By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) This is completely anecdotal, but I still think it’s telling of something.
On Wednesday evening, CBSSports.com college basketball columnist Gary Parrish tweeted that Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg had “emerged as a serious candidate” to replace the recently ousted Thad Matta at Ohio State. In the intervening period from then until Hoiberg told the Tribune’s K.C. Johnson that he had “no intention of leaving” the Bulls, my phone started buzzing and my email box began filling up with questions from friends who all asked the same kind of thing — “Is it true?” “Could this happen?” “Who would replace him?” It was all tinged with a kind of giddy anticipation.
That kind of response from informed fans to the possibility of their coach leaving must indicate frustration with the status quo at the very least and probably an awareness that Hoiberg is already all he’s ever going to be, which is not much of anything dynamic or inspiring after the Bulls have gone 83-81 in his first two years at the helm.
The mere possibility that serious change would be forced on the Bulls by outside circumstance was sufficiently tantalizing, and that speaks volumes to the kind of malaise that has crept in for those wanting this team to find any real direction and competitive purpose. Anything to break the monotony or dissipate the mirage.