Following the Chicago Bulls loss to the Boston Celtics, Wendell Carter Jr. made some interesting comments.
The Chicago Bulls are only 15 games into the season, but are a putrid 4-11 and sit only 1.5 games out of the worst record in the Eastern Conference. Most recently, the Bulls traveled to Boston where they promptly received a 29 point beatdown at the hands of the Celtics.
Fans who checked out after the first quarter might be pretty surprised by that score, seeing as how the Bulls exhibited signs of life through the first 12 minutes of the game. The Bulls held a five-point lead after the first quarter in which Jabari Parker went off for 14 points. However, he failed to score a single point the rest of the way.
So what happened? Well besides the fact that the Bulls are not very good right now, their effort last night was atrocious. Even Fred Hoiberg was disappointed with the effort, being quoted after the game as saying:
"“We’re trying to get our movement stuff in there. But our offensive energy almost shuts down as much as our defensive energy. We’re not getting down the floor. Or we got two guys taking the ball out-of-bounds.”"
Two guys taking the ball out of bounds? That’s something you don’t even see out of a third-grade youth team. Needless to say, the Bulls’ collective head was up its fourth point of contact all night. When a team lacks focus, and energy, regardless of how bad they might be playing, that’s usually an indictment on the coach and his failure to motivate his team. And maybe in part, it is in this case. However, is there something more going on here?
If you listened to Wendell Carter Jr.’s comments after the game last night, you might have come away with that impression.
Carter had some damning statements that intimated the leadership on the Bulls is lacking. After the game, he said “when times get hard that’s when we separate. And that’s the time I feel like we need each other the most.” He went on to add that the Bulls rarely huddle as a team unless they’re in a timeout and “go their separate ways” immediately afterward.
You may recall during Media Day when Kris Dunn emphasized his commitment to taking more of a vocal leadership role on the team this year. However, Dunn has been out most of the season with an injury, as has Bobby Portis and Lauri Markkanen, all of whom could potentially fill that leadership void.
But what about the players that are there? Jabari Parker has been in the league for more than a minute, and there is no reason he shouldn’t be taking more of a leadership role. Same goes for Zach LaVine, who was also believed to want to take more of a leadership role on the team last year.
In any event, there clearly appears to be a leadership void on this team, and that can spell disaster for a young squad still learning their way. Someone needs to step up and be the voice this team needs to rally around. The fact that at the moment, it seems to be a 19-year-old rookie, speaks volumes about this team.