Bulls are on a win streak!

In sports news this week, the Bulls won two games in a row, versus the Pelicans on Saturday and surprisingly, they beat the Grizzlies on Sunday.

It’s come to that – having to applaud two wins, and their latest record of 21-21. They’re at .500! Let’s celebrate.

And in more significant sports news, the UConn women won their 91st straight game. It’s almost inconceivable to think that it’s possible, let alone doable.

And to Cubs fans in Chicago and around the world, most significant was their ascent to become World Series Champions this year, celebrated by President Obama at the White House yesterday.

So the now Un-Stop-A-Bulls won two, and the UConn women won 91, and the Cubs won the World Series. All seemingly impossible accomplishments.

But it’s about more than win streaks and breaking curses and winning the flu game when it comes to the significance of sports. POTUS described it profoundly with his remarks during the Cubs’ celebration at the White House yesterday.

“And to being able to come together and work together in one spirit … ,” Obama said. “I was in my hometown of Chicago on Tuesday, and in my farewell address I said sometimes it’s not enough just to change laws. You’ve got to change hearts. And sports has a way sometimes of changing hearts in a way that politics or business doesn’t.

“Sometimes it’s just a matter of us being able to escape and relax from the difficulties of our day, but sometimes it also speaks to something better in us. And when you see this group of folks of different shades and different backgrounds, and coming from different communities and neighborhoods all across the country, and then playing as one team and playing the right way, and celebrating each other and being joyous in that, that tells us a little something about what America is and what America can be.”

That about sums it up, except to point out that it was critical to get this blog posted before one of the aforementioned win streaks ended. And it’s unlikely to be the win streak of a team coached by a guy name Geno.

Let’s get three, when the Bulls face the Dallas Mavericks tonight. After all, in sports, anything is possible.

See Red!

Go Bulls!

Beat the Mavs

Notes:

1.) Thanks to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune for the transcript of President Obama’s remarks.

2.) Check this out – UConn’s record win streak by the numbers

 

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Five glimmers of Bulls hope on this New Year’s Eve

Happy New Year Bulls fans! Always wanting to see the glass half full, here is Bulls Banter’s attempt to put a positive spin on what many may characterize as a disappointing end to 2016 for our Bulls. After all, 2017 is only hours away, and with the New Year, there is new opportunity.

Here are five glimmers of hope.

1.) Jimmy Butler. Gets the game-winning shot against the Brooklyn Nets the other night. Scores 40 in that game. He had a big old 20 points/game streak going for 12 games, which ended on that fateful Christmas Day game versus the Spurs. As in the Thibs days of old, he still does it all – even the laundry. Without Jimmy, the Bulls could be giving the Nets and the 76ers a run for their money for the worst record in the East. He’s been a revelation. It’s not by chance he continues to get better. The kid works. It will be great to see him in the All-Star game again!

2.) Fredberg (Fred Hoiberg) could be on the way out. ESPN’s Marc Stein caused a big media hub bub on Friday in his article, How Bulls’ Hoiberg ended up in the NBA’s hottest seat. Finally! What we’ve all be crying out for this past year and a half! No more Fredberg. Although subsequently, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported differently in his article, Expect Bulls management to stay the course with coach Fred Hoiberg. As K.C. points out, if the Bulls got rid of Fred, they’d lose millions – $19M or more. So, we best get used to seeing him around, even though watching paint dry is more exciting. A girl can at least dream of his departure, can’t she?

3.) Fredberg benched Rondo during the Pacers game. Yay! He made the right basketball decision. Herein is progress. So I have nothing against Rondo, except he sometimes doesn’t really score too many points (note: the end game in basketball is to score points, and the winning team scores more points than the losing team). And he seems to move a bit slowly. So Fredberg put in MCW (Michael Carter-Williams). The kid might not score 40 either, but he’s a good defender, and the Bulls seemed to really have some energy with him on the floor. So score one for Fredberg for mixing it up – even though we can all look forward to a Rondo tantrum at any moment.

