The Bulls pounded the Knicks 98-69
last night, strengthening their hold on the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race and helping to ensure that New York will remain a lottery team (which is important since the Bulls get to swap draft picks with the Knicks as part of Eddy Curry trade). The Knicks, of course, got all pissy after the game, but not because their pride was hurt by the 29-point loss, the near-destruction of their waning playoff hopes, the probable loss of their lottery pick, or the fact that they just flat-out suck. They were upset that the Bulls were trying to feed their fans.
Like many teams, the Bulls run countless promotions
, using sexy cheerleaders
, hilarious fat guys,
and dancing old people
to shill t-shirts, drink cups, bobbleheads, and even Chicago Bulls-themed drinking water. One of their many game-night promotions is free food any time the team reaches 100 points (redeemed by presenting the game ticket). Sometimes it's a burrito from Taco Bell, sometimes it's a personal pizza from Pizza Hut. Last night, fans would have recieved a free McDonald's Big Mac (with a side of clogged artery) if the Bulls reached the century mark.
Mind you, the Bulls scored their 98th point with almost two minutes left in the game. They then took four more shots, one of which was a tip-in attempt of a missed shot. Considering the fact that there's a 24-second shot clock, basic math tells me that they probably would have put up three or four shots even if the additional two points wouldn't have rewarded their fanbase with a delightfully fat-filled mega-sandwich. But of course the Knicks felt that the Bulls were trying to run up the score, which, naturally, showed a lack of respect
Steve Francis, a model citizen who had decided to pull the plug on the season until an injury to a teammate ensured him more playing time, was one of a group of Knicks shouting at the Bulls
on the way to the team locker rooms. Said Francis: "I've been in the league long enough; I know when teams are trying to run up the score. I don't respect nobody trying to do that to my younger players."
Jerome James, who in the summer of 2005 signed a 5-year, $29-million contract with the Knicks and then promptly began to suck, was one of the aggrieved parties and actually had to be restrained by teammates
. James apparently was going after the Bulls' Tyrus Thomas, who aggressively defended a Nate Robinson layup attempt in the closing seconds. When asked about it after the game, James pulled out the Kobe Bryant "I don't know this kid" defense
. Said James: "Oh, the little jumpy kid? No, I don't even know him." What? You didn't know James played for the Knicks? Well, it's true. Go check the box score
. He's the guy near the bottom with the "DNP - Coach's Decision" next to his name.
For the record, Nate Robinson, who's involvement in the infamous Knicks-Nuggets Brawl
is well-documented, also participated in the verbal sparring. That fight, by the way, erupted because the Nuggets were still playing some of their starters while ahead 19 points with a couple minutes to go. And, like last night, the Knicks played the Lack Of Respect card as a means of justifying their behavior.
But honestly, what should the Bulls have done? Stopped shooting and just let the shot clock expire? They weren't playing their starters. The Bulls' reserves were in the game, and reserves don't get a chance to play all that often. Can you really blame them for taking shots? Especially when your fans are cheering you on? You'll also notice that the Knicks were still trying to score right down to the wire. But I guess that's okay when you're down 30, and wrong when you're up 30. I guess the Bulls didn't get that memo.
The bottom line is this: the real problem is that the Knicks suck. So my message to the Knicks is that, if you don't like getting blown out by 20 or 30 points every night, just stop sucking
. Until then, take your beating like the group of fat, lazy, malcontent men that you are.
Labels: Chicago Bulls, Jerome James, Nate Robinson, New York Knicks, promotions, Steve Francis