Baffoe: Bulls Are Heading The Wrong Way — Toward The Playoffs
So this weekend I was catching up on some DVR stuff, and I watched the last episode of the super-awesome BBC series Planet Earth 2. That one is “Cities,” about how some animals have adapted to urbanization of the world and are even thriving amid the concrete jungles. I took issue with the Brits chronicling raccoons in Toronto but not the domesticated mafia ones that live in Chicago. There are also neither Chicago coyotes cheap soccer jerseys wholesale in the episode nor exotic monk parakeets here that get preyed on by peregrine falcons (but New York peregrines made the cut).
The episode’s most compelling drama occurs with newly hatched hawksbill turtles in Barbados. Normally the babies flop zombie-like from the beach into the ocean by instinctively following the moonlight reflected on the water. But with the bright lights of the city now nearby, these poor babies are confusedly marching the wrong way and dying of exhaustion or man-made hazards in the streets. The scene forces the viewer to moan at their television, “No, turn around. Go the other way, please.”
But the turtles can’t hear me.
Which leads me to the Chicago Bulls. For the second consecutive year, I’m in the unfair position of being partial to a team that I don’t want to make the postseason. This team is a massive chore to watch — to the point where it’s like I’m happy when I have an excuse to not watch them. Oh, the NCAA basketball games are on? You’re playing the same time as the Blackhawks? Point Break is on? (Not the remake, which should be damned to hell.) Sorry, Bulls, but I’m washing my hair.
And I say it’s unfair because this organization has once again given us a wet sandbag of a team that’s no longer worth trying to lift into relevance this season. It’s possible to be a somewhat interesting seven- or eight-seed. This ain’t that. But if the Bulls make the playoffs, I would be compelled to watch the four — maybe five — extra sad games, which would have the annoyance of a head cold but the more prolonged and possibly fatal diarrhea of management using a playoff appearance as a feather in their mansplaining fedora. It would give a clearly overmatched Fred Hoiberg possible reason to hang around and cite getting this … thing to the postseason as a moral victory.
This just can’t happen. We who have stared through this abysmal year, mouths agape, for our waning sanity deserve at least a lottery pick (who will probably end up being some four-year collegiate player with “heart”). Fake success for this team would only contribute to the backward approach to everything that peaked with the “younger and more athletic” lie of last offseason. It’s unfair that I have to root again for nothing beyond the final regular-season Bulls game, but it’s better than the organization getting the satisfaction of a trash playoff appearance in a conference seeding that just can’t shed this team.
For a while, the Bulls seemed nicely destined for golf after Game 82. Recent weeks had them sputtering at 10th in the Eastern Conference, after Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott AND A PICK were white-flagged to the Oklahoma City Thunder at the February trade deadline for two stiffs who won’t be around for another year and a jewel in Cameron Payne who has been sent to the D-League twice since (so far). Dwyane Wade was presumably out for the rest of the season with an injured right elbow and a more serious case of regret for signing here.
But the stupid East is craptastic enough that entering Tuesday the Bulls are just a half-game behind the Miami Heat for the eighth playoff spot with just eight games left. How? How does a Bulls team this trash flirt with the theater of the absurd that would be them making the playoffs?
That’s where the turtles come in. They’re young, not terribly bright and headed the wrong way. They and the Bulls. The turtle hatchlings, who know no better than to follow the light, were saved by the Planet Earth 2 crew and conservationists. So, too, are these Bulls flailing their way toward the false glow of a postseason and a very real crushing, yet they have no omniscient figures to step in and save them from themselves.
Turn around, little Bulls. Please hear me. Flap your spastic legs toward the the warm embrace of the unknown sea of the offseason where you’ll swim toward the next stage of whatever life this is. Don’t continue heading the wrong way toward the playoffs only to get squished between pavement and some speeding Celtics tires or trapped in a Cavaliers storm drain. I know the playoffs look bright and appealing, but they are certain austere death and will only harm the immediate future of your species.
“Yeah, (Wade) actually does say that: ‘Get us to the playoffs, because I’ll be able to come back, and I can play,’’’ Jimmy Butler told the Sun-Times recently. “So that’s my goal right now. Go out there and be the killer to take us to these wins.”
No, Jimmy. Bad Jimmy. “Turn around, Jimmy,” I scream. You’re finished, Dwyane. You’re going to opt out of your deal like a smart person and float away to a viable contender in your final NBA days instead of the legal thievery you got in your Bulls paychecks.
But they don’t hear me. The lights are too bright, and cheap nhl jerseys the East too pathetic.
And it’s ripping my heart out to witness.