4.) It’s almost a new year. Turn the page. On to 2017. Anything has to be better than the Bulls’ 2016.

5.) The Bulls have got everyone healthy. So that’s a bonus, and hopefully, at full strength, they can propel themselves up into the top 5 in the East. After all, there’s still a lot more basketball to play!

See Red!

Go Bulls!

Beat the Bucks.

Happy New Year everyone!

Un-watch-a-Bulls need to channel their inner Kristaps Porzingis

It’s been a rough few weeks for our Chicago Bulls, or as I like to call them as of late, the “Un-watch-a-Bulls.” The loss to Tom Thibodeau’s Timberwolves I’ll let slide. Deep down, I kind of wanted Thibs to get the W, after the way things ended between him and Bulls’ management.

But two losses to the Milwaukee Bucks, including one at the United Center, where the Bulls only scored 69 to the Bucks’ 95? What? Am I living in some alternate universe now? And you know the world is about to end when the New York Knicks are ahead of the Bulls in the Eastern Conference standings.

Since watching these awful games is not on my festive Christmas agenda, and leads to me acting more like Scrooge than Santa, I didn’t actually hear any of the UC fans booing, or season ticket holders screaming for refunds at Friday night’s Bucks game. I had to look away. Turn off the games – they’re impossible to watch.

But the booing was widely reported by all of the Chicago media.

Now you know how I feel about booing. There are really no exceptions, except for LeBron and those Cavs. So I suggest our Bulls figure out how to do exactly what Kristaps has done.

You remember during the NBA draft, he was booed by New York Knicks fans (classy), and of course, I think I might have cried. I was so upset. (Note: I’m the one who should be crying now given how Kristaps now dismantles the Bulls…another blog on that later).

But I gave the kid credit for the way he handled the NYC reaction immediately following the draft. And I suggest the Bulls do the same, and fast.

They need to turn the boos into cheers. Or the Bulls risk having the UC as empty as Soldier Field.

Here is what Kristaps had to say:

“I’m a young guy coming into the league, I don’t need motivation. I’m gonna be doing my thing and working as hard as I can,” Porzingis said. “But of course, I would love those booing fans who didn’t know me to (become) fans who know me and cheer for me. New York is a basketball city. The fans, they express the emotions, they boo you or they cheer for you, and I think that’s the best thing you can have. You have fans who really love the game and have passion for the game.”

In the spirit of Christmas, and like the New York fans have done for Kristaps, I hope to start cheering again – for our Bulls. It can all happen tomorrow night when the Bulls face the Pistons at the United Center.

See Red!

Go Bulls!

Beat the Pistons.

10 Reasons to Be Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving Bulls fans, and Bulls Banter readers!

We have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.

1.) Cubs win the world series. I still haven’t recovered, and neither has my heart. I am happy to say I was in CHI during this historic event. I was privileged to have been gifted a ticket to the first playoff game, when the Cubs beat the Giants 1-0 thanks to Javy Baez’s homer in the eighth. It seems I will be spending a lot of quality time at Wrigley field next season, along with many many others.

2.) I’m writing this from Tampa. When it turned from 70 degrees to 30 degrees in Chicago sometime in mid-September, I booked an emergency Thanksgiving trip to FL. Even though it’s cloudy, I’ll take the 70-something-degree weather. And I even found the basketball hoop this morning, and got up around 100 shots. #notreadyfortheNBA

3.) Bulls’ final road trip has been successful so far. With one game left to play (76ers tonight), their record stands at 3-2, with wins versus Portland, Utah and the Lakers, and losses to the Clippers and Nuggets. And none of the games were runaway losses like they were in years past. They actually competed. In fact, they coulda shoulda won both games, particularly the Denver one – where it came down to one three-pointer. But baby steps, right?

