You Appreciate Them, And They Appreciate You
I'd hate to see Red Kerr turn into that.
Home of the amoral victories
The one move that would have the biggest impact is doing something -- anything -- to get Hinrich back on track. He's the one who is most off his game right now, and as the guy who has the ball in his hands on nearly every Chicago possession, that's a problem. Worse yet, I'm not sure what the solution would be, and it largely depends on whether you think the problems are physical or psychological.
[O]ne should precisely locate the true greatness of Job: contrary to the usual notion of Job, he is NOT a patient sufferer, enduring his ordeal with the firm faith in God—on the contrary, he complains all the time, rejecting his fate (like Oedipus at Colonus, who is also usually misperceived as a patient victim resigned to his fate). When the three theologians-friends visit him, their line of argumentation is the standard ideological sophistry (if you suffer, it is by definition that you MUST HAVE done something wrong, since God is just). However, their argumentation is not limited to the claim that Job must be somehow guilty: what is at stake at a more radical level is the meaning(lessness) of Job's suffering. Like Oedipus at Colonus, Job insists on the utter MEANINGLESSNESS of his suffering—as the title of Job 27 says: "Job Maintains His Integrity." As such, the Book of Job provides what is perhaps the first exemplary case of the critique of ideology in the human history, laying bare the basic discursive strategies of legitimizing suffering: Job's properly ethical dignity resides in the way he persistently denies the notion that his suffering can have any meaning, either punishment for his past sins or the trial of his faith, against the three theologians who bombard him with possible meanings—and, surprisingly, God takes his side at the end, claiming that every word that Job spoke was true, while every word of the three theologians was false.
Overall, the effort and the attention to the game plan was very good. We just couldn’t execute when it was on the line. We couldn’t make shots.Sad thing is, that is the game plan. Effort, pass, shoot, pass to someone who can't shoot with 3 seconds left on the shot clock, and effort. The Bulls don't recognize mismatches, take advantage of poor defenders, and/or get to the foul line. Those problems aren't caused entirely by a lack of size or athleticism. The team just doesn't succeed in those areas, and it's up to the coaches to make adjustments. And by "adjustments," I don't mean "substitutions."
"The qualifiers (for EuroBasket 2009) are in 10 months, but I have to talk to the coaches, continue my progress here (at Chicago) and continue to work hard.Can't say I'll be relieved when this situation gets cleared up. Deng's general lethargy, and his recent injury could be tied to not resting, and playing for Great Britain over the summer. I can't work in some sort of player development angle because Sefolosha can't play basketball properly, Veektor is still glued to the bench, and Hinrich quit after 1 1/2 wasted summers.
"But it could happen quickly because I already have contacts with the French ambassador in New York. There are just some papers to fill in."
Skiles publicly apologized to Tyrus Thomas for making critical comments of the second-year forward at Tuesday morning's shootaround in Denver. Skiles said he also apologized to Thomas personally.Expect a Sam Smith column about Tyrus Thomas being 'coddled' too much, and the general state of NBA players not being tough enough to become dried ink by Monday. Maybe a reference to Sam's favorite fucking
"I understand the fans see one side of it. We see the other. We know what's supposed to be done out there. We ask him to sprint the floor. To my knowledge in his career he hasn't done it one time.
Not one time."
''Guys have to make shots,'' Skiles said. ''This is the highest level, the pros. To constantly be talking about it every day is not productive. Guys have to snap out of it. Pro shooters make shots. It's what they do. If you can't do it, you better get in the gym and figure it out and get your head screwed on or whatever the problem is and make shots.''It's not your fault, champ. We all know. Lather, rinse, repeat. I mean, it's your job to make sure everyone blames the mentally weak, spoiled rotten players, right? Deflecting attention/blame would be crazy when none of the important fingers are pointing at you.
"If I am in the starting lineup, [it] is not good," Nocioni said. "[It means] we lost too many games and the coach needs to change. It is not good. I want to play coming from the bench."I'll take 10!
