Zach LaVine recently had some comments that should make Chicago Bulls fans feel good. His positive mindset is something to be excited about.
Sometimes it’s hard to be happy as a Chicago Bulls fan. Outside of a couple Derrick Rose seasons, they haven’t been contenders since the days of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
The NBA is preparing for their return in July, and the Bulls are one of eight teams that won’t be involved. That’s embarrassing. Not only were they not in the playoff picture, but they weren’t even close enough to be invited along with the other six teams that are on the outside looking in. Yikes.
"“It sucks. You gotta understand it. It’s a weird time, but it’s upsetting. We weren’t even good enough to get into the play in game. It shows we’ve got to do a lot of things differently to get ourselves into that spot.”"
Zach’s right. In order to get better, the Bulls have to do a lot of things differently. Thankfully, the team has already made some positive changes, switching up some key positions in the front office. Here’s what LaVine said about those changes:
"“I’m excited. When you change something, you’re willing to put yourself out there and get better. I’m all for it – this team is focusing on getting better. I’m very happy.”"
And here’s what LaVine said about his communication with the new front office:
"“It’s been really good actually. As a player it’s always good to have them reach out to you and they did that on the first day. I’ve had several conversations with them, Zoom calls, texts and individual conversations. Same with Marc.”"
Finally, here’s what LaVine had to say about improving as a team:
"“Change starts with us, as players. We’re the ones on the court… we need to change our identity and become a winning culture. We had high expectations coming into this year and it wasn’t anything like what we wanted.”"
All of those quotes from LaVine are really encouraging. It’s good that he recognized and called out the fact that it’s a huge bummer the Bulls weren’t good enough to get invited to Orlando and that he’s excited about the front office changes. It also makes me really happy to hear communication has been good between the new front office and LaVine.
The best part, though? Zach calling out the culture and identity of the team. Every good team has a winning culture and a strong identity. The Bulls have neither.
If LaVine keeps focusing on turning himself into a winning player and turning the Bulls into a winning team, both are bound to happen eventually. I refuse to think he’ll always be a good-stats, bad-team guy. His mindset is too good for that to be where he peaks.