I have received several angry emails from people who don’t particularly care for the “We’re Not Going To Tank’’ Bandwagon that I’ve organized as I encourage the Bulls to drive toward the draft lottery.
The emailers don’t seem smart enough to understand why the Bulls have to lose every game possible and miss the playoffs with Derrick Rose lost to yet another knee surgery. It should be as obvious as the point on top of their heads, but apparently that's not the case.
Take this part of an email from Michael Carr: “Name one NBA team that made it to the finals by tanking to lottery level. Do you have some inability to look things up? Look at the teams that made the finals in the last ten years: Heat, Spurs, Thunder, Mavs, Celtics, Lakers, Magic, Cavs, Pistons. Which one of these teams went Bobcats bad, scored a lottery pick and shot right back to the top?’’
In 1996-97, the Spurs went Bobcats bad when David Robinson went down and scored a lottery pick named Tim Duncan. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. He’s won four titles.
In 2002-03, the Heat went Bobcats bad and scored a lottery pick named Dwyane Wade. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. He’s won three titles.
The Thunder went lottery-ticket bad and landed Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the top four picks a couple seasons apart. They’ve played for a title that Rose’s Bulls never did and never will at this rate.
Wise up: The lottery is the place to start. Collecting lottery picks is the foundation for building a championship team.
Interestingly, the Bulls have four lottery picks on their active roster, but none among them -- Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah and Mike Dunleavy -- can get his own shot. I don’t know if that’s some kind of embarrassing lottery record, but it’s a big help in making sure the Bulls can’t win games on the last shot, which is a huge advantage if the goal is making the lottery, and that's the point of my bandwagon.
Again, it starts with lottery picks --- check that: smart lottery picks --- and they can be other teams’ lottery choices through free agency and trade, as well.
The Heat signed former No. 1 draft choice Shaquille O’Neal a couple seasons after drafting Wade. Worked out.
Three seasons ago, the Wade-led conspiracy landed free agents and former lottery picks LeBron James and Chris Bosh in Miami, and they are the two-time defending champs.
The Celtics got Paul Pierce in the lottery, acquired Kevin Garnett in trade and signed Ray Allen as a free agent. Hat trick. The Celtics won a title by using all three avenues available for talent acquisition, not all of which are available to the Bulls.
Garnett, you might know, landed in Boston because then-Timberwolves general manager Kevin McHale took a worse deal than the Bulls were offering, choosing to help former Celtics teammate and former Boston GM Danny Ainge.
I’ve heard basketball observers I respect say that that nobody would make a deal to help the Bulls, but I think that’s a load of hooey.
It’s not about another team refusing to help the Bulls. It’s about a GM trying to make help his team, and teams in the Western Conference know they need help to make the playoffs.
The West is a real conference. Those teams need real players. Real depth. It’s not like the East. In the East, the TNT studio show could make the playoffs.
So, Western Conference teams will see what Gar Forman has to offer and what he wants. That will be the first avenue the Bulls have to pursue with Deng, Noah, Taj Gibson and whoever else they can slap a tag on. Everything must go, or at least must be available.
I mean, who’s untouchable on this roster? If you come up with a name, you’re excused from class and requested never to attend again.
That includes Rose, too, because he’s going to take a lot more of the Bulls’ money than he’s going to be worth after two knee surgeries. But he won’t be going anywhere. Everyone else should, especially with an eye on making the lottery because the third avenue available to most competitive franchises apparently isn’t open for the Bulls.
Great free agents blow their noses on the Bulls.
Nobody great comes here. Carlos Boozer comes here. See what I mean? The Bulls get leftovers. Franchise-changing players change other franchises. Several conspire not to come here. Again, nobody knows why, or at least nobody is saying why, but history shows it’s the truth.
Until those smart guys in the Bulls offices figure it out, the team will suffer a competitive disadvantage. Which makes it more acute to succeed using the other two avenues. Which starts with the lottery. Which starts with losing as much as you can.
Beep, beep, hop aboard the Bulls’ “We’re Not Going To Tank’’ Bandwagon, where every loss is a win.Copyright © 2015, RedEye