What do the Bulls and LeBron James have in common?
Neither liked the inaugural play-in tournament.
The Bulls didn't like it more in a philosophical manner after failing to qualify despite trading two first-round picks for Nikola Vučević in a win-now move that didn't bear fruit. James, in an early-May quote as his Los Angeles Lakers swooned, was more blunt.
"Whoever came up with that (expletive) needs to be fired," James said.
Nevertheless, NBA commissioner Adam Silver reiterated his support for the playoff wrinkle during his annual pre-NBA Finals media session before Tuesday's Game 1.
"Ultimately, although there were critics — not just LeBron but others who weren't in favor of it and maybe some teams who weren't thrilled with it — I think overall it was very positive for the league and the players," Silver said. "Certainly there'd been some suggestions about some tweaks we should consider. But I think once we bring it back to our owners for a vote and the Players Association meets and has an opportunity to consider it, it's my expectation that it will continue for next season."
Of course, the Bulls' expectations should be higher than finishing ninth or 10th in the Eastern Conference. But there will be a cushion. You know, just in case.