10 most embarrassing Chicago moments of 2009

Sat, Dec 26

10. Bulls lost 35-point lead, game to the Sacramento Kings

Vinny Del Negro
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhIt's been a bad year for coach Vinny Del Negro.

No Ben Gordon, no problem, right? Uh, not exactly. The post-Gordon Bulls aren't as bad as the post-Jordan Bulls were, but they're even more maddening. Headlined by Derrick Rose, a resurgent Luol Deng and rapidly ascending center Joakim Noah, the Bulls should be better than 10-17 going into Saturday's game against New Orleans, and coach Vinny Del Negro's job status didn't get any safer after the Bulls blew a third-quarter lead that ballooned to 35 points. The Kings shocked the United Center on Dec. 21 with the second-biggest comeback in NBA history, one point shy of the Jazz's record. Think they could have used Gordon's fourth-quarter heroics? Or maybe Del Negro should have played more than seven guys all game?

9. Dale Tallon screws up qualifying offers, gets demoted

This is a joint embarrassment for both the classy former general manager of the Blackhawks and the team that fired him from his GM duties in mid-July, two months after the team made the Western Conference finals. It's no secret that Tallon was more skilled at talent evaluation than bookkeeping, and the team's decision to mail out qualifying offers to the team's restricted free agents, rather than shell out for courier service, was mystifying and costly. When they fired him to promote Stan Bowman, the cold move soured some fans on the organization that had reinvented itself and reinvigorated hockey in Chicago. Well, until the team started out white hot this season. Now, no one cares where Tallon is, or what he's doing.

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