The Tyrus Thomas conundrum

The Bulls weren’t exactly forthcoming about why they suspended Tyrus Thomas for Saturday’s game against the Miami Heat, but it didn’t take a huge, throbbing brain to figure out it probably had something to do with the 16 minutes of playing time Thomas logged in Friday night’s loss to the Hawks in Atlanta.

Sure enough, it appears a “profanity-laced postgame outburst” at Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro was the cause of Ty’s one-game vacation. It’s yet another chapter in the Saga of Tyrus. It’s a story that seems destined to end badly. At least so far as his career with the Bulls goes.

Thomas is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. He has infinite potential and unlimited immaturity. He’s a team-first player as long as he gets his minutes. He’s a big man who converts only 53 percent of his shots at the rim and would much rather take jump shot after jump shot than bang bodies down low. In fact, over half his shots are chucked up from the outside. Which is how he likes it.

As Tyrus put it last November: “I shoot a lot of shots a day, so when I’m in the game and I feel like I want to shoot the ball, I’m going to shoot it. I’m not going to take a shot I haven’t worked on, so whatever I shoot is a shot I know I can make, and if I miss it, oh well.”

That quote has been festering in my Bulls notebook all season. To me, it says almost everything you need to know about Tyrus Thomas the basketball player. But it’s also worth pointing out something about Tyrus Thomas the human being. Namely, this: Although Ty grew up in what was, by all accounts, a loving and supportive home, he may well be living in the shadow of a father who was in and out of prison for most of Thomas’ youth.

This manifested itself in a sometimes troubled adolescence. As Tyrus once put it: “I just couldn’t take other males telling me what to do. I’d be like, ‘You’re not my dad. You can’t tell me this. You can’t tell me that.’ It was kind of like a rebellious stage in my life.”

That troubled childhood has transformed into troubled adulthood. Even now, Thomas is still rebelling. Vinny Del Negro is not his dad. He can’t tell Tyrus what to do. The question is: Who can?

Maybe nobody. Or maybe a stronger coach could, someone capable of being a supportive father-like figure.  Or maybe it’s impossible. Maybe the bad habits are set in the stone of Thomas’ stubborn personality. After all, he knows what shots he can hit, and if he misses, oh well.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune seems to believe that these problems could be solved by simply starting Thomas and bringing Taj Gibson off the bench. Is PT the correct method of therapy for a player who doesn’t get it and seems as though he never will? It’s a thorny situation. And anyway, what kind of precedent would the team set by giving in to an underperforming player who is determined to do things his own way. Remember, players earn minutes by accepting their role, making smart decisions and performing to the best of their abilities.

When has Tyrus ever done that on a consistent basis?

Even more damning to Thomas and his situation is the re-arrival of Chris Richard, who was waived before the season started but whom the Bulls signed to a 10-day contract after shutting Joakim Noah until after the All-Star break. Richard came dutifully off the bench against the Heat, snared 7 rebounds, blocked a couple shots, and banged every opposing body in his general vicinity. When he left the game, there was blood on his jersey. The crowd ate it up.

Said Richard: “I know what my role is no matter what team I’m on. I’ve just got to bring energy, defend, rebound, help, whatever I can do. I figured if I get lost on the offensive end, I can just go set a random screen. That’s a great thing about being a big.”

Imagine what Tyrus could accomplish with that attitude.

Potential can sustain coaches and fans for only so long. Eventually, a player must either perform like an All-Star or kill themselves for the team…or they will wear out their welcome. Thomas will return to practice today. Unless he pulls off a Hollywood movie-like transformation from heel to hero, he may discover the Windy City has pulled its welcome mat off the stoop.

Come to think of it, that may have already happened.

