Luol Deng, the fourth highest scorer in Chicago Bulls history, said goodbye to his fans this week on Instagram.
Deng was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum and a couple of draft picks. In basketball terms, it makes sense. Kind of. The Bulls thought they were going to be Championship contenders two years ago but a series of injuries have delayed the team’s title hopes. Now, in the middle of another year without Derrick Rose, the Bulls find themselves rebuilding.
Taj Gibson said: “I didn’t believe it … I said ‘That’s just talk. I’ll wait ’til I go to the locker room.’ And then I go to the locker room and everybody’s just sad-faced, worse than me. My immediate reaction was, it sucks.”
Getting rid of Deng will open up some options for the team in 2014 but Bulls fans are still pretty sad to see Deng go. Luol joined the Bulls in 2004 when he was just 19. Since then, and especially in recent years, he’s been a mainstay on the court. He’s the guy that guards LeBron James. He’s the guy that plays 48 minutes when Derrick Rose goes down. He’s the guy that fans think of when they think of the Chicago Bulls.
Deng said goodbye to his fans on Instagram last night with a simple and powerful note.
Deng writes: “You will hear a lot of can’t and a lot of won’t, but you give it everything you can because you believe in yourself and your teammates. You push yourself with your heart, mind and soul, and smile every night knowing you put love and passion into it. Thank you, Chicago.”
Deng has been an integral part of the Bulls organization for the last decade. Chicago fans let him know that he’s effort was appreciated and wished him luck in Cleveland.