"It's tough sitting on that sideline watching my teammates get beat up," lamented the former repeat Defensive Player of the Year. "If I can't go out there and help my team get stops down the stretch, then why am I here? Why don't we just go on to the house ... pack it up?"Too bad Wallace has said that before in Detroit. Too bad he hasn't played well this season. Too bad his first double digit rebounding effort came against a team that doesn't rebound well. Too bad a guy who doesn't have a problem telling reporters he's considering giving up is signed through 2010.
Next plan. Enter fiery coach Scott Skiles, new GM John Paxson and a new approach to drafting. Out with the high schoolers, in with proven players from championship-level programs. Guys who were like, well, Elton Brand and Ron Artest. Guys like Jason Williams from Duke, Kirk Hinrich from Kansas, Ben Gordon from Connecticut, Luol Deng and Chris Duhon from Duke.Not that big of a deal, but this is a misleading time line. Paxson became the President of Basketball Operations in April, 2003. Jay Williams was involved in a motorcycle accident on June 19, 2003. Not much growing, bonding, or playing happened for Williams and the Paxson Bulls. The Bulls were 2 picks short of Dwyane Wade in the 2003 Draft on June 26, 2003, and selected Kirk Hinrich. The "post-graduate program" label would have been out the window had Wade (not a graduate), the Bulls' primary target, dropped to 7. Scott Skiles was hired in late November, 2003.
The young guys came in, bonded, grew up together. It was like a post-graduate program in basketball with Skiles as the crotchety old professor. When Williams crashed his motorcycle the summer following his rookie year, effectively ending his career, the Bulls selected Hinrich and plugged him right in. They were a young team, undoubtedly heading in the right direction. The city liked the team, the team all seemed to like one another.
Chandler, the last holdover from the Jerry Krause era, was dealt to the New Orleans Hornets for scrap (J.R. Smith, the only true player the Bulls got back, was immediately waived), and the Bulls signed Pistons forward/center Ben Wallace, the lunchbucket centerpiece of Detroit’s championship team.J.R. Smith was traded to the Nuggets for the immediately waived Howard Eisley, and 2 2nd round draft picks. It's speculation on my part, but J.R. Smith may have less trade value now.
The Bulls still have no reliable low-post scorer, and no single go-to guy. Meanwhile Pau Gasol is still in Memphis, Kobe Bryant is still in Los Angeles, and Kevin Garnett is posting his nightly double-doubles in Boston for the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics. You start to get the feeling this is by design.No low-post scorer. Very true, although Memphis was reportedly demanding Deng while Nocioni was injured, leaving Adrian Griffin and a far from ready Sefolosha as the remaining small forwards on the depth chart. The Timberwolves reportedly turned down a trade including Chandler, Deng, and the pick that became Tyrus Thomas. Paxson admitted to speaking with the Lakers about Kobe, and even courted Bryant when he was a free agent. I'm not going to debate the merits of each trade scenario, but there doesn't seem to be an irrational plan in place to keep the 'stars' out of Chicago. Picks that just weren't high enough, and bad timing seem to be the culprits.
The secondary problem with the non-star system, as revealed this off-season, is that when you have no single star, EVERYONE assumes that they’re the star. Which means they all want to get paid like stars. Gordon and Deng allegedly turned down extensions totaling $107 million over five years. Wallace’s deal is for something over $60 million, Hinrich is getting somewhere in the neighborhood of $45 million. Oh yeah, and Nocioni just re-signed, too. That’s a lot of scratch for a bunch of guys who’ve never been All-Stars and never been to the conference finals (at least not in Chicago). Only Gordon has averaged 20+ ppg.This doesn't make any sense. I hope Paxson doesn't think fan voting, and meaningless per game stats are the ultimate arbiters of contract size. Really, how often do players on their rookie contracts get to the conference finals? Deng and Gordon have gone deeper into the playoffs than Al Jefferson, and Dwight Howard. They've been just as far as Rashard Lewis (not on a rookie contract) has. That's like a total of $1,000,000,000!
Who are you? Jay "Go get him, boy" Mariotti? You write about the NBA for a living. Come up with something better than "DO IT." I'm supposed to feel informed.