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36 Responses to The Tyrus Thomas conundrum

  1. PTFC February 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    I was surprised at Richard’s performance. He is what the Bulls need, a big that plays defense, protect the paint, rebound, set screens. I’m not really sure why they let him go after preseason but kept Aaron Gray. Gray was slow and unathletic, basically a untalented Brad Miller lol. The Bulls have a handful of scorers (Deng, Rose, Salmons, Hinrich, even Miller can shoot the J) so they need another big brute to bang around in there and help Noah out. You forgot to mention the rebound dunk put back Chris had and a steal to go along with his 7 rebounds (4 offensive). All this in 20 mins. I like this dude, play him more minutes for sure. Seems like he has a good basketball IQ. I was expecting him to be lost and out sync and rusty being dropped in to a new team and new system.

    Tony C. February 8, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Excellent background, Matt. It’s not really a conundrum, though, as the obvious answer is for the Bulls to trade him for the highest value piece(s) they can get in return. In other words, while he does have plenty of potential, the odds are greatly against him ever fulfilling it.

    All players are risk/reward propositions, with a number of variables playing roles in the calculations. But the history of professional sports is littered with immensely talented underachievers whose mental issues prevented them from fulfilling their potential. Yes, on rare occasions a “bad boy” is united with a coach who is able to make a major difference. But the odds of that happening are ALWAYS very poor, and the vast majority of such players simply end up degrading their teams.

    That, in a nutshell, is why the Bulls should cut their losses and trade TT as soon as possible.

    Greg February 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    Great article Matt.

    I agree with Tony C. it’s time to get Tyrus out of here. He’s got little to no value around the league, but I guess that’s where this rocky relationship has taken us.

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Ty (given his charity work and occasional flashes) but this isn’t ever gonna work out here.

    The quote about the shots was interesting, and speaks volumes to why he drives coaches mad. I’m still interested in seeing where he lands & what type of player he becomes. I know Ty created a ton of his own problems here, but I certainly think that the organization has managed this issue poorly as well.

    BadDave February 8, 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    I love how everyone assumes the answer is a trade. If it were that easy, every team’s problems would be solved. Knowing this stuff about TT, who would want him? And if they do, at what price? A dime will get you a dollar that anyone they bring in will have his own issues, whether on or off the court.

    Look, I’d love a trade, too. But sometimes you just have to figure out other ways. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer. But I’ll support Tirade Thomas coming off the bench until he figures it out, a magic trade can happen, or his contract expires.

  5. bigballer86 February 8, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

    Im just thinking damn LaMarcus Aldridge would look good in a Bulls uniform or better yet Brandon Roy!! Its crazy to think we’d pass up on 2 players who produced throughout thier college carrers for this ncaa tournament made bum!! But then I come back to reality and realize this is the Bulls were talking about….get rid of Tyrus for a bag peanuts while hes still worth that! I’m sick of hearing about potential, everyone outside Joakim Noah, D. Rose and the 2 rookies everyone else has hit thier ceiling, its time to clean out and reload, this season where a 7 seed at best so get rid of tyrus and either kirk or salmons so we can go get Bosh and Joe Johnson and have the best starting 5 in basketball…ok I can calm down now…lol

  6. Jeremy da pig fucker February 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    I say package him, Hinrich, and Salmons for Lebron and a 1st round draft pick.

    Cavendish February 8, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Chris Richard performed admirably against the Heat, but I’m not sure if he can be as effective against other teams. J O’Neal is about as creaky and slow as they get so he wasn’t able to exploit Richard’s weakness (foot speed) as well as other C/F’s might be able to do. And those ref’s let them play – in a tightly called game his physical style might not let him stay in the game very long. Still, job well done.

    As to TT, his hill just got even steeper to climb. He’s still young and obviously frustrated. But his talent remains and on a new team with a fresh start he could still become a monster, ala Josh Smith. I’m starting to join the wagon that thinks his best days may not happen with this Bulls team, and that is unfortunate.

    Brad S. February 8, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    Ha!HA! – My favorite subject! Oh, Tyrus, how I have missed you!

    I think we are all working the wrong angle here: KC Johnson, Matt, all the readers and bloggers, WE need to talk about what a “glue” guy Tyrus is. How he is the “emotional” leader of this group. How it is Tyrus that should be in the All-Star game. Then maybe one of the dumber GM’s might pull the trigger for him. (Isiah, where have you gone?)

