It’s been a hot minute since the Chicago Bulls were actually worth a shit, but after pilfering Nikola Vucevic from my Orlando Magic at the NBA trade deadline in February, and following that up with trades for Lonzo Ball and a rejuvenated DeMar DeRozan this offseason, The Artist Formerly Known as Michael Jordan and The Jordanaires—sorry, Scottie Pippen—has been making some serious noise this season.
Considering their 17-10 record is good for 3rd in the East, and is only two games behind the Brooklyn Nets for the top seed, the Bulls are finally primed to not only make the postseason for the first time since 2017, but make things pretty damn interesting once the playoffs begin. Unfortunately, the coronavirus—and its evil step-sisters
Omarion Omicron, Delta, and Melania Trump—have other plans, as NBA All-Star Zach Lavine became the ninth (!!!!!) player—yes, you read that correctly—on the team to contract the gift that keeps on giving.
From Yahoo Sports:
The Chicago Bulls have placed Zach LaVine and Troy Brown Jr. in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and NBC Chicago’s K.C. Johnson report.
The Bulls now have nine players in the league’s health and safety protocols ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons. As of Sunday, they have nine eligible players on their roster thanks to signing replacements, leaving them one above the league minimum of eight eligible players to play an NBA game.
For those keeping track at home, DeRozan, Coby White, Matt Thomas, Javonte Green, Derrick Jones Jr, Ayo Dosunmu, and Stanley Johnson are all currently in COVID-19 protocols. And because fate is an especially cruel bastard, Johnson just signed with the team on a 10-day contract last week as a hardship exception since the team is so short on players.
Thankfully, the entire team is vaccinated, but considering Vucevic also missed seven games earlier this season due to the coronavirus, the team might want to seriously consider taking a cue from the Toronto Raptors and just tell everyone to stay the hell away.
“Maybe some of it’s because of the vaccination, we’ve got a lot of guys sitting at home with no symptoms right now,” coach Billy Donovan told reporters. “That’s obviously a good thing, too, because I think when guys have gone through a real difficulty of getting really, really sick, it’s really made it a lot harder for them coming back.”
He continued, “We do have some guys that have felt under the weather, we have guys that have very, very mild symptoms, and some guys that just don’t have any.”
And just in case you thought COVID-19 was done doing the Harlem Shake throughout the United Center, guess who just became lucky No. 10 to catch the coronavirus? That would be fourth-year forward Alize Johnson.
Mental Note: Put my mask on tighter and avoid the Chicago Bulls at all costs.
Hopefully, the Bulls will be able to get this outbreak under control and resume wrecking shit this season because the city deserves it. That and COVID-19 is no joke, so wishing the entire team a speedy recovery.