分类目录归档:Bulls Jerseys 2020

Scottie Pippen Jersey

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Michael Jordan is a legend. Sneakers, six championships and team ownership, MJ birthed exemplified what it meant to have a brand, put people under his brand and able to market himself from it.

Jordan influenced his peers and the next generation of hoopers.

Horace Grant Says Michael Jordan Was ‘The Devil’ In PracticeFormer Chicago Bulls forward Horace Grant stopped by Scoop B Radio Overtime and told host, Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson that Michael Jordan was one of the best on the court as well as in practice. You can also follow and subscribe to Scoop B Radio on these platforms for your listening convenience: iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/scoop-b-radio-scoopbradio/id1100828006?mt=2 Stitcher Radio: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/scoop-b-radio Tune In: http://tunein.com/radio/Scoop-B-Radio–SCOOPBRADIO–Brandon-Robinson-p884354/2017-04-15T01:59:49.000Z

MJ had a huge influence on 90s hoopers were preparing for the next level, as well.

Insert Tim Thomas. The Villanova product and seventh pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, played 12 NBA seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers where he averaged 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 824 games.

On the Scoop B Radio Podcast, the former three-time High School All American tells me about how he got to visit MJ and Scottie Pippen at their hotel while he was a standout at Paterson Catholic High School in Paterson, New Jersey.

The story was amazing. Check out the snippet from our Q&A on the Scoop B Radio Podcast below:

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: I need a Michael Jordan story.

Tim Thomas: A Michael Jordan story?

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: A story that nobody’s heard that you can share…

Tim Thomas: I mean I was around the Bulls when I was a young fella in high school so I used to go to the games when they came to Garden or to Jersey and stuff like that so… I never really hung with them other than this one time Pip invited me to dinner and they were staying at the Crowne Plaza and Mickey Mantle’s place is right up the street in Central Park. They’re up in Mickey Mantle’s so I walk up in there and they got the entire restaurant shut down. At that time, one of Scottie’s agents came and got me so outside of Mickey Mantle’s that street right there where the window is you can see about I would say about 2,000 – 2,500 people standing, staring into the mirror, trying to see the Bulls. So I get there right before dinner is over and this is my first time ever meeting Mike. So I met Mike, and Pip and the rest of the team and they were getting ready to walk out and I didn’t even see where security came from for Michael Jordan. But he had about ten guys that came out of nowhere like they were secret service. And that’s a quick walk back and forth to the hotel and they rushed him down the street so fast it was unbelievable. I thought he was the president or something. But that was like my first time meeting Mike eye to eye, shaking hands and meeting the GOAT and as a youngster I’ll always remember that. The media and everybody that was out there was just a little crazy and it was first time like seeing that’s what it is being super super star. Imagine like Michael Jackson or you favorite superstar in their heyday. Getting that type of attention, but that was cool though.

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Were there other players that got that treatment you saw during your career? Even remotely close to that?

Tim Thomas: Yeah all the greats. Magic’s that way, the first time I met Kareem. It was at the Magic Roundball Game. The first time I met Magic, Isiah all those guys came to the game. You know they were superstars to us. We were still in high school. We were trying to get there. Me, Kobe, Jermaine you know, Rip Hamilton we’re trying to get there. They were all superstars to us. Everybody got treated that way, but Mike was Mike man….once the sneakers came out and everything, Mike was Mike so it’s a little different.

Norm Van Lier Jersey

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The Chicago Bulls had an identity before Michael Jordan came along and it was primarily forged by the backcourt of Jerry Sloan and Norm Van Lier.

Both guys were renowned for their toughness. Van Lier was smallish at 6-1 but he more than made up for it.

He and Sloan may have been the toughest backcourt anyone has had. These are guys that Larry Bird, also legendarily tough, would have loved.

Van Lier came out of East Liverpool in Northeast Ohio and was not seen as a big prospect. He went to St. Francis and then had a 10-year career in the NBA.

When you see this clip, you’ll see a guy who was sort of between eras. He was obviously really quick but at times seemed to belong to the older NBA. Then you see him spin in traffic or dart to the basket and realize he was something special. He would have been fun in today’s NBA and he would still be one of the tougher guys in the league.

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UTEP and the University of New Mexico share a proud history in men’s basketball and one that both schools and communities take great pride in.

Here is a look at some of the history between the two programs.
A brief history of the rivarly

New Mexico holds a 78-66 advantage in the rivalry, including last year’s 84-78 win in Albuquerque. The teams played for the first time on Feb. 21, 1929. For many years, the two teams were rivals in the Western Athletic Conference. New Mexico left the WAC after the 1999 season, ending the longstanding rivalry in league play. The Lobos are now in the Mountain West Conference and UTEP has since joined Conference USA.

