If there’s one thing Chicago sports fans love, it’s their curses. Whether it’s billy goats at Wrigley or the honey bears of Soldier Field, it seems every major pro sports franchise in the Windy City has its own demons hidden in the closet. The Chicago Bulls may not have a catchy name attributed to their struggles like the Blackhawks’ Curse of Muldoon, but there’s still a stench surrounding the franchise that’s become impossible to deny.
The curse I’m referring to, of course, is the point guard problem that has hindered the Bulls for more than a decade now. After hearing news of Lonzo Ball requiring another knee surgery, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the instability has faced with their floor generals suffering devastating injuries for an entire generation of Bulls basketball.
To get an idea of just how extensive the injuries Chicago has faced are, let’s take a look at how many games the Bulls have gotten out of their starting point guard over the last decade, courtesy of CHGO’s Will Gottlieb.
The starting point guard gig for the Chicago Bulls has proven to be an increasingly dangerous job for over an entire decade now.
That’s 12 seasons accounted for here, and only one of the dozen saw a Bulls point guard participate in 85% or more of all games. That being Coby White, who played 69 of 72 games in a COVID-shortened season. Even then, that season proved that Coby isn’t fit to play point guard full-time, with the only other primary point on the roster — Tomas Satoransky — also missing 20% of the season due to COVID-19.
Of course, if you go just one year further back you’ll be treated to Rose’s MVP campaign, in which he logged 81 games and the ninth most minutes of any player in the NBA. Still, it feels like paltry compensation for what has been a lifetime of disappointment and suffering for new fans of the Bulls.
Fortunately, the hole Lonzo’s absence has left in the starting lineup will be contested by several talented guards including Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, and Goran Dragic. Their impending feud for the starting job will undoubtedly be the highlight of training camp, and means Ball can take his time recovering and ensuring he truly is operating at 100% when he makes his eventual return.
Until then, the Bulls will simply have to learn to live without their primary playmaker, perimeter defender, and 3-point marksman. There are no delusions among management that this is a tall order, but if last season’s success didn’t prove that these Chicago Bulls can defy all expectations, I don’t know what will.