For teams, it starts at the top

By Jazzy Davenport

We are spoiled in Chicago. We have been spoiled by the legacy and pride we have for our sports teams.

No matter how good or bad they perform, we show the same pride that we would as if they were undefeated.

Look at how Cubs fans celebrate as if they are having a winning season every year, although they haven’t won a World Series since 1908. We Chicagoans love our teams, and the players and coaches love to be here.

Because of this,  it bothers me when there is friction within any of Chicago’s sports organizations. Sure there was the whole Milton Bradley controversy with the Cubs, but the most recent Chicago drama disturbed me more than ever before.

If you haven’t heard by now, it was reported last week that Bulls coach, Vinny Del Negro, and executive vice president of basketball operations and former Bulls player, John Paxson, were recently involved in a shoving match. The two reportedly got into a heated argument, which progressed to a physical altercation because of Joakim Noah’s playing time. I find it annoying that these two couldn’t handle an organizational issue like civilized adults. Physical altercations are unacceptable. Athletes usually get technical fouls, ejected, suspended and/or fined for such actions, so why should it be acceptable for front office staff?

Before the report leaked, there were already rumors that Del Negro wouldn’t be returning as head coach next season because front office individuals within the Bulls organization are dissatisfied with his performance. I disagree with their assessment because he managed to get the Bulls to the playoffs once again, despite players being plagued by injuries all season and losing Ben Gordon, one of their best players. Nevertheless, those within the organization are rumored to be displeased, so he probably won’t be coaching the Bulls next year. I think it’s safe to say that after the recent drama, his chances of returning are pretty much down to zero.

But the bigger issue is that the Bulls organization is setting a poor example for the players. They have caused players to face unnecessary attention as they enter the most intense and pressured time of the NBA season. Furthermore, the behavior of Del Negro and Paxson could be the real reason for the Bulls’ mediocre season this year and I think they both should be reprimanded for their childlike behavior. Chicago fans and players want to win. Bulls fans miss the ’90s; anyone who is hindering us from getting back to that level needs to be dismissed, including Paxson.