Aside from all the dysfunction surrounding the Chicago Bulls’ loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on opening night, there was something truly hilarious. That is Billy Donovan.
No, it wasn’t anything Donovan did coaching-wise in the game or even anything he said post-game, but rather the hilarity of him losing to his former team.
When Billy Donovan came to coach the Bulls, it was just after he and the Thunder mutually agreed to part ways namely because of the Thunder’s plans to pursue a rebuild while Donovan had a stronger interest in coaching a team ready to win.
The team Billy Donovan left because they were rebuilding had already become better than the Chicago Bulls who were in win-now mode.
The Chicago Bulls and Billy Donovan are in a tough spot right now.
That’s right. In just three years since Billy Donovan and the Thunder have parted ways, the Chicago Bulls look ready to hit a reset. Meanwhile, the Thunder look ready to start making some noise in the Western Conference with a potential first-team All-NBA point guard and potential future superstar in Chet Holmgren.
While the Bulls have been stuck in the mud convincing everyone from themselves to their fans that their players are different than what we’ve seen after 150 games of playing together, the Thunder swiftly pressed reset on their own big 3 of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony.
They now have 37 picks over the next 7 drafts and two young superstars to build a perennial contender around.
While this story is hilarious from a Billy Donovan perspective, it’s also quite sad from a Chicago Bulls perspective.
The Bulls are coming up on almost 10 years since they last won a playoff series and have been flirting with trying to win now while developing extremely raw, athletic prospects at the same time.
Their two timelines are diverging rapidly at a time when they should be converging on perennial success, but alas in this instance it seems like they are getting ready to hit reset once again.
That makes their loss to the Thunder on Opening Night all the more comical when put in context of what both Billy Donovan and the Chicago Bulls were expecting when they came to terms on a contract 4 seasons ago.