分类目录归档:Chicago Bulls Shirts

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Carmelo Anthony can’t recall another a 10-block game like Trail Blazers teammate Hassan Whiteside had against the Bulls.

Anthony had 23 points and 11 rebounds and the Blazers downed Chicago 107-103 on Friday night for their second victory over the Bulls this week. But Whiteside stole the show with eight points, 15 rebounds and a franchise-record 10 blocks for Portland. It was most in the NBA this season.

“Never seen that before, and I’ve played with some great shot blockers,” Anthony said. “Tyson Chandler was a great shot blocker, Marcus Camby was a great shot blocker. I’ve never seen a guy with 10 blocks in a game.”

Damian Lillard added 28 points, including 10 in the final quarter, for the Blazers, who have won three straight after four consecutive losses.

The Blazers led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, but the Bulls pulled within 85-84 in the final period. CJ McCollum stalled the rally with a 3-pointer for Portland.

Anthony’s 3 made it 91-84 with 7:28 left and he held up three fingers for the cheering Moda Center crowd as the Bulls called a timeout.

Lauri Markkanen’s 3 closed the gap for Chicago to 93-92. Lillard answered with his own 3 to again hold off the Bulls. After Zach LaVine’s corner 3 with 31.7 seconds left narrowed it to 105-103, Whiteside tipped in Lillard’s shot for the win.
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Carmelo Anthony, who scored 23 points, goes up for a shot during the Trail Blazers’ 107-103 win over the Bulls on Friday night.
Carmelo Anthony, who scored 23 points, goes up for a shot during the Trail Blazers’ 107-103 win over the Bulls on Friday night.NBAE via Getty Images

“I told the guys, I’m insurance now. When they go up for a layup, I’m going to be there. I might not get them all, I know a lot of people want me to get every single one, but I’m going to do my best job to get a lot of them,” Whiteside said about his blocks.

LaVine finished with 28 for the slumping Bulls, who have lost seven of their last nine games.

This was a frustrating one, very winnable,” LaVine said. “We were battling. Dame did what he did in the fourth quarter, turned it up to another level.”

The Blazers have been boosted by the recent signing of Anthony, who scored 25 points in Portland’s 117-94 victory over the Bulls in Chicago on Monday.

The Blazers acquired the 10-time All-Star to shore up the frontcourt and help the team overcome a slow start after going to the Western Conference finals last season. The deal was official Nov. 19.

Between the two games against the Bulls, the Blazers defeated Oklahoma City 136-119 on Wednesday night.

The Bulls fell to the injury-addled Golden State Warriors 104-90 on Wednesday at the new Chase Center to open a three-game road trip.

Tomas Satoransky was a game-time decision for the Bulls with a left toe bruise, but started. Ryan Arcidiacono, who has been slowed by a right elbow strain, also played.

Coby White’s layup put the Bulls up 28-22 near the end of the first quarter but neither team was able to reach a double-digit margin in the first half. Lillard’s layup gave Portland a 49-43 lead late in the opening half and the Blazers went into the break ahead 53-47.

LaVine led all scorers with 18 points at the half, but four of the Blazers starters were in double figures, including Anthony.

Whiteside had collected seven blocks by early in the third quarter, but he also picked up four personal fouls.

The Bulls pulled within 57-56 on Satoransky’s 3-pointer, but Lillard came back with a 3 for Portland. The Blazers went up 72-60 midway through the third quarter on McCollum’s 3-pointer as they appeared to pull away.

But White’s 3-pointer narrowed the gap to 79-76 and the Bulls rallied to within three points heading into the fourth quarter.

“This loss hurts, this is a painful loss, every loss these guys take hurts,” Bulls coach Jim Boylen said. “This was a hard-fought game, give them credit.”

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Tom Boerwinkle, one of the first good 7-footers in NBA history who played 10 seasons with the Chicago Bulls, died Tuesday, the Bulls and University of Tennesse announced. He was 67.

