Bulls will need to act quickly as soon as free agency begins
By S.C. Zuba
Think back to 1998—more specifically, the Chicago Bulls of 1998.
Chicago legends like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen owned the city, and the NBA. The Bulls were good, fast and exciting. Basketball was relevant in Chicago.
During the Bulls’ dynasty of the 1990s, there were few Chicagoans who didn’t follow the Bulls, or at least have some idea about that legendary group of athletes. They were a special team, one that will not soon be forgotten.
In 2010, however, a different group of athletes calls the United Center home. These Bulls are young, inexperienced and looking for a leader (or a coach) who will aid in developing this young talent. Looking up and down the current roster, I don’t see anyone who can do that.
The Bulls do have Derrick Rose, the former No. 1 pick in the 2008 NBA draft, who has the potential to be a superstar—if, and only if, someone comes to this team to develop him. Every day Vinny Del Negro remains the coach of the Bulls is a wasted day in the development of Rose.
Coaching issues aside, the Bulls have a serious chance to turn this team around during the now infamous 2010 offseason. Del Negro will most likely be gone by then, and if the Bulls organization can sign one of the big-name free agents available, they will be well on their way to contending in the East.
The 2010 free-agent class is one of the greatest in recent memories with franchise-changing players like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudamire and Dirk Nowitzki.
Any one of these players would look great in a Bulls uniform.
There have been rumors that James is looking to leave Cleveland for a bigger market like New York or Chicago. Having a player like James on the Bulls would instantly change everything. He would help develop the young talent, lead the team, and undoubtedly put points on the scoreboard.
James to Chicago is a dream—but you never know.
A more likely candidate would be Wade. Wade, a Chicago native, has expressed his desire to return home, and having Wade and Rose in the backcourt would give the Bulls the most dominating backcourt in the league.
Although for now, Bulls fans are resigned to watching mediocre basketball and wait for change to occur.
This season is nearly halfway over, and the Bulls are going nowhere—and fast. If this organization has any desire to become a legitimate contender in the East, it needs to act quickly and aggressively as soon as free agency begins.
Share your thoughts with S.C. Zuba via e-mail at email@example.com.
From the Jan. 27-Feb. 2, 2010 issue
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