New Mexico owned a 33-27 lead in WAC regular season games. During a stretch from 1980-86, the Miners went 13-1 against the Lobos. In the 1990s, the Lobos won 15 of 20 games before leaving for the MWC.
UTEP guard Isiah Osborne goes up for the rebound during first half action of play agains the New Mexico Lobos Saturday night in the Don Haskins Center. UNM Lobo Makuach Maluach attempts to knock the ball out of Osborne’s hand as UTEP forward Tirus Smith looks on.Buy Photo

UTEP guard Isiah Osborne goes up for the rebound during first half action of play agains the New Mexico Lobos Saturday night in the Don Haskins Center. UNM Lobo Makuach Maluach attempts to knock the ball out of Osborne’s hand as UTEP forward Tirus Smith looks on. (Photo: RUBEN R. RAMIREZ/EL PASO TIMES)
Memorable games

*During the 1966 championship season for what was then Texas Western, the Miners rallied from a double-digit deficit to beat the Lobos at UNM’s Johnson Gym, where the Lobos played before moving to the famous Pit.

* In 1974, UNM upended the Miners, who were nationally-ranked to earn the WAC regular season title and an NCAA Tournament bid.

* Who could forget the 1986 game in Albuquerque? The Lobos led by a point in overtime when UTEP’s Wayne “Soup” Campbell went to the foul line and missed the front end of a one-and-one. However, official Jimmy Clark saw a paper cup fly onto the court, which was thrown by a fan and awarded Campbell another chance at the free-throw line. Campbell made both free throws and the Miners escaped, 71-70.

* Remember Luc Longley? Well before he became a household name with the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, he broke UTEP fans’ hearts in 1991 when he made a shot at the buzzer to give the Lobos a 72-70 win in El Paso.
Top notch talent

Both teams have had plenty of talented players through the years. The Miners of course have featured the likes of Nolan Richardson, Jim Forbes, Tim Hardaway, Antonio Davis, Julyan Stone, Randy Culpepper, Gus Bailey, Marlon Maxey and Jeep Jackson.

New Mexico’s alumni includes Kenny Thomas (who played at Austin High in El Paso until his junior year), Michael Cooper, Mel Daniels, Charles Smith, Tony Snell, Longley and Marvin Johnson.
Coaching characters

Don Haskins was the face of UTEP for many years and was the coach of the 1966 National Championship team. Others who followed in Haskins’ footsteps are Tony Barbee, Tim Floyd, Billy Gillispie, Doc Sadler and current coach Rodney Terry.
Marlon Masey gives Coach Don Haskins a bear hug after the Miners’ victory over the rival Lobos.Buy Photo

Marlon Masey gives Coach Don Haskins a bear hug after the Miners’ victory over the rival Lobos. (Photo: El Paso Times file)

The Lobos have been led in past years by Bob King, Gary Colson, Norm Ellenberger, Steve Alford, Dave Bliss, Fran Fraschilla and currently Paul Weir.
Speaking of Ellenberger

Ellenberger and Haskins were close friends and after Ellenberger ran afoul of NCAA rules at UNM, Haskins brought him onto his staff at UTEP. Ellenberger was the head coach at UNM from 1972-79. He was at UTEP from 1986-1990 and later worked with Floyd with the Chicago Bulls in the NBA.

Ellenberger was the interim coach at UTEP in the 1989-90 season when Haskins suffered from chronic laryngitis. The Miners went 21-11 that season and reached the NCAA Tournament. His last visit to El Paso was in 2008 for the funeral of his good friend Haskins.
El Paso ties to UNM

A handful of El Pasoans have suited up for the Lobos. Austin High graduate Gabe Nava, Andress graduates Rob Newton and Marvin McBurrows and Montwood graduate Roman Martinez have all played key roles for the Lobos through the years.
WAC Tourney matchups

UTEP and UNM have a unique history in the old WAC. In addition to UTEP beating the Lobos in the 1984 title game, the Miners beat the Lobos in the 1988 quarterfinals with seven players, led by Tim Hardaway.

In 1993, the Lobos beat the Miners in the championship game. In 1992, UTEP knocked off UNM in the semifinals.
1984 uniform switch

While New Mexico and UTEP didn’t play each other during the 1984 WAC Tournament semifinals, the two teams were linked. New Mexico played Brigham Young University in the semifinal game but wore the wrong colored uniform in the first half and had to wear UTEP uniforms until its own visiting uniform arrived for the second half. The Lobos won the game, 64-55, winning over the UTEP fans at least for one night. The next day, UTEP beat the Lobos in the championship game.

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Back in 1984, Tommy Edwards settled into his seat at the Biograph Theater to catch a movie with his wife when some ambient music started playing in the background.

