Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Noah Stays" Holds Strong Message

Outside of Boston, the Chicago Bulls and New York Knick organizations are arguably the two most iconic NBA franchises. Although each bring high expectations and a demand of success with each season, they also sport entirely different approaches to building and unifying their systems.
The Knicks are a much different organization now than they were in the 80's and 90's. Why? Desperation. In modern day sports, coaches in any sport at any level are pressured to win more than ever before. It is why we see so many traditional programs struggling to regain their dominance. College football has a mere perfect example in Notre Dame. The most historic college football program has failed to reach expectations for nearly a decade. And their only response has been to panic. As a coach, you get four, five years max and if you don't win, your out. The Knicks are the same way in the NBA, and not just with personnel but with their players. Outlandish free agent signings, unthinkable trades and questionable draft picks have been the resume for Knicks since the new millenium (65% of which we can credit to Isiah Thomas. He has royally screwed that organization into never-expiring contracts and world of debt. It's almost comical.). Each year they go out and throw millions of dollars at whoever is available, and often at guys who never live up to their pay (Bulls fans, say it together: 1, 2, 3, EDDDIIIEEEE  CUUUUURRRRYYYY).
The Bulls do things a little different in Chicago. Last year, every starter (Rose, Hinrich, Deng, Kibson and Noah) was drafted by the organization. Even guys like Tyrus Thomas and...gulp...Aron Gray who got solid minutes off the bench were at one time rookies with the Bulls. They believe in a system and go out and get the guys that fit it. Granted this past offseason was an exception because Lebron James in the type of guy you change your system, coach, president, mascot, arena etc. to attract.
But that's. The Bulls were front runners to land Nuggets G/F Carmelo Anthony but refused to include Joakim Noah in a package to land a top 5 star in the NBA. You don't see that too much in this day an age of sports. Franchises will throw and arm and a leg to get someone like 'Melo who would boost not just wins, but revenue and sales alike.
The message this sends to fans is that they should believe in the vision. The Bulls believe that they solidified themselves as Eastern Conference contenders with the Carlos Boozer signing this offseason and they don't want to change the game plan. The opening game roster will most likely include a Derrick Rose/Ronnie Brewer back court, Luol Deng as the wing man, and an impressive front court of Noah and Boozer. What does a Bulls roster look like with Anthony and no Noah? 'Melo replaces Deng and Brian Scalabrini alongside Boozer? Kurt Thomas? .......The Bulls like their chances, as do I. 

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