4.) The Bulls seem to like each other. Yes, there are stories of team-building exercises and fancy lunches in LA, trips to DWade’s house, a movie afternoon in Utah. In fact, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reported in his article, Bulls learning plenty about themselves during lengthy trip, “…the Bulls visited the Denver Escape Room, where groups of people are locked in a room and must use brainpower and teamwork to determine a way out before time runs out and they are released.”

5.) Jimmy Butler is on fire. He’s living up to his own hype. “Yeah, if I go at the game with the same mentality, like Dwyane (Wade) told me, every time you step on the floor, you gotta have the mentality that you’re the best player out there,” Butler said. “You gotta be out there to prove that point every single night, every single day in practice. That’s what I’m working to be. I want to be the first guy in the gym, the last game to leave, studying film and having a killer mentality.” [Reported in Vincent Goodwill’s article, Jimmy Butler’s battle cry: I’m the best [bleep] player in the world.]

6.) The Bulls are fun to watch. In fact, you could say – they’re WatchaBulls. I don’t have to look away as much, resort to cleaning up the kitchen, organize cabinets or get a head start on my taxes. They have my attention, they play hard, keep it close.

7.) The Bulls are going to make the playoffs. Prior to signing DWade, there really hadn’t been any hope. To say that his signing was a game-changer could be the understatement of the year.

8.) No major injuries so far. If Dougie McBuckets would stop getting concussed, it could prove beneficial for all, and mostly him.

9.) Taji Woo. I had written prior to the start of the season that I was worried about my favorite player, Taj getting lost in the shuffle. I am thrilled he’s where he should be – in the starting lineup, and leading the way with his “hard hat lunch pail” approach.

10.) Health, family, friends, work, money enough to travel once in a while, and the promise of an exciting Bulls season, with the realistic hope of Bulls basketball at least until May…maybe June.

See Red!

Go Bulls!

Beat the Sixers.

Things you don’t hear much in Chicago sports

Two things you don’t hear too often when it comes to sports in Chicago:

1.) The Bulls remain undefeated.

2.) The Cubs are in the World Series.

First, the Bulls. They’ve played two games, and won both of them! They beat the Celtics on Thursday (which I missed as one of my friends scheduled a get-together conflicting with the Bulls’ ever-important home opener). I do wonder why I keep some of these friends around.

The second game was last night (Saturday), when the Bulls handily defeated the Pacers, but there was another conflict…brought about by rarely heard fact #2.

Yes, the Cubs are in the World Series, and played last night, but looked more like the Bad News Bears than the future World Series Champions. With this most recent loss, the Cubs are now up against the wall, facing elimination. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is going to be more “Cubs Chat” than “Bulls Banter.”

The Cubs have only managed 1 win, and the Cleveland Indians have got 3. To win the World Series – you need 4 wins.

As we all know, there’s no crying in baseball. But I sure did feel like crying Friday night, and Saturday night…

Joe Maddon, the Cubs’ manager is fond of saying, “Don’t ever permit the pressure exceed the pleasure.” And during his post-game presser, speaking of today’s (Sunday’s) game – “We have to have a one-game winning streak.”

It sounds all well and good, and let’s hope these young Cubs can get the one-game streak going tonight. Then, it would be back to Joakim Noah’s favorite vacation spot, Cleveland for 1-2 more games.

No matter what happens, this fan, and Chicago, and Cubs followers of all ages are better for having witnessed the excitement, teamwork, attitude and spirit the Cubs have brought to the city this season. And importantly, we can all learn a lot from this wacky, smart, charismatic yet unorthodox Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

If we all employed a little more of his philosophies in baseball games and in life, we could potentially be more successful, and have lots of fun along the way.

For instance, “Do simple better.”

And, “In our world, for me, every day is Friday night.”

While many predicted the Cubs would win the World Series this year, that’s a lot to live up to for this group of mostly young 20-year olds, and in my view, they have far exceeded expectations already. Win or lose, the Cubs have captured our hearts and imaginations.

There’s still a lot more baseball to play. Joe Maddon talks about “moments.” In keeping with his philosophy to approach every game the same way, it’s no surprise that in speaking of game five, he said, “We just need that one moment.”

