Lavar Ball is like if Twitter was a person.
If you ever went to a nice fun state school, or didn’t, you definitely know the loud ass guy at the bar that needs more attention than certain ladies on Instagram. Maybe he peaked in high school, maybe he’s a a slightly bigger fella size wise and wants you to know it, either way, he’s ruined the whole evening. There’s an old saying, probably from some boomer, that says: Hey, When did Lavar Ball get to my bar? Because guess what, if you have to to announce how great you are, yah aren’t great. Lavar Ball wouldn’t have been known to anyone in 2001, but lo and behold with social media, he’s now a problem in Charlotte, and NOT Chicago. The Bulls didn’t have to do a damn thing to avoid his son who literally may be a worse defender than me, a 38 year old white guy with minimal skills, whose lateral movement is akin to a medieval knight literally just trying to walk in 100 plus pounds of armor.
Sorry for the diatribe, but it’s nice to vent about the worst of the NBA. Did I watch much of the bubble? No. Did I follow it on documented websites? Absolutely. do I know that the Eastern Conference is still going to be a pain in the ass, and if the Bulls are to make any head way, they need to take a lottery ticket in this draft? Hell Yes! Because apparently, those in the know say the 2021 Draft is absolutely loaded. Like, they would bump out anyone not named Edwards, Wiseman, or Ball out of the top 10 if they were in this years. Knowing this, Karnisovas took a shot at a guy with a high floor, but an even high ceiling. It would only make sense, right?
Front office competency?
With 2020 being what it is, it actually gave front offices plenty of time to dig into film with the extended 5 months available to them. Multiple mock drafts during the fall had bandied about the same names at number four like Deni Avdija because of the whole Eastern Europe thing, Isaac Okoro because this team ever need some defense with that White/LaVine backcourt (YIKES), and a host of others. This draft felt like it had it’s top 3, but most of the names would seem great at 7-12, but that 4-6 spot was a struggle because no one really seemed qualified to to be picked there, and it made anyone targeted in mocks seem like a reach.
Frankly, I had just heard about Patrick Williams recently. I knew of his team mate and wing player Devin Vassell, but he was targeted for the late lottery. Just trying to be a pretend person in the know, Williams checks a lot of boxes, athletically skill wise, and as a higher level recruit. (Scout had him at 26 overall. Not top 10, but he didn’t come out of left field either.) From second hand accounts where his interviews went very well, he also he seems like a guy perfect for the player development machine that now is apparently the Bulls. What is this “player development you speak of?” From I’ve heard…now hear me out…..It’s when you take a flyer on a player with elite traits, but believe in your cocoon of coaching, teaching, training, and life skills to make a better player than what other teams think they can make.
“Back in my day, everyone played defense in the NBA! “
Apparently, that’s why the Bulls plucked Williams out of Leonard Hamilton’s sneaky good Florida State program. With the way the NBA has been trending this past decade, and more specifically the past half decade, the old triple threat of passing/shooting/dribbling that you learned at some kids camp you went to in the 90’s so you could get a free T-shirt so your mom could get you out of the house on a June morning, are also apparently, prized NBA skills as well. Also, if you haven’t noticed, those skills are very prized on people who aren’t guards. Even better, if you can guard multiple positons on defense and have those skills, you aren’t pigeon holed into a “positon”. Well yeah, you kind of are, but it’s fluid, and frankly, cranks up the X and O factor a bit.
***We’ll put it out here like this. In a frankly underwhelming draft, the Bulls believe so much in their development game because Karnisovas and GM Marc Eversley actually live in this actual f*cking millennium. (I’m sorry. GarPax we’re so 2000’s. How we’re they here…..for so….long? I said it in April, and will now again. To quote Chappelle’s Show: “Guh guh guh, guh guh guh, Good-BYE!)***
“You better wrap it up, B.”
The great thing about this 2020 year is that the team moves farther away from the egregious hell that was nearly two decades of GarPax. We all need to keep in mind as civilized adults that those two no-talent ass clowns (#officepsace) had a few shamrocks and horseshoes, as they had the 8th best odds in the 2008 Draft, but we’re able to get the no. 1 ping pong ball. Teams jump like that a few spots ever year in the lottery, but if that doesn’t go down, healthy pre injury/pre what planet is he when he gets interviewed Derrick Rose is doing work somewhere else, and we’re stuck with goddamn O.J. Mayo or Joe Alexander.
Even if the season starts on time over a month from now, Da Bulls will have a great opportunity to see how their players can function in situations that fit them, especially from a schematic point of view. Billy Donovan has been around the block, knows how to connect with people league wide, and as a former college coach, can definitely connect with young pups that technically are still college age. It’s about accentuating the particular skills of your players and hiding their lack of skills. It’s so easy to knock everything wrong with a player, but by no means does that rash of former No. 7 picks be labeled a bust. If anything, the former staff if still in place would have brought that to fruition. Now we get to see how actual adults can function with and craft actual halfway talented players. Let’s do this.