I will readily admit that I went into this season not expecting a whole lot from the Chicago Bulls. I didn’t think the team would be terrible, in fact I had them pegged as the 7 seed with them finishing around the 43 win mark. However, that’s not the part I was dreading most, I was terrified to actually watch the games and see more of what we forced to endure last season. I fully expected this season to be more of the same with some new faces thrown in to keep the season ticket holders content. The complete lack of cohesion, the calling out of teammates as well as coaches, and most of all, the lack of fun. Then came the first three games and everything changed; here I am, genuinely excited for the rest of this season.
Last season was the hardest season for me to watch as a Bulls fan as I’m sure it was for many people (apologies for those who had to deal with the Tim Floyd years; I’m too young to remember those and I thank the stars daily for that). The games started becoming a chore to watch, I began making less of an effort to tune in, knowing all too well what I was getting myself into. Then came the offseason. I was ready for a rebuild, at least that would be more interesting than watching 48 minutes of guys who didn’t even seem like they wanted to play the game. The last word I wanted to hear this season was “retool” and that’s exactly what the Bulls did. The Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade signings looked like a gimmick to sell tickets, as if the front office was saying “hey, these guys are (were in Rondo’s case) popular come watch please.” Needless to say, I was disappointed.
Then opening night came against Boston and something magical happened; I was glued to the TV. The ball movement had my eyes darting from corner to corner, everyone was getting open looks, players were diving on the floor for loose balls and defending like their lives depended on it. Perhaps best of all, the team came out and had fun on the court. Dwyane Wade looked less like the guy I despised in Miami and more like a player I could believe in. Rondo looked less like the guy that threw Kirk Hinrich into the scorer’s table and more like someone that would put his life on the line for a teammate. One moment in particular stuck out for me in this game; Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder got into it and suddenly there were three white jerseys around him.
Jimmy Butler leg lock on Jae Crowder. These guys are former teammates. pic.twitter.com/K9Y5NTjusA
— ?arcusD2.0 (@_MarcusD2_) October 28, 2016
This is the kind of thing you wouldn’t see last season; it’s cliche but this team truly seems like they would go to war with one another.
No longer does this team feel like pieces to the wrong puzzle; it feels right. Hearing Dwyane Wade accompanied by “From Chicago!” is no longer the equivalent to nails on a chalkboard; it’s a statement. Seeing Rondo run the break doing some college level calculus in his head looking for passing angles has me giddy just thinking about it. Seeing the new “baby bulls” getting some run on the court gives me hope for the future. I don’t even hate Doug McDermott anymore which is something I never thought would happen. Fred Hoiberg has gone from “lame duck” to not only competent, but likeable. His post-game quotes used to absolutely infuriate me and now he even has me laughing. His quote about teaching Dwyane Wade his crossover got a legitimate chuckle out of me.
Hoiberg on Wade's crossover on Bogdanovic: "I had a great crossover in my career. I'm trying to teach him all that stuff."
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 1, 2016
To be fair, this is all possibly a byproduct of the 3-0 start, as we all know that winning cures everything. The Bulls to me this season are akin to getting back together with an ex partner. Sure, they seem to have changed, gotten a total makeover and things are great so far, but you know all too well that they could break your heart at any given moment and leave you right back where you started. The Three AmEgos (I refuse to refer to them as the Three Alphas which is literally the worst nickname in the history of ever) could turn on each other, Hoiberg could lose the team, Robin Lopez might cut his freaking hair causing the very fabric of the universe to unfold….okay that one won’t happen but you get the idea. Regardless of all these warning signs, I’m feeling things for this team again, knowing damn well they could easily revert to their old ways and leave me broken and searching for another (probably the Spurs).
You can find Chase on twitter hoping the Bulls don’t trample his good feels.