And it’s been reported that the video screens in the Cubs’ new clubhouse provided instructions on how to approach Sunday’s pivotal game 5:

SCHEDULE FOR SUNDAY

DRESS AT 5:30 p.m.

Game at 7:15 p.m.

They’ve got the “Do simple better” covered. Now it’s time for the one-game win streak.

Go Cubs! Beat the Indians! #FlytheW #WorldSeriesChamps

PS – See Red! Go Bulls! Remain undefeated

From likability to winnability

Your No. 1 Bulls fan has been remiss this summer. She has been so busy watching the Cubs dominate major league baseball, that she neglected to blog about the new-look Bulls.

But all of this Cubs-watching has given her something to talk about. And that is: likability.

I think part of the reason I started following the Bulls back in 2012 was because the guys were so likable. How you could help but love Luol Deng or Taj Gibson? Joakim has always been a fan favorite – when he’s playing on your team. (It’s not going to go well for me this year with him on the Knicks).

Derrick, pre-playoff ACL injury was actually likable.

The Bulls back then were the equivalent of today’s Cubs. Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, all-smiles Dexter Fowler, Grandpa Rossi, the wacky coach (Joe Maddon). They’re a team you can’t help but love.

But after too many years of disappointments, it’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy” for our Bulls. In acquiring players we all used to love to hate – Rajon Rondo, and DWade (former enemy No. 1 given his Heat championships and affiliation to “that other guy” (LeBron)) – the Bulls are evidently going to try to win.

Before they got DWade, let’s face it, the idea of watching the Bulls this season wasn’t even that interesting – even to their No. 1 fan.

But now, it seems as if people will tune in, if only to see how Fredberg (Coach Fred Hoiberg) can make this all work.

The talk here in CHI has focused a lot about leadership, or lack thereof. Derrick was a reluctant leader. Joakim – bombastic (to quote the Bulls’ unofficial official Bulls blogger). JB evidently caused a lot of dissension last year by anointing himself the leader – when evidently his actions didn’t back up his leadership position.

It’s a new chapter this year – with these savvy vets, who have done something, and won something – won NBA Championships.

“I expected him to come in and have great leadership qualities,” Hoiberg noted about Wade. “He’s gone above and beyond what any of us have expected. He’s just another smart basketball player. “*

“When you have guys who talk, especially at the defensive end, that organizes your defense,” said Hoiberg. “He and Rondo are great at that. Jimmy is great at that. Taj (Gibson) is a talker. Robin (Lopez) is a talker. Wade makes players better. That’s the sign of great players, when you can make the guys around you better.”*

Hopefully, we’re all open to sacrificing a few points on the likability scale if it means the Bulls return to their rightful place atop the Eastern Conference. If only those pesky Cavs, and Raps, and Celtics would just go away.

My only concern with the season, other than the fact that I can’t afford a Row B ticket behind the Bulls bench for the Bulls/Knicks game – is Taj. He’s the forgotten Bull. Yet is often reported that he’s one of the best teammates, and hardest workers – aka “hard hat, lunch pail.”

A September 30 Chicago Sun-Times article titled Taj Gibson ready for any role needed except finger pointer had an interesting quote about Taj from Fredberg:

“Taj has been great,’’ Hoiberg said. “He’s one of those guys that goes out and does everything that you ask of him. He’s in great spirits, he’s a positive force. Always trying to do what you tell him to do. And again, when you have a veteran guy that’s been around the league as long as he has, played a great role especially in his position, then he can teach guys like Bobby [Portis] and Cris [Felicio] and also Paul Zipser. They see your vets working hard, and Taj is one of the hardest workers on this team and he always does what’s asked of him.’’

Not wanting Taj to be the forgotten man, I sent him a tweet the other night. I’m sure receiving a tweet from the author of Bulls Banter, a fellow Brooklynite really lifted his spirits. (And so we begin Bulls Banter, 2016-2017 with the first in a series of sarcastic remarks which are meant to add levity to what sometimes can become a heart-wrenching season.)

