The Bulls finally bowed out of play-off contention last night humbled by the atrocious Miami Heat, a team with the worst record in the country. Heat were also without the injured Dwyane Wade and mostly playing young prospects they beat the Bulls 95-88
, this despite the Bulls being 11 points ahead in the 3rd Quarter.
Rumours abound of a total clear out in the summer months in an effort to raise money to rebuild the team. In my time in Chicago I have seen this group of young players prosper to create a buzz that said this team could go all the way to the NBA finals this season. But they didn't, the season has been nothing short of a disaster and the local media is full of stories of Hinrich, Gordon, Thomas, Deng and Nocioni all moving on. Gordon and Deng have already turned down extension contract offers of $50m (yes, you read that right). I personally hope Luol Deng stays, and he maybe the most likely.
We will however still see the Lewisham born Deng in a GB shirt at the European Championship qualifiers in September. Deng is fully committed to the cause, spending the majority of last summer with the GB squad, whilst staying at his Mum's house in South Norwood (he's a Gooner
so don't get the wrong idea).
Meanwhile the ambivalent Ben Gordon, born in Hammersmith, has yet to commit to the GB team despite being named in the recent squad
. It probably sums the attitudes of both Deng and Gordon up. Deng said after the Miami defeat: "This is the end of the year. The damage is done. It's really how it builds you up as a competitor now."
Compared to Gordon: "I was shocked pretty much the entire season. Now you just kind of get numb to it."
Ok, probably taken out of context but I know who I would rather have pull on a GB shirt.