Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Duhon, Deng and the Bulls

In yesterday's Charlotte Observer there's a story on the Bulls two draft picks, Luol Deng (acquired via a trade with Phoenix) and Chris Duhon. That Deng and Duhon are from Duke and that they are both currently on the Bulls' roster are where the similarities end. Deng was a lottery pick and is expected to help this young team sooner rather than later; Duhon was a second round afterthought and will be battling to secure a place on the bench.

What's interesting is that Duhon, a 4-year starter at Duke, shows not hint of feeling entitled -- as if he's owed something for playing at Duke, starting as a freshman, winning the national championship and staying all four years -- as he battles to make the roster. And the chances of him making the roster are virtually zero:

The Bulls have three other guards on the roster -- rookie Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich and Jannero Pargo -- and a restricted free agent -- Jamal Crawford -- whom they are trying to sign.
And even though I've spent the last four years disparaging Duhon simply because he played at Duke, I at least respect the way he's approaching his future. That said, I still don't think he'll make the team, but if he does I get the impression he'll appreciate the experience perhaps more than some. Of course all this sentimental stuff certainly won't get in the way of me hoping Duke finishes last in the ACC.