For what it’s worth, here’s my tweet:

taj

Here’s hoping that Taj, and JB, and DWade and Rondo and Robin Lopez, and the many other players steal our hearts with their wins, although I wouldn’t mind liking them along the way.

See Red!

Go Bulls!

Beat the Bucks.

(*) – From Sam Smith’s blog, Bulls veterans taking the lead

IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING – BULLS 2016-2017 ROSTER

J.J. Avila

Jimmy Butler

Isaiah Canaan

Spencer Dinwiddie

Cristiano Felicio

Taj Gibson

Jerian Grant

Vince Hunter

Robin Lopez

Doug McDermott

Nikola Mirotic

Bobby Portis

Rajon Rondo

D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera

Tony Snell

Denzel Valentine

Dwyane Wade

Thomas Walkup

Paul Zipser

(Wait, they forgot Cinjo)

Winning Matters

I liked what Denzel Valentine, the Bulls’ newest addition had to say at his introductory press conference yesterday – “Winning matters.” It was also said of Valentine that he’ll “play dead.”

Contrast this attitude to that of DRose, who many Bulls fans are happy to see as the Knicks’ newest problem. DRose was beloved in Chicago, even through injury #1, and rehab. But when he refused to get on the court when he was cleared to play and most of his team was half dead, well, that’s when the DRose love turned into hate.

I’m a bit indifferent about DRose’s departure, but will say that I couldn’t have chosen a better team for his next chapter, and mine. Because I grew up watching the Knicks, and that’s how my basketball subject matter expertise began to develop at an early age (note: that’s a joke).

And if my all-time favorite Bulls player (other than Michael Jordan), Joakim Noah lands with the Knicks too, Bulls Banter could be re-purposed as “Bulls Banter and Knicks Notes.” We shall see.

In my final blog of the 2015-2016 season, I predicted “Gonna Be Some Changes Made.” It’s started, and it’s not done yet.

When it comes to Derrick, I contend that if only he didn’t live like the boy in the bubble, insulated from reality, and the everyday people like me — he wouldn’t have been shipped off to the Big Apple. If he had the ability (and heart) to convey the kinds of sentiments verbally, during press conferences and interviews – that he (or his writer) conveyed in his Good-Bye to Chicago, included in its entirety below, he would still be in Chicago.

The last straw was probably when DRose, unprompted started talking about his 2017 contract year, and how important it was for him to feel healthy enough to sit in business meetings down the road (versus getting on the court to play that day, that week, that year- to help his teammates win). And this is while fans can’t afford tickets to the game. And other people can’t even buy a cup of coffee or a roll. But those topics will have to be addressed in another blog.

The writing was likely already on the wall for this new chapter, for DRose, the Bulls and Bulls Banter (+Knicks Notes?). But starting to write the next chapter is easier said than done for all of us, I would guess.

See Red!

Go Bulls!

Summer League starts on July 8.

I’m Ready for New York – Chicago made me who I am. But it’s time for a new chapter

(From The Cycle, by Derrick Rose, Point Guard, New York Knicks)

My phone was ringing and ringing, but I had no idea. It was on silent. I was in the middle of an interview, cameras on me. I couldn’t make this up: I was talking about Chicago. The city, the basketball scene I came up in. How that city raised me, made me the man I am today.

A few minutes later I peeked at it and saw the notifications — missed calls, text messages, voicemails, all from my agent BJ. I called back and he told me: I was about to be traded to the New York Knicks.

“It might happen,” he said. That means it’s going to happen. He wanted me to be mentally prepared.

I had a feeling for a few weeks that a trade could be in the works. But I didn’t know for sure. There were rumors going around that I could be moved soon, and of course you hear that stuff and try to ignore it. That’s impossible. But I never let it really sink in.

The first thing I thought about was my son PJ. It’s hard enough to find time to see him during the season even when I’m in Chicago. Now I’ll be in New York, hours away. It’s a lot of miles. I know this is part of being an NBA player, though. We’ll find a way to make it work. I owe him that.

