No group of individuals is ever going to agree on everything. That is just one of the many facts of life. The hope is usually for a consensus that everyone involved can live with but that is easier said than done.
That is the case for the Chicago Bulls but it’s not a plan of attack on the hardwood that is the source of “contention”.
It is what they will (sometimes) be wearing when they take the floor.
“I wish we did more of the throwback jerseys,” two-time All-Star and face of the franchise Zach LaVine expressed to NBC Sports Chicago’s Rob Schaefer. “’90s, early 2000s, that’s what I like. But new jerseys, it’s good for the fans, good for NBA revenue, obviously, with more and more jerseys being purchased.”
LaVine was not alone in his criticism as teammate Nikola Vucevic chimed in as well, though he tried to remain a bit more open-minded saying, “Ours this year? I need some time.”
Story Behind the Design
The Bulls announced their new city edition jerseys on social media on November 10. This year’s iteration features an iconic symbol locally — the Chicago Municipal Device which features a “Y” representing the branches on the Chicago river joining at Wolf Point, per the Bulls’ website.
Introduced in 1892 as an entrant into a contest put on by the Chicago Tribune, the symbol became a part of the city’s official code in 1917.
“The Municipal Y, much like the Chicago river, can be found all over our city and serves as a signal of what unites – not divides – us,” the site says.
So, which design did LaVine tell Schafer was his favorite?
LaVine’s selection honored Michael Jordan and the city’s colors. These jerseys always harken back to the respective franchise’s past and the Bulls have leaned into theirs with each edition.
Last year, during the NBA’s 75th Anniversary season, they featured a design with elements from their inaugural season, Jordan’s rookie season, and both three-peats all on the familiar red backdrop.
Their 2020-21 version honored the city of Chicago with art deco numbers and lettering.
Previous designs have also highlighted the city and, primarily, the flag which, like the Municipal “Y”, was officially adopted by the city council in 1917.
The Bulls will wear their City Edition uniforms eight times beginning on November 18 and ending with the regular-season finale. That is plenty of time for the new duds to grow on LaVine and Vucevic, especially if they win while wearing them.
In LaVine’s Defense
Much of the early-season conversation around LaVine has been about his knee and the management the Bulls are doing in the wake of his second procedure on it this summer. His production has not quite gotten back to last season’s levels.
But LaVine, who is shooting over 40% from beyond the arc, has suggested he could do more than the Bulls are currently willing to allow.
And his defense has been the best of his career with a 107.9 rating, per Cleaning The Glass.
It is a boon for the Bulls to be getting this type of defense from LaVine and, in some ways, it helps offset that his athleticism is not quite back just yet leading to inefficiency at the rim and even limiting his attempts.