Well, the Chicago Bulls were fun for a bit. Wendell Carter looked like a modern big who would play in the NBA for 20 years, be a real plus-minus machine in his prime, and coexist with The Finnisher perfectly as the Baby Bulls 2.0 evolves into something fun and interesting. The rest of the backcourt was still a work in progress in the purest sense, but, at the very least, the Bulls looked as though they had at least found their 4 and 5 of the future in Carter and Lauri Markkanen. Kind of like the New York Knicks with Kristaps Porzingis and Kevin Knox -- that’s a hell of a frontcourt combination for the future, but the backcourt still needs serious -- SERIOUS -- work. You can work with Carter and Markkanen as a starting point in a rebuild, but you don’t lock yourself into more-than-one-year deals with Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker simultaneously. Seriously, what the fuck, GarPax?
Chicago, unlike other teams undergoing pain, long-term rebuilds in smaller markets, still soared in attendance last season despite being given a product of Kris Dunn bricking three-pointers, giving the starting veterans the Keith Bogans rotation minutes, and 23.3 MPG of Cameron Payne doing whatever it is that Cameron Payne does. In most markets, the product that Chicago put out last season would have been a nightmare, but Chicago is always going to kill in attendance, like the Knicks, so the pressure to reload and not rebuild has never made sense. You don’t have to lock-in LaVine for four years or sign the lovable hometown kid to get butts in seats. If the United Center is open, people will come.
Maybe GarPax think they can move LaVine to a contender desperate for scoring on the perimeter in six months if LaVine continues to struggle this fall, or maybe they see Parker as the third or fourth big behind the Finnisher, Carter, and Robin Lopez? Or maybe they want to ensure the Bulls get another quality lottery pick next summer and they know playing Parker major minutes at the three alongside LaVine and Dunn will ensure this team stinks for the two years Parker is under-contract. From the outside, the optics of the LaVine and Parker deals look remarkably similar to the Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo deals from a few seasons ago when the front office decided Fred Hoiberg was enjoying his time as head coach of the Chicago Bulls too much and he needed to be taken down a peg. (Mission accomplished.)
But we’ll see, maybe it all works out and the Bulls are fun in 2018-19 -- not defensively, of course, because it’s going to be like when Nicky moves to Vegas in CASINO and everything is on fire all the time. Offensively, they’ll be fun, and fans will enjoy watching this group make a lot of 3s and maybe Markkanen takes a huge leap in Year 2 that makes us all forget this team is paying Parker, LaVine, Lopez and Omer Asik $65 million in 2018-19. GarPax forever!
Here are some other random, ridiculous Saturday morning thoughts for you, the reader, to enjoy.
It’s interesting how people seem to assume any movie that adds Idris Elba to the cast means it’s going to be incredible. People all over Twitter rejoiced once it was revealed Stringer Bell would be the villain in The Rock’s FAST & FURIOUS spin-off. He was just in DARK TOWER, folks.
I bartend on the weekends, and, because I’m in charge of the TVs while I’m there, I’ve become an expert on what’s on all the freaking time: DUMB & DUMBER. This is a good thing. I’m fairly certain I could quote this movie in full -- the worst kind of movie-watcher, I know -- but it never doesn’t make me smile. I will never not perk up when I see this movie is on, and I will never be ashamed of cracking up as Lloyd Christmas asks the hitman if he’d like to hear the most annoying sound in the world. It’s that simple.
Is ALWAYS SUNNY coming back without Dennis or not? If so, I’m intrigued. If not, I’m intrigued. Either way, I hope this show never ends. Fuck it, let’s give it 23 seasons. If you’re a fan of the show, would you really be upset if they just kept making this show? Even if they replaced Dennis with a long-lost cousin? If the answer is yes, you’re a liar. There are ten episodes a season, twenty-ish minutes a piece and will always be the perfect show to have on in the background while you’re doing other stuff and want to sometimes look over and see what Dr. Mantis Toboggan is up to.
Jeremy Lin is an Atlanta Hawk. For now. If he remains on the roster, this season is going to be really fun. Sure, Philips Arena will still be emptier than a Tim Pawlenty rally most nights, but Trae Young and Lin manning the backcourt for another sixty-plus loss season should be entertaining. You know what would be more entertaining, though? Luka Doncic. Imagine if the Hawks could have taken the best player in the 2018 NBA Draft? If only.
Have you listened to Interpol’s new single “The Rover”? No? Why? What are you doing with your life? Am I biased considering the trio is my favorite band of all-time? Who is to say? Either way, Paul Banks and friends should keep making emo-y tunes for the rest of my life because life is hard and Interpol is good.
Bret Bielema is now on the New England Patriots coaching staff. I thought you should know.
I have watched exactly zero World Cup games? Is that weird? Whether it’s the Olympics, the World Cup, etc., I’ve never been drawn to these sort of events. If presented with the choice of a 2007 game between the Jazz and the Raptors versus England and Croatia in 2018, I’m taking the former every time.
I hope Tim Tebow finds his way onto the main roster for the Mets this season. The team, somehow, is fighting with the Marlins for last place in the NL East this season. A September call-up for Tebow would be insane and fun and I’ve talked myself into wanting to see Tim Tebow, Mets Superstar become a thing. Downside? It may unravel Keith Law, and I need his baseball writing and analysis in my life. This is a tough one.
Have a good weekend, everybody.