By Benjy Lipsman in News on Mar 11, 2008 2:32PM
Chicagoist spent our Saturday night on the couch watching the Duke/North Carolina basketball game -- the best rivalry in college basketball, and on that night a match-up of two Top 5 teams battling for the ACC regular season title. Countless former players form both teams found their way into Cameron Indoor Arena at Duke to witness the game in person. Among those spotted in the crowd was Bulls guard Chris Duhon, a former Blue Devil.
After catching a late flight to meet up with the team in Detroit, Duhon overslept and missed a morning shoot-around, earning himself a fine. Yesterday, Duhon earned himself a second fine for the way he answered questions with the media by adding, "I haven't been playing a lot anyway."
It's true that Duhon's been the odd man out since Larry Hughes joined the team and Ben Gordon's been healthy. After starting for much of January and February, he's had six "DNP-Coach's Decisions" in the past couple weeks as Hughes, Gordon and Kirk Hinrich has gobbled up most of the minutes in the back court. But Duhon's transgressions are surprising nonetheless, as he's been a model citizen on and off the court during his tenure with the Bulls.
While the latest to act out recently, he's certainly not the first. Earlier last week, Tyrus Thomas ditched practice, earning him self a two-game suspension.
There had been some problems with the team's youngsters earlier in the season. But with the departure of NBA old-timers Ben Wallace, Joe Smith and Adrian Griffin at the trading deadline, things have gotten noticeably worse.
The Bulls entered this season with high expectations. A team full of hard-working young guys and a handful of steady veterans looked poised to compete for the Easter Conference title, if maybe not the NBA crown. Instead, the team has regressed as players have acted like children and looked out for themselves first. Coach Scott Skiles got canned on Christmas Eve, when the players stopped buying into his system. And since Jim Boylan took over the team, they've been acting like it's school and there's a substitute teacher in class.
John Paxson admits he's now in "
evaluation mode," as he tries to determine which pieces from this year's roster can be salvaged and which need to be scrapped. We foresee major roster changes before next year, as well as a new head coach. And Pax, could you maybe keep some of the vets around next time to keep the kids under control?
Photo from ChicagoBulls.com