Originally created 05/28/98

Bulls getting taste of their own medicine



The beauty of being a five-time NBA champion is the affinity for whine.

These Chicago Bulls must have been reared in Napa Valley because they've shown nothing but sour grapes through four games of their Eastern Conference finals series with Indiana.

Now I'm showing my age here, but I wasn't around for Munich '72 and the Olympic gold-medal heist that ensued. But when Phil Jackson smokes his peace pipe and tells the world that his Bulls (sniffle, sniffle) are being persecuted by mean ole NBA refs while on an opponent's home floor, does he expect us, the good citizens of America, to react as if Godzilla is preparing to eviscerate Tokyo?

Pass the Kleenex. Tears are streaming down my cheek.

The Bulls lost a playoff game Sunday because maybe some calls did not go their way, like they're the preordained apostle whose virtue comes directly from the Vatican. You cannot question the Bulls, because they're always right.

Oh, you didn't know?

Chicago rules the NBA, and its statements are codified in league constitution. How did it get this way? Well, you win enough titles you think you own the joint.

So it should come as little surprise that when Indiana responded with gritty, late-breaking performances, the rhetoric from the bearded hippie should flow.

"I'd call it an eight-man defense. They were killing us out there. ... I don't know if I can watch the last 10 minutes on tape without making a call to Rod Thorn. ... There were a lot of judgment calls that were tough to stomach."

The postgame diatribe eventually cost Sacred Hoops 10 Gs. Nothing like The Man keeping us down, right?

It's funny that those residing in the NBA's most expensive glass houses are the ones throwing the heaviest stones.

I am old enough to remember when traveling was an NBA violation, an illegal action eventually made extinct by a certain bald aerial show in Bulls red.

Mr. Swoosh also trademarked the eyebrow scowl, an invention that reaps him even more money when the likes of Alonzo Mourning and Gary Payton emulate him.

For those not familiar with this spin cycle, whenever his Airness felt wronged, or whenever he ventured inside the lane, Mr. Swoosh would raise a brow, or both, at the direction of a ref, and 99.9 percent of the time, the whistle would blow in his favor.

So for someone who has blatantly circumvented the rules during his majestic career to start serenading the media with cries of complaints is truly an affront to our intelligence.

So what if Reggie Miller pushed off to free himself for the game-winning three. And Michael has never done that, right?

Poor Michael. He didn't get a call.

But what are the Bulls actually moaning about? It's not the fouls, which unfortunately are a subjective portion of all sports. Instead, in the Pacers the Bulls have discovered a team not awed by the glow of all those championship rings.

Indiana has not "pulled a Laker," a new NBA euphemism for those teams imploding when bandwagons get too heavy.

This is a 58-win team, in case anybody cares. Certainly the Bulls don't. When have they ever cared about the opposition, especially those who reside in the Bulls' conference.

Chicago sees all those old men in Utah resting their varicose veins as they await the East's representative, and is jealous.

So wake up NBA. These Bulls don't like defiance. They run this league -- along with NBC -- and you puppets in suits need to remind these refs just who butters their bread.

The Bulls do, that's who.

Pass the Kleenex. I hear more Bulls cryin'.