Friday, July 31, 2009

Bulls Waive Linton Johnson and Demarcus Nelson...Odom Re-signs with Lakers!

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls finally decided to cut ties with Linton Johnson and Demarcus Nelson yesterday. Johnson was here on his 2nd stint as a Bulls player and after being signed to a 10 day contact, was kept for the remainder of last season. I don't think Demarcus Nelson even saw a minute of playing time last season. This now puts the 2009-10 Bulls roster at 13.

You can tell it's a pretty slow news day when I'm even mentioning something as pointless as that.

The somewhat notable NBA news of the day comes from LA. Lamar Odom is re-signing with the Lakers!

Why am I excited you ask? Because Pat Riley couldn't lure him to Miami therefore not improving his rather mediocre team. I think Riley is gonna have a hard time trying to bring in a high quality player to South Beach this year by the trade deadline. If he does land someone, it's gonna be Amare, Boozer or Bosh. This would be disastrous for the Bulls who are expected to make a push for Mr. Dwayne Wade next summer. So, lets keep our fingers crossed that Riley is tradeblocked (yep, new term i made up) from making any moves that are going to improve his squad and satisfy his star player.

ESPN NBA analyst, Ric Bucher tweeted last night that the Odom's supposed meeting with Riley and Wade never even happened. Who the hell is making this shit up and who's telling the truth?

The Lakers are my favorite team in the west so I'm glad they got their 6th man locked down for the next few years. I also can't wait to see how Ron Ron is gonna work out. I hope he beats up Celtics fans this year instead of white trash from Detroit. "Boston Brawl"....gotta nice ring to it right? I think so.

Also, Ricky Rubio is said to have a 50/50 chance of playing for the T-Wolves this season. I don't really particularly care for how he or his family have handled this whole debacle but I'd like to see him play this year. It'd be good for the league and for Minnesota who are building a decent club. However, I'd rather see Bill Laimbeer be the coach as opposed to Mark Jackson but if it gets Mark out of the broadcast booth, than so be it. I hate that guy. Why he was selected to call the NBA Finals is beyond me. I would have rather had Isiah Thomas back behind the desk.

That is all for this week, have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Hate This Time of Year

By Sean Mackey

By this time every summer, the draft, summer league play and free agency have ended and it leaves me very bored. The Bulls seem to be set with their 2009-10 lineup which has left just about everyone wanting more. This organization seems to pull this shit every year. We're teased all summer by trade rumors but nothing ever comes of it, then we draft 2 guys that we're all scratching our heads about. I love the Bulls but living in Northern, KY and liking a very average (at best) NBA team makes me want to start following another sport or team. Yeah, I like the Magic and the Lakers but unfortunately I'm an emotionally tied down Bulls fan.

I'm also gonna go out out and say this......I'm getting really tired of Twitter. Everyday, some analyst or 2 bit sports talk show host sends out a tweet that says the Bulls were/or are involved in trade talk. Of course, any rumor is denied by the organization and sources are never given leading us fans to ask who's telling the truth and who's pretending their Sam Smith.

Today's rumor came from a feed that I follow called "Sports Unplugged". The update said that the Bulls were in Vegas last week discussing a three way deal involving Tyrus Thomas, JR Smith and Carlos Boozer with the Nuggets and Jazz. I believe they might have talked about it but it probably wasn't a conversation that got very far. This is just an instance of someone saying something because there's nothing remotely going on in the NBA right now. When the biggest news is who Lamar Odom is gonna sign with or whether David Lee/Nate Robinson will re-sign with the Knicks, you know the offseason has cooled down.

Late next month or early September we'll finally get to see what the TV schedule looks like. I'm hoping that my cable company will start offering League Pass so I can watch the games on the big screen as opposed to my 22 inch computer monitor. I'm not complaining that I had to watch games on my computer last year through NBA League Pass Broadband though. Before that, all we got in Northern, KY was about 30 televised games a year spread out between WGN America, TNT and ESPN. Yuck!