    BTW, You couldn’t be more correct about that quote, Matt. It was the first I had seen it, but I noticed the “when I’m in the game and I feel like I want to shoot the ball” part as a MAJOR red flag. “The Game” is not about Tyrus or any one player. You just don’t get to shoot whenever you want to. Great players don’t just make play’s, they make the RIGHT play. The real reason Tyrus has not found success has nothing to do with coaches or playing time. He has not been victimized by anyone. He has simply failed to understand the secret to basketball.

    dolo February 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    It’s the coaching staff’s challenge to get the most out of players. If the coaching staff is not doing so it’s the general manager’s job to step in. Make no mistake, not cultivating the talent that is Tyrus Thomas and taking full advantage of the uber-human feats he can abound, is an orginizational failure.
    I don’t mean to absolve Tyrus of any responsibilty here. But I certainly believe the situation could have been handled better. Imagine what Phil Jackson would do with a Tyrus Thomas. Managing enigmatic personalities may be Jackson’s strongest coaching trait, and why we revere him as one of the GOATs. Isn’t this is a primary challenge for coaches of this generation?
    I am not a Vinnie hater (though I wasn’t exactly ecstatic to hear he was going to be coaching my Bulls). All things considered, I think he’s done a solid job at developing the individual talent on this roster and more recently, learning how to win games as a team. However, this Tyrus situation has been a debacle for a while now.
    It first stood out in the epic Boston series where Tyrus was frozen out of almost every 4th qtr. And strangley enough, the only game he wasn’t, the 1st one, he was huge for us hitting three straight key JUMPERS down the stretch in overtime. Conversly, the very next game he had SIX blocks in only 20min of pt, while Brad Miller played THIRTY THREE MINUTES and had a poor game with several key turnovers down the stretch. That’s when I knew something was seriously afoot. He saw virtually no late game time for the remainder of the series. We lost.
    Fast forward to this year, he loses his starting job due to injury, to a rookie, and is still consistently having his minutes limited and being frozen out of anything resembling a late game situation. And with Noah out, he figured “okay, now they have to play me more”. Yet, still he gets treated. AND THEY LOST a very winnable game against ATL. It came to a head for Tyrus that night, understandably so. It came to a head for me as a Bulls fan, and a Tyrus fan (even with his shortcomings).
    That said, I sort of wished he hadn’t snapped on Vinnie’s ass, though it may have been warranted. It just gives them another reason to trade him. I, like Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men”, believe we shouldn’t move every soldier who isn’t quite performing up to par. We should… “train the lad.” But, oh well… looks like it’s too late for all that. I hope he succeeds wherever he goes. I just hope he doesn’t make us pay too badly when he does get his act together. Notice I said “when” not “if”. Get your’s TY!!!

    blackfujones February 8, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    kinda missed c. richards coming out party but from what I keep hearing the guy literally gave up his body out there which just literally pisses me off when T.t. has all the potential in the world yet still mentally just doesnt get it. I dont agree with K.C by starting him just to pacify his needs. He’s a professional im sorry if he would be a senior in college this yr but he decided to be a pro instead of an amateur. sad enough hes ran his course and i want him outta here

    blackfujones February 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    im sorry dolo but i guess u didnt realize why he was benched in the celtics bout the fact that he decided to go to the line instead of getting the ball to d. rose who had just hit 6 throws in a row. or how about him going one on one after big baby had been torching him all night? the stuff just gets worse and worser for ty. fact is he isnt a good player, hes an athlete with piss for brains. Hes a professional ball player he doesnt need a father or babysitter in the pro’s. This isnt college anymore tyrus you dont get that luxury whatsoever. Whatever we have to do to trade him just do it already

  12. Steve February 8, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    I definitely agree with dolo….there is no reason that he shouldnt have logged more minutes in that Atlanta game. I also agree that some of the problem is organizational. Tyrus has been very immature, but at the same time it seems from the outside looking in that he needs more support and encouragement from the organization. Instead of saying nothing and not playing him, let him know exactly what he needs to do in practices and in game time situations to get on the floor. Whether hes a team player or a me first player the situation would improve. We at least need to raise his value to try to get somthing back for him because he has none as of now.

