The Sunday Read: Some Love for Luol

The Sunday Read is a look at the best Sunday columns around the NBA.

Stan Van Gundy is right. Derrick Rose is going to win the 2010-11 NBA Most Valuable Player presented by Kia Motors. In addition, Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has a great shot to win the Coach of the Year award. At worst, he’ll finish second.

But David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune believes that the Bulls have another award winner on their team. He writes Sunday that Luol Deng is the league’s most underrated player

When anybody mentions the Bulls’ Big 3, they usually mean Rose, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah. But without the consistency of Deng the Bulls would find themselves fighting for playoff position in the East with the Hawks and Magic in the middle rather than leading the Celtics at the top.

After the Bulls added seven new players last offseason, most notably Boozer, perception grew that Deng would take on a lesser role. The reality is that the less the Bulls have needed to depend on Deng, the more indispensable he became holding things together on both ends of the floor.

Glue-all Deng.

“There’s no way we would be in this position if not for the year he’s having and all the things he does for our team,” Thibodeau said.

There’s no way the Bulls will get to the conference finals they need to reach to meet rising expectations without Deng continuing to play at the elite level that has become the norm this season.

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John Schuhmann is a staff writer for Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.


  1. Simple says:

    This is advertising for Rose: “Derrick Rose is going to win the 2010-11 NBA Most Valuable Player presented by Kia Motors.”? You should state your opinion, not make predictions. Did you forget last season? Rose, Deng and Noah also played, but nobody thought that Rose is MVP-type caliber player. Suddenly, the team wins, and everybody looks great.
    Rose doesn’t deserve to win the MVP this year, simply because the overall performance of the Bulls is the result of a team effort, they really play as a team under the new Coach, a great one. Rose is a very good player, but Dwight or Dirk are clearly more deserving to win it. I wouldn’t put Rose in the first NBA team either, this should be: Dwight, Dirk, James, Kobe and Wade.

  2. drick says:

    Hey schuhmmann the game is not over..

  3. scott e mo says:

    d-rosemvp deng is the pippen of this new bulls championship team, which will beat the lakers for the title, and ben gorden was great but he neva played d so i think we got a great shooter in kyle korver he comes off those screens n hits as long as he dont get shy lebron is good but id rather have wade on the bulls and bosh is the next jermaine oneal, dunno but we need a shooting guard next year who can shoot a lil better n still play d how bout tmac or b. roy maybe

  4. karex says:

    is loul deng eligible for the most improved award?? i think he deserve it, the way he plays offense and defense

  5. acccadrian says:

    Luol Deng is the new Scottie Pippen.

  6. Tise says:


  7. CB11 says:

    hes the iron man of the bulls, he grinds out the most minutes and has managed to stay healthy and consistent all year. no doubt the bulls wouldn’t be atop the east without him.the boy hardly sees the bench i’d say that nickname “Glue-all Deng” sums it up quite nice.

  8. Cognitivo says:

    He is the most improved player of the year. Take him out and you’ll see Bulls out on the first round of the playoffs,,,

  9. Ben says:

    Matt, i dont think i could have said it better myself. Lebron is a coward of a human being and an over-rated basketball player. Ya he’s a great player but as “amazing” as everyone else makes him out to be he should have several rings by now. Cleveland gave him all the player he needed to make it deep in the playoffs, but when it came time to taking the team all the way he choked! So everyone please get off of Lebrons schnitzel! Give Rose the credit he deserves. He took his team to the next level, made them number one in the east (all at a young age might i add and did it with a slightly less talented team than lebron did with cavs) and is the best thing that has happened to the bulls since Jordan retired. Lebron and the heat are barely top 4 in the east, they choke in the final stages of games and theyre supposed to have an “amazing” team filled with all stars. Lebron is over-rated period.

  10. CJW says:

    Deng is playing great but lets be honest….he has a fat contract and has now matured and is playing up to it. Good….makes Jpax look better for inking him but remember they wanted to give B-Gord similiar money but he thankfully turned it down.

    Deng is a great complimentary player….he is every bit robin to D-Rose’s batman. He is playing great D and most nights against the other teams best perimiter player.

    It was a total job that he didn’t make all star team this year. I mean they put 4 guys from Cs but slight Deng…hopefully his revenge will be enacted during a meaningful playoff series….He also deserves to be on 1st or 2nd all D team as he is locking people down.

