1. The Kings are fun to watch, but the Bulls aren’t
Not only have the Kings been willing to take risks when deemed necessary — like offering Zach LaVine a seemingly exorbitant $80 million, or trading away their blossoming sophomore guard — but they’ve undeniably put their fans first every step of the way ever since Monte McNair took the reigns in 2020. It may have taken a few years to crack the code, but you can’t say the Kings hadn’t been working hard to break their postseason drought leading up to this moment.
Identifying the NBA’s transition to an offensively-oriented game, it makes sense for Sacramento to push all their chips on being able to run and gun. The Kings score the most points per game and hold the league’s highest offensive rating not only this season, but in NBA history.
Compared to the Bulls, who hold the league’s 24th-best offensive rating, these two teams look like they’re playing a different sport at times. And I don’t just mean on the court.
While Chicago would prefer cutting corners to reduce costs and remain under the luxury tax threshold, the Kings have dumped a truckload of money to keep Fox, Huerter, and Barnes on the roster for the foreseeable future. When Sabonis becomes eligible for an extension next season, I have no doubt they’ll pony up the cash to keep their All-Star duo together, even if it means venturing into the luxury tax.
This goes beyond spending habits, of course, as I’m referring to the culture surrounding these organizations as a whole. The United Center is the house that MJ built, and yet… it no longer feels like it. Gone are the days of iconic player introductions, players being fashion icons and international superstars, and the Bulls being arguably the most identifiable sports organization on the planet. As long as the books remain in the green and Jerry Reinsdorf continues cashing checks, everything else feels irrelevant.
Meanwhile, the Kings are prioritizing the fun factor and takings risks left and right to create an enjoyable experience for their fans. Introducing the beam when nobody held any expectations for this team to be good was an insane gambit that paid off in an enormous fashion. Their social media team has also nailed it every step of the way and the Kings truly feel like the feel-good Cinderella story of the season.
To put it simply, it feels good to be a Kings fan right now. As much as I may want to, it doesn’t always feel the same for the Bulls. And this isn’t simply because the Kings are winning and the Bulls aren’t, rather, there are weeds that need pulling with roots stemming all the way to the very core of this franchise. If we’re lucky, we’ll begin to see a systemic overhaul put in place to get this team back on track. I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high, however, as history isn’t really in favor of the Bulls on this one.