  13. TexasBullsFan February 8, 2010 at 11:20 pm #

    The simple fact is that Tyrus doesn’t WANT to be trained. He was frozen out of 4th quarters because he’s a liability on the defensive end of the ball and he’s terribly inconsistent on the offensive side. He’s had 3 coaches now and with each coach it’s been the same song and dance.

    Tyrus doesn’t rebound. Tyrus doesn’t bang bodies enough with the other bigs. Tyrus can’t post. Tyrus has a bad attitude towards playing team ball. Tyrus whines about his minutes. Tyrus doesn’t play with enough energy.

    Those have been the complaints attached to Tyrus for 4 years now. Tyrus is a grown man, not a little kid. He’s not a wet-behind-the-ears rookie. He’s been around and it’s TYRUS’S job to set up and earn his minutes. It’s not VDN’s job to coddle and babysit Tyrus to make sure he’s happy. VDN’s job is to win games and put the best players out on the floor. Tyrus doesn’t hustle, he doesn’t work hard on the floor and it’s hard to take minutes away from people like Taj Gibson and Brad Miller who, even though they are probably 1/5 as athletic as Tyrus, still work harder and give more effort than Tyrus.

    The amazing potential line can only carry Tyrus so far. He’s got to start producing, night in and night out. He needs to crash the boards. He needs to stay home on defense. He needs to work his ass off. These are all things that he stubbornly refuses to do, because he’s immature and wants to do it his own way. Well, I’m sick of watching this head-case act up, and I’m sick of people who want to deflect all the criticism onto coaches.

    At this point, 3 coaches in, it’s insipid to think that this is some sort of vendetta against Thomas. To think that somehow, some way, Boylan, Skiles, VDN, Lindsey Hunter and John Paxon have conspired with Brad Miller and Taj Gibson to damage Tyrus Thomas purely out of spite. That, rather than give poor Tyrus, who is a victim of circumstance, his just minutes, they’d purposely lose games.

    If Tyrus wants more minutes, he needs to work harder and do the little things. If he does the little things well, he can be trusted to start doing the big things too.

    Frankly, he’s done with this team. I can’t see a way he’s back next season.

  14. bigballer86 February 8, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    how about trade Tyrus Thomas, Kirk Hinrich, John Salmons and Jerome James to Houston for Tracy McGrady, Carl Landry and Kyle Lowry. Of course were not getting face value for what we give up but all 3 have expiring contracts and we get rid of Kirk and Salmons multi yr deals which means more than enough to get 2 free agents (i.e. Bosh, Stoudamire, J. Johnson, D-Wade, any 2 of those, for me perferably Bosh and either Wade or J. Johnson) and for this year we get Landry who is a bruiser who can actually score with his back to the basket!!! McGrady is prolly past his prime but can give you 17-18 pts a night and still demands respect and attention from opposing teams, Lowry can take limited mins. or gain ass blisters like pargo (really who cares) we can then give James Johnson more opporutnities becuz he reminds me of a young paul pierce…kinda lol. after this yr. we can come back with a great starting 5 with 2 young players and 2 draft picks

  15. Jeff February 8, 2010 at 11:51 pm #

    Richards without a doubt is lost offensively. He has no shot, I was at this game and he air balled a 4 ft shot. Tyrus would make that, or probably have dunked it. Richards plays within his role, but thats not a big role. Don’t forget despite his seven boards we still got killed on the glass. Also I think Ty and Brad is a good front line just because Brad will bang but still give up the shot. Ty can help D on brad which would be a big boost to our defense in the paint.

    I can’t stand the fact that Thomas doesn’t have a better basketball IQ, or just a better understanding of what he should do, and what he should be practicing.

    Chad February 9, 2010 at 3:27 am #

    Tyrus had the same free throw percentage as Rose last year.

