NBA Fate comes in two ways: you can get lucky in the draft, or you can fleece other teams. The Bulls have had NBA Fate smile upon them in both ways, multiple times. So you’d think, with cap space, incredible draft picks, the fortune of trading away Eddy Curry, and the opportunity to sensibly parlay their young players into a great mix of talent, they could have turned themselves into long term contenders with a sensible cap structure to boot.
Thats not the way things turned out. They drafted players who didn’t fit together, resigned players who hadn’t quite proven themselves, and then went out of their way to acquire players on the tail ends of their careers (thats Ben Wallace). Faced with a disastrous season, the team made a mediocre trade and failed to improve their team in the present or future.
So anyways, it seems pretty obvious by any standard of comparison that the Bulls have wasted a tremendous amount of good fortune. They had the potential to be an Eastern Conference contender for a long time to come, but have turned that potential into Larry Hughes and a lot of mismatched parts. Their coach ran out of goodwill and was fired, only to see his successor suffer nearly the same fate. And when granted the opportunity to sign the league’s most attractive coach (Mike D’Antoni) they somehow became gun shy and refused to pay a competitive salary to one of the game’s best minds. This in the face of the players’ overwhelming support for D’Antoni and the fact that the team can afford to splurge on a coach since it has sold out its tickets for numerous consecutive seasons. Its almost as if they’re trying to under-perform.
Its a bitter feeling then, as a closet fan of long suffering teams (like the Bobcats), to see a team that wasted so much good fortune find the 1st overall pick in this years draft fall into its lap. If only our teams could be so lucky.