The most exuberant celebrations were reserved for Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler, who suffered through three miserable seasons together after joining the Bulls in 2001.
Chandler was the star Saturday, producing 21 rebounds and 18 points. Curry, still sidelined because of an irregular heartbeat, watched from a suite in the United Center and descended to the locker room in time to join the playoff-clinching party.
“A big part of the celebration is because of him,” Chandler said. “We could sit here and hug and shed a tear together after all the stuff we’ve been through. I think it means a lot more that we shared something together.”
Curry disappeared before the media was allowed in the locker room. Chandler said he didn’t even ask Curry if he plans to be back for the playoffs.
“His (butt) better be back,” Chandler said.