Boerwinkle was known as a “gentle giant,” a gifted passer and tenacious rebounder who was first-team All-Southeastern Conference at Tennessee in 1967 and 1968. He averaged 7.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists in his 635 NBA games, all with the Bulls.

“Tom was a once-in-a-lifetime guy,” former Tennessee teammate Bill Justus said in a news release from the university. “When you meet a guy like him and have him as a teammate, he becomes a brother to you, and there’s no replacing someone like that.”

OBIT:Former Knicks guard dies at 58

The Bulls drafted Boerwinkle fourth overall in 1968, and he reeled off four impressive seasons to start his career before being slowed by injury. His best season came in 1970-71, when he averaged career highs with 10.8 points, 13.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists a game.

Boerwinkle set a still-standing franchise record with 37 rebounds Jan. 8, 1970, against the Phoenix Suns. He ranks second in Bulls history with 5,745 rebounds.

“In addition to being one of the Bulls all-time great players, Tom was one of the kindest men you would ever want to meet with the gentlest of souls,” Bulls vice president Steve Schanwald said in a news release. “A true gentle giant who made great contributions to the Chicago Bulls organization on and off the court. We will miss him greatly and our condolences go out to his wife, Linda, his son, Jeff, and his daughter, Gretchen.”

Boerwinkle died Tuesday at his home near Chicago after a lengthy health struggle, according to Tennessee.

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On the way to a 15-0 run to open the third quarter in Philadelphia on Wednesday, new Knicks starting center Taj Gibson became an offensive beast.

Known more as a defensive specialist, Gibson scored on three straight possessions — an 18-footer, a spinning, driving dunk past Joel Embiid and banging in a 3-pointer.

The 34-year-old Gibson has solidified the starting lineup by doing whatever is needed. His effect, however, on young center Mitchell Robinson may be more important when assessing his worth.

The Knicks are 3-4 since Gibson got the starting nod — 1-7 beforehand.

“He does give that starting lineup a sense of stability,’’ Knicks coach David Fizdale said. “He’s also been fantastic for Mitch. That relationship has been worthwhile.’’

After the Brooklynite signed a one-year, $10 million deal this summer, Gibson told The Post his main goal would be as a Mitchell mentor. He has lived up to every part of the agreement.

“I’m doing what the team needs and it’s needed now [starting], but it’s Mitch’s seat,’’ Gibson told The Post in Philly. “I’m just keeping it warm for him. I work out with him every day. Just trying to get him better every day. I’m doing what the team needs and being the veteran.”

At 6-foot-9, Gibson is a natural power forward, but saw spot duty at center in Chicago and Minnesota — both under Tom Thibodeau, his biggest fan.

“It’s a new game now,’’ Gibson said. “You got to be able to move your feet and guard multiple positions. I’m doing what the team needs me to do. It’s a new day and age.”

Gibson and Robinson, the Knicks’ 2018 second-round pick, have become Frick and Frack.
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Taj Gibson is home and wants to prove Knicks’ doubters wrong

“I work out with him every day,’’ Gibson said. “Me and him go on the court and work out together, shoot foul shots together. I’m just trying to get him better.

“He works hard. He listens to me and understands what he needs to work on. Every day we challenge each other. I try to make him understand the game and learn. Because right now he’s just so talented, he’s just playing off pure talent.”

Robinson has been productive — if foul-prone — when healthy. He’s missed four games with assorted injuries (two sprained ankles, two damaged fingers, a concussion).

Having Gibson teach him the nuances should help the shot-blocking/alley-ooping Robinson take another step this season after a Second Team All-Rookie campaign in 2018-19. Robinson has grown as an alley-oop specialist in recent games, with Marcus Morris finding him twice for dunks in crunch time Wednesday.

“Every day he learns and comes in with new dose of energy and his game develops every day we’re out there,’’ Gibson said. “He shocks me every day. He’s grown and understands the seriousness of the game now. He’s not just going out there playing.”

