Since my mom couldn’t come to Galesburg for family and friends weekend, she more than made up for it by taking me to the Chicago Bulls home opener on Friday.
This is the second NBA game I’ve had the priviledge of attending, the first being an impromptu Bulls vs. Sixers game I attended with a former TKS staffer when we realized our Blackhawks tickets were no good. We sold the
bunk tickets to a scalper for money we used on Bulls tickets for the next night.
That is neither here nor there. These Cavs are not the lowly Sixers, they are the new supposed kings of the Eastern Conference. They are the homecoming queen to LeBron James’ basketball kingship.
The stage was set. Derrick Rose was not hurt yet, just one advantage of attending a Bulls home opener (or so I thought). I was going to one of the greatest basketball talents ever to walk this blue space rock (James was spectacular). I was in United Center on Halloween night with my mother.
All Bulls fans know the one thing that made every pregame fun. Even when your star was injured and your owner traded away team-player incarnate Luol Deng to save money, you had those wonderful cartoon Bulls. In the old pregame video fantastic balloonish Bulls bounced through the city, into the United Center and then into the parking lot to crush a bus with the other team’s logo on it, and it was the best. That pregame ritual has unfortunately been revamped. In the new video the Bulls look more realistic, they run through a pickup basketball game and no one in the video even notices. I loved that pregame video, I want it back.
The Cavs led at halftime but the game was still well within reach. Gasol looked good, piling up blocks like he was a real center. Nothing like what he had looked like toiling away on the Los Angeles Lakers.
The first blow came when Derrick Rose went down at the start of the second half. As loud as the boos were everytime LeBron touched the ball (seriously every time), you could hear a pin drop in the UC when Rose went down.
The rest is history — look up the game report. Kirk Hinrich almost gave the people what they wanted but the Bulls came up short.