The last thing this young team needs is the distraction of an unreliable plane...
With a 6 p.m. start for their game at Charlotte on Wednesday, the Bulls were expecting to be back in Chicago before midnight. But problems with their charter jet forced the Bulls to stay in Charlotte on Wednesday night, and the team didn't arrive back in Chicago until about 11:15 a.m. Thursday.
''There are a lot of teams in the league having plane trouble this year,'' coach Scott Skiles said Thursday before the Bulls' game with the Cleveland Cavaliers. ''Ours, I guess, is probably at the top, but it's not unique. Other than the teams that have their own planes, these are the kind of things that happen.''
The Bulls, though, have had more than their share of travel woes, and this was at least the second time they experienced a major delay because of a problem with their charter jet. In January, the team sat in the airport for seven hours before a flight to New Orleans. In February, fog in Houston forced the Bulls to sit on the plane in Dallas for hours after a game with the Mavericks before the flight finally was postponed.
With center Eddy Curry having to sit out Wednesday night because of an irregular heartbeat, another travel headache was the last thing the Bulls needed.
''I had to go in after the game and tell the guys about Eddy, No. 1, where he was and what was going on, and No. 2, 'Oh, by the way, we're going back to the hotel,''' Skiles said. ''I don't want to appear like we're spoiled and we should complain about having to stay in a hotel prior to a game, but it does throw guys out of the rhythm of the season they are accustomed to.''