CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls recently acquired 63-year-old ex-Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey as its new point guard, the Chicago Tribune reports. Originally joining the NBA as an adviser in early October, Dempsey shocked numerous basketball insiders and observer — and himself — by becoming the new face of the franchise and moving to point guard.
Dempsey spoke with Duffel Blog — in between learning the NBA rule book and fundamental set plays — to discuss the fortuitous chain of events that led to his signing with the storied Chicago Bulls.
"It all started when [Bulls owner] Jerry Reinsdorf invited me to his personal United Center suite to thank me for my service," Dempsey said. "When he found out I maxed out my basketball throw on my West Point Cadet Fitness Assessment back in '73, I hadn't missed 68% of regular season games the last four years, and I didn't have any civil litigation pending, he said the job was mine to lose."
Naturally, Dempsey's addition is already drawing ire from fellow players and the team's rabid fan base. The move to sign Dempsey, first reported by ESPN, is seen by most experts as the beginning of the end of the Derrick Rose era in Chicago.
"This was a no-brainer for us," Coach Fred Hoiberg told the Chicago Tribune. "Dempsey is a leader who creates much needed depth at the position. Plus, he doesn't collect a salary from the Bulls because of his $240K retirement salary. And did I mention he has never had a sprained wrist, sprained toe, sprained ankle, torn ACL, two torn menisci , or a fractured orbital bone?"
Dempsey, who turned 63 this past year and concedes he is rapidly approaching decrepitude, is older than most players by almost 35 years and nearly one foot shorter. Rather than being discouraged, Dempsey is highlighting his wisdom and experience as his strengths on the court.
"See these young men here?" Dempsey said while gesturing to the team performing lay-up and rebound drills at the United Center. "Sure, they can dunk, dribble, shoot, and outperform me in virtually every facet of the game. But I have at least two things over them — a degree from the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the will to win protracted, complex land battles."
"Assuming they go on for decades and there is no way to evaluate a clear winner, anyway," Dempsey added.
Rose, who caught wind of the acquisition only hours prior via social media, was unavailable for comment. However, rumors and trade speculation have already started to swirl after Rose was seen on the bench watching Dempsey slap-dribble and miss numerous underhand free throws for nearly two hours.
UPDATE: Both Derrick Rose and Martin Dempsey have been released from the Bulls. Sources in the locker room said a fight erupted between Dempsey and Rose in which both players broke a hip and were subsequently diagnosed with early onset osteoporosis.