Originally published in SLAM 123
My, how things change.
Not so much Tyrus Thomas, mind you. Here he was, on the first day of his second season in the NBA, the former fourth overall pick in just his fifth season of organized ball. Raw like sashimi then, he’s perhaps lightly seared now, nowhere near a finished product. But at least he’s still a Bull.
As for most of the other key players in the vicinity of this opening night facial? Most of them have moved on.
Chris Duhon? Signed with the Knicks. Nenad Krstic? Playing in Russia. Ben Wallace? Dealt to the Cavs. Richard Jefferson? Exiled to Milwaukee. Malik Allen? Traded to Dallas, then followed RJ to Wisconsin. Nothing stays the same, especially NBA teams that win half as many games as the Celtics.
The lesson here is, you never know. The Bulls, winners of 49 games the year before, were a spectacular failure, losing a coach and 49 desultory games. The Nets, who entered the season with Jason Kidd still the face of the franchise, ended it with Devin Harris running the show. Needless to say, when the regular season was finished, so were the Bulls and Nets.
But at the start, there was just promise. Anything could happen. Anything at all. Here we go again.