I don't know about you, but I'm starving for some Bulls games. This offseason has already been too long.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Johnson and Gibson Make Their Pro Debuts....And They Actually Do Well!

By Sean Mackey

The 1st Bulls game of the Vegas Summer League was last night. The Bulls unfortunately fell to the Golden State Warriors 95-83 with Anthony Randolph lighting up the boys in red for 43 points and 3 blocks.

I caught most of the game on a p2p site. The stream wasn't the best but it beats paying $15 to watch a bunch of scrubs run up and down the court. The game time was also changed at the last minute from 6pm to 8pm which threw me off but I still had an opportunity to watch most of the contest.

The story of the night wasn't that the Bulls lost, but it was how well both of the two draft picks did. James Johnson came out to play and had 21 points and 8 rebounds. Taj Gibson also had a decent game with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Johnson showed excellent ball handling along with a few sweet moves down low. For being a big guy, I was suprised at how fast he is. The announcers who were joined by VDN were saying that they thought he could stand to lose about 10 lbs but the Bulls need a meaty guy. A lot of guys have made various comparisons but who he reminds me the most of is former Hornets star Larry Johnson. He's a big guy who's gonna be able to play 3 different positions. I can actually see this dude working his way into the starting lineup eventually if Tyrus doesn't have a good start to his season.

Taj hustled the entire game but had 9 fouls in the end. He's so ridiculously long that he barely had to jump to get rebounds. Once this guy can control his fouling, he's going to be very good defensively.

Regardless of the score at the end, I was pretty excited to see the two rooks perform so well. The Bulls take on Brandon Jennings and Jodie Meeks of the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at 6pm EST. Be sure to check the game out for free at

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bulls Summer League Starts Tonight in Vegas!

By Sean Mackey

The Bulls decided to buy out Mr. Tim Thomas' contract yesterday to make room to re-sign Pargo and L. Hunter. Lets hope that this will be the last stint with Chicago that Thomas ever has. Now lets get to the fun stuff....

The Chicago Bulls Summer League kicks off tonight against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. This is one of the only things us truly nerdy Bulls fans have to look forward to during the offseason.

I guess the league decided that they would cash in this year on the summer league games by charging $15 to stream the games live on your computer. In the past, the coverage for these games has been pretty crappy to say the least. I can remember in 2007, watching the games on my computer that had no commentating or score box on the screen. The camera would occasionally pan up at the scoreboard in the gym yet you wouldn't know which team was which since they were just marked home and visitor. During halftime they would just leave the camera pointed at the scoreboard. Last season they decided to add some announcers who weren't very good but at least they told you the score and distinguished players who made decent plays. Needless to say, these games were streamed free on the Orlando Magic's website.

This year the Bulls made the switch from Orlando to the Vegas and these games will not be filmed with public cable access cameras, instead these will look like real games with real announcers and a score box on the screen. I suppose their new setup is the reason for their $15 fee this year. Since I don't feel like shelling out the cash like I did for NBA League Pass this last season, I'm going to be heading over to the seedy but rather useful Below is a link to their site and all the summer league games so you won't have to waste your money to watch some bench guys and rookies play. You might have to search through the pages but their should be a link up just before 5pm when the Bulls play. Below you will also find the Bulls summer league roster and game schedule. Be sure to check out James Johnson and Taj Gibson tonight as they make their debut as Bulls players tonight at 5pm EST!