    Chad February 9, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    What happened to “I’m so glad the Bulls are finally healthy now that Tyrus is back from his arm injury, the Bulls are winning almost every game.” Then they lose a few games where Tyrus only gets 15 minutes and everyone thinks Tyrus needs to be traded.

    inkybreath February 9, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    They could have easily traded Tyrus over and over again over the last two years and chose not to, so I am inclined to think that they were trying to make it work. They were just too busy screwing up the rest of the team to give him some foundation to work from and someone to really look up to in a game. The big thing for me was literally seeing the work that Noah did in the off season. There is no mistaking it. He changed his body big time. Then you look at Tyrus. I know different body types can mask muscle, but he has not worked into the NBA body that he needs. I would think that there is something mantra like in that extra workout devotion. That alone builds the stakes for the year ahead. And, if you haven’t put in much work, then it doesn’t mean as much … Such appears to be the case with Tyrus. I will miss him, though. I am grateful for the jaw-dropping highlights over the years. A lot of times, his highlights were the only things getting us fans through the season. He and Gordon kept the highs high.

  19. TexasBullsFan February 9, 2010 at 4:40 am #

    Let’s not fool ourselves Chad. Tyrus being back was *not* the reason the Bulls went on that winning streak. In fact, most of those games, Tyrus was a total nonentity, just like now. Those games were won because the Bulls played good team ball and Rose was lighting the court on fire.

    Tyrus is a joke, he needs to go.

    Nikhil February 9, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    Some comments

    1) In KC’s article, he suggested the problem could have been (past tense) avoided if VDN started TT after his strong first few games back from the injury, not if he started him now.
    2) For anyone who is exploring the “coaches have to get the most out of their players” angle, remember, TT has had 3 coaches. It didnt work with Skiles (tough guy), Boylan (yes man), or Del Negro (player’s coach). The only constant in Tyrus’s dysfunctional relationships is himself.
    3) Its almost inconceivable that the 2nd (I know he was taken 4th, but really he was 2nd) overall pick could not be a rotation player on a .500 team. If TT focused on running the court, rebounding and defense he would have a place in this league for the next 5-10 years.
    4) Obviously, Pax should have taken Aldridge over Thomas. That seemed pretty obvious at the time too. BUT, there’s no way a Bulls team with Aldridge would have won 33 games in ’08. That means no Rose. Rose > Aldridge. In my opinion, Bulls future > Blazers future. So, cant complain too much about that one.

    DLouis February 9, 2010 at 7:35 am #

    I think Tyrus becomes expendable due to Richard, but more importantly Brad Miller is finally in shape and on his game. Everyone is talking about how Rose turned everything around once he was healthy, but people overlook Miller’s improvement over the last few games. His play has a lot less to do with the improvement, but it definitely has helped. The team needs more hustle and heart guys, and that’s why I think Richard would be a good fit for a few minutes a game. There is nothing that limits him from being the next Brad Miller. Plus someone needs to fill the very large void left by Aaron Gray on the bench.

    If we trade Tyrus and do not get a PF in return, its not like VDN would ask Richard to play more than 15 minutes under normal circumstances. Plus, Richard knows his role, and I like that.

    I love Tyrus’ game, and I think he will be a strong energy role player for the right team. Unfortunately, that team isn’t the Bulls. He has given up on VDN, and VDN has given up on him. I’m not blaming management or coaching for Tyrus’ attitude, but I hope he gets a chance to catch on somewhere. Honestly, I think we all know what will happen here. He will leave the Bulls and be a great player (a la Benson and Chandler to a limited extent.) I’m fine with that, I would rather see him be productive somewhere else than be a cancer here.

    I was throwing this around on the trade machine earlier and I wanted to get your opinion. Tyrus and James for Big Z and JJ Hickson. Obviously we would buy out Z to satisfy the Cavs (and I’m sure they would buy out Jerome James.) I really don’t want or need a slow Lithuanian around Rose (nor do I know why the Cavs would want one around LeBron). Tyrus is obviously an improvement over Hickson (with ridiculous upside), and Hickson gives us a good second PF (with a lot less upside) behind Taj.

