Will the Bulls truly win the lottery?
In 1984, there was a revolution in the United States. But it was not from culture, from a military conflict, from fishnet stockings, parachute pants, or break-dancing (sorry M.C.). The revolution came from one man. You know those corny voices for movie previews? “Its the story of a maaaaan”… It all began with the NBA Draft back in 1984, with a 21 year old tall and scrawny kid from Brooklyn, NY. He didn’t even make the 1st pick of the 1st round. He was 3rd, but his name (and performance) became revolutionary. Michael Jordan, MJ, His Airness, and Air Jordan, whatever you prefer to call him, was the best lottery pick (by far) the Chicago Bulls have ever made and arguably the best in NBA history.
Since MJ’s 2nd retirement from professional basketball in 1999, the Bulls have had several opportunities to repeat their luck from the 1984 draft. The Bulls have had 27 1st round draft picks. Of those 27 draft picks, the Bulls currently have retained 8 of those picks. Some would argue their strongest year was 2004, when they picked up Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, and Chris Duhon. Others would argue it was 1999, with the dynamite center from Duke, Elton Brand. Unfortunately, his time with the Bulls was cut short when he was traded in part of a package that eventually brought two young high schoolers to the Bulls in the form of Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler. In 2007, the Chicago Bulls were favored to run all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, and possibly the NBA Finals. Unfortunately, they completely missed the playoffs, and their coach was fired.
Coachless they came into the 2008 NBA Draft Lottery. According to the Associated Press, the Chicago Bulls had a 1.7% chance of receiving the 1st spot in the 2008 NBA Draft. The chances were so slim, in fact, that John Paxson, the GM of the Bulls, didn’t even show up for the lottery. And sure enough, luck would have it that the Chicago Bulls have ended up with the #1 pick in the draft. There is a definite sense of Deja Vu that the Bulls have been in this exact position before. There is an eery feeling in Chicago that giving the Bulls a #1 draft pick is like handing a crystal vase to a “clumsy butterfingers”. There luck hasn’t been all bad, but at the same rate, after 27 1st round picks, they have neglected to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 10 years.
According to most sources in the press, there are 2 options for the Chicago Bulls. The 1st option would be an upgrade from the current point guard Kirk Hinrich, in Derrick Rose, who led Memphis to the NCAA National Championship this year, only to lose. The benefit of Rose is it would allow for Hinrich to move to a shooting guard, and would give them a true point guard. He may have some of Air Jordan’s influence, as he is personal friends with MJ’s son James, and is a hometown product. But then there is Michael Beasley, the tall power forward from Kansas State. Beasley would give the Bulls a post player, something they have needed for a number of years. Beasley is a question mark, though, because many would say his off the court issues would overshadow his talent on the court. Beasley did break the single NCAA record for most double doubles in a season, previously set by Carmelo Anthony at Syracuse. No matter how good Beasley is, will he be strong enough to throw away the diapers and put on big boy pants?
As the Chicago Bulls have appeared to lock in a head coach, there remains one question: what will it be – another “Michael” or a “Rose among thorns”? One thing is for sure, when the Bulls make their choice, they’d better be darn sure that there are no motorcycles involved…