Has Michael Jordan cursed the Bulls?
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
Michael Jordan is the greatest player in NBA history and one vindictive spirit of vengeance. You see, Jordan used to play for the Chicago Bulls. Heck, you could say he was the Chicago Bulls. Then Jordan decided he wasn’t the Chicago Bulls, and now the Chicago Bulls have bad things happen always.
The Bulls have picked in the top four of the NBA draft eight times since Jordan left them in 1998. That includes two No. 1 picks and two No. 2 picks. They should have plenty of talent, and to their credit, they haven’t messed things up too much on their own. But things never go right for the Bulls, like how in Thursday’s pivotal Game 6 of their first-round playoff series with Brooklyn Nets, every good player on the roster was either sick or hurt. They lost 95-92, and Nate Robinson vomited.
Did Jordan curse the Bulls? Let’s not look at it from the witchcraft perspective. Let’s go back and examine events and how Jordan’s long shadow has defined the Bulls through the 15 years since he left:
1999 and 2000 drafts: The Bulls took power forwards with top-four picks in consecutive drafts. Elton Brand (No. 1 in 1999) was a good pick who became an NBA All-Star (for another team, but we’ll get there). Marcus Fizer (No. 4 in 2000) was a miserable pick who flaked out of the league quickly. The Bulls wanted to rebuild in the Jordan aftermath from the inside out. Verdict: Curse.
2001 draft: Wait, haven’t seen enough? The Bulls followed those two drafts by taking two more big men in the same top four. First they traded Brand for the No. 2 pick, Tyson Chandler. Then they took Eddy Curry fourth. (Superstar big man Pau Gasol was picked third.) The Bulls ran out of patience before Chandler became one of the NBA’s best defenders, and Curry just kept gaining weight and failing through various gigs. But most people praised their moves. This was supposed to work, supposed to be the right way to build from the inside out. Verdict: Curse.
2003 offseason: Promising point guard … [For more on Playoff Putbacks: Has Michael Jordan cursed the Bulls?, click here.]