    Look people Bulls are a complete team. They really have no weakness. That is a key in playoff series. Every other team the Bulls will face in playoffs does have flaws including Lakers who happen to be very vunerable to speedy penetrating PGs.

    I like the Bulls chances and hell even if this year is a learning experience this core is going to be together for a while and is young so they will eclipse Celts/Spurs/Lakers within the next few years. To me Miami is a joke with a lot of flaws. They need more pieces and better coaching to be considered elite.

  11. BNeal says:

    Finally, someone says something nice about Luol Deng. The guy is probably the best individual defender on the team (and considering they are one of the best defensive teams in the league that’s saying quite a bit). Not to mention he puts up a solid 18 a game to go with 6 boards. He is Mr. Consistency for the Bulls and every team needs one. They’ve got very good big men, Deng, an very un-extraordinary group of shooting guards, and finally the best point guard in the league that makes the team dominant at times. If any of those pieces were missing though (obviously with the exception of the two guards) the Bulls would not be where they are right now.

    (BTW, to the person who said the Bulls make Derrick Rose good and not the other way around must never have seen this guy play. He is unbelievably talented and has probably the best head on his shoulders out of any of the superstars in the NBA. Without him the Bulls would be fortunate to be .500 and fighting for the 6th seed in the East. He is a true talent and clearly a top 5 player as of this season.)

  12. David says:

    Look at how this goes. In Miami, the Trio is very talented. They’re supporting cast is old. That’s why the offense of the Miami Heat depends on the Big Three. They’re the the ones who’s just scoring. Damn. They lack role players that’s why they’re losing mostly when it comes to close games. But I still love the Heat. ahaha 90% of the team’s scoring, goes with the Big Three.

  13. David says:

    The most valuable player in the league goes with authority. It’s always been in a team that leads in winning percentage. But look, if you disregard that. Guess who’ll get the MVP since 2004-2005? It’s Lebron James man. He’s always putting up big number of his stats, he’s very valuable. Look at what happened now to the Cavs. If you put away D-Rose out of bulls, they wouldn’t be the same as how Cavs struggling, know why? Because Lebron leads the whole team in any way, while D-Rose is still developing leadership. I think Bulls went off during season, but comes playoffs, they couldn’t survive Orlando, Miami and Bostos, especially they’re with Boozer who’s always stupid during Playoffs.

  14. Matt says:

    Lebron for MVP? That spineless dbag had to team up with superstars because he is too much of a female sex organ to try for himself. D-Rose leads his team when boozer is out, when noah is out, when both are out… lebron at all times has DWADE AND BOSH.. yet the bulls till have a better record. Lebron chokes when his team needs him most. He shouldnt even be in the convo for mvp.

  15. J.R.p says:

    All this crap about Chicago is in one ear and out the other. I dont believe Deng or anyone in the bulls line up will win anything. Maybe Rose gets MVP and the top seed in the East. Most people are forgetting about the Heats and guess what?? were going all the way….

  16. Nestor says:

    YEah guys! let’s see if Deng can do that in the PLAYOFFS!

  17. NICO says:


  18. Sparky says:

    Luol is a great all around NBA starter. He is unselfish on offensive and never quits on defense. He is the third scoring option on the Bulls behind Boozer and Rose. He is the best third option player in the NBA.

    MVP is a subjective award. If it was based on stats alone there were would be a formula. Then some better then average player on losing team could load up on stats like PPG or RPG and calculate his way to the MVP, never adding any real value. Rose has shown he is an MVP by the Bull’s winning record. Without question he led his team to first place in the East. If the Bulls end the season in first, Rose wins MVP.

    The best player on the Heat and in the NBA is Wade. Lebron is all talent and no heart. When Miami wins a championship it will be because of Wade’s MVP play. The ego twins of James and Bosh will only be riding Wade’s competitive drive to a ring.

  19. BCELTICS says:

    r u kidding me whoever just said lebron james should be MVP is so wrong. he hasnt even played tht well, hes barley helped the heat, and hes a straight out ball hog. in my opinion, d rose is mvp by farrrrr!!!!!!

