Let’s pretend for a minute that we’re back in the 90s. The era of Beanie Babies, frosted tips, and roller blades was a time shrouded in wonder and positive vibes. The 90s had an aura about it that really made the time something special.
Artists like Will Smith, Tyra Banks, and NSYNC basically ruled the U.S.A. They were icons of the highest order and shaped the decade into what it was. Special individuals live those really personified the times. As much as America loved their stage and musical icons, though, they loved their basketball all the same.
And in the basketball world, nobody ruled the 90s like the Chicago Bulls did.
They had it all: the big city, the roaring fan base, and the mega superstar that gleamed with passion. Between 1991 and 1998, Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls won six Championships without losing a single Finals game. They were the idols of fans, the fear of their competitors, and true warriors of the basketball world. It was a beautiful time.
But now? Those good times must seem like ages ago. Nowadays, the only words associated with the Bulls are dysfunction, disorder, and chaos.
And it all started when Derrick Rose stopped being Derrick Rose.
The 2011 MVP was supposed to be the next Michael Jordan. His athleticism and explosiveness on the court gave Bulls fans a huge dose of nostalgia when they witnessed his game. He alone lead the Bulls to glory, and he alone would be the one to take them all the way.
But he never got the chance. Not before his knee blew out and his body broke down. Just a year after winning MVP, Rose tore his ACL during a round 1 matchup with the 76ers. Since then, things have never been the same in Chicago.
No longer were fans thinking about Championships. For a while, they were too busy just hoping for a healthy point guard than to expect anything great from that Bulls squad.
And once they finally let go of Rose, they attempted to try something new with Wade, Butler, and Rondo. According to Bulls management, that trio was somehow supposed to make some noise. That was supposed to be an improvement. Obviously, those hopes turned to dread when Chicago witnessed what a disaster that experiment had become.
Fast forward to today, and the Bulls are even worse off than they were just a year ago. They traded Jimmy Butler away for nothing, are constantly faced by front-office drama, and continue to make moves that make absolutely no sense.
What they’re left with is a team that lacks any buzz. What they’re left with is a team that has no spark.
Wade is soon to be gone, LaVine is coming back from a serious injury, and Kris Dunn has yet to prove he can be a real starter. Their most important pieces are about as unreliable as they come.
Of course, with all that’s happened, the city hasn’t failed to notice their failure. They’re feeling the pain of having their once great franchise reduced to rubble, and have to witness that reality every time the Bulls take an L.
Perhaps if the team had a capable leader, there’d be a clearer way out. But if the organization has taught us one thing, it’s that they’re good at screwing things up.
Maybe there is an end in sight. Maybe it won’t be as bad as it seems. Maybe their next star is right around the corner.
But those “maybes” won’t get them very far. Truthfully, the only direction this is headed is down. The only hope Bulls fans have right now is a bunch of young players that have yet to prove they even belong in the NBA.
And that's the story of how the Bulls died. It's sad, it's hard to watch. But a once proud and glorious franchise has been disgraced to shreds, and there’s nothing any of us can do but wait until the wreck is over.