“I told Mary Lou, ‘I know this song. It’s Sirius by the Alan Parsons Project,’” Edwards, a longtime disc jockey and radio programmer at WLS, said, referencing his wife. “The more I listened to it, I’m thinking, ‘Wait a minute. This could be the Bulls’ song.’”

The next day, Edwards bought the vinyl album, put it on his turntable at home and started practicing the Bulls’ starting lineup behind it.

“And because it has so many great parts to its intro—a new guitar part or crescendo—it worked great,” Edwards said. “The Bulls loved it immediately. Michael (Jordan) loved it. That’s been the opening lineup music ever since.”

The song actually has become a cultural phenomenon, played at weddings and bar mitzvahs and in sporting venues around the world. And it will last beyond Edwards, who will serve his last game as Bulls public address announcer Saturday against the Houston Rockets.

Edwards, whose innovations and broadcasting chops helped transform in-game sports entertainment, worked in the role from 1976-1981 and 1983-1990 at the old Chicago Stadium and again from 2006 to the present at the United Center. He missed the championship years as his successful radio career took him to Boston and Los Angeles, where he will retire to be with his three children and four grandchildren.

“Mary Lou and I have always wondered what it would be like to have the entire year to do the things we want to do—travel, be with family. The nine months of the basketball season kept us from doing that. Now we’re going to be able to go to birthday parties all the time and do all the things grandparents do more frequently,” Edwards said. “Leaving is going to be bittersweet. I’m looking forward to being in Los Angeles with the kids and family. But I’m going to miss doing games. It’s part of my DNA.”

One day, Edwards finished his disc jockey shift at WLS and a sales manager who had a friend who worked for the Bulls told him the franchise needed a public address announcer. Edwards, who grew up in Topeka, Kansas, watching Wilt Chamberlain play in college, was a huge basketball fan.

“I said, ‘Wait a minute. So they want to pay me to go to games?’” Edwards said. “I thought about it for about a second and then said, ‘OK, I’ll audition.’”

He got the job. Originally, the in-game entertainment merely consisted of Edwards on a microphone and organist Nancy Faust working her magic. But the Bulls recognized an opportunity to use Edwards’ musical knowledge and ability to dub music from his radio station to bring to the Stadium.

“When the game got very exciting, I would play a song called ‘Rock and Roll, Part 2’ by Gary Glitter,” Edwards said. “Opposing teams would call me and ask what song that was.”

When the Bulls drafted Jordan, marketing officials worked with Edwards to come up with something special for the potential star. They had already teamed to be the first in the league to turn off the lights for starting lineup introductions in 1977. At first, Edwards used Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” to introduce Jordan and the other starters. Some games, he’d experiment with the theme song from the hit TV show “Miami Vice.”

And then Edwards heard “Sirius,” the instrumental introduction to the song “Eye In The Sky.”

By this time, Edwards had begun using his “And now . . .” prelude to the starting lineup introductions. Per his then-young daughter’s request, he had permanently settled on using “the man in the middle” for the starting center intro after first trying the more simple “in the middle.”

One son served as a ballboy for nine years. His family grew up around the game. A big part of his life’s work has served as the soundtrack to many memorable sporting events.

“It’s been wonderful,” Edwards said. “I’ve had a great time.”

That includes great memories. Like the time then-announcer Johnny “Red” Kerr accidentally kicked a live wire underneath the scorer’s table, setting off the horn celebrating hockey goals just as Knicks’ Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing prepared to shoot free throws.

“Ewing looks over at us with fire in his eyes, like, ‘What are you doing?’ The officials did too,” Edwards said, laughing. “He bounced the ball to shoot again and it went off again. It looked like he was getting ready to come over to the table. The official jumped in front. He said, ‘What are you guys doing?’ We said, ‘We’re not doing anything!’ Meanwhile, the electrician is crawling under the table and finding the wire that Johnny Kerr is accidentally kicking.”

Or the time Darryl Dawkins, the dunker extraordinaire for the 76ers, got into a long conversation with Edwards and official scorer Bob Rosenberg about how much money his wife spent on a fur coat as he prepared to check into the game.

“Play stopped, the officials waved him on and he’s not paying attention. He’s talking to us,” Edwards said, laughing. “We’re saying, ‘Darryl, uh, you need to go in the game.’”

Or the one time Edwards forgot Kirk Hinrich hated having his name announced as he prepared to shoot free throws and Hinrich missed both shots.

“I felt terrible,” Edwards said. “I loved Kirk.”

Or the time Derrick Rose approached Edwards and asked him to play Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” because he heard it once at a Bulls game as a kid.

“I’m going to miss my friends, the guys and girls at the (scorers) table. We all have to rely on each other so much,” Edwards said. “I’ll miss watching the players up close and appreciating the incredible talent they have. I’m going to miss working for Jerry Reinsdorf. He’s terrific. He has built such an incredible organization.