At some point this season, the pupil should replace the master as starting center, probably when the 21-year-old stops picking up silly fouls.

“That’s going to come,’’ Gibson said. “He understands the main thing is awareness. He watches film. He’s frustrated sometimes when he messes up. He understands we need him on the court and not fouling in the game.”
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Assessing the Knicks’ underwhelming signings so far

As a starter, Gibson is bringing a little of everything — rebounding on both ends, defensive grit and some scoring punch. The USC product is averaging 9.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 19 minutes as a starter. As a bench player, he was at 2.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12 minutes. There were also two consecutive games when he did not play at all.

“He’s just solid,’’ Fizdale said. “This isn’t his first rodeo. He’s comfortable in all these roles. Whether you play him, don’t play him, start him, bring him off the bench. It doesn’t matter to him. He never gets messed in the head.”

“I just pay attention to detail,’’ Gibson said “Start the game off right, have the team moving in the right direction early in the game and set the pace. I just want a good start for the team and do my job.”

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Chicago Bulls (1st and 2nd Round Draft History)

(Year) Round – Overall Pick – Player – School/Country

(2019) 2nd – 7 – Coby White – North Carolina
(2019) 2nd – 38 – Daniel Gafford – Arkansas

(2018) 1st – 7 – Wendall Carter – Duke
(2018) 1st – 22 – Chandler Hutchison – Boise State

(2017) 1st – 16 – Justin Patton – Creighton
(2017) 2nd – 38 – Jordan Bell – Oregon

(2016) 1st – 14 – Denzel Valentine – Michigan State
(2016) 2nd – 48 – Paul Zipser – Germany

(2015) 1st – 22 – Bobby Portis – Arkansas

(2014) 1st – 16 – Jusuf Nurkic – Croatia
(2014) 1st – 19 – Gary Harris – Michigan State
(2014) 2nd – 49 – Cameron Bairstow – New Mexico

(2013) 1st – 20 – Tony Snell – New Mexico
(2013) 2nd – 49 – Erik Murphy – Florida

(2012) 1st – 29 – Marquis Teague – Kentucky

(2011) 1st – 28 – Norris Cole – Cleveland State University
(2011) 1st – 30 – Jimmy Butler – Marquette University
(2011) 2nd – 43 – Malcolm Lee – University of California, Los Angeles

(2010) 1st – 17 – Kevin Seraphin – France

2000’s

(2009) 1st – 16 – James Johnson – Wake Forest University
(2009) 1st – 26 – Taj Gibson – University of Southern California

(2008) 1st – 1 – Derrick Rose – University of Memphis
(2008) 2nd – 39 – Sonny Weems – University of Arkansas

(2007) 1st – 9 – Joakim Noah – University of Florida
(2007) 2nd – 49 – Aaron Gray – University of Pittsburgh
(2007) 2nd – 51 – JamesOn Curry – Oklahoma State University

(2006) 1st – 2 – LaMarcus Aldridge – University of Texas at Austin
(2006) 1st – 16 – Rodney Carney – University of Memphis

(2005) None

(2004) 1st – 3 – Ben Gordon – University of Connecticut
(2004) 2nd – 31 – Jackson Vroman – Iowa State University
(2004) 2nd – 38 – Chris Duhon – Duke University

(2003) 1st – 7 – Kirk Hinrich – University of Kansas
(2003) 2nd – 36 – Mario Austin – Mississippi State University
(2003) 2nd – 45 – Matt Bonner – University of Florida
(2003) 2nd – 53 – Tommy Smith – Arizona State University

(2002) 1st – 2 – Jay Williams – Duke University
(2002) 2nd – 31 – Roger Mason – University of Virginia
(2002) 2nd – 44 – Lonny Baxter – University of Maryland

(2001) 1st – 4 – Eddy Curry – Thornwood H.S. (IL)
(2001) 2nd – 29 – Trenton Hassell – Austin Peay State University
(2001) 2nd – 44 – Sean Lampley – University of California

