by Patrick Ronald
Last Saturday did not only mark the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War, but it also represented Ken's 27th birthday.
Now, Ken and I have been very good friends for close to a decade now and we always throw back Coronas on May 5. Not necessarily for Cinco De Mayo, but for his birthday.
So, I was busy Saturday night with prior obligations, but I still made it a point to stop by Ken's house to drink a tall 'Rona or two.
We got to talking about the Bulls game Friday. This was game three when they held a 14-point-lead approximately half way through the fourth quarter and blew the game.
I picked my words carefully.
The teams we 'HAD' prior to the tailspin was dynamic. I think every single player in that Bulls locker room felt certain in a chance to win a championship. Maybe not this year, but within a few seasons.
I think they were all happy with their roles and accepted great pride in their responsibilities.
I say the team we 'HAD' because the team we have NOW is extremely different and weak.
I'm not sure of all the contract information and facts, but my point was a guy like Taj Gibson, who is SO valuable to everything the Bulls have accomplished, is going to get a lot of phone calls from a lot of NBA organizations offering a lot of money.
I think Asik, Brewer and Watson are in similar situations. Maybe not the same amount of money, but as members of the 'Bench Mob' they've proved their worth across the league.
With a quiet, humble, hardworking leader like Derrick Rose I personally think the most important role players would listen to, but ultimately dismiss other offers to stay with an organization making an honest effort to win a NBA title.
Players like Gibson knew their role and accepted and appreciated it (even if he was sitting behind Boozer's garbage ass), but I think its all thrown out the window.
I used the word 'HAD' because if I was CJ Watson I would be pissed if I was DRose's backup and only played 20 minutes compared to John Lucas' 27 minutes. Especially if I was watching him dribble, force bad shots and ultimately blow the lead and the game.
Yes, Watson had zero points, but he only took four shots. JLIII shot 4-12. Watson shouldn't be a happy camper.
Or if you're Ronnie Brewer and the guy who starts in front of you, Luol Deng, is averaging 10.3 points a game in the playoffs.
Deng had five points in game three in 37 minutes. Brewer didn't even touch the floor.
'Bench Mob' is the most important reason the Bulls won 50 games this season. They were a very important ingredient in 2010-11's run to the Eastern Conference Championship.
I'd be insulted and I wouldn't just quit on my team. I'd answer the phone, listen to the offers and take a walk leaving this whole city in my rearview.
The Bulls team as we know it will be dismantled within two years. The window for a title is smaller than ever and the Bulls coaching staff is to blame. What is Thibs thinking? I don't know. There is a lot to blame. Not just one person or aspect of basketball, but the wheels fell off and the Bulls aren't worth getting excited about anymore.
Sorry, but it's the truth as I see it.
Bulls win tonight, but get smashed in game six. #thetruthhurts