  20. hon olanrewaju says:

    It is so amazing how Deng improved on his game. I totally Agree that he is underrated and he should be among chicago’s top players.

  21. Baviral Binha says:

    what a bavi

  22. J.Paul says:

    We know deng is not the best player in the nba but i can say this he has improve tremendously knowing now he is isn’t injured and he is in good shape he is hitting the 3p’s more consistently this has been the best year of his career in my opinion i mean he is 6’9 225 great underrated defender and he and noah does the little things that matters the most seeing that has gotten boozer and rose defense up but thats because of deng making hard for star players he has to go against everynight. Also you gotta give it to coach Thibodeau i mean i like vinny too he is a great coach but bulls was always known for their smothering defense and Thibodeau brought that back to these players especially deng you can tell he has practice all summer and has watch film on whoever has has to check for the next game and it shows in his game i mean he like averaging 18 and nearly 8 borards so expect this team to go through the heat i can’t wait to see LeBron cry once he gets shut down by Deng

  23. Max Wohlman says:

    Everyone came into this season thinking the Bulls were going to be an amazing defensive team but the question was would they have enough scoring threats, and Luol Deng certainly gave them a reliable and consistent scoring option while also being their best defender. NBA defensive 1st team of course. He is a huge part of their success this year. Without him they would maybe have won 5-7 games less than right now.

  24. d rich says:

    did u see that performance by rose against the bucks last night enough said MVP and the bulls will win the championship against the lakers just like 20 years ago and it will b the most watched finals ever

  25. Alex says:

    All I want to see is the damn ring on Rose’s index finger that will prove who is the best

    If anyone can tell me who will win these seris

    Bulls vs Celtics

    Lakers vs Thunder

  26. NBA Doug says:

    Luol Deng is a great player and if he keeps it up he will get is pay check and respect. I don´t like Carlos Boozer. I would have prefered Paul Milsap over Carlos Boozer.

  27. Julien says:

    I’m not a big fan of Lebron James, but I really don’t see where you find any points to give him the MVP award. He’s not playing in any of the NBA top teams, and he doesn’t make his team (that much) better.
    Carmello Anthony is gifted too and knows one on one basket ball very well, but should he run for an MVP award?
    If you know something about greatness in sports, then Kobe is still from far the best player in the league. But if you’re looking for the guy that made a good team one of the best in the league, who shares the ball and scores the points he’s expected too. Then you gotta give it to D-Rose.

  28. Fact Not Fiction says:

    Most underrated
    Channing Frye
    JR Smith
    Lemarcus Aldridge
    Michael Beasley
    George Hill
    Charlotte Bobcats team!
    Sorry but Deng is not underrated. He benefits from his team more than they benefit from him. If he was elsewhere we wouldn’t even be discussing this.

  29. Lakahsfodawin says:

    To the guy who said that Luol deserves MVP…wow rly? Deng? MVP? You don’t know squat about NBA do you?

  30. Paul J, Liverpool UK says:

    As a Brit, its very satisfying to see our main man Deng doing so well. A lot has been expected of him in the past, but perhaps now that less is expected with the arrival of Booz and the maturation of Noah into a bigger presence in the paint, he has flourished. Maybe the trade talk helped too, either way, I feel we need to be talking about a big four in Chicago, and unlike other teams and their big 3s or 4, this quartet is more than the some of its parts. THAT’S why TT should be coach of the year.

  31. twistergear says:

    Bulls players come and go… Loul Deng remains with the team… because he is a good all around player.

    Humble and yet very effective player. I just hope that Loul Deng will keep on playing hard come play-offs time.
    And hoping that Rose will not get injured! Rose’s playing style is injury prone ( i hope i got that right?!).

  32. Kofi says:

    Love the nickname Glue-all Deng.

  33. Dre says:

    Deng is definitely an underrated player. He can be a big thorn in the opponents’ side when he has to.

  34. Josh says:

    In all honesty I was not a fan of Luol Deng until I went to the game where he lit up the Blazers with 40 pts. He really took it to another level this year.

