He’s all the things we talk about. He’s coachable. He’s teachable. And he’s becoming reliable,” Boylen said of Hutchison. “I love him in the lineup. He’s a young, developing guy. His heart’s here. His soul is awesome. It’s great.”
“They don’t pay players to play defense” remains an all-time quote. And hey: Jabari got $20 million, so he’s right. Good job, Gar.
“I just stick to my strengths. Look at everybody in the league. They don’t pay players to play defense. There’s only two people historically that play defense. I’m not going to say I won’t, but to say that’s a weakness is like saying that’s everybody’s weakness. Because I’ve scored 30 and 20 on a lot of guys that say they play defense.
Winner: Paying for defense.
No. 1 Boylen does pushups! vs. No. 16 RoLo celebrates Benny’s birthday
Cool hat, Robin Lopez. Now drop and give me 20:
Jim Boylen out here doing pushups with the team pic.twitter.com/ZVyLSwBl7s— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) December 19, 2018
Winner: Boylen pushups
No. 8 “Jacked and Juiced” vs. No. 9 Boylen yelling at shooters
‘‘I’m juiced, man. I’m jacked up about it.’’
I mostly find yelling at opposing shooters to be pathetic. Not a road dog mentality, IMO.
Jeff Green was wide open for 3. Before he shot, Boylen yelled out "JEFF!" so loud that the broadcast picked it up. Green missed. pic.twitter.com/o8nTZu5taC— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) March 21, 2019
Winner: Jacked and Juiced
No. 5 Rodman’s horse tweet vs. No. 12 This Wilmes tweet
Gar, if you’re reading, please RT:
I do love this Rodman horse tweet, as well:
Can. Someone. Photo. Shop. Me. On. A. Horse. Ha. Ha. pic.twitter.com/O1bXXL4Uic— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) March 21, 2019
No. 4 Robin Lopez celebrations vs. No. 13 Boylen drawing up a play down 27
You can’t make this stuff up:
Boylen just called a timeout with under 30 seconds left down by 27 so he could draw up a play. pic.twitter.com/z6R6tfmOMv— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) March 18, 2019
Robin Lopez is such a blessing. Never forget that.
Winner: Boylen drawing up plays down 27
No. 6 Portis flexes on Highkin vs. No. 11 Boylen’s five-man subs
This is the most likable Bobby Portis has ever been:
Winner: Portis flexing on Highkin
No. 3 Lauri’s TBT vs. No. 14 Portis punch redux
This was the day Jimmy Butler requested a trade:
Bobby Portis isn’t good at basketball. Never forget that Gar Forman and John Paxson offered him a $50 million extension. They are so lucky he didn’t take it.
Winner: Lauri’s TBT
No. 7 Kings mock the Bulls vs. No. 10 Blakeney dunk + Lauri face
This 10-seed is possibly extremely under-seeded:
Kings mocking the Bulls is so good, though.
Kings players walking back to the locker room have obviously been reading Chicago papers - "Uh-oh, another 2 1/2-hour practice for them tomorrow" one of them yelled.— Sun-Times Basketball (@suntimes_hoops) December 11, 2018
Winner: Blakeney dunk x Lauri face
No. 2 The Cam Payne Game vs. No. 15 Scottie’s Zion > LeBron take
Remember when Cam Payne hit seven threes against the Hornets? LOL.
Love this Scottie take, too.
Winner: The Cam Payne Game
No. 1 Bulls finally get Melo vs. No. 16 Don’t call them ‘GarPax’
OK, Michael Reinsdorf, just let me know which one signed Dwyane Wade and Jabari and I’ll stop.
Let’s talk about them individually because that’s another thing I don’t understand — why they’re referred to as “GarPax” when they have different job responsibilities.
Honestly, I totally forgot the Bulls traded for Carmelo Anthony this season until Stephen reminded me. Has the tank given us amnesia?
Carmelo Anthony is finally coming to the Bulls! pic.twitter.com/96i3wY39Iq— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) January 21, 2019
No. 8 Arch’s dive vs. No. 9 Portis’ TimberBulls tweet
This is the second most likable Bobby Portis has ever been:
Sources: Joakim Noah to the TimberBulls confirmed.. pic.twitter.com/JJGWbWhz5m— Bobby BP Portis (@BPortistime) September 10, 2018
Ryan Arcidiacono actually being good has been a pleasant surprise:
Winner: Portis TimberBulls
No. 5 Butler returns to Minnesota vs. No. 12 Cody’s Bucks poll
I remain pro-Jimmy Butler because he’s thoroughly entertaining. I’m also partial to this Cody Westerlund poll:
The #Bulls are up 63-45 at half on the Bucks. Do you think Chicago wins this game?— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) November 17, 2018
The Bulls lost.
Winner: Cody’s poll
No. 4 Khalil Mack’s Bulls uniform vs. No. 13 THAT HAWKS GAME
The four overtime victory over the Hawks is way underseeded. It’s easily the best Bulls game of the last two years, beating even the Bulls’ win over the Wolves last year. Anyway, it’s still not as dope as this:
He even got the Zenni patch!
Winner: Khalil Mack
No. 6 Joakim Noah helps a kid dunk vs. No. 10 Zach’s dogs
Oh damn, kids vs. dogs again. Zach’s dogs are some very good dogs:
But kids get the advantage this time because of Joakim Noah is the best:
Joakim Noah Is The Best, Pt. 4,850,181,255 pic.twitter.com/M5YR1bHIDA— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) March 21, 2019
No. 3 ‘What’s in the box?’ vs. No. 14. John Paxson’s radio “interrogations”
No. 7 Bobby subtweets Bulls vs. No. 10 Suns coach walks out
This is the third most likable Bobby Portis has ever been. I remain dead at how much opposing coaches hate Boylen, though.
Hilarious moment at the end of this one. Boylen called a timeout with 40 seconds left, Bulls up 14. Kokoskov intentionally fouled to blow up Boylen's ATO, then walked off the court before Boylen could do the customary coach wave goodbye pic.twitter.com/vAZWbbv14U— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) March 19, 2019
Winner: Suns coach walks out
No. 2 Wendell’s Jabari face vs. No. 15 Hutchison’s hairline
Hutchison’s hairline is perfect, but not as perfect as this:
Wendell Carter Jr after the head slap from Jabari after terrible alley oop pass from Jabari pic.twitter.com/7OWbrBpGGO— Ⓜ️arcusD ᴹᵃʳᶜᵘˢᴰ➟ᴹᵃʳᶜᵘˢᴰ² (@_MarcusD3_) November 8, 2018
Winner: Wendell’s Jabari face
My Final Four: The Boozer Zion tweet, “players don’t get paid for defense”, the GIF of Boylen doing pushups, and MELO.