The Chicago Bulls took all the energy and excitement about killing Osama bin Laden and used it to lose convincingly to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 of the semis. What this does is effectively take away our home court advantage. Which might actually be fine - because it means one less game at the UC and one less opportunity for the drum corps to pound away at midnight outside the West Loop taverns.
Seriously, I'm a block away from this particular tavern. I heard it through closed windows. Keep it up guys. Keep it up.
But putting aside my noise problems, I blame this loss on one single person. No, not Osama bin Laden. But K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
K.C. mined his sources in the press room to get confirmation that Derrick Rose was the league's MVP. Like any good journalist, K.C. wrote it up and beat everyone else to the story, prominently pushing it on Chicago Breaking News/Sports, the Chicago Tribune site. One problem - the game was still being played. Talk about distraction. I'm sure Derrick Rose and the Bulls knew about his MVP status, but putting it out to the world during a game in which the MVP is playing is what jinxes are made of. Have you never been stung by superstition, K.C.? You must admit the errors of your ways. And buy me a Coke.
Here are some other random observations from last night's game:
- We all knew that D-Rose would be MVP. But I think the bigger prize for the organization would be Executive of the Year. Gar Forman has been a forgotten part of the Bulls improbable race to the NBA championship. In the summer, everyone believed it would be Pat Riley for landing LeBron and Chris Bosh. But the Bulls blew up their squad and brought in several key role players. Boozer, Bogans, Korver, Brewer, Asik, Thomas and C.J. Watson. That's a lot of guys that all are playing competitive basketball. Usually, that doesn't work out. So start campaigning!
- I can't be the only fan in Chicago that cringes when the camera shows Jamal Crawford. I really can't stand that guy (as a fan). He came into Chicago as the worst time, playing alongside Eddie Curry, Tyson Chandler and Jalen Rose. It stands as one of the worst stretches of Chicago basketball history. And I just remember all sorts of potential for this headbanded shooting/point guard and how he just sh*t the bed here in Chicago. He represents a period of Chi basketball we would like to forget. And Hinrich too, although the announcers told us that he may not play the entire series because of an injury. Likely story.
- TNT should cool it with the stop motion video of Wacker Drive at night. They show it every time the Bulls play at home. But it's obviously from last summer, since there is tremendous boat traffic all over the Chicago River. And it's obvious the shot is old, since they show it every single Bulls game. Oh how I long for the days of showing deep dish pizza. Don't get me wrong, I like the shot of Wacker. It's just getting old. Send out a crew for a new shot, will ya?
- The announcers had a little kicker story about Orlando Magic Guard Jameer Nelson. After a recent regular season game, Nelson told Derrick Rose, "See you in the second round." The Hawks PR guys seized on the fact that the Magic didn't make the second round (knocked off by the Hawks) and left two tickets for Nelson at will call. The kicker, they were 300 level seats. Hahahahahah! Hhhahahahah! Hahhahaha! Memo to TNT: That's where your viewers sit.
- If we weren't so preoccupied with Lebron, we could have made a run at Joe Johnson? Man, he would look swell in a Bulls uniform, wouldn't he?
- Before the game, TNT HAD to show the National Anthem. Just so we could try to recreate patriotism on the day after the news of Osama bin Laden's death. I don't know about you (I wasn't in the room), but it seemed pretty forced. And then the studio conversation about the news with Charles Barkley, Chris Weber and Kenny Smith was sublime. Barkley loves the troops. Smith loves how this is like sports. Weber loves the victims of 9/11. I mean, why stop with this chatter on NBA pre-game? Why not take the show on the road? I would love to see Chris Weber sharing his thoughts on this historic moment on NBC's Meet the Press. And why stop there? I think all current (and former) NBA players should become political pundits. Have them on Rachel Maddow and Bill O'Reilly. Or even better, combine the shows! Pre-game and roundtable discussion on health care. What do you think Glenn Rice? You shot a lot of free throws in your time, what's your take on free market?
- Well, the only solace from losing Game 1 is that the Lakers lost too.