Not that you didn't already know this, but Sham Sports has put together the definitive spreadsheet on NBA team spending, and, surprise!, our Chicago Bulls threw up a big goose egg in the luxury tax department. They are literally at zero dollars and zero cents, historically.
Check out the article here, and we'll complain just slightly more after the jump.
What makes the Bulls' lack of spending so infuriating, as SBN Chicago editor Ricky O'Donnell delved into Wednesday, is how truly profitable the franchise has been year-to-year since the 1980s. Even worse? The majority of NBA teams *have* made the leap into the luxury tax. Here is the list of the handful of teams who haven't, followed by pithy explanations from me.
- Charlotte (small market, always suck)
- Chicago* (/head stab)
- Golden State (small market, ownership changes)
- L.A. Clippers (historically cheap, almost unarguably the worst owner in sports)
- OKC/Seattle (small market, ownership changes)
- Washington (maybe legit)
That's it. That's the list. God, Chicago is just glaring out on it, too. And it's not like Bulls fans are begging owner Jerry Reinsdorf to spend all of his money on a superstar. Or even spend *some* of his money to overpay a free agent. The fans simply wanted to retain one of the best benches in the league for a more-than-fair price (outside of the Asik contract), and that opportunity never even seemed like it had even a slight chance of existing.
Yahoo!'s Kelly Dwyer bangs the point home here:
Replacing the bench unit that had treated Chicago so well was a massive whiff in the basketball department, and not even a home run in the financial department. The savings were relatively minimal, and the future flexibility trumped up.
You hear that? You murdered something special just to save a little on the bottom line. Even worse, the guys seemed to genuinely like each other. This came through when each member bid farewell to the city of Chicago. On-court brilliance mixed with genuine kinship. I then watched this video and got way depressed.
One might say "maybe the Bulls have a high-level plan of tanking in 2012 and gunning for a draft pick!" To that I say: when have they ever demonstrated this type of craftiness historically? The organization lets fans see the carrot from time to time, but rarely is it dangled.
Thus, even if you agree with Reinsdorf's "baseball is great/basketball SUX" philosophy (you shouldn't, but whatever), it's undeniably sad to see a foundation leveled so swiftly and efficiently. It's like we've had to watch each dude take turns in front of a firing squad, one-by-one. The summer of 2012, man. Makes 2010 look downright perfect.
(* - ironically, the Bulls are slated to pay the tax at the end of the upcoming season, but if they are able to jettison a contract during the season, they'll be able to duck it yet again)
(h/t Ball Don't Lie)