Denmark is the home of famed author Hans Christian Andersen, one of the most important figures in adventure and fairy-tale literature from the 1800's and whose work is still being read by millions across the globe, to this very day.
As a Dane, the work of Mr. Andersen obviously means a great deal to me, especially as a parent, and just recently I introduced my son to his writing. But as I let myself submerge into his tales and poems, I was reminded of a myth that's been circling his legacy for over a century.
Supposedly, as a young author, Mr. Andersen felt the need to mark a small 'X' in his diaries for whenever he pleasured himself. As one can imagine, rumors are still floating to this day of diaries filled with small X's, even though they are - to the best of my knowledge - completely unsubstantiated. But yet, the myth persists.
One of the reasons are his secretive life, and the fact that no one knows a great deal about the man holding the pen, which has always been an invitation for people to invent stories, or at the least spice up the truth. Since Andersen did in fact keep a diary, why not add a little something to the lure of his person?
That logic is one applicable to the Bulls as well.
Despite former greatness, and a solidified position as one of the best franchises in the history of basketball, there's mystique surrounding these Bulls, which leads people to embellish on rumors, embellish on their own connections tot he team, and what have you. In short, stories are made up to create a psychological connection to the person of interest, or in this case, the team of interest.
Leave the same door locked every time you have people over, and that room becomes the most interesting thing in the house. People will eventually graviate towards it, and begin to ask more and more questions about the content of the room.
Sounds slightly familiar, no?
The Bulls remain one of the most secretive organizations in the NBA, by choice, and their lack of transparency has grown infamous to the point where theories are thrown left and right about their collective mindset, approach to team building, and disinterest in trades.
Hell, I even mentioned something about that last bit a few pieces ago.
When people know virtually nothing, speculation arises. This, too, played a role in the whole Tom Thibodeau debacle. For over two years, fans were fed scripted lines denying an undoubtedly miserable relationship that, ironically, was made worse by constant media speculation, culminating in Jeff Van Gundy laying the smack down on the Bulls on national TV, officially ending whatever hope of reconciliation that remained.
Would Thibodeau still be the coach had the Bulls been more transparent? No, not by a long shot. But that's not really the point seeing as both sides had to move on. Specifically, the end would probably have gone smoother, and the Bulls wouldn't be perceived as an organization that is dripping over with internal drama, which they've been several times over in recent years. This isn't about Thibodeau, Vinny Del Negro, or any other controversial coach/signing/decision in years past. It's about identifying, and removing, a pattern that seems destined to repeat itself over and over.
The Bulls have grown accustomed to building walls instead of bridges, most notably through public statements that have become so riddled with clichés and white noise that they might as well forego the trouble of even drafting them in the first place. For clarification's sake, it's not suggested that the Bulls should come out to inform media and fans about every little bit that happens throughout their day, but rather stop speaking to their fan base as one that is beneath them. It's the robotic approach to public relation that is inviting fans to become skeptical of what the Bulls are actually doing, but also disengage entirely with the franchise.
It's August, and for all intents and purposes, there's yet to be presented a vision for what the team will be trying to do this upcoming season. There are vague hints at player development via the Fred Hoiberg hiring, a reporter's opinion (which frequently is viewed as the Bulls' way of leaking info) of a line-up change, and after that, there's a whole big of nothing, as per usual. Even 76ers fans knows what plan is in place.
The somewhat constant drama unfolding within the Bulls might play out differently, if they showcased something that resembled a personality. Even their Twitter-feed resembles a stone-cold, no-fun mentality. When teams are interacting with each other, doing Photoshop show-offs, finding the best movie quotes, helping each other finding nick names, and whatever else they come up with, the Bulls remain silent, almost purposely so.
Now, a Twitter-feed means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it still serves as yet another reminder that these Bulls have painted themselves into a corner with their reluctance in being more progressive from a PR-perspective.
Why is this a problem? It's not if you don't mind the myths and stories that will be created out of thin air due to their limited accessibility, but it is one if you wish to avoid imaging a little 'X' every time you think of them.
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