It’s no secret that this offseason is harkening back woeful memories of the earl to mid-2000’s for Bulls fans. After consecutively posting the best record in the NBA in two straight seasons, the Bulls are back to their old ways of remembering the good ol’ days and promising that things will get better.
And then there’s Jerry Reinsdorf.
Bulls fans have become increasingly frustrated with his ownership this offseason as he promptly gutted one of the best benches in the NBA
to not enter the luxury tax for what turns out is no good reason at all.
Reinsdorf has also been all over the place in his priorities with the Bulls. When the offseason started, the top priority was to re-sign Omer Asik at all costs. But when that cost turned out to be $25 million, the Bulls changed history yesterday when they said all along that the top priority was really getting Kirk Hinirch back in Chicago.
Then this morning, allegedly, Reinsdorf was quoted on the Chicago White Sox Twitter account as saying, “Basketball is just a game. Baseball is a religion, baseball is American.”
Now unlike a lot of people banging the gavel and calling for Jerry’s blood to run red in the streets of Chicago, I could care less about his love of baseball over basketball. People are entitled to play favorites; parents claim they don’t do it with multiple siblings and when you own multiple sports teams, you try to not say you like one more than the other.
But it’s Jerry’s money and if he wants to let it be known that he is willing to spend over $100 million on the White Sox and barely $75 million on the Bulls, then that’s his right to do it.
I’m not angry that he prefers baseball to basketball. He’s got a point when he says baseball is American, just look at the game’s history. It’s go engrained and intertwined with American history that it’s hard to not call it The American Pastime — because it is. Basketball will never have the heritage that baseball has and if it ever does, it’s going to take a long time.
What should anger Bulls fans is not that Jerry picked the Sox over their precious Bulls, it’s that Jerry’s favoritism is holding back another team while the other gets all the love.
If you want to be a baseball owner, that’s fine. Go ahead and be the best baseball owner you can be. But don’t syphon money from another organization to be that baseball owner. Jerry doesn’t even have to fully sell the team, he just has to put people in charge that are capable of not having a biased look on things.
This latest quote, if it’s indeed authentic from Reinsdorf, explains everything that has had Bulls fans in a tizzy all offseason long.
The Bulls are essentially Harry Potter, stuffed into a bedroom under the staircase while the White Sox are that fatass Dudley kid that gets everything he wants because the parents like him.
The Bulls gutted their Bench Mob, a unit that was one of the NBA’s best benches, to save literally a few thousand dollars. The White Sox traded for Kevin Youkilis, Boston’s golden child and a fan favorite. The Bulls consistently sell out games and have been doing so since the days of Jordan. The White Sox have sputtered into obscurity since winning the World Series and a massive storyline with them this season is how hard it is to fill the seats at U.S. Cellular.
The question then needs to be be asked: is Reinsdorf purposefully holding personal assets from the Bulls because he has it earmarked for use with the Sox?
And this isn’t a conspiracy theory, it’s business. Reinsdorf has made roughly $1 billion from the Bulls but he very rarely puts that money back into the team. Yes he resigned Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng to massive extensions but when it came this year to really laying down the money and detecting yourself to winning a seventh championship, Reinsdorf ran into the dark with his bag of cash.
But don’t worry Bulls fans, it was a basketball decision to do that and you’re all idiots and will believe that. Or so goes the thinking of Reinsdorf.
So not only has he not put money back into his cash cow, but he’s insulting the intelligence of his fan base (and cash flow) by assuming they’ll eat up whatever excuse he throws out there.
I’m not one to jump onto bandwagons. Just ask Buccaneers fans how long it took for me to let the Rah-Rah Raheem Morris ship sail. But with Reisndorf, the slippery behind-the-doors kind of stuff we have going on here is just to gross to stomach without vomiting your dignity and intelligence.
Yes, Jerry, basketball is just a game. But money ain’t cheap and if this kind of behavior continues, it’s going to stop flowing in as freely as it has been at the United Center.