It All Started With Tyrus Thomas

Artest, Brand and Ruffin...1999 Draft

I was never a Bulls fan. I was never a Michael Jordan fan. In fact while most of the world was watching in awe as Michael Jordan rewrote the record books in the 90’s, I was angry and bitter. I hated the Bulls with every ounce of blue and yellow Pacer blood in my body. Some of my friends call me a hater but in reality, it’s just competitiveness. In my opinion, if you were a Pacers fan in the 90’s you were suppose to hate Chicago. I know that I’m not the only one that feels that way. I have a close friends from New York that hates the Bulls too, wonder why.

Tyson Chandler was drafted 2nd overall in 2001 by the LA Clippers and traded immediately to Chicago for Elton Brand. Eddy Curry was drafted by the Bulls with the 4th pick.

Even though I was not a fan of Jordan, I have no problem with giving M.J. his props. Oh, I’m very fair when it comes to who has game. I’ve said it 1 million times and I will say it again for the record. Wilt is #1 and Jordan is #2 of all times. I have a huge problem with putting anyone over Wilt. I don’t think anyone will ever pass him…in my mind anyway. I also believe that you can argue that Oscar Robertson is the greatest of all times. So, even though M.J is widely considered to be #1, I don’t see it as clear-cut as everyone else.

With that said, I love today’s Bulls. I’ve tried to like them in the past, when they drafted Elton Brand back in 1999. He won the rookie of the year award and it looked as if Chicago had someone to build around. In addition to Brand, Chicago drafted R0n Artest the same year and Jamal Crawford the next year. They also had Ron Mercer and Brad Miller, and a few years later they drafted Jay Williams from Duke, remember him? So I thought Chicago was basically set for the future, but the never made it to the future.

First they traded Brand for Curry and Chandler, both of them on

Jamal Crawford was drafted by Cleveland in 2000 and traded to Chicago for Chris Mihm on draft day.

the court together could never match the production that Elton Brand was putting out. Two years later they traded Crawford to New York and a year later Artest and Miller to Indiana. Two year later, Artest is the defensive player of the year, Miller makes the All-Star team in Sacramento and Crawford…well, is Crawford. He’s never made an All-Star team nor won any individual awards, but we are well aware that he can score with almost anybody in the league.

Fast forward to 2004-2005. Chicago Bulls add Ben Gordon, Chris Duhon and Luol Deng through the draft and trades. Kirk is already there and Scott Skiles is beginning his first full year after taking over as head coach in the middle of the 2003-2004 season. That year Ben Gordon become the first rookie in NBA history to win the 6th man of the year award and Chicago made the playoffs for the first time since Michael Jordan’s 6th championship in 1998. Even though they were eliminated in the first round by Washington, the season in considered successful ending a 7 year playoff drought in Chi-town.

Promising PG Jay Williams was drafted by Chicago 2nd overall in 2002 but only played one season before suffering a near fatal motorcycle accident.

The following season, same results. Chicago, again, was eliminated in the first round, but this time by the eventual champions, Miami Heat.

Even though Chicago made two consecutive first round exits, spirits were still high in Chi. The Bulls were confident that this team could become special. They still needed a few pieces though before they could be considered an elite team, size and athleticism was one of those pieces. Along came Tyrus Thomas. Being that I live in Germany, I don’t have the chance to watch a lot of college basketball so I had never seen Tyrus Thomas play. Wow, was I in for a treat. When he first checked into the game, I remember thinking to myself  “so this is the rookie, let me check him out”. The first thing that I noticed was his hustle, his energy. At that time he was only a rookie, so it was more hyper than hustle. He was like a 12-year-old on his third cup of coffee. He chased every loose ball, jumped for every rebound and contested every shot. I like those type of players anyway, but little did I know, Tyrus also had a flair for the spectacular. In the following weeks and months, Tyrus kept popping up in Top 10 dunks and Top 10 blocks and the bandwagon just rolled downhill from there. I started watching the Bulls play more often and I became attached to the others on the team. Then came Noah, I like everyone from that Florida team, and last but not least Mr.Rose. Now I’m hooked, I like the Bulls, and just like any true sports fan, I think I can run the team better than the

Tyrus Thomas was drafted 4th overall in 2006 by the Portland Trailblazers and traded to Chicago for LaMarcus Aldridge who Chicago drafted 2nd in the same draft.

people in charge.

Unfortunately, my first move would be to trade T-Time. I really like him and I wish him a long prosperous career, but it’s the best move for the Bulls right now. Reason number one is because Chicago needs a change in personnel. It’s obvious the team that they have now is not going to succeed, and considering the way the East looks going into the future (Cleveland, Orlando, Miami,Atlanta) they’re not really any long-term expectations for this group either. And secondly, who else is Chicago going to trade? Or better yet, who else can Chicago give up and get something back? They have a lot of throw-in pieces but Chicago doesn’t want to throw-in…and I can’t say that I blame them. I wouldn’t want to give up Hinrich or Miller. We all know D.Rose is not going anywhere and Noah is probably pretty close to untradable as well.  I assume that they really like Taj Gibson and is banking on him as their future power forward which makes Tyrus Thomas expendable. I mean a 6’10” jumping bean. With long arms and great timing, passion and energy, an improving outside stroke and he’s only 23 years old. Now that sounds way better than, let’s say John Salmons. Can you possibly get anything back for John Salmons that is going to get you over the hump?

I’ve heard rumors that Chicago and New York is working on a deal to trade Tyrus Thomas and Al Harrington. That’s what I’m talking about! That’s a trade that would be good for everyone…including me. I’m already an Al Harringtom fan because of his Indian days, but over the last few years he’s really become a efficient scorer. I guess his time wasn’t wasted in Golden State and New York. I think he will open the floor up quite well in Chicago. He has league wide respect as a scorer, so he will not be left unguarded. He is older and more of a leader, more vocal than most people would think. He’s a professional.

T-Time, on the other hand will be able to run like the stallion that he is in D’Antoni’s free-for-all offense. He will step right into the starting line-up at PF in place of Jarred Jeffries and he will flourish. He will block shots, he will dunk on everyone and he will play a huge part in rebuilding the Knick’s pride and dignity and ultimately landing Lebron James.

Just when everyone thought I was turning on Tyrus Thomas, I’m doing him a favor and he will be thankful for it.


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