Theories: Changing of the Guard(s)
In a summer where the front office made seemingly uncharacteristic moves, signing Rondo and D. Wade, it got me to thinking about a few things. One thing in particular is, who or what influenced those decisions? One thing to know about GarPax is that they've never been the most active at trade deadlines or in free agency. When I think back on all the early playoff exits and "trying again with the core group" going into the following season, I wonder what's so different now?
I have a theory...
The difference now is that we have a star that won't be silent. Jimmy Butler came into the league as a quiet, laid back, "prove why you belong here" type of guy. He's since become a flat out star and one of the best 2-way players in the game. With that star power comes expectations, a definite change in role on the team, and in the organization as a whole. He voiced his displeasure with the way Hoiberg coached the team at times, and it came off as a diva move. I'll admit, I was even thrown off by his actions, but not because they weren't necessary; because I wasn't use to having a star on my Bulls team speak this way.
Derrick Rose, the native son and former MVP, had been a star his entire basketball career. With that comes a sense of "I can do it on my own", and he's said that on several occasions. When the fans basically begged for the front office to upgrade our SG position, Rose said he could get the job done with Keith Bogans (FUCK KEITH BOGANS). It was at that moment I felt conflicted for the first time. On one hand I saw a player who wouldn't sell his teammate up the river because he believed in him; on the other hand I saw a guy who was too stubborn to admit the team needed serious help. In all my years of blaming GarPax 100% for the shortcomings due to an inadequate roster, I have to give Rose the bulk of that blame too.
GarPax is by no stretch of the imagination "innocent", but they aren't the only reason we didn't make big moves. When you have your best player, MVP, point guard telling you "nah don't trip, I can win with this roster." why move? If your boss came to you and asked if there was anything he could do to make your job easier and you said "no, I'll keep this monochrome monitor, don't worry about putting that MacBook in here." why would he keep pressing?
I don't believe that other stars didn't want to come here due to a lack of trust in the front office completely. Jimmy Butler has helped recruit Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade in one summer as the lone star; Rose couldn't get ANYBODY to come here over all those years? You might be saying "Rondo and Wade?? So what?" but it speaks to how a guy can use his presence to bring in more help that eventually trickles down to future off-seasons.
I have to admit that my Derrick Rose bias stopped me from judging him as I would other players. A few years back I started to get fed up with the stagnancy and I questioned whether or not Rose would ever stop this "I don't recruit" shit. He gets to the Knicks and it comes out that he "doesn't mind" recruiting all of a sudden. Whatever his reasons were for not recruiting in Chicago, I can't blame him for being true to himself; and I'm on record as saying I even respect it, but to not tell the front office help is needed? That's where the problem lies.
I believe these differences ultimately caused the friction between Jimmy and Rose no matter how much they denied it existed.
In no way is this an attempt to shit on Rose, I love him, it's simply food for thought on a touchy subject that we've all probably thought about. I have no problem being the one to start the conversation or at least put it in the universe. I love the direction we're headed in moving forward with Jimmy Butler as our guy. Rondo and Wade, both alphas, have already said this is Jimmy's team and they're here to help. Jimmy Butler is the hero that we deserve; I look forward to him continuing to prove me right.