K.C., I'm a big Bill Cartwright fan and was wondering how much blame for the team's performance falls on him. Would a new coach improve this team or is more veteran presence all that is needed? --Keith, Rochester, N.Y.
I would answer no to both of those questions. I think Bill is a good fit for this team and I think they need way more than just another veteran presence. This is a young team. Bill is a new coach. Mistakes will be part of both growing processes. But let's remember: This whole team is built around the success of Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler. If they succeed, so goes the thinking, so will the Bulls. And I think Bill is a good fit for those two guys. He's a big man's coach. He knows the psyche of the big man. And he certainly is patient with their development. Bill is stubborn at times, and his substitution pattern has raised some questions. But overall, I think he's a good fit for the direction of this organization.
Cartwright talks defense a lot. He's absolutely right, but which assistant coach is responsible primarily for coaching defense? Is there a Buddy Ryan of assistant coaches in the NBA right now? --Russell, Seattle
Bill Berry, a longtime NBA assistant, is in charge of the team's defense.
K.C., man, I think you need a vacation or something. Your was HARSH! Funny, entertaining, and honest but still quite harsh. Is the Bulls' lackluster play bringing you down? --Matt Ahrens, Redwood City, Calif.
As long as you used the word honest, I don't mind you using the word harsh. Here's the deal: When you cover a bad team--and having covered the Hawks for two seasons and the Bulls for three, I know bad--certain losses transcend the norm. Back-to-back losses by 29 and 30 points qualify. And in those cases, I think you have to keep the reader honest and step up the tone of the article. I'd be insulting your intelligence if I didn't. And I got three days off after the latest road trip, thanks for asking.
There are rumors that the LA Clippers are not interested in Elton Brand after the season. Do you think that Jerry Krause will pursue him? --Dwayne Williams, Wichita, Ka.
All the Bulls have to offer is the mid-level exception, which again will be around $4.5 million. Elton is more likely to sign a one-year tender offer from the Clippers and become an unrestricted free agent following next season. He certainly will sign for more than $4.5 million.
Do you agree that the toughest transition from college to the pros is the point guard? Generally most individuals struggle their first season playing the position. They usually take too many shots, play erratically and commit turnovers. So what's the knock on Jay Williams? His stats are comparable with most first year PGs. --Nilay Shroff, Bloomfield, N.J.
Is this Cartwright? Those words sound suspiciously similar to what we've been hearing from Mr. Bill all season long and I don't think you can argue them. What has made Jay seem like a disappointment is this: Everybody expected him to be an immediate impact player and the college player most ready to make the transition to the NBA. I think everybody, Cartwright included, has been surprised at how difficult the transition has been, how Jay has struggled with everybody else being as quick as him.
Did you know that Marcus Fizer parks a rusty old Buick from the 1960s,
windows open, even in winter time, on the street outside his house to annoy his neighbors? He hasn't moved this car in over a year. --Jim Morrison, Northbrook
Maybe this is the reason he has a question mark tattoo on his neck.
Thanks for your questions. Talk to you next week,