“Chicago fans are incredible. I’ll remember moments like when Joakim (Noah) stole the ball from (Paul) Pierce and went down and dunked and the crowd went crazy. I’m there with a microphone and I can’t hear myself on these giant speakers because the crowd is so loud. It’s so exciting to be a part of that.”

After Saturday, Edwards no longer will be.

“But I’ll still be a huge Bulls fan,” he said. “That doesn’t change.”

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As part of an interview with NBC Sports, Derrick Rose explained how he used his former Bulls teammate, Joakim Noah, as a model in raising his eldest son, P.J.

Rose came to know Joakim quite well, as they spent time together in both Chicago and New York. He was interested in Noah’s financially stable upbringing and often asked him questions about the various schools he attended as a child.

Noah grew up in a wealthy family, as his father, Yannick Noah, is a former professional tennis player and singer from France. Joakim’s mother, Cécilia Rodhe, is a former model and Miss Sweden 1978. Rose, on the other hand, is from Chicago’s inner city, but he went on to become the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Rose discussed his relationship with Noah:

“I mean, Jo, I think he wouldn’t mind me saying this, he grew up a silver spoon. I call him soft socks,” Rose said, via NBC Sports. “That’s no knock for people who grew up like him. I used to ask him a lot of questions when he was on the team. I mean, like from grammar school, high school, college, just ask him the activities that he got into when he was older because he had access to everything. He was financially stable. His parents were around here and there.”

Rose was keeping notes for the future. More specifically, his son’s future. P.J. is growing up in a wealthy family, just as Joakim did:

“I used to ask about some of the diplomatic schools he used to attend in New York and how he’d travel to France and internationally,” Rose added. “This whole time, I’m keeping tips. I’m keeping them in my head because it’s like, ‘All right, when my son grows up, he’s going to be in the exact same position as Joakim.’ . . . What drew me to Joakim is his mentality, how he’s independent. He’s not living off his Pops’ legacy. He has made his own legacy in a way. That’s something that I always loved and I was drawn to.”

Rose, who signed a two-year, $15 million deal with the Pistons in July, will make his second appearance of this season at the United Center on Wednesday night. In his first visit of this campaign, the crowd stood in ovation, belting out MVP chants.

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Our guess is that no one was more thrilled with Evansville’s huge upset of Kentucky than former Ace Jerry Sloan.

The legendary Bulls guard and Jazz coach was famously tough. He had a bit of that Larry Bird thing. He just wasn’t going to back down to anyone.

Sloan played in the NBA from 1965 to 1976, mostly for the Bulls (he was a Bullet for his first two seasons).

Later he coached the Utah Jazz and infused his sense of toughness into the franchise’s DNA.

In 2016, Sloan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementias which currently is essentially a death sentence. We expect he’ll fight that with the same passion he fought for his entire career. It’s a fight he’ll almost certainly lose, but the one thing you always knew you were going to get from Sloan, just as we saw with Evansville, is that he’ll fight.

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Nova to retire Ray and Washington jerseys

It’s another exciting year for college basketball at Villanova. As part of the celebration of its 100th season of basketball, Villanova will retire the jerseys of two great players that starred for the Wildcats at its Dec. 21 home game against Kansas. Allan Ray (2002-06) and Jim Washington (1961-65) will be honored in a halftime ceremony as part of “Alumni Day” at Wells Fargo Center.

“It is with great pride and excitement that we announce we will retire the jerseys of Allan Ray and Jim Washington,” said Villanova head coach Jay Wright in a statement. “They are two outstanding representatives of what a Villanova basketball player should be.”

Ray finished his 13-year professional career earlier this year that started in 2006 with the Boston Celtics. In 2002, Ray came to Villanova as one of the headliners in an acclaimed recruiting class that also included Randy Foye, Jason Fraser and Curtis Sumpter. That core group helped re-establish the Wildcats as a national force, leading Villanova to 52 wins as upperclassmen that included appearances in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 (2005) and Elite Eight (2006), along with the 2006 Big East regular season title.

As a senior, Ray, a 6-foot-2 guard, was a consensus All-American and finalist for the Naismith Award as National Player of the Year. Over his four-year seasons, he scored 2,025 points, one of only eight players in program history to go over the 2000-point mark. Ray — who wore No. 14 — joins his former backcourt partner Foye with a retired jersey.

One of Ray’s big moments as a player with Villanova came against Kansas on Jan. 21, 2005. He scored 27 points to help Villanova defeat the unbeaten No. 2-ranked Jayhawks at the building now known as Wells Fargo Center Center while a blizzard gripped the Delaware Valley.

