There are a handful of long, named road trips for specific teams in the NBA: The Rodeo Trip for the San Antonio Spurs when the rodeo kicks them out of the AT&T Center for a couple weeks; the Grammy trip for the Lakers/Clippers when Staples Center turns into the center of the music world; and the Chicago Bulls’ Circus trip, a tradition dating back to the Jordan era and starts this week.
Except, the circus trip is about to die.
Chris Kue at the Chicago Tribune explains it well.
But the Tribune has learned that when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus ends its run at the UC later this month, it won’t be returning to the arena. In addition, when the teams are forced to take another two-week break in February for Disney on Ice, that will be the final time it will result in the Hawks and Bulls hitting the road for an extended period as that show will be condensed to a one-week run beginning in 2018.
The Circus and Ice Show trips have been a staple for the teams for decades and date back to when they occupied the Chicago Stadium. But when the present contracts expired, changes were made.
It’s the end of a tradition. Not that it’s a bad thing, but Gregg Popovich, Phil Jackson, and other coaches have been able to turn that into essential bonding and growth moments for the team. There were silver linings.
But everyone would rather sleep in their own beds.