No. Player Pos Ht Wt DOB College/Country Exp.
2 Bryan Mullins G 6-2 190 01/13/87 Southern Illinois R
3 Josh Shipp G 6-5 215 02/14/86 UCLA 1
5 Anthony Roberson G 6-2 180 02/14/83 Florida 4
6 Chris Davis G 6-1 185 01/26/86 Southern R
11 Taurean Green G 6-0 185 11/28/85 Florida 3
14 Lorenzo Mata-Real C/F 6-8 230 02/27/86 UCLA R
16 James Johnson F 6-8 245 02/20/87 Wake Forest R
21 DeMarcus Nelson G 6-4 200 11/02/85 Duke 1
22 Taj Gibson F 6-9 225 06/24/85 USC R
25 Julius Hodge F/G 6-7 210 11/18/83 North Carolina State 4
32 Brandon Costner F 6-9 230 07/21/87 North Carolina State R
35 Tyrell Biggs F 6-8 235 08/07/86 Pittsburgh R
40 James Augustine F/C 6-10 240 02/27/84 Illinois 2
42 Nick Lewis F/C 6-11 240 04/20/83 San Diego R
44 AD Vassallo F/G 6-6 215 04/21/86 Virginia Tech R
50 Luke Zeller C 6-11 240 04/07/87 Notre Dame R
54 Linton Johnson III F 6-8 205 06/13/80 Tulane 6

HEAD COACH: Vinny Del Negro
ASSISTANT COACHES: Bernie Bickerstaff, Pete Myers, Mike Wilhelm, Nick Nurse (Iowa Energy)

Date Time Opponent Location

July 14 5:00 p.m. Golden State Cox Pavilion
July 15 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee Cox Pavilion
July 17 5:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thomas & Mack Center
July 18 3:00 p.m. New York Cox Pavilion
July 19 3:00 p.m. Minnesota Cox Pavilion


Friday, July 10, 2009

Boozer to Bulls? Not Likely.

By Sean Mackey

Well, here we are, one week into free agency and we've lost our best player and ridiculous trade rumors are swirling left and right.

So far, the Chicago Bulls summer is off to a very rough start. From drafting James Johnson & Taj Gibson to letting BG walk away to re-signing Pargo, this is quickly turning into a disaster of 2009. No one really knows what the intentions of the Bulls front office are at this point. We're all left scratching our heads wondering whether or not they're intentionally trying to piss off fans and players alike. If they are, Reinsdork and Gar Forehead are doing a fantastic job!

The Bulls are a 9th seed at best this season. Every team in the east is getting better except for us all while making JR look like the biggest cheapskate in the NBA.

Late yesterday, a report surfaced from a Utah radio station that the Jazz, Blazers and Bulls were discussing a 3 team deal that would send Carlos Boozer and Steve Blake to Chicago. The report was then confirmed by ESPN but later shot down via Yahoo Sports twitter that the Bulls hadn't had ONE conversation regarding the Boozer trade.

If ESPN is just running with rumors started by local FM radio stations, their credibility is really going down the toilet. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo has broke most of the big trade stories of the summer so far with ESPN scrambling to follow them up on their network's Sports Center program. It's getting pretty sad when the "world wide leader in sports" is being beat to the big stories and having rumors rightfully shot down on a daily basis by the more and more respected Wojnarowski. ESPN needs to get their shit together or pick up Wojnarowski so they'll stop looking idiots reporting on a story that was shot down an hour before by a more reliable source.

Boozer to the Bulls would be nice but only if Ben Gordon hadn't bailed for Detroit one day into free agency. It's the kind of move that would have made Chicago a contender but not having a main scoring option leaves us with a big hole at the 2 spot. I'm not sure trading Kirk Hinrich at this point would be the best thing to do since it would leave the team incredibly shallow at the 1 & 2 positions. Boozer would also want $12 million for an extension. This is something I doubt Reindorf would be okay with therefore making his time here useless other than giving fans false hope that we're building a contender.