Washington, a West Catholic product, played a key role for head coach Jack Kraft. Wearing No. 50, Washington established himself as one of the nation’s top rebounders averaging 14.0 boards a game in three seasons. Washington’s 1,194 career rebounds still ranks No. 2 all-time at Villanova. He was the Philadelphia Big Five Player of the Year in his senior year of 1964-65.

In 1965, the 6-foot-7 Washington was the sixth overall selection in the NBA Draft and went on to play through 1976 in the league for the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers and Buffalo Braves.

This is Villanova’s first jersey retirement since Feb. 12, 2011, when Foye was honored at halftime of the Wildcats’ Pavilion game with Pittsburgh. With the addition of Ray and Washington, the men’s basketball program will have retired 21 former jerseys, including 16 players, four coaches and long-time trainer Jake Nevin. A plaque in the lobby Finneran Pavilion recognizes each honoree, while the jersey number remains in circulation. The one exception is the No. 11 worn by Paul Arizin (1947-50).

Imhotep’s Scott and Roman’s Hart playing for Maryland

Imhotep Charter’s Donta Scott and Roman Catholic’s Hakim Hart were two of the high school basketball players in the city last year. Now, Scott and Hart are getting meaningful minutes on the University of Maryland’s basketball team that is currently ranked No. 6 in the country according to latest Associated Press poll.

Both players are freshmen. Scott, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward, is averaging 4.8 points and 3.5 rebounds while playing 15 minutes a game. Hart, a 6-foot-6, 200-pound guard, is averaging 3.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 9.3 minutes a game.

Maryland will play Temple in the Orlando Invitational on Thanksgiving Day. The tipoff is at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.

Temple signs hoops prospect Quincy Ademokoya

Basketball standout Quincy Ademokoya out of Norcross High School in Georgia has signed a national letter of intent to attend Temple University, announced men’s basketball coach Aaron McKie. Ademokoya, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound guard, joins Jahlil White, a 6-foot-7, 180-pound guard from Wildwood (New Jersey) Catholic, who signed a national letter of intent on Nov. 13.

“We are very excited to welcome Quincy to the Temple Basketball family,” said McKie in a statement. “Like Jahlil, he is a long, athletic guard who can play both ends of the floor. Quincy is a fine young man who comes from a great family and will fit in very nicely with our program.”

Ademokoya, who is coming off a a great summer in the Eite Youth Basketball League with the Georgia Stars, averaged 15.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in helping his previous team, Dacula High, reach the 2019 Georgia State playoffs. He shot 45 percent from the field (153-of-338) and 38 percent from three (63-of-165). Ademokoya, a Bloomington, Illinois native, also played for the Chicago-based Nike Elite Youth League AAU team Meanstreets.

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Both on and off the basketball court, no one was bigger than Michael Jordan. MJ dominated the game and everything around it; whether it was new sneakers, baggier shorts, or anything else adjacent to the NBA, he influenced it. Jordan even made it to the big screen, teaming up with Bugs Bunny in the beloved movie Space Jam.
Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan played basketball with Bugs Bunny in the movie Space Jam.
Michael Jordan teamed up with Bugs Bunny in Space Jam | Photo by Evan Agostini/Liaison

While the movie obviously enhanced Jordan’s business portfolio, it also helped his on-court production. In fact, the film helped His Airness win three additional NBA championships.
Michael Jordan’s early career

Despite his eventual ascension to the sport’s highest heights, Michael Jordan’s basketball career didn’t get off to the smoothest start. He famously failed to make his school’s varsity basketball team on the first attempt; after a dominant year with the JV squad and a fortuitous growth spurt, he aced the next tryout.

After high school, Jordan moved on to the University of North Carolina. He hit the game-winning shot to win the National Championship as a freshman and only continued to improve. When he made the jump to the NBA, MJ seemed to get even better.

While Jordan immediately took to the professional game, his Chicago Bulls teams initially had some trouble getting past the physical Detroit Pistons. Once they broke through that roadblock, however, no one could stand in their way. On the back of His Airness’ unbelievable offense, the Bulls won three straight NBA titles; Jordan led the league in scoring and took him the Finals MVP Award each time. But then he retired.
Starring in ‘Space Jam’

In October 1993, Michael Jordan retired from professional basketball. While he tried his hand at baseball, he tried his hand as a movie star.

While Space Jam didn’t hit theaters until 1996, the movie was set during Jordan’s retirement. On the screen, the iconic star was recruited by Bugs Bunny and company to help them win a basketball game against aliens who have stolen the talent from several NBA stars.

MJ might not have been an experienced actor, but he performed well on the set. “He did what Michael does,” director Joe Pytka explained. “He did as well as he could do. He played himself, and remember, a lot of the film is based on his life, so there were realistic references there. He was very professional — he showed up, he knew his lines, we made it as easy as possible.”

