Too bad the Chicago Bulls couldn’t keep the ball rolling.
They still deserve a round of applause, though, for a spectacular season and a few nail-biting moments during postseason play.
With so many injuries sidelining key players, defeating Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rest of the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks was certainly more than a tall order.
That didn’t keep fans from gripping onto a sliver of hope when the Bulls came roaring back in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, narrowly beating the Bucks in Game 2.
Then came the let-down Chicago sports fans know too well.
Sports pundits and basketball aficionados who’ve been yelling at TV screens these past few days have already started discussions on how the Bulls roster must be shaken up if the team wants to really shine.
Even a taste of the two epic three-peats of the 1990s would be glorious.
We got revved up inside our homes during the height of the pandemic two years ago watching Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman in “The Last Dance” docuseries.
Then in October, the Chicago Sky gifted the city with its first WNBA championship.
Right after, this Bulls team emerged and set the basketball court on fire.
DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic and born-and-raised Chicagoan Ayo Dosunmu, to name a few favorites, excited both old-school fans and the younger set who weren’t even born when “His Airness” retired.
Thanks to this current team, the city and Chicagoans scattered throughout the country are Bull-headed again.
Television ratings of the 42 Bulls games that aired live on NBC Sports Chicago through January ballooned 86% compared to the same time span during the previous season, the Chicago Sun-Times’ Jeff Agrest reported.
The Bulls also drew huge crowds, with the largest attendance records in the NBA for both home and away games during the 2021-2022 season, according to ESPN. No bull.
Bulls fans didn’t get the slam dunk of a championship season they yearn for. Too early to expect that.
But they got back that enthusiastic spark and spirit that can nourish new dynasties.
Looking forward to next season and the start of something Bulliful.
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