When the Chicago Bulls traded Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers last week, Bulls fans all over Chicago were devastated and heartbroken over losing a long standing core piece of the team. But while Bulls fans are still licking their wounds, Deng has inadvertently dug the knife in even further and twisted with his recent praise of the Cavaliers.
It’s not like Deng was going to bash the Cavaliers upon arrival, but Bulls fans will want to shield their eyes from his instant praise of how much he loves the Cavaliers and how he loves how the organization treats their players. While he wasn’t calling the Bulls out specifically and likely meant nothing mean spirited by his comments, one has to wonder if Deng’s warm reception to the Cavaliers has anything to do with how miserably he was treated by Bulls team doctors back in the summer of 2013.
Deng was infamously left for dead by the Bulls, who bolted with their team doctors to Miami to play the Heat in playoffs last year. This is all fine and dandy, except they had just botched a spinal tap on Deng which heft him confined to a hospital bed and rapidly losing weight as spinal fluid spilled into his body.
Deng’s willingness to re-sign with the Cavaliers and his love for his new team likely stems from how easy he has fit into the organization. But it’s impossible to look at his comments and not juxtapose them against what he went through in his final months with the Bulls, as a return to Chicago continues to seem unlikely for the All-Star forward.