If the NBA regular season ended today, the Chicago Bulls would be playoff-bound, but boy, is that far from the full story.
Despite their star-studded lineup and high expectations, the Bulls are a cesspool of bad blood and bitterness, barely hanging on to playoff contention. That ill will peaked after Wednesday night’s loss, which saw the Bulls drop a 10-point lead with three minutes remaining. Speaking to reporters, co-captains Dwayne Wade and Jimmy Butler ripped the rest of the team for not caring enough.
On Thursday, teammate Rajon Rondo fired back. On Instagram
Rondo posted a photo from his time with the Boston Celtics. The point guard started his career in Boston, under the veteran guidance of NBA legends Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, pictured in the photo.
In a lengthy caption, he wrote that his “vets would never go to the media. They would come to the team.”
He added that the young guys on the Bulls “don’t deserve the blame … If anything is questionable, it’s the leadership.”
His words are clearly a nod to Wade and Butler, who combined for 73 of the Bulls’ 114 points on Wednesday, and said things like “I want to play with guys who care” and “It just doesn’t mean enough to guys around here” to reporters after the tough loss.
Rondo’s resilience is commendable, but also largely hypocritical. He’s angry at Wade and Butler for roasting their teammates in the media, yet Rondo is doing the exact same thing on social media.
Here’s what Wade said to the media after Wednesday’s loss, per ESPN.
“We can play bad, we can miss shots, but we’re having too many of these lapses,” he said. “We’re having too many of these losses. This just can’t be acceptable if you want to do something besides have an NBA jersey on and make some money. That’s all we’re doing around here.”
He also posted this on Wednesday night.
So here we have a promising team led by a trio of top talent — Butler, Wade and Rondo have 19 All-Star nods, four championship rings and more than $50 million in annual salary between them — that has resorted to slinging subliminal messages in the media.
Wade is right. Something has to change.
But it should probably start with these millionaire veterans working out team issues internally, not a social media war better reserved for teenagers.