Here's another stat where the Bulls lead the NBA: fewest tattoos. That's the real reason Paxson traded Chandler and Curry. How many tattoos do you see on Brown and Sweetney? He dumped the other guys who came along in those trades. --Roy, Meridian, Idaho
I don't exactly keep track as I haven't found it affects performance. Actually, body art has become so prevalent around the NBA, and among kids these days, that I rarely notice except when it's bizarre, like Mike Tyson's on his face or all the sayings Marcus Fizer had up and down his calves. The Bulls happen to have something of a conservative bunch of players. I'm waiting to find out if they vote Republican, which actually most players do since they believe it helps reduce their taxes. Remember, when Barkley began talking of running for office, it always was as a Republican. I don't think the Bulls purposely avoided tattooed men, but they did look for players who were aligned with good programs and somewhat serious. It's produced success in the sense of a hard working, responsible team, but it lacks the outgoing leader personality the Bulls always talk about missing.
I haven't heard much analysis about how the Bulls fared with the Sefalosha pick versus other rookies that were available with their pick or Philadelphia's. Now that the season is winding down, how does he compare to some of the other players the Bulls could have had at that spot? --Steve P., Denver
I think they will fare well in the future because you're seeing some glimpses and perhaps because of his defense, Sefolosha is the one player who might have played more this season. But the Bulls perimeter is their strength and they didn't want to upset that. The Bulls' best move on draft day might have been Sefolosha since Phoenix was among a few teams chasing him and gave up when the Bulls got No. 13 from Philly. The Suns thought they could move to 14, but dropped out when the Bulls had him. There's really no one after Sefolosha in the first round who has made much impact. Perhaps Paul Millsap in the second round has had a bigger impact for now.
Ben Gordon is the odd man out this summer. Detroit game seals it. A ball-dominating 5-11 guy doesn't fit on this team. Even more than a scoring four, they need a solid two guard. How about Ben G. for Jason Richardson? Hinrich can't play with Gordon. He's a nice guy but you can see it in his body language on the court. In the Detroit game with Gordon in foul trouble Hinrich had perhaps his most dominant game of the season with 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting and eight assists. Rich K, Roselle, Ill.
It could be, though I don't think they will move that way quickly because Gordon has been such an electric scorer and I think they'll be a bit uncertain of giving up all those points. I'm not sure Richardson works money wise and I don't know if Golden State would want another small guard, though Nellie would find space for him. My guess is the Bulls have a decent playoff run and keep those main three.
One thing has always bothered me about the general assessment of Kevin Garnett -- the implication that he's not a "winner," that he can't be considered with the elite because his teams never did anything in the playoffs. To me, it's all situational. Jason Kidd is not considered to be lacking in those areas, but that's because he became enough of a pain in the behind to get himself traded out of the West. I firmly believe some of those T-Wolves teams would have made the Finals in the East and those Nets teams wouldn't have gotten out of the first round in the West. Maybe if KG had been a coach killer like Kidd, he'd be regarded more highly in the media because he'd have been a "winner" in the East. --Craig Berry, Park Forest, Ill.
An interesting point. However, we still celebrate the winners. We don't wear locker room caps and t-shirts for the team that could have been better with a break in geography. The issue comes up about Garnett not because he doesn't play hard or isn't a top talent, but because he seems so accepting of the mediocrity there. Jordan always was outspoken in pushing for more talent, one time even deferring some salary so the Bulls could sign another player. Garnett never seems to say much or be upset with missing the playoff regularly, and even in the West, eighth is not so great. Perhaps it's laudable to be quiet and loyal like he is, but it's a short career and you have to take your shot while you have a chance and he never seems to try to very seriously. I could never see myself satisfied in that kind of losing situation. Why does he?
What determines which team gets the tie breaker assuming they finish with the same record? Can't figure it out considering the Bulls and Cavs split the season series and each won a game on the road. --Evan Garbison, Valparaiso, Ind.
The tiebreakers are head-to-head matchup, then division and then conference record. The Bulls split with the Cavs, but have the other main tiebreakers. There are more, eventually getting to points in the games they played, but the Bulls won't need them and will get No. 2 if they finish tied with the Cavs. The issue is larger because of the terrible seeding situation, but the Bulls could be huge beneficiaries. If they stay No. 2, it's likely Cleveland, Miami and Detroit will all be in the opposite bracket and have to play one another to get to the conference finals. The East remains wide open, but it seems those are the teams you would want to avoid. The Pistons really are losers for finishing first because they could get the team with the third best record (the Cavs) in the second round because of the ill-conceived idea of giving division winners top four seeds. The NBA has done a great job of confusing its fans by giving the third best record the fifth seed.
You stated that the 76ers took very little for AI. But did they really? They gave up a 1-on-5 player for a real PG that knows how to play team ball, an expiring contract and two first-round picks from a team that might not even make the playoffs. I think the 76ers came out winners. --Daniel Vazquez, London
We'll see. Yes, there were big issues with the way Iverson plays. And we've been saying for years you can't win with him. But Andre Miller, to me, is just a good guard and the picks aren't that high. I would have done the deal as well, but always teams wait too long. They probably could have had Al Jefferson last summer, a real potential post threat and big man but waited until the league knew they had to trade him. The same thing could happen with Garnett and the Timberwolves would get way less than they could have last summer. And would they have been any worse this season without Garnett?
What ever happened to Scottie Pippen's comeback? Have his skills diminished that much? --Jeff Troksa, Schaumburg, Ill.
I think it was his desire than waned. I think Scottie's whole plan was to get with Miami because he felt with Shaq they had the best chance of coming out of the East and he lives nearby in Ft. Lauderdale. When they expressed no interest, I think he became disappointed and didn't want to go through a series of tryouts.
Let's say every Bulls Fans' wildest dream comes true and that Knicks' pick lands at No 1. Who does Sam Smith take and who does Sam Smith think John Paxson takes? --James, New York
Greg Oden. Greg Oden. Everyone takes the center. Sure, Kevin Durant looks like he'll be a terrific player, but no one wants to be the team to pass on perhaps the next great big man since they come along, especially today, so infrequently. I know the rules favor the perimeter players now and hurt the big men, though I can see that changing some with a big group of young big guys coming into the NBA in the next few years. You can see with Miami, even, how much better they do when Shaq plays and Wade is out compared with when Shaq is out and Wade plays. I'm not sure even knowing what they know now, some teams still wouldn't take Hakeem Olajuwon over Michael Jordan.
I like Ben Gordon, but he doesn't seem to fit in with what the Bull's are trying to do. Skiles and Paxson built the Bulls with defense and a balanced approach to offense. Gordon at times thinks that he's the Ice Man (George Gervin for all you youngsters). -- John Napoleoni, Crystal Lake, Ill.
George was pretty good. I'd keep Ben if he'll be like that. The larger issue with Ben, I think, is going to be as the team fills out they'll want him to be a sixth man and he doesn't see himself that way. This playoff run will pretty much determine if they make any major moves.
If the Bulls end up in the 6-8 pick range, does Roy Hibbert become our pick? Spencer Hawes or the kid Yi from China? Horford had a nice tournament but he's another 6-8, 6-9 player that we have plenty of. I'm still hoping for the seas to part and the Knicks to lose the rest of season! --Bill, Skokie, Ill.
Ask Sam Smith
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