They grow so fast…
If I showed you this photo right after it was taken and used my psychic powers to tell you that this group would amass a total of four rings, you would probably nod your head in acceptance and take a sip of your coffee.
If I then informed you that these four rings belonged to one person, you would probably instantly chop some of that coffee off my white shirt. While there’s no doubt that winning an NBA championship is one of the hardest things to do in professional sports, these are five players who are all Hall of Fame caliber and who seemed more than capable of winning a ring. at some point in their career. Mad.
- Do we think the Bulls would have made a final if Rose had stayed healthy? Yes, I know Bulls fans have debated this question more than anything for the past two decades, but for good reason, right? At just 23 years old, we saw him lead this franchise to the conference finals. As quick as the series may have been, the playoff deep run certainly felt like a “watch your back” performance for the rest of the East. Whether or not they were able to top the “Big 3” Heat is certainly debatable, but we’ve seen repeated regular season success against this group. And it’s not nothing. Like, who’s to say a year they didn’t finally pull off the shocking upset?
- Assuming no injury ever crept up on Rose, the Bulls might have had an even better chance when LeBron James left for Cleveland. The roster would have potentially struggled with the NBA’s 3-point era change, but a Jimmy Butler foundation and a healthy Rose — as clumsy as the adjustment would be at times — would have set the Bulls up for success also supported. Indeed, this is what continues to hurt the Rose saga so badly. Chicago may have been set up for years and years of contention (I say “could” because the old FO could ruin everything), but instead, they watched themselves become one of the worst teams in the league towards the end of the decade. Ugh. I’m sad.
- The NBA is a cutthroat business, and I think we tend to forget how quickly a career can crumble. Whether it’s due to injury or simply the league’s interest in finding the next best thing, so many players find themselves on the outside every summer. As Bobby Marks points out, there are 55 paying agents who — despite finishing last year on an NBA roster — still don’t have a new home. Tyler Cook and Tristan Thompson are two examples of the 2021-22 Bulls.
- Type “Coby White” into Bleacher Nation’s search bar, and you’ll see how high I was on him. Coming out of the draft, I was gaga over White’s goalscoring potential. He had a promising 3-point shot, a ridiculously fast transition game and a surprisingly solid frame to help him finish around the rim. Of course, all of that is still true, but to say that his inability to play basketball consistently and defend even from a distance adequately is the Bulls’ fault feels… well… wrong.
- On the contrary, White had plenty of opportunities to succeed in Chicago. Although I think it has been difficult for him to adapt to so many different roles, he has had more chances to show his value as a potential starting goalkeeper than a handful of young players. Even last season on a winning roster, White ate 27.5 minutes per game and did so in what should have been his most beneficial role yet. Although he was able to hit a career-high 38.5 percent on 3, he repeatedly struggled to play basketball at both ends of the court. Look, I’m still excited about what White can become in today’s NBA, especially as a go-to scorer off the bench and a catch-and-shoot threat. But let’s not pretend his NBA flaws so far haven’t partially fallen on his shoulders.
- Today’s big MLB news has Zach LaVine excited.
- Longtime staff member Shaun Hickombottom left the franchise for a new venture. You may not know anything about him, but NBC Sports Chicago tells you what made him such a valuable part of the organization:
- Candace Parker has new kicks soon.
- I think it’s undeniable: Candace Parker is one of Chicago’s coolest athletes. Not only is she considered a Hall of Famer for her sport, but she’s a bonafide superstar whose fame cuts across the professional sports landscape. She’s great in commercials. She’s great on TNT. She’s just awesome.
- A Bulls legend signs with the defending Eastern Conference champions.