VladRad Goes Rasputin

Vlad 2

Vlad 1


Dear Chicago Bulls Fans,


You’ve probably noticed the rash of injuries our team has endured this postseason. This plague seems to have touched nearly every member of the roster and as such, almost everyone has gotten to play more minutes. Everyone that is, except me. I’ve written this letter to confess to all of you: I am 100% responsible for these injuries. Every bruised shoulder, strained calf, case of the flu, and plantarized fascia…it was all me. I did all of these horrible things and as a result, ruined the Bulls’ chances of advancing in the playoffs. I did it all for one simple reason: I want to play more than you can imagine. As you can see, I’m willing to do anything I can to get in the game.


Before we continue, I need you all to know I had absolutely nothing to do with Derrick Rose’s injury. I know you probably don’t believe me given the fact that I’ve just confessed to a plethora of misdeeds, but I assure you, I have an excellent alibi. The night he got hurt, I was in Boston playing for the Atlanta Hawks. Plus, it’s pretty clear to me Reggie Rose was behind Derrick’s injury. Like E from Entourage, the man is trying to build a brand.


This all started in mid-April. I had gotten to play serious minutes in three straight games because Marco Belinelli had been hurt. We went out as a team one night to celebrate clinching a playoff spot. Somehow we ended up at a karaoke bar. After Noah did some goofy song in French, I got up on stage and belted the John Fogerty classic, “Put Me in Coach.” Thibs was not amused. Apparently my version, sung with a thick eastern European accent, did not do the song justice in Thibs’ eyes. He is the biggest Creedence Clearwater Revival fan in the world, and he held a grudge for what he called a “musical butchering.” After that night, Marco got back to health, and I went back to the bench, where I stayed for the rest of the regular season.


I seethed with anger game after game. I wanted so badly to play, but Thibs was unyielding. Recognizing that he’d have no choice to play me if people were injured, I hatched my sinister plan as the postseason began.


My first step was to give everyone the flu. After Game 1 at the Barclays Center, I left the arena and hugged every unwashed, bohemian Brooklynite I could find on the street. I made sure to wear those same clothes into the locker room the next day and voila, everyone from Luol Deng to Nate Robinson to Taj has been fighting the bug ever since. How did I avoid getting sick myself? I was born in a former Soviet state. Our germs laugh maniacally in the face of your germs. My immune system is like the Berlin Wall (because it withstands colds for 30 years.) I figured getting everyone sick would help me in two ways. First, it would limit the guys in front of me or keep them out all together. Second, if our team was depleted by the flu, we might get blown out in which case coach Thibs would have to put me in. Well that didn’t work, even in that crazy overtime Game 4. I had to take more direct action if I was going to get on the floor.


Next up, I snuck into Kirk Hinrich’s hotel room and pulled his yoga mat out from under him while he was doing his pregame vinyasas. That kept him out with a strained calf. He agreed not to rat on me in exchange for me keeping quiet the fact that he does yoga in a bright pink unitard while listening to Gregorian chant. In retrospect, it might have been easier just to hide those sexy Rec Specs he wears. He’s as useless without them as Amare Stoudemire is with them.


Kirk missed the final three games of the Brooklyn series, but still I couldn’t get off the bench. This was proof of two things. First, Thibs really had it out for me. Second, the Nets are garbage.

I began to take more desperate action. I began targeting Joakim Noah. First, I removed the custom inserts he has in shoes to help with plantar fasciitis. I soaked them overnight in hot sauce, dried them off, and returned them to his shoes. Now his feet are constantly on fire and none of the anti-inflammatory drugs he’s taking seem to have any effect. Then, I hid the Vaseline he puts on his hands to make his jump shot spin the way it does. His spitball 15-footer hasn’t been the same since.


With Noah looking a mess and the Heat next up on our docket, I had a good feeling I’d be getting off the bench some time soon. In Game 2, my dream came true. I played 10 minutes in a brutal blowout by the Heat. AND I HIT THREE THREES!!! I knew those shots were my ticket to more playing time. As Games 3 played out, I bided my time waiting for Thibs to call my name.


He never did.


That was when I determined to stop holding back. Knowing that I couldn’t deliberately injure anyone else, I resorted to more subtle tactics before Game 4. I switched Marco Belinelli’s pregame pasta from penne to mostaciolli. To an American, there is no difference, but to an Italian, I might as well have hit him with a baseball bat and fed him dog poop. 0 assists and 0-of-5 from downtown? Blame it on the pasta.


With Nate Robinson, I simply adjusted the pre-game playlist. Nate likes to work himself into a frenzy by listening to Twista before hitting the court. He matches Twista’s verbal speed with his own agility and that’s what allows him to play like Mighty Mouse. I hooked my iPod up to the locker room stereo and blasted some Phillip Phillips, Mumford and Sons, and The Lumineers before we went out for warmups. Nate’s mojo was effectively quashed and not surprisingly, his missed every shot he took from the field.


As for Rip Hamilton, I figured it was in my best interests for him to play as much as possible. The more minutes Rip was on the floor, the more likely the Heat were to blow us out. The more likely the home crowd would be to get some VladRad time.


Everything went according to plan, but I ended the game with a DNP-CD. Coach’s Decision! I still can’t believe it. We lost by 23 and he still wouldn’t put me in the game.


I’m not telling you all of this to ask for forgiveness or to apologize. I’m not sorry. I WANT TO PLAY!


This letter is a warning: play me or else. Barring some fluke, Game 5 will be our last of the season. If I don’t get on the court, I’m going to go full Rasputin on the city of Chicago. I don’t know what all that entails aside from looking creepy and having it out for chicks named Anastasia, but I assure you all, I will bust out the Russian black magic if I see another DNP-CD by my name. Don’t let Thibs’ selfishness hurt the team or the city. Let him know you want to see #VladRadAlert trending on Twitter tonight.


Thank you for your time. I sincerely hope I don’t have to yell, “I’ll see you all in hell” later tonight. Trust me, you hope that too.




Vlad Rad



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