I’m so excited to move to New York City. I’ve never spent much time there—the most time I’ve been there is two or three days, and never really during the summer. Now it’ll be a solid seven months. Chicago’s a big city, but it’s kinda chill, not fast-paced like New York. Joakim Noah, who’s like a brother to me, is from Manhattan, and he’s told me a lot about it. I’m going to soak up as much knowledge about the city as I possibly can.

Chicago made me who I am. It’s tatted on my wrist. I was raised in my grandmother’s house on South Paulina Street in Englewood. Being drafted by the Bulls, becoming an All-Star and an MVP on the Bulls, helping the team make the playoffs — all of that was a dream come true. I’ll never forget it. I’ve carried Chicago with me everywhere I’ve gone, from around the country to all over the world. I always will.

I understand that this is a business and the Bulls have their plans, their own ideas with what direction they want to go with the team, but I’m gonna use this as motivation. I was with them for eight years and they let me go. There’s no hard feelings, no grudges. They’re trying to do what’s best for the team. I totally understand that. But I don’t think I would be wrong for using this as motivation.

After I hung up the phone with BJ, all sorts of emotions flowed through me. I was shocked. Anxious. I knew there was so much to handle right away, and it was all hitting me at once. Things I need to take care of — business, endorsements, where I’m going to live, who’s coming with me. I want to focus on nothing but basketball. I just want to let my game speak for itself. My voice will always be loudest on the court.

I’m 27 years old — there’s still so much ahead for me. I really believe this trade is a blessing. After all of the emotions passed through me, I started to realize how pumped I am for what comes next. I’m going to be playing alongside Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. This is an amazing opportunity. I can’t wait.

I’m ready for New York.

In a Season of Life Lessons, Gonna Be Some Changes Made

Today is the last day of April.

Right about now, I’m typically in the Outer Banks with the folks, enjoying the beauty that is OBX, my family’s company, a lot of good food and sun. And most importantly – watching some Bulls playoff basketball.

OBX was where I arrived a few days after DRose suffered his first major knee injury vs. the 76ers…and I think I cried when I found out he, and then Jo, and the season were done.

It’s also where I watched the Nate Robinson triple OT game for the ages…for three hours, on a tiny TV, and had a hard time leaving for Mom’s birthday dinner when the game wasn’t over. But it was her birthday. And we had a rez at her favorite restaurant, the Colington Cafe.

There was no trip to OBX this year. But the way the season ended was as painful as ever – just without the trauma of a DRose injury.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than two weeks since the Bulls were finally put out of their misery at the UC on April 13 vs. the lowly 76ers. I’m not sure who won. It didn’t matter for either team. It was like the season couldn’t conclude fast enough.

And the takeaways from this season are more about life and life lessons than I hoped to ever have to report. While I had a hard time watching any of the games at the end of the season, I did tune in to the GarPax end-of-season press conference following the aforementioned 76ers game.

Pax said the team lacked collective fight. While I’m not a big GarPax fan – Pax really nailed it. That’s certainly what characterized the teams from the Thibs era. They fought. They played together. They showed determination and will to win when they should have given up. That’s all I want to see from my Bulls.

Instead of victories and playoffs and exciting, exhilarating, inspiring games, and a season ending on a high note, all we have to show for it this time is a big old list of life lessons.

I’m almost 50, and sometimes, I don’t feel like learning the lessons all over again…but I guess we can’t always get what we want.

And here are those life lessons, courtesy of your 2015-2016 Chicago Bulls:

Don’t lie (as in Fredberg lying about it being Jo’s idea to come off the bench).

Let’s all get along and play nice (something the Bulls didn’t do at all this year).

Give it your best (after the All-Star break, it seemed to be more like everyone’s worst).

Be humble (as in – Jimmy Butler, you’re way too big for your britches. Have you forgotten – you’re from Tomball, Texas).

