With the Chicago Bulls being without Derrick Rose for what is most likely going to be the rest of the 2013-14 NBA season and with the team recently trading away Luol Deng for draft picks and Andrew Bynum—who they immediately waived—there have been warranted talks that this team is tanking in the interest of improving their position for the 2014 NBA Draft.
However, Chicago has won nine of their last 12 games and have lost just one game since the Deng trade. Their recent play has gotten people and fans talking about how this team should be tanking instead of playing to their full potential. The Bulls players aren’t buying into that, though.
In a recent report from Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago, Bulls center Joakim Noah spoke on the idea of tanking and how the fans perceive this team. The center went on to say of people calling for this team to tank that they aren’t “real fans.”
Though it’s hard to ask players to tank and you want them out there producing a good product for the NBA, Noah is really missing the mark with his comments. Not only is he alienating some fans that are looking towards the big picture, but he’s also not really thinking about the future of this team.
The whole reason that some Bulls fans are calling for this team to tank is the simple fact that they have the potential to be a title-contender, but they’re seemingly a piece away. If you take a core of Rose, Noah, Jimmy Butler and a lottery pick from this stacked draft class for the future, though, that’s a team that could bring titles back to the Windy City.
Noah deserves a ton of praise for his play on the court and we all know that he’s a competitive guy. It’s also admirable that this team’s recent bad luck and roster changes haven’t deterred his demeanor. However, his recent remarks are simply lacking self-awareness when it comes to his team.