Pytka didn’t just help Jordan’s acting performance, however. The director claimed that he gave Michael one piece of advice that helped him win three additional NBA titles.
Michael Jordan teams up with Dennis Rodman

On the set of Space Jam, Jordan and Pytka would frequently talk basketball. During one of their conversations, the director made a personnel suggestion that changed the course of NBA history.

“I said, ‘Why haven’t you guys gone after Dennis Rodman?’ Because Michael was going back to the Bulls later that year,” Pytka remembered. “He said something about [how] he didn’t know whether he could play with Dennis. I said, ‘Look, the guy doesn’t shoot, he plays defense, he rebounds, and he doesn’t get in your way. You should go after him.”

“That night, Dennis Rodman was at this Beverly Hills Hotel with Michael,” Pytka continued, “and they made the deal that Monday.” Rodman was now a Chicago Bull.

The forward slotted into the void left by Horace Grant and was an immediate fit with the squad. Despite some of his infamous antics, Rodman continued to dominate the glass, allowing Jordan and Scottie Pippen to work their magic. During his three years in the Windy City, the Bulls won three straight NBA championships.

Everyone knows how Space Jam helped cement Michael Jordan’s place in popular culture, but the movie also helped shape his NBA career. Without Dennis Rodman, who knows if His Airness would have second three-peat.

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LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 19: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 19, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com

The bearded man in a robe who walks with a slight hunch and carries an hourglass always lurks in the shadows, almost out of view. Nobody is paying him much mind or cares what he has to say — at least not initially.

He’s not on anyone’s radar until he appears and applies a gentle tap on the shoulder (or a violent shove in the back) of the unsuspecting. And that’s when they realize they’ve been paid a visit by someone whom Charles Barkley always says is undefeated.

Yes, it is “Father Time,” the mythical creation of the ancient Greeks whose clock is more pronounced than any made in Switzerland. He is, by every metric, always on time, although that seems to vary, depending on his mood. He is gracious and respectful in some cases, unforgiving in others. Ultimately, he and only he decides when your time in sports is up.

And so, it’s a matter of when, not if, he’ll throw LeBron James in reverse. But where other stars became role players or transformed into shells of their former selves, LeBron is playing at a high level.

He turns 35 later this month and because he’s delivering Kia MVP-quality results here in his 17th NBA season, he is winning against time, and therefore, he is … cheating time.

He’s almost at 57,000 minutes played in the regular season and playoffs combined, which ranks fourth behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant. He should pass Kobe for No. 3 in career scoring (33,643 points) by the All-Star break. The all-time scoring mark and a high ranking on the all-time assists list are in sight, too.

Ask him why and how he’s doing it and LeBron is playfully coy and quick to say “fine wine.” He’ll also often credit the extra motivation he acquired last summer, when he watched the playoffs from his sofa, not far removed from a groin injury and a dreadful first season with the Lakers. Those things caused him grief and fueled his desire to reclaim his place.

“I put in the work and I trust everything that I’ve done, especially this offseason,” James said. “I’ve come in with a great mindset, with a healthy mindset and a healthy body.”

Considering his middle age, LeBron is putting together a masterful season (25.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg) while excelling as a volume 3-point shooter. His 10.8 apg leads the NBA and his effort defensively — which was laughable last season — is laudable now. Nobody at 35 has assembled such numbers in league history.

“He’s LeBron James,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. “Until he isn’t.”

What’s age got to do with it? Well, nothing right now. LeBron is still capable of unleashing a facial dunk, as he did with a smirk against the Kings’ Nemanja Bjelica, who perhaps wisely never bothered to challenge it. He also covers all the court rather than, as some aging players are wont to do, play between the free throw lines.

It’s true that soon enough he will wear longer shorts than anyone in the game — not from faulty tailoring, but from constant pulling and tugging. And while the ball is in play, he will someday hear squeaking on the court and suddenly notice that sound is coming from his joints.

“Nobody knows when it’ll happen to him because he’s still playing in the air,” said Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins. “And even when that goes, his basketball IQ will allow him to stay great on the ground. I mean, who gets triple doubles at his age? Only he knows when his time is up.”

When that day arrives — and assuming he doesn’t first quit while he’s ahead — how big of a decline will it be for LeBron (and, by extension, for us) to witness? Will he fall prey to nagging injuries, get torched nightly by previously inferior players, or quit playing defense?

Here’s how “Father Time” diminished six greats who came before LeBron:

1. Michael Jordan: When he retired for the second time, after his last season with the Bulls, Jordan was still very much a physical marvel and the reigning MVP and Finals MVP (he won five MVPs and six Finals MVPs). He was certifiably great for 13 of his 15 seasons and could’ve been longer if not for three years of college ball, an injury-shortened 1985-86 season and 1.5 missed seasons due to baseball. His body only began to betray him when he un-retired in 2001 to play for the Wizards. At 38, Jordan rarely dunked, wasn’t as sharp defensively and knee issues limited him to 60 games in 2001-02.

