K.C. Johnson's answers
The Tribune's Bulls writer answers readers' questions throughout the NBA season
The Bulls began the process of using "Sirius," a song by the Alan Parsons Project, to introduce their starting lineup. Many other teams liked it so much that they followed suit. Many people erroneously think the song is "Eye in the Sky," but it's the instrumental prelude to that song, separately called "Sirius." There. That's your light, 1980s rock lesson of the day.
KC, do the peripheral players the Bulls rotate on the injured list all season--the Roger Mason Jrs, the Lonny Baxters of the world--participate in full practice? I ask because Jalen Rose just hit a scoop shot to beat the first-quarter buzzer in Phoenix and Mason Jr. was up off the bench faster than Cliff Levingston in his prime. Couldn't he further injure his dislocated shoulder? --Matt Hicks, Chicago
Of course they do. The injured list is just a sham to allow rosters of 15 players. Some teams refuse to participate, most prominently Utah. And the Bulls, historically, haven't been as shameless as some teams. There even has talk by the league to eliminate the injured list and just allow a 15-player active roster. The players association would never allow just 12-man rosters because it would eliminate jobs. Also, some teams have gone with fewer players this season because of the upcoming luxury tax. But Rick Brunson practiced hard all season and looked pretty healthy in his season debut against Atlanta, didn't he?
K.C., do the Bulls keep plus-minus ratings of all of their players? If so, how do the ratings of Chandler and Curry compare with the other players? --Ron Karwoski, Rochester, Minn.
I'm not aware of them keeping that statistic. That doesn't mean they don't, but I'm not privy to it. I do know in the preseason that Jamal Crawford's agent kept that statistic and his plus-minus rating was better than Jay Williams'. But I have to believe that Curry's and Chandler's isn't that good.
Isn't it time to start Eddie Robinson? --Jerry Nowak, Chicago
Some think so. Others don't. And the most important person in the latter camp is Bill Cartwright. I think, more than anything, he's worried about the message it would send given that Trenton Hassell is a tremendous practice player and the team's best defender.
Is there anyone on the Bulls' coaching staff that honestly believes in Eddy Curry? He cannot rebound, block out track down loose balls near the basket and generally appears lost on defense. Why give Cartwright a hard time about not giving him more playing time? He doesn't deserve any more playing time. --Terry Tyrpin, Schaumburg
They believe in him because they have to believe in him. He's their future. I agree with the lost on defense part. And the Bulls' response will be, "He's 20. Let him grow."
Are you not allowed to answer controversial questions in fear you'll upset the Bulls brass? I asked a detailed question last week on the Bulls' inability to develop talent and how the coaching staff, as well as management, is most to blame for the speed of development of Crawford, Fizer, Chandler, Curry and J-Will. None of their decisions in terms of who they draft, who they put on the IL and the rotations they play do any favors. There is no logic or consistency behind most of their moves. The result is players who look like deer in headlights on the court, especially in moments like against the Clips when they can't even inbound a ball to get a last shot. They look unprepared in most situations, and they are all constantly looking over their shoulders, afraid of who is on their tail and going to take their minutes away. Answer please. --Spencer Greenwald, Northbrook
I can answer any controversial question you ask. I work for the Tribune, not the Bulls. I just don't know what you want me to say. This team is bad. This team is young. This team has potential some nights and looks terrible on others. The dynamic of players looking over their shoulders is a byproduct of a young team, full of players used to being stars. I do think this team is a bad mix of young talent, with too many players crowded at certain positions. And I've written that. I've said from Day One that the point-guard situation is Krause's fault. So there you go. Happy?
If Cartwright called Fizer an (expletive) embarrassment for complaining to officials, then why doesn't he call out Jalen Rose for doing the same thing? I've seen Rose stop playing while the ball was still in play just to complain to officials. C'mon coach Cartwright, share the expletive comments towards the whole team. Such as that scrub Trent Hassell. Alright, alright I'm done. --Ron Torres, Schaumburg
If you noticed in the follow-up story, I had a note about Cartwright saying Fizer isn't the only player guilty of that habit. And he did name Rose.
Hey, everybody, it's the All-Star break. Let's chill a little, shall we? Talk to you next week.