by Mike Maloney(NBA)
Posted on April 11, 2007, 6:24 PM
Dear New York Knicks,
It has come to our attention that several players on your team were upset at the recent loss at the hands of our team, the Chicago Bulls, 98-69. Initially we thought you were naturally upset at the overall horrible play by your team throughout the entire game, including the fourth quarter when all of our bench players were in yet you managed to score only 19 points. However, we later learned from ESPN.com that for some reason, you felt our team was running up the score. For any of you unaware of the harsh comments made, let’s revisit some of them:
I think they were definitely trying to rub it in. But we'll see them next year.
As a veteran, I have been in the league long enough, and I know when people are trying to run up the score on you. And I told their players, if I was in the game, it would've been something different. If it was a threat or whatever, I'm a veteran. I won't do that to nobody, and I don't expect nobody to try to do that to younger players on my team, so that's what it was.
Now, perhaps we got off on the wrong foot, and failed to explain to you how things work at Chicago Bulls home games. Every fan in attendance receives a McDonald’s Big Mac card before the game. In a sponsorship deal worked out with McDonald’s, there is a longstanding policy that if the Bulls win a game at home and score at least 100 points, everyone in the arena receive a free Big Mac from any participating McDonald’s. It’s a nice little gesture by the Bulls organization towards our fans, as we realize that they are the reason we make money, and we try to make them feel appreciated. I know that the Knicks franchise is relatively unfamiliar with this concept, so we here in Chicago can totally understand how such a promotion could be completely beyond your comprehension.
As you can see from some of the things our organization had to say about the ‘incident’, it’s clear that any actions taken by our team during the game were without malice:
We just wanted to do something for the fans. I don't cook, so I wanted one myself. We certainly didn't mean any disrespect.
I have never been accused of running up the score. From everything I hear, the Knicks are on the verge of becoming a great team. So they are probably a team we will be playing over and over again the years to come. Something like this should not fester.
Really, the purpose of this letter is to heal the rift between our organizations. The Chicago Bulls have nothing but respect for the New York Knicks, and our friendship over the years has been well documented. It would be quite troublesome to think that their might exist some bad blood between the two clubs. Therefore, everyone in the front office has spent all day coming up with ideas to help solve the current situation and prevent future incidents from happening.
-We’re sorry for running up the score. Shooting 47% from the field, 30% from behind the arc, and 74% from the free throw line while being out-rebounded 45-36 (14-7 offensively) is clearly just unacceptable behavior on our part. We only turned the ball over 8 times! I mean, we didn’t even hide our intentions at times, it seemed. So, our bad, we’ll try harder next time.
-Next time your team comes to town, it might be beneficial if you have a player on your team that has either played a game in Chicago before, or even better, played for Chicago so that if this very same situation arises once again and the Bulls are running up the score in an attempt to feed the fans with a Big Mac, said player can alert the rest of the team to our attentions. I realize that Eddy Curry is himself a former Chicago Bull, but we honestly wouldn’t expect someone who is stupid enough to cause two offensive fouls in the first 1:45 of the game to be aware of such a situation.
-While we will certainly do our part to try and not run up the score, it would help us greatly if your team could make ‘more of an effort’ at times. As was previously mentioned in this letter, our bench players played the entire fourth quarter, as we had a 28-point lead at the end of the third. However, your team was unable to score more than 19 points during the entire quarter. Also, the Knicks only scored 10 points in the first quarter and 17 in the second. With an offensive output like this, it’s very difficult for our team to not run up the score. We hope you understand our concern, and next time we play it would be much appreciated if your players could, well, make a basket once in a while.
-Despite our clear attempt to ‘run up the score’, we did make an effort in the fourth quarter to let you back in the game. The Bulls as a whole only scored 4 points in the final 5:45 of the game, and were scoreless for the last 1:42 of the game. We apologize for not communicating it more clearly that this was an opportunity for you to cut the deficit to save some face. Again, our bad, we’ll try harder next time.
In conclusion, I hope that we have addressed some of the issues that are currently affecting the relationship between our team. I know when you have a team as worthless and talentless as the New York Knicks, and you go up against a team with actual talent and skill like the Chicago Bulls, a lopsided score can often be mistaken for running up the score. I am here, now, to say that is absolutely not the case here, and is simply the result of one good team playing one absolutely horrible team. Perhaps next time your players can actually make an effort at some point during the game, or maybe you can find a coach that has a clue, instead of complaining about a team who outscored your Knicks 20-19 in the fourth quarter of ‘running up the score’, when the only thing they can be accused of is trying to give the fans a Big Mac.
If anyone in your organization has any further questions on this matter, please don’t call us, just wait until we show up in a few months to take your first round draft pick.