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10 itching questions for the 2013-14 Bulls

By Ben Johnson

For RedEye

6:25 PM CDT, October 27, 2013

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How will this year's Bulls team do with Derrick Rose back? Can the team make a leap into the "genuine contender" category, or will their style of play lead to more injuries at just the wrong time? Will the team make a trade or stand pat?

These are the obvious burning questions and they are boring. I want answers to the itching questions nobody else is asking.

10. Why is coach Tom Thibodeau so cagey about his favorite composer?

In an offseason interview with Grantland's Zach Lowe, classical music buff Thibodeau declined to answer a question about his favorite composer or piece. Probably because he didn't want to sound gauche by admitting it's the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's rendition of "Chelsea Dagger."

9. What was the senior manager of interactive marketing's childhood like?

According to the staff directory, his name is Adam Fluck. That sounds like kind of a rough one. Hopefully he turned it to his advantage. I wish him plenty of Fluck.

8. How come Kirk Hinrich doesn't have gray hair?

I know Hinrich is only 32, but he has one of those dignified "premature gray" faces. Everything you hear from the Bulls about Hinrich talks about how much of a calming, professional veteran presence he brings to the team. He should dye his hair gray. Or stop dyeing it, if that's what he's doing, which I have no information about and am in no way insinuating. If Carlos Boozer can spray paint his bald head, Hinrich should be gray. That's all I'm saying.

7. Will the Bulls trade for a foreign player with an unpronounceable name to trip up radio play-by-play man Chuck Swirsky?

As it stands, this roster is depressingly pronounceable, which means Swirsky will resort to extensive nicknaming. In contrast, look at Milwaukee. The Bucks picked up a Greek kid named Giannis Antetokounmpo. I already have this year's Bulls-Bucks games circled on my calendar. "Brandon Knight to Anteto…koku…mempo… swish!" I'm going to go listen in the car and laugh my head off.

6. What games this year are you most likely to be given tickets to?

One of my favorite traditions in Chicago sports is the giving away of tickets to games that season ticket holders are OK with missing. The stands are full of teenagers and affable guys from the mailroom and there's a great "happy to be here" vibe to the proceedings even while the game itself is awful. Think Wrigley Field in early April when there's danger of a sleet delay. Looking at the schedule, I see Cleveland will be in town Dec. 21. That will be the Bulls' eighth game in a 12-day stretch, including road games in Milwaukee, New York, Houston and Oklahoma City. That looks especially brutal. My money's on that one.

5. How often will injuries to Noah and/or the ineffectiveness of Nazr Mohammed force the team into small-ball lineups with Carlos Boozer Taj Gibson at the five-spot, and can those lineups remain effective?

I'm just kidding, you guys. I don't know enough about basketball to know or care about things like this. I like it when they shoot and they score and then they dunk and they win! Basketball!

4. Why does the team need five dental consultants?

Back to that staff directory. How come the Bulls have five dentists on hand? Are the dentists divided by position? Are we sure five is enough? The way the NBA is evolving, should they also hire an additional dentist for small-ball lineups with a shooter at power forward?

3. Will the NBA do another Noche Latina promotion where they slap "Los Bulls" on the uniform, or will this finally be the year we get the full "Los Toros" treatment?

Don't get me wrong, I love Los Bulls, it's just that there's a word in Spanish that means "bulls." As much as it's nice for the NBA to say they love taking Latinos' money, it'd be even nicer to honor Latino heritage by forcing Americans to learn that "calor" means "heat," because that's what LeBron's jersey says.

2. Speaking of promotions, can I have an advance copy of the Jimmy Butler bobblehead?

I did not realize until I looked at the promotional schedule that my life is in sore need of a Jimmy Butler bobblehead. I would ask it yes or no questions to pump myself up. "Did you overcome a difficult childhood, including a brief period of homelessness?" (nods yes) "And are you now one of the most exciting young guard prospects in the entire NBA?" (nods) "And do you think I should drop out of grad school?" (shakes head vigorously). That is JUST what I need.

1. Will Joakim Noah hang out with Slash?

Noah should not cut that hair. What he should do instead is wear it down and top it off with a giant top hat that has a belt around it. That would be awesome.

RedEye special contributor Ben Johnson is a comedian at iO Theater in Chicago.

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