(2000) 1st – 4 – Marcus Fizer – Iowa State University
(2000) 1st – 7 – Chris Mihm – University of Texas at Austin
(2000) 1st – 24 – Dalibor Bagaric – Croatia
(2000) 2nd – 32 – A.J. Guyton – Indiana University
(2000) 2nd – 33 – Jake Voskuhl – University of Connecticut
(2000) 2nd – 34 – Khalid El-Amin – University of Connecticut

1990’s

(1999) 1st – 1 – Elton Brand – Duke University
(1999) 1st – 16 – Metta World Peace – St. John’s University
(1999) 2nd – 32 – Michael Ruffin – University of Tulsa
(1999) 2nd – 49 – Lari Ketner – University of Massachusetts Amherst

(1998) 1st – 28 – Corey Benjamin – Oregon State University
(1998) 2nd – 34 – Shammond Williams – University of North Carolina
(1998) 2nd – 58 – Maceo Baston – University of Michigan

(1997) 1st – 28 – Keith Booth – University of Maryland
(1997) 2nd – 57 – Roberto Duenas Hernandez – Spain

(1996) 1st – 29 – Travis Knight – University of Connecticut

(1995) 1st – 20 – Jason Caffey – University of Alabama
(1995) 2nd – 31 – Dragan Tarlac – Serbia

(1994) 1st – 21 – Dickey Simpkins – Providence College
(1994) 2nd – 49 – Kris Bruton – Benedict College

(1993) 1st – 25 – Corie Blount – University of Cincinnati
(1993) 2nd – 41 – Anthony Reed – Tulane University

(1992) 1st – 27 – Byron Houston – Oklahoma State University
(1992) 2nd – 33 – Corey Williams – Oklahoma State University
(1992) 2nd – 39 – Litterial Green – University of Georgia
(1992) 2nd – 52 – Matt Steigenga – Michigan State University

(1991) 1st – 26 – Mark Randall – University of Kansas

(1990) 2nd – 29 – Toni Kukoc – Croatia

1980’s

(1989) 1st – 6 – Stacey King – University of Oklahoma
(1989) 1st – 18 – B.J. Armstrong – University of Iowa
(1989) 1st – 20 – Jeff Sanders – Georgia Southern University

(1988) 1st – 11 – Will Perdue – Vanderbilt University

(1987) 1st – 8 – Olden Polynice – University of Virginia
(1987) 1st – 10 – Horace Grant – Clemson University
(1987) 2nd – 28 – Rickie Winslow – University of Houston
(1987) 2nd – 33 – Tony White – University of Tennessee

(1986) 1st – 9 – Brad Sellers – Ohio State University
(1986) 2nd – 28 – Larry Krystkowiak – University of Montana

(1985) 1st – 11 – Keith Lee – University of Memphis
(1985) 2nd – 28 – Ken Johnson – Michigan State University
(1985) 2nd – 34 – Aubrey Sherrod – Wichita State University
(1985) 2nd – 46 – Adrian Branch – University of Maryland

(1984) 1st – 3 – Michael Jordan – University of North Carolina
(1984) 2nd – 37 – Ben Coleman – University of Maryland
(1984) 2nd – 43 – Greg Wiltjer – North Idaho College

(1983) 1st – 5 – Sidney Green – University of Nevada, Las Vegas
(1983) 2nd – 25 – Sidney Lowe – North Carolina State University
(1983) 2nd – 29 – Larry Micheaux – University of Houston

(1982) 1st – 7 – Quintin Dailey – University of San Francisco
(1982) 2nd – 26 – Ricky Frazier – University of Missouri
(1982) 2nd – 30 – Wallace Bryant – University of San Francisco
(1982) 2nd – 31 – Rod Higgins – California State University, Fresno

(1981) 1st – 6 – Orlando Woolridge – University of Notre Dame
(1981) 2nd – 32 – Mike Olliver – Lamar University

