The Chicago Bulls star had some pretty harsh words when discussing his former team.
If the Chicago Bulls were an internet meme, they would probably be the “This is Fine” meme from artist K.C. Green. You’re likely familiar with it — it’s the one displaying a yellow cartoon dog sipping coffee while everything around him burns. Below the dog is the caption “this is fine.” It’s meant to poke fun at the dog’s lack of awareness, but its message hits too close to home for Bulls fans.
Before we get to those comments, it’s important to note that Pippen has remained a special advisor to owner Jerry Reinsdorf for many years, so his comments are not those of a disinterested fan, but as someone who appears to have the ear of the team’s owner. That he spoke so freely about the current state of the Bulls shows how much the organization is in disarray at the moment.
Now, for those comments. Pippen recently appeared on ESPN’s The Jump, as the league prepares to host the All-Star Game from Chicago. Pippen joined host Rachel Nichols, along with Michael Wilbon and Tracy McGrady.”
McGrady criticized the talent of the Bulls starting lineup, giving Pippen the opening he needed. In response to McGrady’s comments, Pippen agreed, stating “the Bulls starting lineup are not true starters in this league.” He added, “half the time, I don’t even know half the players on the team.”
Obviously that comment was meant to be tongue in cheek, as of course, he knows who the players are. His point was that the team is comprised of players who lack star power. Essentially, each night, the Bulls trot out a lineup consisting of players who would best be described as “meh.”
Considering this team should be at the tail end of its latest rebuild, the fact that they still lack what Pippen considers to be legitimate starters is a huge indictment on management. It’s emblematic of the losing culture Joh Paxson, Gar Forman, and Jerry Reinsdorf have cultivated over the years, which has dissuaded big-time free agents from considering Chicago as a destination. Having a coach that appears universally loathed by his players certainly can’t help either. But hey — “everything is fine,” right?