  35. Xaled says:

    John Schuhmann is a Chicago Bulls fan

  36. Sarkies says:

    I love how I see comments about Rose v.s. Lebron for MVP in this blog. First off, it’s Rose. I’m not going to discuss why because my point is that this is supposed to be a blog about Deng being underrated and by talking about different players in this blog is just making this a much stronger point as to why this blog is here. Deng isn’t MVP but he is an All Star and needs to go next year. He should have went this year honestly. Bosh, Allen, Pierce, and Johnson went over him!?!?!?! WOW! That’s just stupid. He also deserves Most Improved Player and 1st team Defense. He can score anywhere and anyway and shuts down any player in any position. He is the Grant Hill of this generation. He picked up his game when hearing about Boozer coming. That shows he didn’t want to be forgotten because he is already looked past enough. This guy is one of the best players in the league. Arguably in top 3 for small forwards. I’m not saying to get in an argument about this guy, but at least give him his props for everything he has done for the Bulls. He really has given his all. He is so dedicated to the Bulls and with players leaving these days to play with other All Stars and for more money, it’s a blessing for a team to get loyalty from it’s players like Deng gives. It just sucks seeing players do everything in their power to win but not be acknowledged for it. I mean, if I was told to make a starting line up of the most underrated players, it would be Raymond Felton, Monta Ellis, Luol Deng, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Tyson Chandler. That right there is an amazing line up and they are all players who are never considered for anything more than an extra player on a team. Luol Deng deserves a lot of respect but never gets it. He is arguably the best all around player in the league. He has everything from offense to defense. That is just my opinion and you are entitled to yours but don’t sit here and not give this guy his credit.

  37. Bullz boyz says:

    I think deng is great and extremely underated he helps around the community. He also helping his home country sudan to help cary on the dream of manute great man, great player.

  38. mr sensible says:

    Oh…..p.s, Tom Thibideau is the coach of the year. Tom took Chicago from a team that fought with Toronto all the way down to the last week of the regular season for an eighth and final spot, to a team that has pretty much beat out Boston and the Super friends for Number 1 overall. He has the Bulls being toted as contenders for the next few years. Greg Popovich I think is second, but he has a veteran team, so although it is remarkable what they have done, it still cant overshadow the fact that Chicago is the New Kids on the Block.

  39. IronWill says:

    Underrated-Luol Deng, Andrea Bargnani,Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Rudy Gay and Nick Young.Also, the Sixers team who continue to compete despite lack of star power, Soon to be underrated-Marcin Gortat,Tyler Hansbrough, Serge Ibaka.

  40. Pigeon says:

    He’s not the best in the nba but he is amazing to watch he does all the small things. i suppose his hard work is brough from sudan and from england. hes inspirational and such a great guy i met him at luol dneg camp in 2009 and loughbourough what an inspiration

  41. mr sensible says:

    Deng is good, but Rose is a serious monster. He single handedly brings as much double an triple teams as Wade and Lebron combined. What he did to Milawakee last night was hurtful if you are a Bucks fan. He turned Milawakee’s Gym into his house. Bucks fans turned into Derick’s fans, and the announcers could not even contain themselves. That was SPECTACULAR!

  42. T2d0 says:

    luol deng has been one of the most underated playas for a reli long tym now. the other 1 is monte ellis. but at least he gets 1 or 2 recognition sometimes but luol deng neva gets nothin is it bcoz the dude is british? i mean this guy has been playin lik this for a pretty long tym and now u finally notice him. he’s definitely the second piece to the bulls success. and they will definitely not b the team they are now without him that’s for sure, they will still b good dnt get me wrong but they wont b first. maybe 7th or 8th but definitely not first in the eastern conference.

  43. Mike says:

    great post! dengs been one of my favorite players these past couple years but he never gets any recognition. Wish we still had gordon too and bulls would be set for years.

  44. Randy says:

    Good post, Deng is indeed vastly underrated.. Dude brings it every night on both ends of the floor.
    In my honest opinion, he should have gotten the All-Star spot over Chris Bosh.

    • Jorge says:

      I agree he is vastly underrated. But I don’t agree about him getting the all star spot over Bosh. He may get a spot next year though.

  45. Steve-o says:

    lololololol loul the best player in the entire NBA ? .. thats like saying…. the cavaliers are going to win a championship this year.. plus the bulls are nothing with D.rose obviously.. even though loul has stepped up his game

  46. ian says:

    he’s british thats right; BRITISH

  47. Mark says:

    He deserves an NBA All-Defense team selection this year. He’s the best defensive player on the best defensive team. Nuff said.