    I just don’t understand how Tyrus could spend weeks in the summer at IMG and they couldn’t train their client to behave appropriately and work his way back in the rotation. That is the real failure here.

    Cavendish February 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm #

    One thing that has been left out here is “contract season”. I refuse to believe the coaching staff has whiffed on trying to tell TT what his role should be. The problem lies in what TT THINKS he should be (lol, a 20-10 PF). Maybe he can be, just not this season. But he’s playing for his next contract, and much like BG7 did in his last 2 years here he’s trying too hard to do too much so he has better leverage in contract negotiations. Forcing shots, forcing drives to the hoop . . . those are not his strong areas but they are skills that earn big contracts. He just needs to let the game come to him, it’s a cliche but true. That, and keep his mouth shut.

  23. letsgobulls_24 February 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    tyrus, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

    tyrus, good things come to those who wait. be patient and let the game come to you.

    tyrus, success is not a result of spontaneous combustion- you must set yourself on fire.

    tyrus, actions speak louder than words. now get out there and earn that next big contract. we all know that you’re capable of doing it, now TCOB!!

  24. letsgobulls_24 February 9, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    a lot of you have valid points. and it truly has been a tale of 2 tyrus’s. i’m a firm believer that he can’t turn this situation around, he just has to make that decision for himself. yes, so far he has basically been a bust as the #2 draft pick. i just feel that letting him go will be a mistake.

    btw, i love the discussion that’s taking place on this! it’s great to hear the thoughts of other fans that are as passionate about the bulls as i am.

    whatever happens, the bulls future looks pretty bright, and i’m looking forward to celebrating our 7th title..

  25. letsgobulls_24 February 9, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    *i’m a firm believer that he can turn this situation around, he just has to make that decision for himself.

    Chad February 9, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    I wonder what would have happened if they had started Tyrus after he played so well the first couple games coming back from injury. Would he have been happier? Would he have tried harder and kept playing well? When he played well he did get starters minutes those first 3 games back from the injury. Was he happy then, or did he just want to be a starter? Did he stop performing after those 3 games because he didn’t get to start, because he stopped getting lots of minutes, or because he isn’t very good?

    Boppinbob February 9, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    Until this recent outburst I was a Tyrus supporter. Even though he is in his 4th NBA season he is only 23. But he has shown that he was not able to learn or is not willing to learn his role. He has had 3 different coaches. None of them could get through to him. There is probably a coach out there who thinks he can reach TT. It is my feeling that the Bulls should take whatever they can get for someone who has no value for them. Potential has to have gradual payback. The Bulls are not getting that from Tyrus. Let’s try to get a front line role player for him.

    Boppinbob February 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    I love it when people say trade Hinrich. Look close folks. The Bulls started winning when Hinrich started starting. Rose started playing better when Hinrich started starting. Hinrich knows that he is not a superstar, he also knows that his role is to complement D. Rose in any way possible. He does this in an effortless almost unnoticed way. If Hinrich is traded the Bulls could be back to square one of the rebuilding process.

  29. Truth February 9, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    Tyrus isn’t a headcase. The man is a good player and he’s been getting jerked around since the playoffs last year. Good players don’t lose there jobs to average rookies. Taj Gibson has been overly hyped to justify Tyrus benching, now Chris Richard is overly praised for getting 7 rebounds, he’s a big man, his job was to rebound and he did, the fact that people actually choose Richard over Tyrus shows the level of basketball knowledge these people have. Also Richard played his first game and got 20 minutes, Tyrus only got 15 minutes in the three games before he was suspended for no reason, and Tyrus was producing, so hell yeah I see why Tyrus was mad, and if you watch Tyrus closely you could see this was eventually gonna happen. There was no reason for Vinny to cut Tyrus minutes, no reason at all. This was premeditated on Vinny’s part. Tyrus has his shortcomings like every other player, but what this organisation did with him was wrong!

