Having just seen their team win the lottery, Bulls fans have plenty to be excited about.
So I feel slightly less sympathetic than normal to the fact that the team is currently without a coach. The following is just too rich to pass up.
As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times:
"The Knicks told him they loved him, and they rushed him like you rush for a fraternity, and we hadn't made up our minds," [Bulls Chairman Jerry] Reinsdorf said. "Is that indecisive? It may be, but this is a pretty important hire. This is a very important hire, particularly the way the Lottery worked out [with the Bulls getting the first draft pick]. I think it's only appropriate that we take our time. He said there was no rush, by the way. Then the next morning he went to the Knicks."
Reinsdorf said his reservation about D'Antoni was "defense."
Reinsdorf beleives what he next told D'Antoni sealed the deal for the Knicks.
"'If you come to Chicago, the only way I see this wouldn't work out would be if we didn't play defense the way you say we're going to play defense,'" Reinsdorf said. "And then I think that scared him. I think that was the closer for the Knicks."
Just awesome. Backhanded shots at a conference rival. Clear shots at a former coaching candidate. Fun times all around.
The Knicks get slapped with the "fraternity rush" label, and perhaps more seriously, Reinsdorf implies that actually playing defense isn't much of a concern in the Sizable Apple. Sadly for the Knicks fans, the statistics and the roster moves made by the front office of recent years lend nearly unilateral support to Reinsdorf's words.
The idea of accusing a coach -- one with a .608 winning percentage, no less -- of being scared of committing to defense is also a bit too much for me. Sure, D'Antoni is an offensive-minded coach, but Reinsdorf's assessment seems over the top -- and a bit bitter.
A hearty laugh is no doubt in order for all unaffiliated observers.