  48. HS says:

    I agree with Derrick Rose being the MVP, but I’m not too sure about Tom Thibodeau being Coach of the Year, although a very good candidate. But Chicago was a playoff team last year.

    However, Doug Collins has taken the 76ers team from nothing to a team that playoff teams have 2 watch out for. My Coach of the Year, Doug Collins

    • Big100 says:

      you cant be the coach of the year without 55 or more wins.

    • hahahaha says:

      LOL. Rose wins the MVP because of thibs. Thibs is the real reason to the bulls. Rose winning the MVP and Thibs not winning the COTY is not right. Actually rose doesn’t even deserve the MVP.

  49. think says:

    Much has been expected from Deng since the “Baby Bulls” days… but because of injuries, coach/system/player changes, and practically the team finding its identity since that time… Deng hasnt met up with it. He was considered as primary scorer (along with Ben Gordon), and as the team leader during those years. Yet the Bulls that time was without any identity.

    The good thing now is the spotlight has gone from him. Noah developed from an immature player to their version of Detroit’s Ben Wallace, Rose came and has established a new face of the bulls since MJ, and Boozer has been expected to be an impact acquisition. Even Thibodeau has some of the burden/spotlight coming in as new coach.

    Deng is a great player, but some players perform better if not under the spotlight. These are the consumate teammates other teams wish for. They just play, no hype needed. I just wish no more injuries to derail him and how he’s helping his team now.

  50. rdeano7 says:

    luol representing GB to the fullest! proud to have such an elite player from my country! has to be be in allstar consideration next year!

  51. MONEY says:

    They’re doing ok , Rose is crazy and deng too, I just would ve love they kept Gordon, gordon was sick remember the playoff series againts Boston


  53. Coach B says:

    On the Chicago Bulls site they have a forum called Bulls Connect. This is were fans can sign in and talk on various subjects. The site is managed by this guy “ctw”. All season long he has been bashing and hating on Luol Deng. He’s a big fan of Carmelo Anthony and to this day can’t let it go. Even after big wins, were Deng will log in like 42mins, he still finds blame in him.

    It’s unbelievable how underrated and unappreciated he his not just in the NBA, but in the city he plays for. Even more so by people working for the Bulls home fan site under !!! Just log on to the Bulls Connect and archive this guy “ctw”. He is absolutely unbelievable and he’s starting to get a following of Bulls fans to hate with him on the subject of Luol.

    Luol’s contributions every night doesn’t always show up on the stat line, but he always comes to play. He is a true professional and a great man on and off the court. If you don’t want to recognize this efforts, fine; but all you haters do us a favor and get off his back !

  54. Stephen says:

    dont get too ahead of yourself there gregoree

  55. Mike says:

    Heh do you really think that he feels he should win some kind of award? I think Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy is good enough award.

  56. get down or lay down says:

    @ GregorEE u went a little 2 far with all that BUDDY! But hey i still love My Bulls though D-ROSE MVP WindyCity Rule.

  57. MUBWAR says:

    Glue-ALL Deng I like that alot. This man has been consistent on both ends of the floor since he got to the league. It amazes me that 1 sided player such as Melo make soo much more than him. That’s the league for you

  58. Moms says:

    Lebron James is the real MVP, i mean D-Rose is a very good player but his FG is very low. BTW James beat him on PPG and RPG and they have almost the same APG.

    • Jobs says:

      Lebron is 6’8 compared to Derrick being 6’3 so lebron should have more rebounds than derrick

    • Richard Robes says:

      Your right wade and james should split it. His field goal percentage is rubbish, He misses most of his shots, just has a run of made shots to bring the percentage up.

    • BG says:

      Stats don’t prove how valuable you are to the team. It’s how important the player is to the key for success. If you focus on talent and skills, you need to be more broad minded and think deeper about what MVP really means. So it doesn’t matter how much you do on the court, but how much of a difference you make for the “success” of the team. Key word success.

    • ollie w says:

      Bron aint on a winning team so it aint gonna be his year this year

    • ROSE! says:

      MVP means most valuable player, not the guy who has the most PPG, RPG, and APG. and Rose has proven it. Without Noah and Boozer he managed to carry on the team with help from Deng. lets see Lebron do that without Bosh or Wade. The article said it. Chicago’s Big 3 are Rose, Noah, and Boozer and Rose has played and won with out them. Can Lebron do that?