2. Jerry West: “The Logo” never had a down year in his 14-year career. He was First-Team All-Defense in 1972-73 as a 34-year-old and was solid in his final season (20.3 ppg, 6.6 apg, 2.6 spg). But he wasn’t at his peak of the late 1960s and opted to quit over pride (and money, when Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke refused to renegotiate his contract).

3. Bill Russell: His career ended mainly because he ran out of psychological fuel. Russell lost his passion to play at 35, even after winning championship No. 11 in his final season (1968-69). That season, he played 46.1 mpg in the playoffs, averaging 10.8 ppg, 20.5 rpg and 5.4 apg. While those numbers are perhaps skewed by the way the game was played back then, they’re still remarkable.

4. Wilt Chamberlain: A man of astonishing stats, Chamberlain averaged a league-leading 18.6 rpg and shot 72.7% overall in his final season (1972-73). Knee issues had long forced Wilt into being a statue in the paint and a third option on offense. After that final NBA season, he jumped from the Lakers to the ABA for money. San Diego offered him $600,000 to be a player-coach, but his Lakers contract prevented him from playing. Wilt coached instead, doing so with disinterest, often not showing up for games or practice. He quit basketball completely after that season.

5. Kobe Bryant: Those roundtrip flights to Germany to get oil for his knees managed to delay the obvious for a few years, but a torn Achilles in 2013 at 35 was the killer. Kobe, much like Jordan and LeBron, was elite into his 30s. And he’ll always have that 60-point send-off.

6. Karl Malone: He won his final MVP at 35 and was built for durability, never suffering a serious injury. He averaged 20.6 ppg in his final season with Utah (2002-03) as he approached 40. By then, he had morphed into a jump shooter and lost his instincts for offensive rebounding. He bowed out as a ring-chasing role player with the Lakers in ‘03-04.

Larry Bird was ruined by debilitating back issues at 32. Abdul-Jabbar often only jogged downcourt his last six seasons. Tim Duncan became a secondary option in his last four seasons while Dirk Nowitzki averaged more than 20 ppg once over his final five seasons. Vince Carter is 42 and proudly still playing, but clearly is 10 years beyond his prime. Allen Iverson was the last to know his quickness was gone.

“For me, it was Year 12 when it hit me,” said Lakers great James Worthy, who had knee issues. “My patented move was taking off from somewhere inside the free throw line. I found myself halfway there once and I started to descend before I got close to the rim. I had to do a George Gervin flip instead of a dunk.

“It’s different now, with this generation of players. I was eating Burger King before games and working out on Nautilus machines. I went to college with Lawrence Taylor and I remember him telling me, ‘I don’t wanna get hit anymore.’ And he’s a reckless guy. LeBron will wake up one day and he won’t have that drive. He’ll be tired and while physically he’s in such great shape, something will go away, either a move or speed.”

LeBron seems determined to be the outlier. He spends, by various estimations, more than $1 million on his body for round the clock therapy and a personal trainer. Last summer, he refused to allow the shooting schedule for the movie “Space Jam 2” to interfere with his schedule, rising at 3:30 a.m. to train before heading to the set. He has more than once fantasized about staying in the league long enough to possibly play against or alongside his son, Bronny (now a high school freshman).

“LeBron is not only a great player but a physical marvel,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr. “Probably the best athlete to ever walk this planet. I’ve never seen anybody in my lifetime in any sport whom I would consider a better athlete. It’s one of his best attributes and the one that goes the least noticed. You just take it for granted that he’s out there every night and still doing his things.”

LeBron exchanged playful tweets with Tom Brady last month, with LeBron saying the two are “one in the same.”

Brady is a tame comparison to LeBron. Brady doesn’t run 94 feet and back for nine months (playoffs included) and when tired can simply hand off to the running back. Same for NFL legend Joe Montana, who made the Pro Bowl at 37. MLB legend Nolan Ryan threw once every four or five days. Maybe tennis star Roger Federer, who won Wimbledon at 36 and still reaches finals at 38, comes closest.

“It wouldn’t shock me if LeBron played until he was 40,” West said. “He’s such a great athlete and knows enough about his body that he’ll probably leave before he declines.”

After watching Robert Parish waste away on the Bulls’ bench, Jordan said he’d never allow himself to stay in the game that long. His pride and unwillingness to be seen as hanging on meant he’d walk away first. LeBron doesn’t think of the twilight and given how he’s playing now, that doesn’t appear to be in the future, anyway.