From what I've read, the recent re-signing of Jannero Pargo puts the team just at or over the luxury tax meaning that some sort of money saving deal is imminent. Whether its trading Tyrus for a future pick so they don't have to offer an extension or packaging him and Kirk for an expiring contract. And for what? To pretend that the team has ANY chance at signing Chris Bosh or Dwayne Wade on July 1st 2010. I love how the only goals are to get one of those two superstars. So I ask this......what's the back up plan guys?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Open Letter to Joe Dumars, the Bulls Front Office & Ben Gordon

By Alex Derickson

I would like to start by saying that I'm glad this three summer long fiasco has come to a close. While I'm not happy with the result, this is not about how I feel, this is about what I've taken from all of this. This is about why I hate being a sports fan.

To Mr. Dumars:

Congratulations. You've exacted your revenge. The Bulls took a Ben from you and you took a Ben from us. The significance however is alarming. They took your best defender. Your anchor. However, they also stole from you an aging player on the decline of his career. They got the last good year our of Ben Wallace but at the same time overpaid for what would end up being a tumultuous tenure with the Chicago Bulls.

You have managed to lure away their best player coming off of his best season. With Ben Gordon you are getting an absolute monster on offense. A man who can score against anyone and is perhaps one of the best one-on-one players in the league. You are getting their best player since Michael. A favorite amongst the fans, the team, and the city of Chicago. I ask you this though, at what price?

Yes we've heard the report of the five year deal at around 11 million annually, but what does this do to the core of your team. A core you already began to dismantle earlier by trading away Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson. A trade that on paper, made you a force in the Eastern Conference, but it didn't pan out exactly as planned.

Only a few days ago you relieved Michael Curry of his coaching position, a move rumored to have been done to appease your veteran shooting guard, Richard Hamilton. Hamilton was said to have been upset about former coach Curry moving him to the bench to start Iverson, who as noted earlier, turned out to only be a rental for roughly half the season due to injury and the decision for him not to return this upcoming season. What does this say to Richard and where does this put Ben in your plans? Both players are scorers, neither of which are great on defense. Both do not like coming off the bench and have been public about it. You've replaced an undersized shooting guard with a me first attitude on offense and wants to start (Iverson) with an undersized shooting guard with a me first attitude on offense who wants to start (Gordon). This leaves Hamilton, one of the best at scoring without the ball and one of the best team players in the league, and who was probably pleased with the dismissal of Curry to wonder where he stands. Will the new coach put him on the bench? Is he getting traded?

The most logical explanation is running Ben at the point because of his size. As stated earlier though, Ben wants the ball in his hands, he wants to be the one taking the shots, not the one finding his teammates for scores. Plus, it's well known that you believe in Rodney Stuckey and his ability to run your offense, not to mention the emergence of Will Bynum during the playoffs. The rest of the summer will be interesting to see how you deal with the guard glut you have created for yourself and how the rest of the team gets situated for this season.

Finally, I want to thank you for rejuvenating the Bulls-Pistons rivalry that has lacked for the past two seasons. It may never reach the same heights as it was during the Bad Boys era, but the bar has certainly been raised from the past few years.

To the Bulls Front Office (Jerry Reinsdorf, Jon Paxson, Gar Forman) review what has transpired with the Ben Gordon contract situation..

2007 Offseason: Luol Deng and Ben Gordon are offered contract extensions. Both decline your offers.

2008 Offseason: Luol Deng aggrees to an extension of six years and 71 million dollars guaranteed. Ben Gordon is offered an extension which is initially declined and then accepted only to be told it was no longer available to him. He settles for the one year qualifying offer.

2008-2009 Season: Luol Deng suffers two major injuries, one being season ending. Ben Gordon leads the team in scoring for the fourth straight year, and has his best season since 2006 in which the team won 49 games.

2009 Offseason: Ben Gordon signs five year 55 million dollar deal with division rival Detroit Pistons on the first day of free agency.

Naturally, a lot of people are going to call you out. A lot of people are going to tell you about all the mistakes you made. A lot of people are going to want your jobs for this. I think you guys deserve some slack. Here is why:

You initially offered him an extension two years ago that he turned down. That season statistically he dropped in every category with the rest of the year that year.

