Bulls Dynasty Past and Future
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Dec 3, 2004 9:39PM
In case you have already given up on the Bulls this season following their 0-9 start (tied for worst in franchise history), don't look now but we may have another dynasty on our hands. The Bulls have won two of their last three games!
The Bulls finally got into the win column the night before Thanksgiving with a 101-99 win at Utah. Not only was the victory their first of the season, but also the first on their annual West Coast "circus trip" since Jordan played -- a span of 37 games.
The Bulls, after losing to Cleveland over the weekend, beat the (once) mighty L.A. Lakers at the United Center 92-84.
With 11 of their 15 December games played at the United Center, maybe the Bulls can climb back into respectablity. Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler are finally showing signs of life after getting yanked from the starting lineup last week. The four rookies are improving. Maybe they can turn things around here a little bit. Maybe.
For many Bulls fans, who've been with them through thin and thick and thin, it's hard to remain optimistic as the team enters their 3rd, or is it 4th, rebuilding phase since the days of Jordan, Jackson, Pippen and Rodman.
Chicago Tribune columnist and ESPN.com contributor Sam Smith has a lengthy article that details the Bulls dramatic fall from dynasty to dumpster.
Smith, on who's always seemed to have something against Jordan, seems to place much of the blame on Jordan! He said Jordan was burned out from dealing with Rodman and Pippen, and that's what sent him into retirement. That started the dominoes falling, as Jackson, Rodman, and Pippen departed. Never mind that Phil Jackson wanted to move on even before that last season and had to be talked into staying by the players. Never mind that Rodman wasn't on the team during the first title runs. Never mind that Pip's flakiness had frustrated the team and led to a number of possible trades through the years.
While former GM Jerry Krause denied that he was trying to prove that organizations win champtionships, not players or coaches, he nonetheless had just that opportunity in the following seasons. But because of one wrong turn after another -- fucking up free agency, bad coaching decisions, poor drafts, bad trades -- the team remained horrible and ultimately, Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf sent Krause packing, replacing him with former Bulls point guard John Paxon. Will Pax be able to fix the mess as he remolds the team to reflect his vision? Time will tell...
While the Bulls have failed miserably on the court, they've been very successful financially. Despite having the worst record in the league over the past six seasons, they also lead the league in attendance during that time. In addition, because they had the've had the second lowest payroll over that time, they've been one of the most profitable franchises in the sport. No wonder they were able to buy out Jay Williams, Pippen and E-Rob's contracts in recent months. Chicagoist wonders whether the Bulls will ultimately return to glory once they've dumped all the dead weight and their new youngsters have matured a little. Or have then Bulls been sneaking a peek at another Chicago sports franchise's business plan?