“I was with the Nuggets late in my career and the funny thing is I was leading the league in assists,” said Mark Jackson, fourth on the all-time assists list. “There was a loose ball, a deflection, and it’s right here, and I can go get it. I made the move to go get it, and before I could get anywhere near it, a kid out of nowhere, and in a blur, snatched it. Gets the ball, by the time I get to the spot where the ball is, he’d already dunked it. Young kid by the name of Allen Iverson. I knew it would never be the same.”

Jackson says LeBron is so multi-gifted that he can endure decline in one area and still flourish in another.

“He also has the knowledge, pace and understanding that he’ll still be able to be effective even when he slows down,” Jackson said. “I don’t think it’ll be drastic. He can average a triple-double for the next five years.”

LeBron is taking great satisfaction in fighting age while tweaking skeptics, both real and imagined, who wondered if decline was imminent. He cites that “Washed King” nickname — did somebody actually call him that? — as motivation.

“It’s the personal pressure I put on myself,” LeBron said.

Eventually, like everyone, he’ll take the L from “Father Time.” Until then, LeBron is making us wonder if that mythical man exists.

Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here, and follow him on Twitter.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.

Dennis Rodman Jersey

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Dennis Rodman is no stranger to controversial media attention. After dating super-rockstar Madonna, he settled into a short-lived marriage to Carmen Electra in 1998, only to turn around and claim his bisexuality by marrying himself — dressed in full wedding gown, tiara, and makeup.

But, even his shocking relationship with the leader of the most well-known Hermit Kingdom of North Korea can’t outshine the brilliance of his career when he was at the top of his game.

Aside from his off-court antics, Rodman has long been considered a basketball genius, one of the best rebounders of all time, and a tenacious defender. In a recent Kevin Hart interview during the third season of his highly-rated show, Cold As Balls which airs on the Laugh Out Loud Network, Dennis Rodman expounded on the controversies surrounding his time with the San Antonio Spurs under General Manager and Coach Gregg Popovich.
Dennis Rodman sitting in a hat and sunglasses.
Dennis Rodman | Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images
How Dennis Rodman left San Antonio

Dennis Rodman was only in his second year with the Spurs when Gregg Popovich joined the team as head coach. As it turned out, it would be Rodman’s final year with the Spurs.

Rodman had come to San Antonio by way of the Detroit Pistons. While he was still considered a serious player for the Spurs, he had become a distraction off-court and was difficult to deal with in practice and on-the-court after the departure of Spur’s Head Coach Chuck Daly

It became obvious to both the fans and the NBA that Dennis Rodman was dealing with not just behavioral problems, but emotional issues also. He was still valued on the court — but that was only when he was settled down enough to concentrate on the game. Covered in tattoos and sporting platinum blonde hair, is it possible that Rodman’s style didn’t sit well with the Spurs new GM Gregg Popovich.

During the Cold as Balls interview, Rodman looked back on that tumultuous year with the Spurs, claiming that Popovich didn’t like Rodman “at all.” It is true that Popovich is known for his spiritually, treating the before-game prayer as a serious tactic for winning.

According to Rodman, GM Popovich considered him “the devil”. True to Rodman’s spirit, he jokes that he wasn’t being paid to be nice, he was being paid to win.

While the city of San Antonio embraced Rodman’s contribution to the Spurs which included an average of 19 rebounds per game, 68 wins for the season, assisting David Robinson to his MVP for that year, Dennis Rodman states that Popovich “hated my guts because I wasn’t a Bible guy.”

The relationship was so contentious, that Gregg Popovich traded the flamboyant forward to Chicago for Will Perdue. Rodman took this move as a huge insult and proof that Popovich had it out for him the whole time.
Rodman with the Chicago Bulls

Dennis Rodman also discussed his time with the Chicago Bulls, playing alongside Michael Jordan during the team’s successful run for 3 NBA championship titles (1996-98).

During one of his first press conferences for the team, Rodman remembers how he took off his hat to show he had dyed his hair red and turned around to show the shaved emblem of the Chicago Bulls. He was ready to go in and make a difference — despite all the heavy press that was following him!

As for his relationship with Jordan, Rodman filled that crucial power forward void for the Bulls — and two seemed to get along on the floor without much fanfare.

While the 34-year-old played under coach Phil Jackson, he averaged 14.9 rebounds per game, 5.5 points, and won another title as the greatest rebounder for the season. The Bulls won an incredible 72 out of the 82 regular games with Dennis Rodman, setting an NBA record at that time.

In all fairness, Rodman and Popovich are not the first or the last player and coach that didn’t mesh well, despite both having incredible talent. DeMarcus Cousins and Kings’ head coach George Karl didn’t get along. But, whether Popovich had it out for Dennis Rodman or not, being traded to the Chicago Bulls at that time in history — really wasn’t a bad deal after all.