There is no I in team (Jimmy – this one’s for you too).

Be enthusiastic (once Joakim was out for the season, the Bulls ship was sunk. There was no enthusiasm whatsoever. And Jo was deflated himself after being relegated to a secondary role. And, the Bulls could have used a little more Nate Robinson and little less Pau Gasol).

There are going to be disappointments in life…it’s how you deal with them that matters. Ah yes, I’m still trying to convince myself of this one. I know it’s true. So me, you, Derrick, Jimmy, Dougie McBuckets, Jo, Fredberg, and all the rest of the team need to use our summer vacation to figure out how to make things better – at work, and at life.

It was hard to cheer for the Bulls this year. They didn’t seem to like one another, and playing together was more like a chore than a joy. We all know how I feel about the dismissal of Tom Thibodeau, and the effect that had on the team. But no one could have predicted how lifeless, unenthusiastic and heartless our Bulls were to become this year.

While this is far from an enthusiastic blog…Bulls Banter still lives and breathes her Bulls. While in Miami last weekend, a hotel staff member asked her to “step back” so he could get a better view of her red Nike basketball kicks. She also proudly wore her Bulls tank tops for morning walks (due to the high temps – no Bulls sweatshirt was required).

The cab drivers all heard my Bulls sob story, and in a strange turn of events, Bulls Banter is endorsing the Miami Heat for Conference Champs. Any team with Luol Deng gets my vote. Said cab drivers were oh so pleased to hear about my new-found (albeit temporary) Heat endorsement.

And now, it’s on to the 2016-2017 season, when the Bulls will re-group, and hopefully come back as the team we all used to love. I know the Bulls can win us over again.

To become the NBA champs, one thing for certain in clear, in the words of Bruce Hornsby:

Gonna be some changes made

Can’t keep on doing what I’ve been doing these days

Look in the mirror I see a clown’s face

Gotta take it off, gotta get myself straight

Gonna be some changes, some changes made

Can’t keep on doing what I’ve been doing these days

Better figure out something

Things are looking grave

Gonna be some changes, changes, changes made

See Red! Go Bulls! See you next season.

You’re breakin’ my heart Chicago Bulls, but I’ll always love you

Dear Chicago Bulls,

Today’s my birthday, and I was supposed to be at the UC in row B behind your bench to see you defeat the Atlanta Hawks.

When I saw the recent unraveling, my plans changed.

I knew I could no longer spend my birthday evening with you when you not only managed to lose twice in a home and home to the Knicks. (Yes, the Knicks, those Knicks, the lowly ones.) But then you managed to top it off with a loss to the Magic, who were playing with about five guys. That’s when I decided to save the $$$, buy myself a pair of Jimmy Choo sandals and watch the game from my couch.

The issues of this season have been analyzed, assessed, talked over, talked out and re-evaluated. And I likely am not saying anything anyone else hasn’t said.

It was the beginning of the end when GarPax fired Thibs, and the Bulls’ fate was sealed when Joakim’s leadership role was pulled out from under him like an old rug.

If you had told me the Bulls were at risk of MAKING the playoffs, I would have asked if you were from Mars.

If you had told me the Celtics AND the Hornets and even the Pacers would be ahead of the Bulls in the Eastern Conference, I would have no response.

The only challenge I would have foreseen was how avoid playing the Milwaukee Bucks again in round one. Well, they’re irrelevant this season, so something has worked in the Bulls’ favor.

Unfortunately, the Bulls find themselves in the same category.

While I cannot find it in my heart to forgive GarPax, I forgive you Bulls. You’re lost, mad disappointed, heartless, sad, injured, and lifeless all at the same time. And it pains me to no end. Despite all that, as stated in the headline — I’ll always love you.

But it would be just a magnificent birthday present if you found a way to beat those Atlanta Hawks tonight, on my 49th.

XOXOXO,

Your biggest fan, Cindy Joy “Cinjo” Olsen

See Red!

Go Bulls!

Beat the Hawks

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