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After the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth, they endured an 86-year curse.
When the Detroit Lions traded Bobby Layne in 1958, the quarterback said the team wouldn't win for 50 years. Over that span, they racked up the worst winning percentage of any team in the NFL.
So, gather close, Bulls fans ... could it be ... as he left the city ... is it possible ... Michael Jordan cursed Chicago?
Think back to 1998. Jerry Krause dismantled a team that had just won three straight championships (again). There may have been more in the tank. We'll never know. But one thing's for sure: It's been a rough road since.
Exhibit A: Tim Floyd. Four seasons. 49–190. Zero playoff appearances. Chicago basketball's Dark Ages. A comical coaching disaster.
Exhibit B: Elton Brand. In 1999, the Bulls selected Brand first overall. Just a few seasons later, he was sent packing. And now, he plays for Philadelphia ... the team on the verge of bumping the Bulls from the playoffs.
Exhibit C: Tyson Chandler. Who did the Bulls get in the Elton Brand deal? Tyson Chandler. The Bulls tossed him aside. He's the current NBA defensive player of the year. And he won a ring last year with Dallas.
Exhibit D: Ron Artest. Another Bulls draft pick shipped out of town, driven to the brink of insanity and ... oh yeah, won a ring with the Lakers.
Exhibit E: Eddy Curry. The fourth overall pick in 2001. A sloppy disaster and another Bulls misfire. When asked by a reporter in 2003 what Curry needed to do to become a better rebounder, then-Coach Scott Skiles replied, "Jump." Ouch.
Exhibit F: Jay Williams. Second overall pick. Motorcycle accident.
Exhibit G: Playoff Futility. Since Jordan left town, and before the team drafted Derrick Rose, the Bulls could only manage one playoff series win. And even with Rose, the Bulls put up two consecutive first round exits. There was last year's "success," making it to the conference finals. But the Bulls had home court and fell to the Heat. A good year, sure. But no ring. And that brings us to...
Exhibit H: 2012. Derrick Rose. Rose out nearly half the season. A blown ACL in Game 1. Joakim Noah, also injured. All this as the #1 Seed in the East.
Lots of teams have bad years (or decades). It takes a rare set of circumstances for a team to miss this hard this often at the top of the draft. And then... then when they get it right ... injuries come crashing down like a waterfall, washing away any hope of a championship.
History will reveal whether this is just a momentary setback or the epic cosmic alignment of a greater force. But considering everything Michael could do on the court, isn't it possible he salted the earth on the way out the door?
Exhibit I: Jordan, himself. Since he left Chicago, everything he's touched has crumbled. The Wizards. The Bobcats. His marriage. Leave it to one of the greatest to conjure a curse so heavy it boomerangs back on him.