I’m guessing that .2% of my faithful readers are interested in sports – so this post is a little self-indulgent. However, as a fair-weather fan of the Chicago Bulls, I was perplexed and embarrassed by their decision to hire former coach, Doug Collins, to right the ship in the Windy City. Collins, who has been out of the league for 6 years, coached the Bulls for 3 years in the late 1980s – a roster that couldn’t win under Dougie, but won 3 straight for Phil Jackson immediately after Collins got fired.
Last year, the Bulls grossly underachieved – finishing 33-49. Things were looking up when they appeared to be the front-runner for the Mike Dantoni sweepstakes, but he took the money and his revolutionary coaching style to the Knicks. Again, casual fans like me were excited when the Bulls won the NBA Draft Lottery, lucking into the #1 pick, despite having a 1.7% chance. However, now that we’ve landed ourselves a notoriously over-matched game coach AND a person who hasn’t coached a single game in over half a decade…33 wins might be something we’ll need to get used to.
The other thing that has me discouraged about this whole thing…John Paxson. As a scrawny white kid growing up in the Midwest, I had aspirations of playing pro basketball someday. By junior high, I knew I wouldn’t be the next MJ, Magic, Isaiah, or Drexler…but I had a shot at being the next Paxson. The beauty of JP’s game is that he made the smart play when it mattered. He couldn’t jump or beat anyone off the dribble, but he could find himself at the right place at the right time and nail open shots
My image of Pax is starting to erode with every bonehead move he makes as the Bulls’ general manager. Bad draft choices (Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah)…poor coaching hires (Scott Skiles, Collins TBD)…lame free agent signings (Ben Wallace)…perhaps Paxson should get back to what he’s best at and start signing over-achieving under-hyped spot-up shooters who come through in the clutch. At least it would have a familiar ring to it.