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This Is About As Wrong As 15 Seconds Of Basketball Can Go

Torrey Craig and Andre Drummond fuck up a dunk
Image via YouTube

Being a sports fan is all about navigating the ups and downs. Your team sucks, and you spend far too many hours of the week muttering, "Great. Great fucking job, guys," at the television. Your team is good, and you end up annoying everyone around you by saying/typing "Let's fucking go!" far too often. The idea is to regulate yourself, to try and stay somewhere in the middle.

On Tuesday night, Bulls fans were given a special challenge: What if the wild emotional swings that are inherent to sports fandom were compressed and forced upon you in the time it takes to fill a pitcher of water? Let me set the scene: The Bulls are trailing the Knicks 36-27 with 11:43 left to play in the second quarter. (Great. Great fucking job, guys.) Andre Drummond pokes the ball away from Bojan Bogdanović at the three-point line, at which time Torrey Craig grabs the loose ball and starts a fast break. (Let's fucking go!) Drummond and Coby White run out with Craig, and the Bulls suddenly find themselves with a 3-on-0 advantage. (Let's fucking go!) Instead taking the easy dunk or dropping the ball off to either of his teammates, Craig decides to throw the ball off the backboard. (Let's... uh... let's fucking go?) As he leaps to catch the self alley-oop, Drummond, thinking he's meant to be the star of this spectacle, also leaps to try and catch the ball for a dunk. (Great. Great fucking job, guys.) Drummond crashes into Craig in mid-air, the ball briefly rests in Craig's hands before caroming off the rim, Drummond gets back on defense and immediately rolls his ankle, eventually leaving the court in a wheelchair. (Great. Great fucking job, guys.)

The Bulls would go on to lose the game, 128-117, while allowing Jalen Brunson to drop 45 points on them. That was Chicago's 42nd loss of the campaign, which means they will finish with a sub-.500 record for the second straight season.

It would be easy to try and make some argument that this flubbed alley-oop is a neat encapsulation of the sub-par play and decision-making that has kept the Bulls stuck in mediocrity over the last few seasons, but let's look for a silver lining here. The thing about this iteration of the Bulls is that they are boring. A team that can be penciled in for 40-45 wins, with most of its possessions being soaked up by the likes of DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic, is not a team designed to get anyone out of their seats. Craig has spent this whole season, his first in Chicago, coming to terms with that fact, and on Tuesday night he decided to do something about it, dammit.

"I just wanted to create some excitement and try to give us the edge, try to create some momentum for us," he said after the game.

Craig is right, and he should try this again as soon as possible. Oh, what, if he fucks it up again everyone in the arena is going to get mad at him? At least they'll be feeling something.

Correction: This post previously misstated that this will be the Bulls' third consecutive losing season.

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