Does John Salmons Really Need To Start?

Bulls player can prove his worth on the bench, too

Today, Chicago Sun-Times writer Brian Hanley did the yeoman's work of talking to John Salmons and asking him whether or not he preferred to be a starter. After all, Salmons started in Sacramento but now finds himself a reserve in Chicago. How would he take to the new role?

Salmons' answers were pretty obvious. Yes, he'd like to be a starter. No, he doesn't need to be. Yes, he's excited to help the team. Blah blah blah.

Enter Steve Rosenbloom, who, being a "blogger" like us (though most bloggers we know post more than one 400-word item a day) read Hanley's story and felt obliged to opine. Unlike us, he came to the exact opposite conclusion. He thinks John Salmons needs to start right away. Why? Because he never watched the Sacramento Kings, is why:

Doesn't John Salmons have to start at off-guard? Even if Bulls general manager John Paxson left open the possibility of bringing back Ben Gordon, don't you still need to start Salmons tonight against Orlando instead of judging practices? Don't you need to start Salmons for a couple weeks to figure out whether he works off Derrick Rose and can guard somebody?

In a vacuum, Rosenbloom would be right. If you had never seen John Salmons play before, if you had never once watched a Kings game and seen his style of play, his game, the way he gelled with his teammates, then yes, you would need to play him the maximum amount of minutes in order to see what you traded for. Fortunately, John Paxson probably scouted Salmons. Let's hope so, anyway. And so the Bulls already know what they have, just as the Kings know what they have in Andres Nocioni. No one's a stranger in the NBA. That's sort of how it works.

Moreover, who says a player can't prove himself from the bench? Just because you're not a starter doesn't mean you can't impress people. Were that the case, Manu Ginobili be two nondescript South Americans with long names. Instead, they're respected NBA players. The bench has plenty of opportunity to offer.

In other words, this argument is a non-starter. Just like John Salmons. Haha. See what we did there?

Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site,

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