KOBE. Oh, the hell with it. The name most connected with the Bulls this offseason (and preseason, and regular season) was Kobe Bryant. Dissatisfied with his situation in Los Angeles, Kobe has been alternately asking and not asking for a trade since the start of the summer, and the most plausible destination for him has always been Chicago. Various packages have been discussed, but nothing has happened. (Although, if anything, all the talk about POSSIBLY trading for Kobe may have irrevocably damaged the confidence of the Bulls players who WEREN’T traded.)
You know what?
DO IT. PLEASE.
Of course what they SHOULD have done was use P.J. Brown’s expiring contract and any other combination of salaries—I mean players—necessary to pry Kevin Garnett away from the Timberwolves.Hey, I covered this already. McHale fancies himself an incompetent guy. He held on too long, and ended up with Danny Ainge's underachievers.
Good enough just isn’t good enough anymore.That was very productive. Thanks for fixing the Bulls, Russ.
"I never want to do that on a night when the boobirds are already out," Skiles said. "I don't like to embarrass the group like that. I thought I'd take a gamble right there to try to find a catalyst.What the fuck did you think was going to happen? Magically, Victor, Noce and Thabo were going to throw down on Bosh and Co. and get us back in the game? Unbelievable.
"Then it got so far out of hand so quickly that I would hate for somebody to come back in the game and get injured."
"When I see young people today in the NBA, I lose all desire to work as coach. Nevertheless, I think it would be a good technician basketball, but perhaps not as a coach Major."Toni admitted he only attended 3 Bulls games last season.
There is no problem with Skiles and Noah, as some e-mailers have suggested. In fact, once Skiles talked to Noah, as he said he would, I'm sure he'll discover what those who heard Noah make the comments already knew--that he wasn't pointing fingers, putting himself above the team or popping off.
I have a rule of thumb: I distrust general conclusions made by people who cannot get their facts straight. Yes, anyone can make a mistake but if you have basic information wrong then I tend to suspect that you are either very sloppy or you have such an agenda that you won't allow facts to get in the way. Ford asserts that Bryant has played more regular season and playoff minutes than Allen Iverson; in fact, coming into this season Iverson has played 34,248 combined minutes, nearly 1000 more than Bryant.I have a rule of dumb: I distrust general conclusions made by people who don't bother to figure out what someone else is trying to say, then write a reactionary blog post about it.
Ford's case: Ford relies largely on John Hollinger's PER and Roland Beech's adjusted plus/minus to make the argument that Bryant is not really the best player in the NBA.This is the quote Friedman is referring to:
Why Ford's case is not built Ford tough: Ford notes at the start of his piece that he talked to several "NBA sources" about Bryant and he acknowledges that Bryant is widely considered to be the best player in the NBA--then he completely disregards expert opinion in favor of relying exclusively on the verdict of some statistical systems. It should be noted that those same systems ranked two-time MVP Steve Nash lower than Bryant last season. Also, Beech says of adjusted plus/minus, "These ratings represent a player's value to a particular team and are not intended to be an accurate gauge of the ability and talent of the player away from the specific team." In other words, they are specifically not meant to be used the way that Ford is using them.
So the experts agree: David Friedman is talking out of his ass.
I spoke to a number of NBA sources who have been engaged in or are familiar with the Bryant trade negotiations. Almost all evidence from these conversations points to this conclusion:
Bryant's trade value isn't nearly as high as he or the Lakers would like to think.
"If he's injured and can't get it done out there, we have to get somebody in there who can," Skiles said after Monday's two-hour practice at the Berto Center.
THE Crocs had 24 hours and a flight in between to get their sheets (and bedroll) together before another potential death-roll in Melbourne.Our hero fluffed the pillows too, scoring 26 with 20 rebounds. Chris Anstey's Tigers remain undefeated, and play the 8-1 Sydney Kings on Saturday.
"But we have to play 48 minutes together.''Yessir, another 'gelling' period on the way, with few new faces to blame for it. Maybe you can blame Skiles, who yelled for Antonio Davis, Jerome Williams, Linton Johnson III, and Jannero Pargo to come off the bench late in the first. Joe Smith, Andres Nocioni, Aaron Gray, and Chris Duhon reminded Skiles they were the group of limited players who will make up the majority of inexplicable mass substitutions this season, and promptly entered the game.
"I'll say it again: We have to come out (tonight) and put 48 minutes (together)."