During the 2011-12 NBA season, one of the reasons the Chicago Bulls experienced so much success was because of the Bench Mob. They had great chemistry, worked very well together, and always did their job. There were even times when they would out play the starters.
This offseason, Bulls fans have come to see an end to the Bench Mob. C.J. Watson’s option was not picked up with draft pick Marquis Teague and former Bull Kirk Hinrich joining the team. Jimmy Butler looks promising, so there would not be much of a need for Ronnie Brewer. Kyle Korver had been traded to the Atlanta Hawks for a trade exception and cash considerations.
These moves have been upsetting to most Bulls fans. Korver’s trade in particular has been a letdown because of what would be missing from the Bulls roster: his sharpshooting ability.
In just two seasons with the Bulls, Korver has become one of the best three-point shooters in franchise history. He is tied with Craig Hodges as the third-best three-point shooter with an average shooting percentage of 42.5%.
Korver is not just a great three-point shooter, a great shooter in general. He averaged 43.3% on field goals and 86.3% on free throws during his stint in Chicago. His sharpshooting ability is his greatest skill on the court, and Chicago fans will remember him for that.
Tamara R., a fan from Texas, says that she is going to miss the threes he would make for the bulls as well as his impressive free throw percentage.
Dana Greene, a Bulls fanatic from the Chicago suburbs, says her favorite Kyle moment from his time in the Windy City is Korver’s game-winning three against the Heat on January 15, 2011. Many Bulls fans would agree with Dana, but plenty of others favor different Kyle moments. From Korver’s game-winning three in game one of the 2011 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers to his 26-point performance against his former team, the Utah Jazz, the fans will certainly miss the Hot Sauce.
But there’s more to Korver’s game than just knocking down jump shots. He showed Chicago his passion for basketball through his hustle.
“I’m definitely going to miss his hustle and effort in every play,” said Christine Aguiar, a Bulls fan residing in Arizona, when asked about what she would miss about Kyle. “You could always rely on Kyle to do the little things.”
The little things Korver does was very evident in one game in particular, the game versus the New York Knicks on April 10, 2012. Korver was all over the place, but in a good way. He contributed offensively with 14 points and 3 assists. Defensively, he grabbe 7 rebounds and blocked 3 shots. He was diving for loose balls and gave his best effort in every play.
Korver did much for Chicago on the hardwood, and because of that, Bulls fans everywhere are sad to see him go to Atlanta.
“I’m a little sad,” said Lizzie E., a longtime Korver fan from Omaha, Nebraska. “Chicago is veryclose to Omaha, and everyone loves the Bulls. But I’ve watched Kyle play since I was little. The whole family would watch the games together, so I guess no matter where he plays, I’ll always be a Korver fan.”
There are more reasons to be a Korver fan besides his basketball ability. The Kyle Korver Foundation has done manythings to help several communities. With funds from Korver’s clothing line Seer Outfitters, he has helped the people from his hometown of Pella, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska, the city where he played college ball as a Creighton Bluejay; and every city he has played for professionally. With Atlanta as his next stop, there is no doubt that their community will receive some help.
Andrew Miller, a Korver fan from Kansas City, Missouri, feels that Atlanta has gained more than just a “pure shooter…Atlanta’s poor have gained a new champion.”
Bulls fans loved Korver for both his basketball ability and his compassionate heart. The feeling is mutual for Korver, who when asked about his feelings on being traded said, “I loved putting on a Bulls uniform.”
Perhaps, one day, everyone can be pleased with a return to Chicago for Korver, but until then, good luck in Atlanta, Kyle Korver.