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Ball Don't Lie

Luol Deng reveals he has lost 15 pounds, was playing through a fractured thumb

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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Luol Deng, prior to a game that the Chicago Bulls hoped he would play in (Getty Images)

Calling the Chicago Bulls’ 2012-13 a “lost season” is no justification to sit players, deal rotation parts, or take things lighter just because Derrick Rose is recovering from a torn ACL. It’s no excuse to let Rose sit the entire year, or to pass on re-signing Omer Asik, or to run Joakim Noah into the ground. It’s no excuse for either end of the “give up”/”try real hard” spectrum, really, and shouldn’t be an excuse to rest All-Star forward Luol Deng for the rest of the playoffs.

Luol Deng should sit out the rest of the playoffs, though, because there is no reason to push him back in to pro-level competition. As Deng recovers from a major illness and botched spinal tap procedure, the team should make the adult choice here (for once in their recent history) and declare Deng done for the year.

In his first meeting with the press since Deng was sidelined by illness, Deng came correct at Bulls practice on Thursday in discussing the obstacles that have been in place in the days since he was hospitalized.

[Also: Filomena Tobias, fan who flipped off Joakim Noah, has crazy backstory]

Chicago Bulls beat writer K.C. Johnson (of the Chicago Tribune) and Mike McGraw (of the Arlington Heights Daily-Herald) relayed Deng’s discussion, via their Twitter accounts:

(Hashtag, “sucks.”)

There’s not much to add to this beyond what Johnson, who had done brilliant work as Chicago’s beat writer for years, ended with. Luol Deng doesn’t need to come back to play in the playoffs. It doesn’t matter that his initial opponent will be four-time NBA MVP LeBron James. Luol Deng shouldn’t be returning to guard Juwan Howard or anyone else in this series. He’s four years removed from being guilted into playing on a misdiagnosed broken leg, he’s been playing with torn ligaments in his wrist for over a year, and he’s working through a fractured thumb.

[Also: Tony Parker makes ridiculous claim]

And, if you’ll recall, he had to take to his own defense on Twitter last week just because the Chicago Bulls couldn’t be bothered to confirm a correct report that noted that Luol Deng underwent a spinal tap procedure. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, at the time, said he had “flu-like symptoms.”

Hashtag, “sucks.”

Luol Deng has given enough. It’s time to let him rest and recover and focus on what’s best for him, instead of focusing on relatively stupid things like lessening Jimmy Butler’s minutes load, or improving Chicago’s half-court scoring. It’s over, Chicago Bulls. Do the right thing.

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