      • Thunja says:

        Yeah, he can. Which team had the best record last year? cause im pretty sure it was LeBron James’ team. Oh, and he was the MVP of the league.

      • asudevils says:

        LeBron can’t win the MVP when you have 2 All-Stars on your team. I’m sure the Heat would do just fine with just Bosh and Wade. If the Heat do suck without him, then there’s no point in having Bosh and Wade on your team if they can’t win you games.

      • spencer says:

        in Miami.. he hasnt proven that.. but when he was in CLeveland.. he Did.. Even better than Rose.. Lebron had only Mo Williams..

      • err yeah... says:

        That’s why he’s the mvp LAST YEAR and not this year. Lebron had a better record playing by himself than with 2 other all stars. That’s not mvp material. The ONLY thing going for lebron’s mvp chances is the fact that the cavs proved how “valuable” he was by dropping from best record to worst.

    • Hi says:

      Lebron should be the MVP – what is he at the end of games 1 for 100 lol – yea right. Great stats don’t make a winner.

    • Errr says:

      LeBron isn’t even close too being as valuable as D-Rose.. besides, his FG% is 44, LeBron’s 50 – sure, there’s a slight gap, but look at LeBron’s FT% compared to D-Rose (even though stats are fairly irrelevant when it comes to MVP selections), 85% for Rose to James’ 76%

      The RPG is just laughable of anyone to put up.. keep in mind; they highest RPG held by a PG is Jason Kidd with a career RPG of 6,6.. small guys aren’t rebounders.

    • EL Dante' says:

      I dont know if you goofys watch games or not but D.Rose and the Bulls hav sweeped the Miami heat this season.
      D.wade can not hold Derrick Rose fools Mvp Coming To D.Rose soon

    • me says:

      OH, is that why were up 3-0 on the REAL MVP and have a better record

  59. Joel says:

    True, Deng usually contributes double figures for points and plays good defence and offence keeping Chicago together. The guy has to recieve some kind of award, as the bulls are kind of lost without him.

    • Djelga says:

      Getting praise from others can be the most valuable award for the work you do. Cheer for the man and love his play.

  60. GregorEE says:

    Luol Deng is the best player in the entire NBA. Needs to win MVP, most improved AND Defensive player of the year. Simply the best. You heard it here first suckers!!!!!

    • #TeamHeat says:

      Are you serious??? Best player in the NBA?? He’s a good talented player and extremly vital to the BULLS success, but no where near close to the best player in the NBA.

      • NYK! says:

        dudes… lol chill out he was joking… prob. did it 2 c ppl. (like u) go all crazy on him….

      • prix says:

        Deng plays great this year…i salute them together with Noah and Boozer because they are the one who make Rose play his best and daserve to be MVP…not Rose himself wins the MVP its the other way around…Rose is not Nash…Its the team that makes Rose good not Rose makes the team good…otherwise Howard would win it but his team sometimes sucks…its a team MVP for the Bulls not only Rose

    • ErikV says:

      Dang…MVP…What? Do you even watch the NBA? That’s the most rediculous thing i’ve read in the last couple days.

    • Brydon says:


      • Chitown Finest 23/1 Future Champions says:

        he’ speaking from a fans heart, not a person who ever played the game of basketball or understand the politic or mental game inside the game of basketball. Deng has always been a solid good player, and in the past before Rose came he was the best player the Bulls had in a long time. going back 4 season before Rose joined the team they put Miami and shack out the 1st Round of the playoff deng was solid that year with 18pts 6Rbs 4ast avg he is now healthy again paying phenominaly, the 3rd option on the team but really the second go to guy, opposing teams tend to for get he’s on the court because of boozer and Noah play so well, which allow deng to be so solid with his play, Right now he is the paul pierce of the chicago Bulls, Right Now the Bulls match up well with any Team in the NBA including the LAKERS, Bulls have 4 Player that score double figures. Derrick Rose 24.9ppg – Carlos Boozer 17.8ppg – Luol Deng 17.7ppg – Joakim Noah12.2ppg

    • wombat says:


    • UCKFred says:

      You guys are gullible.