Just like Dick Vermeil said to Larry Johnson back in 2004, I will tell the Chicago Bulls right now:
It's time to take the diapers off and go play.
Faced with adversity, the Chicago Bulls have reverted back to those "Baby Bulls," who are still trying to figure out how to win enough games to get in the playoffs.
Of course, this all started with the Kobe trade saga. Nearly every player's names was mentioned, leading to the hurtful booing and chanting of "Kobe" by the Chicago crowd.
It sort of reminds you of a girlfriend telling her boyfriend that there is somebody way better than him, and if given the chance she would drop him like a bad habit.
But wasn't this is the same Chicago crowd who said, "Keep this Bulls team as it is, we don't need a selfish player like Kobe—he will mess up our team's chemistry"? I bet I couldn't find one who would say those words now.
In addition to the troubles on the court, both Ben Gordon and Luol Deng have been clamoring for contract extensions.
Deng said, "I keep saying that the contract thing isn't a big deal with me, but it's getting to the point where I don't know.
"It's not like I came in and said I'm not going to play hard. It's a life-changing decision. When I made the decision, I decided that I'm just going to play. It became part of it because that's what people kept talking about. We struggled and they kept coming up."
Why are we talking about contracts in December? It's over, it's done with until next year. If it bothers you that bad, I'd rather you not play, because you are doing nothing but hurting the team.
Team morale is down...and? What are you waiting on? Someone to give you wins? A pat on the back that everything is going to be okay? Milk and cookies?
If I was Jim Boylan, the first thing I would have done at that first practice was strip whoever was captain and co-captain of their titles. There are no real leaders on that team, so why bother giving them a title of captain? No one on that team has earned the right to be called captain.
Then, I would have benched Ben Gordon—as Jim did today.
Now its time for the Bulls themselves to man up, and stop coming up with excuses like children with bad grades.
Stop using slow starts, contracts, Kobe, and Scott Skiles as a crutch for poor effort.
Yes, I said effort—because at least last year, you were trying.