Has Thibodeau been approached by Ricola to be their spokesman? Jeff D. Mesa, Ariz.
Ladies and gentleman, we have our question of the week.
Think back to June 26th, 2008. How close were the Bulls to calling the name of Michael Beasley? And if so, would that have been the dumbest move since some team up in the Northwest drafted that Hall of Famer Sam Bowie instead of that guy the Bulls got? What was his name, Jordan or something? Kevin, Louisville, KY
The Bulls never were close to drafting Beasley, but they went through the draft process with an open mind. And your question raises a good point. You can screw up the No. 1 pick. Look at the Greg Oden/Kevin Durant draft, although injuries have hurt that pick more than anything. Bowie had terrible injuries as well, which you can't predict, or else he probably would've had a very good career. But, no, it wasn't a Hall of Fame career like Jordan's. I remember when some people panned Orlando for taking Dwight Howard over Emeka Okafor, the proven, solid college player of the year. Again, you have to do your work, go through the process and make the best choice. The Bulls did.
It's fun to reflect on how good today's Bulls are by remembering how completely terrible (at worst) and mediocre (at best) they have been since 1999. Savoring this season like a fine wine, my friend Ed and I came up with our Most Disappointing Starting Five of the Past Decade. Here's mine: Eddy Curry, Marcus Fizer, Eddie Robinson, Jay Williams and Kendall Gill. Here's Ed's: Ben Wallace, Tyson Chandler, Jalen Rose, Jay Williams, Kendall Gill. Coach for both of us is Tim Floyd of course. Now, doesn't that make you appreciate this season even more now after reading those names? Who's in your starting five? Mark, South Bend, Ind.
I always appreciated this season. But I also appreciated those seasons. Those teams came at a good time in my career. I was younger, less experienced and all the losing offered some great training on how to develop a thick skin. Plus, most of those guys were great to deal with, including Curry, ERob, Jay Williams, Big Ben, Tyson, Jalen and Kendall. I stay in touch with several of those guys. (Not ERob, although that'd be fun.) I'd favor your team more than Ed's, since Ben Wallace was either the best or second-best player behind Luol Deng in the Bulls' only playoff series victory since the dynasty ended and Tyson played a strong role on two playoff teams. (Plus, Jay Williams' career can't be judged fairly because of his injury.) I'd definitely have Fizer and ERob on there, probably Dalibor at center and maybe Corey Benjamin and Khalid El-Amin at guard? It's a long list of candidates.
To this day, I still read and hear many Heat fans complain about the Heat-Bulls game on March 6 in Miami. That's the game in which Mike Miller shoved Luol Deng from behind, drawing a foul to give the Bulls a one-point victory. Have you ever asked Luol what he thought of the call? What are your thoughts on the call? Mikey T., Scottsdale, Ariz.
Deng told me he was pushed. And I've covered him long enough that he would've done so with a wink if he was lying. He didn't wink. I agreed there was a foul. I was surprised they didn't swallow their whistles and actually called it.
While signing Korver, Boozer and Brewer was important, what free agent has provided more bang--pun intended--for the buck than Kurt Thomas? Abe, Suffern, NY
Um, LeBron? I get your point though. Kurt has been a wonderful signing. His 29-game stint as a starter when Noah went down was critical to this season's success. At the right price, the Bulls would love to have him back, assuming he doesn't retire.
How's this for shameless self promotion: I am a collegiate senior with a 4.0 GPA, president of my fraternity and have a job on Wall Street waiting after graduation. I'd drop it all if you're looking for a partner. Any interest? I'm a great roommate and I travel light. Andrew, Northbrook, Ill.
I thought you said you had a 4.0 GPA.
Thanks for all your questions. Keep them coming to email@example.com. Talk to you next week.