9:18 AM CST, January 9, 2012
The Bulls are about to start a back-to-back-to-back stretch of games. Thank you, Mr. Lockout.
This week’s Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday special is the centerpiece of seven games in nine days. Thanks again, Mr. Lockout.
What makes this even dumber is that the players gave up a ton of money to be forced to endure this ridiculousness, and the NBA owners still didn’t get what they wanted. You’re an idiot, Mr. Lockout.
And speaking of thanking idiots, please stand up, Richard Hamilton.
No, wait, don’t. You might get hurt again.
Hamilton suffered a groin injury about five minutes after joining the Bulls. That was understandable, if not expected from a guy in his 30s and no training camp.
Hamilton claimed he was ready to come back. He was lying. Or fudging. Call it what you want, but it’s clear the veteran two-guard the Bulls coveted was acting like a 10-year-old who just had to play in a park district game.
Hamilton said there was no way he would miss playing against the Pistons in Detroit. So, he didn’t miss his old team. And then he got hurt again. He remains hurt because he came back too soon. He has missed four of the last five with no idea when he might return.
For such a selfish and stupid reason .
“Mommy, mommy, I feel better, Mommy. I want to play against Tayshaun’s team tonight, Mommy, please, please, please.’’
Someone needs to be an adult here. It would be easy to finger Tom Thibodeau, but this one isn’t on the coach. No, this is on the player. This is on Hamilton.
If a player says he’s healthy, the coach has to believe him. The player said he was fine, but he wasn’t, and he sure wasn’t going to miss a game against his old team. Some veteran example that is, huh?
If there was any game the Bulls could’ve had Hamilton miss, it would’ve been against one of the worst teams in captivity. I mean, the Pistons ought to get their own division with just the Cavaliers. You two kids play each other and let us know how it comes out, OK?
I’m not sure Derrick Rose would’ve done it differently. In fact, Rose told the media he would never tell the media how hurt he is.
Difference is, Thibodeau has a greater feel for Rose’s health and already has a handle on his star point guard’s pain tolerance and credibility.
You could’ve made the case Rose was hiding a bad elbow injury that he could’ve made worse in Orlando. Rose said no. X-rays said no. The eye test said no. If it was Rose’s groin, say, instead of his left elbow, his coach would’ve been sensitive to a lack of burst and jump.
Point is, Thibodeau knows Rose. But Thibodeau doesn’t know Hamilton, not on a daily basis. Thibodeau had to rely on Hamilton’s word. Thibodeau figured that was a safe move with a veteran. Bzzzzz, wrong, thanks for playing our game, next contestant, please.
Hamilton’s silly move grows worse with C.J. Watson’s injury further depleting the backcourt in the middle of the NBA’s “No Survivors’’ tour. It would’ve been nice to have Hamilton come back to the lineup when he was ready to stay in the lineup to ease the demands on Rose.
But at least Hamilton got his nyah-nyah-nyah.
This would be a lot worse if Bulls general manager Gar Forman hadn’t done such a terrific job of building depth. In fact, at times I think the worst part of the injuries is the way it affects the league’s best second unit.
What matters, of course, is the spring. What matters are the playoffs. I get that. Survive the regular season, grab a top-three playoff berth, and meet the Heat in the Eastern Conference Final.
And hope Hamilton is done being stupid.
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