You locked up Luol Deng to a long term deal the following year and then continually drug your feet with Gordon. Once you offered him a deal, he felt it wasn't enough money and turned it down. He eventually caved and agreed to your offer and you told him it was no longer available. Essentially, you low balled your best player and he caved and said he would take it only it was your turn to turn him away.

This was your biggest fault right here. Yes, everyone on the team had a terrible 2007-2008 season. At the same time, that gives you no reason to jerk around a player, your best player, they way you did. I understand your faith in Luol Deng, he posted a stat line of 18.8 points and 7 rebounds the previous year. I also understand that his poor follow up season could have been contributed to an injury that caused him to miss 13 games. At the same time though, Gordon also missed 10 games that year due to an injury. You had an opportunity to keep your entire core of players that you worked so long to build for the long term, stay under the dreaded luxury tax, AND add the number one pick in the draft on top of it. You made a huge, glaring, and downright unprofessional error gentleman.

As I said however you deserve some slack. You are human, you do make mistakes, and naturally some players do get overvalued. Teams generally will side with the small forward with a very reliable mid range game who can take it to the hole and also pile up rebounds in the process over the undersized guard who, yes, can score in bunches on whoever he wants whenever he wants but overall has a one dimensional offensive minded game. How were you to know that Deng was going to actually be injury prone? How were you to know that Gordon's low numbers the season prior would only be a fluke. How were you to know that Derrick Rose was going to blossom into the player he became and play so well alongside Gordon and not as well around Deng? This is all intangible, you can't foresee these occurrences.

Gar Forman made it clear when he was introduced as the new General Manager, that bringing back Gordon was the team's top priority. Even during the draft they didn't pick up any guards, or anyone to fill in a void that potentially would be left by Gordon on offense. It was almost as if they expected him to resign with the team, or at least let them get him an offer (I will address this in the next section). As I said earlier though, both parties had their chance to get a long term deal hammered out and both jerked the other around.

Unfortunately, Paxson and Forman work for the biggest penny pinching owner in the league. A man who is known to care more about the money than the legacy of the team in which he owns. Jerry Reinsdorf is a baseball man. He loves his White Sox, the other team he owns. The Bulls are his other team. He doesn't care if the Bulls win as long as they stay amongst the leagues most profitable teams. This has created problems in the past seeing as how all trades, contracts, really anything financially has to go through him before any deals get finalized. I don't blame Paxson. I don't blame Gar Forman. Jerry Reinsdorf is the culprit for being notoriously stingy when it comes to this team.

And finally to you, Mr Gordon:

For four years you've been the team's best player. For four years you have been their offensive spark. For four years you've been the cornerstone of this team, one of the major pieces that were going to lead this team back in the title hunt. You've said that you want to retire a Chicago Bulls. You've said that your dream is to play 15 years in Chicago, to win a few titles with the team. You've been involved in the community and you've given the fans reason to believe that behind you, that one day they'll be back in the finals.

At the same time, you've always said, "it's a business." Little did any of us know exactly how to take that statement. Sure there was always the idea that you would walk to another team this offseason, but at the same time you sounded like you wanted to stay which begs the question, why jet to another team the first day of free agency before they could even give you an offer? It just shows that you never intended to stay and almost as if this entire season was a mutual lie between you and the Bulls management.

You've reminded me that regardless of how you view a situation, that there are always two sides to it. A lot of times you don't hear the whole story and I'm sure that there are a lot of pieces to this situation that we don't know about. Operating under what we do know, what we've heard, and what we've seen, you never had the intention to stay with the team that you said you wanted to retire with. You cared more about the money and took the first deal given to you, even after you said that there was no secret agreement between you and Detroit about going there for a five year 55 million dollar deal which oddly enough, was exactly what you signed for on the first day you could.

You may have wanted to stay in seasons past, but this for you was all about the money. This was all about Ben Gordon.