Tag Archives: Chicago Bulls

The Dream Team 20 Years Later

This history of the 1992 US Olympic basketball team might only be interesting to those who watched all those games.

Chuck started Michael and Magic every game and then rotated the other three. Pippen would start one game, Mullin would start the next. Robinson and Ewing would alternate; Malone and Barkley would alternate. He was a master at managing. But in the second game against Croatia, there was never any doubt: He was putting Pippen on Toni Kukoc [who had just been drafted by the Bulls and had been offered a contract for more money than his future teammate]. Pippen and Jordan were tired of hearing about how great Kukoc was, because they were winning NBA championships.

You ever watch a lion or a leopard or a cheetah pouncing on their prey? We had to get Michael and Scottie out of the locker room, because they was damn near pulling straws to see who guarded him. Kukoc had no idea.

I watched everyone of those games and they were incredible.  Hearing the story behind those games is a lot of fun.

NBA Free Agency

lebron-james Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, writes an open letter to fans on his website about LeBron James.  First of all, he seems a little angrier than I would have expected.  I wonder if LeBron’s camp lead him to believe that he was going to stay in Cleveland.  Secondly, he used Comic Sans as his font.  If I was a Cleveland fan, I may consider that as the final straw.  Lastly, I would assume some very large fines are coming Dan Gilbert’s way.  Some of what he said seems to cross the line.

Probably more interesting than the font, is the accusation that LeBron quit during the playoffs.  If he was right, the same thing could be said about many other players but most times their owners don’t say it publically. 

Finally, it has to suck to be a Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, or New Jersey Nets fan.  Your team got rid of a lot pieces so it would have cap space to get LeBron, Bosh, or Wade and now you are all fighting over Carlos Boozer and not much else.  Good luck with that since by almost all accounts, you don’t seem to have a Plan B.  Yes, NY got Amare but they don’t have much else in terms of talent. 

Michael Jordan’s Final Performance

Michael Jordan for the Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last night as one of the greatest players ever.  During his induction speech, he realized that Micheal Jordan, the man is nowhere nearly as a great as Michael Jordan, the player.  Here is how Yahoo! Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski saw it.

This wasn’t a Hall of Fame induction speech, but a bully tripping nerds with lunch trays in the school cafeteria. He had a responsibility to his standing in history, to players past and present, and he let everyone down. This was a night to leave behind the petty grievances and past slights – real and imagined. This was a night to be gracious, to be generous with praise and credit.

“M.J. was introduced as the greatest player ever and he’s still standing there trying to settle scores,” one Hall of Famer said privately later.

Jordan didn’t hurt his image with the NBA community, as much as he reminded them of it. “That’s who Michael is,” one high-ranking team executive said. “It wasn’t like he was out of character. There’s no one else who could’ve gotten away with what he did tonight. But it was Michael, and everyone just goes along.”

Jordan wandered through an unfocused and uninspired speech at Symphony Hall, disparaging people who had little to do with his career, like Jeff Van Gundy and Bryon Russell. He ignored people who had so much to do with it, like his personal trainer, Tim Grover. This had been a moving and inspirational night for the NBA – one of its best ceremonies ever – and five minutes into Jordan’s speech it began to spiral into something else. Something unworthy of Jordan’s stature, something beneath him.

Jordan spent more time pointlessly admonishing Van Gundy and Russell for crossing him with taunts a dozen years ago than he did singling out his three children. When he finally acknowledged his family, Jordan blurted, in part, to them, “I wouldn’t want to be you guys.”

Well, um, thanks Dad. He meant it, too. If not the NBA, he should’ve thought of his children before he started spraying fire at everyone.

No one ever feels sorry for Isiah Thomas, but Jordan tsk-tsked him and George Gervin and Magic Johnson for the 1985 All-Star game “freeze-out.” Jordan was a rookie, and the older stars decided to isolate him. It was a long time ago, and he obliterated them all for six NBA championships and five MVP trophies. Isiah and the Ice Man looked stunned, as intimidated 50 feet from the stage, as they might have been on the basketball court.

The cheering and laughter egged Jordan on, but this was no public service for him. Just because he was smiling didn’t mean this speech hadn’t dissolved into a downright vicious volley.

Worst of all, he flew his old high school teammate, Leroy Smith, to Springfield for the induction. Remember, Smith was the upperclassman his coach, Pop Herring, kept on varsity over him as a high school sophomore. He waggled to the old coach, “I wanted to make sure you understood: You made a mistake, dude.”

Whatever, Michael. Everyone gets it. Truth be told, everyone got it years ago, but somehow he thinks this is a cleansing exercise. When basketball wanted to celebrate Jordan as the greatest player ever, wanted to honor him for changing basketball everywhere, he was petty and punitive. Yes, there was some wink-wink teasing with his beloved Dean Smith, but make no mistake: Jordan revealed himself to be strangely bitter. You won, Michael. You won it all. Yet, he keeps chasing something that he’ll never catch, and sometimes, well, it all seems so hollow for him.

Slate has some thoughts on Michael Jordan’s retirement as well.

Bulls vs. Celtics

I don’t know if you have been watching the NBA playoffs but this has been an amazing series.  As Dan Wetzel sees it.

Derrick Rose plays defense on the Boston Celtics

Back to Boston for Game 7 – just like the Basketball Gods (Michael Jordan? Larry Bird?) preordained it. You might as well get ready for an overtime or three, because a series this great, with performances this grand, wasn’t meant for regulation time.

There was no other way to conclude what is perhaps the finest non-Finals series in NBA history. Thursday was another masterpiece of endearing endurance, a game with literally everything.

I agree, I don’t think I have enjoyed a playoff series since the Pistons were trying to dethrone the Boston Celtics in the late 1980s and then the Bulls were knocking the Pistons off the block in the early part of the 1990s.  I don’t know who will win tonight but the rest of the playoffs will be hard to match this one.

20 Things That Have Happened Since The Chicago Cubs Last Won The World Series

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  1. Radio was invented; Cub fans got to hear their team lose.
  2. TV was invented; Cub fans got to see their team lose.
  3. Baseball added 14 teams; Cub fans got to see AND hear their team lose to more teams.
  4. George Burns celebrated his 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th and 100th birthdays.
  5. Haley’s Comet passed Earth… twice.
  6. Harry Caray was born… and died. Incredible, but true.
  7. The NBA, NHL and NFL were formed, and Chicago teams won championships in each league.
  8. Man landed on the moon, as have several home runs given up by Cubs pitchers.
  9. Sixteen US presidents were elected.
  10. There were 11 amendments added to the Constitution.
  11. Prohibition was created, and repealed.
  12. The Titanic was built, set sail, sank, was discovered, and became the subject of major motion pictures… the latter giving Cub fans hope that something that finishes on the bottom can come out on top.
  13. Wrigley Field was built and becomes the oldest park in the National League.
  14. Flag poles were erected on Wrigley Field roof to hold all of the team’s future World Series pennants. Those flag poles have since rusted and been taken down.
  15. A combination of 40 summer & winter Olympics have been held.
  16. Thirteen baseball players have won the Triple Crown; several thanked Cubs pitchers.
  17. Bell bottoms came in style, went out of style, and came back in style.
  18. The Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Florida Marlins have ALL won the World Series.
  19. The Cubs played 14,153 regular-season games; they lost the majority of them.
  20. Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Oklahoma, and New Mexico were added to the Union.