    Tyrus Thomas February 9, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    Everyone listen to what Truth said, he speaks the truth

    rustumt February 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    Look guys, Thomas’ failure to hit big minutes in the rotation all comes down to this – IF IT IS TO BE IT IS UP TO ME!

    Tyrus isn’t getting respect and confidence from his coach for the same reason why you didn’t get that promotion at work or didn’t make the Div 1 basketball team!.. He’s just not a smart guy and he obviously has a poor work ethic! I mean, how much more film and coaching do you need to understand that your freakish athleticism can help a team in so many ways?!?..

    He doesn’t get the minutes he wants purely because he expects them to be gift wrapped and delivered to his door just because he’s been in the league for 4 years! What a joke! This is professional sports! Get your act up TT!!

    And all you people who freely blame the coaches, think twice.. See you later TT, thanks for all those highlight blocks that ended up in the stands and were never converted into fast break points.. Oh and thanks for all those times you forgot to rotate on help defense and let someone into your own basket for an easy lay-in.. And I musnt forget to thank you for that beautiful jumper of yours that created a rhyhmic thumping noise.. In fact, I think we should honour you the title of Captain Clank before you leave!..

    inkybreath February 10, 2010 at 3:00 am #

    I have to chime on Hinrich. Like Thomas, I have rooted for him to be on the team and I still feel that way. He is the kind of guard you end up trading for half-way through the season to put you over the top. I do think that he still has a little to go when it comes to his current role. There is nothing like watching him guard up at the end of the game. If he is getting good passes out of the system, he can hit them. His jumper is as technically sound as anyone on the team. And, yes, Brad Miller has been huge. He has been put in some big situations and has faltered in some, but that is okay. What I see from him, is that he has created a positive offensive relationship with almost everyone on the team. Of course he has a rapport with Salmons, but I have been really pleased with the way he finds Rose and Thomas (I know there was a reference to him passing on Thomas late in the playoffs?? But, mostly it seems like he has freely enjoys hooking him up.) And, I am excited about James Johnson, too. I think he will step into the super potential role that Thomas held for so long. He is an quick-footed, rim-attacker … can you imagine how fast and strong he and Rose would be on the break, in say, two years? Tangent exhausted. Bulls win!

    Varese February 11, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    My God, this is depressing. It’s like so many of you aren’t even watching the games. Tyrus gets pulled when he Fs up two or more times in a row. And it happens over and over and over again.

    Taj is “over-hyped”? What the hell are you seeing on the court? He plays smart, he FINISHES STRONG. How many times does Tyrus have to flop up those weak plays at the rim and complain about getting fouled for you people to get this?! TT should be a dunk machine.

    Watch Chris “Birdman” Andersen play for Denver, and tell me why Tyrus shouldn’t be able to do all that and more for his team. It’s been up and down but at this point, it’s ridiculous.

    TexasFan, AMEN to you, brother, you get it.

    Inkybreath: are you SERIOUS about James Johnson? I’m cheering for the guy, but he’s been a train wreck out there!

    letsgobulls_24 February 12, 2010 at 5:35 am #

    I agree with Varese regarding James Johnson. He is a turnover machine. I’ve only seen him make a good play a couple of times this season.

    inkybreath February 14, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    I don’t mind that Johnson hasn’t calibrated his game speed yet. I look at what is trying to do. I think that part of his excitement comes from the fact that has a good awareness of when he has a step on someone. Once he sees how NBA defenses rotate and recover, he will use that knack to a good advantage. He wants to drive to the hole, more than anything and he is built for it. As a small thing, I think it is pretty inspiring to see what Rose is doing on the court in his second year. I could imagine how that would accelerate what Johnson feels that he can do right now. For my money, he is the Paul Pierce Project.


  1. Bulls news and notes: February 9, 2010 » By The Horns - February 9, 2010

    […] expected to play tonight versus Pacers: Somewhat lost amidst all the drama surrounding Tyrus Thomas was the fact that Luol Deng missed practice on Monday because of tendinitis in his right shoulder. […]

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