We’ve seen teams in the NBA opt to blow things up and to take the route of the rebuild before. Tanking is all the rage now, as teams truly have no business coasting around 40 wins to just sit in NBA purgatory forever. We’ve seen many efforts to plummet down the standings, but no team has ever spiraled out of control like the Chicago Bulls. This team was once one of the best in the league just five years ago with Derrick Rose at the helm and a bright future. Now, they’ve somehow become the biggest laughing stock in the NBA, and are looking like one of the most toxic franchises both on and off the court.
Heading into this season, we all knew it was going to be a nightmare for the Chicago Bulls. Frankly, this nightmare has been long overdue considering some of the moves this front office made. Gar Foreman and John Paxton have made horrific move after horrific move, starting from when they were trying to get “younger and more athletic” right before they signed Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo who are neither of those things, all the way up to the legal robbery that was the Jimmy Butler trade. We all knew it was going to be bad, but after looking at this lineup, it’s a whole new level of trash.
Lineup note: Bulls will start Grant, Holiday, Zipser, Markkanen, Lopez on Saturday.
— FantasyLabs NBA (@FantasyLabsNBA) October 20, 2017
It’s one thing to try to be bad like Chicago is doing. Shipping off Jimmy Butler for some mediocre young talent is one thing. Seeing how everything has panned out just makes you want to physically try to keep your lunch in your stomach.
As of now, the Bulls are lighting the league on fire, just like we thought they would. They’re currently last in points scored through two games with a stunningly low average of 88 points per night. Last season, UCLA and The Citadel averaged more points than that as a team, and they are college basketball teams that play fewer minutes and aren’t paid millions of dollars. They’re 28th in point differential, are 28th in turnovers, and have the worst field goal percentage in the league. That’s pretty much what happens when Robin Lopez is your go-to scorer at the moment.
In career game No. 630, Robin Lopez makes his first career 3-pointer!
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) October 22, 2017
Just look at that starting lineup above. Is there anybody on that list that actually excites you? It’s like the island of misfit toys has been relocated to the United Center.
What makes this team different than the rest of the awful and atrocious teams we’ve seen in the past is the reason why the starting lineup is the way it is. As mentioned above, the two men that have been the ones holding the lighter and igniting the garbage to create this fire has been the monster known as GarPax.
They’ve dealt rising talent like Doug McDermott, have swung and missed on returning talent like Cameron Payne, and have even whiffed trying to replace Jimmy Butler by trading for Kris Dunn and his whopping 3.8 points per game. Even former first-round picks like Denzel Valentine has just looked flat-out horrible to start their career. The roster not only isn’t built to win now, but it’s not built to win at all.
There has been nothing but bad deal after bad deal, but you have to at least think there’s an outline of a plan in place for some of these incoming players. Dunn, Payne and Zach Lavine are all young and can hopefully contribute in the future, just like Jordan Bell. The only problem is, the Bulls gave one of the most underrated players in the entire draft away to the defending champions for a bag of money.
Now, he’s out in Golden State making the Bulls look even dumber than they did before.
JORDAN BELL JUST DID SO MANY AMAZING THINGS ON THIS PLAY AND I WANT TO SEE MORE OF THIS STUFF pic.twitter.com/pzkCq4EcBu
— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) October 24, 2017
That’s a 22-year-old coming out of college that can defend multiple positions, and has the athletic ability to make plays like that. Instead, the Bulls have front office equity to use.
Front Office Equity did something similar tonight for the Bulls, I heard. https://t.co/tv3LOj4zjv
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) October 24, 2017
It’s like everything they touch ignites into flames and turns into dust immediately.
Even with a front office unit such as GarPax, you can’t completely blame them for the way things are going down with this team. That takes a special kind of event, like the fight between Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic prior to the season.
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) October 18, 2017
Some teams tank by dismantling their roster and all the talent that was on it. Others go the extra mile by benching certain players for periods of time in order to ensure a few more losses. Then, there are players who are even committed to the rebuild, and who drop their teammates like a bad habit in order to get them out of the lineup.
That’s right folks. Lauri Markkanen normally wouldn’t be in the starting lineup, but after an altercation between the two teammates, Portis gave Mirotic a quick introduction to his right hook that landed him in the hospital with a broken jaw. As if people didn’t know before, they now know not to test a guy that has the nickname “Crazy Eyes.”
How anyone who has ever looked into Bobby Portis’ eyes decided that’s the guy to try, I have no idea. https://t.co/jLXWU1a13V
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) October 17, 2017
This incident could not be a better way to describe the Bulls’ tank job. Losing may make you feel bad, but it’s not “lay on the ground because I just caught the five-knuckle shuffle from a teammate” bad. Now, Chicago not only has to deal with an eight-game suspension for Portis and an extended absence from Mirotic, but they have to deal with their starting power forward alienating himself from his teammates.
— UPROXX Sports (@UPROXXSports) October 22, 2017
This is what separates the Bulls from the rest of the teams tanking. Sure, the Hawks may have a horrible roster, the Nets may already be dealing with a key injury and the Knicks are the poster child for this kind of toxic situation, but it’s been Chicago who has completely taken the tank to new heights, or new lows. It’s not enough to just lose games and make your team unwatchable. You have to want to completely avoid hearing, seeing, or even smelling the stank of this team from miles away.
From California to New York and everywhere in between, there’s no plug that can stop the smell of this Bulls team from sneaking into your nose. So, for the next five months and 80 games, try to get used to the putrid stench that is spewing out of Chicago.