Breaking up is hard to do

Dear Chicago Bulls,

Look, we need to talk. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately and I’m sorry but… I think we need to break up.

I just don’t know if I see us going anywhere, you know? I mean, we’ve been together for 21 years. That’s a really long time to be a fan of just one NBA team. Don’t get me wrong, we had our fair share of good times together. But lately, things have just been different. All the broken promises, all the injuries to Derrick Rose, all the excuses, Rip Hamilton — I just don’t know if I can keep doing this.

I just wish we could go back to how it was in the beginning — back when Michael and Scottie were winning championships left and right. I’ll admit it — I didn’t know how good I had back then. You were really good to me, but, I was five years old — I was young, naive — I didn’t appreciate you enough back then. I truly apologize for that.

But lately, I’ve been feeling, I don’t know, a little used, I guess. It’s the same story every year with you. “This is our year,” you say. “Derrick will be back, don’t worry,” you say. And look, I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt in 2012. When Derrick went down in the playoffs, believe me, I was devastated. In 2013, when Derrick needed a year to heal from his surgery, I tried to be understanding. But it just kept getting worse from that point on. The next year, Derrick goes down again, you trade Luol Deng, then you get dominated by the Wizards in the first round of the playoffs — believe me, it was hard for me to justify not leaving at that point. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cross my mind.

But you promised me that this year would be different. I really wanted to believe you — I really tried. You signed Pau Gasol. You drafted Doug McDermott and brought on Nikola Mirotic. I really thought you were getting your life together.

But it’s like the saying goes: the proof is in the pudding. You didn’t hold your end of the bargain, Bulls. Derrick is injured again, Pau Gasol can’t play defense, Kirk Hinrich is broken, Joakim Noah forgot how to hold a basketball, Tom Thibodeau is on the verge of going postal and murdering Aaron Brooks — it’s bad. Real bad.

Look, I know you say Derrick is coming back, I know you’re still going to make the playoffs, I know you’re still better than half the teams in that garbage heap they call the Eastern Conference, but what does that get me? Nothing. I’m going to get my hopes up, just like always, just to see you get swept by the Cavaliers in the second round.

I just think it’s time for us to move on and see other people. I can’t help feeling like I’m missing out, you know? There are 29 other teams out there. I mean, look at the Atlanta Hawks — they’re doing really well for themselves! Their bench is stacked, they play great team basketball, they’re leading the Eastern Conference — I mean, they’ve already clinched a playoff berth!

Don’t give me that look… this is hard for me, too. I just think you deserve someone better. Maybe you should talk to some Minnesota Timberwolves fans? I’m sure they would appreciate you! You need someone like that, someone who’s going to be truly invested in you. I’m sorry, but that person just isn’t me right now.

I definitely still want to be friends! I’ll watch you when you’re on TNT or ABC, but I just don’t think I can continue to be committed to you. I’m just going through some emotional stuff right now that I need to work through. Who knows, maybe we’ll be together again one day, but not until I get my mind right, you know?

I’m sorry, Chicago Bulls. You’re a great basketball team, but this just isn’t working out for me right now. The only thing I ask is that you don’t blame yourself.

It’s not you — it’s me.

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