(1980) 1st – 4 – Kelvin Ransey – Ohio State University
(1980) 2nd – 26 – Sam Worthen – Marquette University

1970’s

(1979) 1st – 2 – Dave Greenwood – University of California, Los Angeles
(1979) 2nd – 33 – Lawrence Butler – Idaho State University

(1978) 1st – 9 – Reggie Theus – University of Nevada, Las Vegas
(1978) 2nd – 31 – Marvin Johnson – University of New Mexico

(1977) 1st – 13 – Tate Armstrong – Duke University
(1977) 2nd – 23 – Mike Glenn – Southern Illinois University
(1977) 2nd – 30 – Steve Sheppard – University of Maryland
(1977) 2nd – 35 – Mark Landsberger – Arizona State University

(1976) 1st – 2 – Scott May – Indiana University
(1976) 2nd – 18 – Willie Smith – University of Missouri

(1975) 2nd – 30 – Steve Green – Indiana University
(1975) 2nd – 32 – John Laskowski – Indiana University

(1974) 1st – 14 – Maurice Lucas – Marquette University
(1974) 1st – 16 – Cliff Pondexter – California State University, Long Beach
(1974) 2nd – 27 – Leon Benbow – Jacksonville University

(1973) 1st – 12 – Kevin Kunnert – University of Iowa
(1973) 2nd – 24 – Kevin Stacom – Providence College
(1973) 2nd – 30 – Wendell Hudson – University of Alabama

(1972) 1st – 11 – Ralph Simpson – Michigan State University

(1971) 1st – 15 – Kenny McIntosh – Eastern Michigan University
(1971) 2nd – 20 – Willard Sojourner – Weber State University
(1971) 2nd – 32 – Howard Porter – Villanova University

(1970) 1st – 11 – Jimmy Collins – New Mexico State University
(1970) 2nd – 28 – Paul Ruffner – Brigham Young University

1960’s

(1969) 1st – 5 – Larry Cannon – La Salle University
(1969) 2nd – 16 – Simmie Hill – West Texas A&M University
(1969) 2nd – 20 – Ken Spain – University of Houston
(1969) 2nd – 23 – Johnny Baum – Temple University

(1968) 1st – 4 – Tom Boerwinkle – University of Tennessee
(1968) 2nd – 17 – Loy Petersen – Oregon State University
(1968) 2nd – 19 – Ron Dunlap – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

(1967) 1st – 3 – Clem Haskins – Western Kentucky University
(1967) 2nd – 15 – Byron Beck – University of Denver

(1966) 1st – 10 – Dave Schellhase – Purdue University
(1966) 2nd – 20 – Erwin Mueller – University of San Francisco

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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.

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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.

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Now that the Suns have the #1 pick in the 2018 draft locked up, it’s time to move on to more pressing issues.

Who will the Suns be picking at #16?

Realistically, the Suns might not even keep the pick. Now that they have secured the ultimate reward for multiple seasons of really bad basketball, it’s time for the Suns to finally win some games. The #16 pick could be used in a trade to bring a win now player into the fold.

In the current NBA landscape mid first round rookies don’t usually contribute much immediately.

It didn’t always used to be that way.

Ricky Sobers entered the NBA at a time when rookies were expected to make immediate contributions.

A time when first round picks weren’t given years of excuses for poor performances.

A time when the first round of the draft was only 18 picks.

Being picked at #16 actually made Sobers a late first round pick.

It would be the equivalent of the #27 overall pick with the current 30 pick per round system.

But for those of you who think that #27 might be a little late to produce quality talent, think about this… Four of the last five players taken at that spot are Kyle Kuzma, Larry Nance Jr., Bogdan Bogdanovic and Rudy Gobert. That’s arguably as good as the Suns have done picking in the lottery.

Being picked at #16, Sobers, an All-American from the UNLV Running Rebels, was ready to contribute right away.

He arrived in Phoenix for a very special year (1975-76) and managed to play a pivotal role.

The regular season wasn’t anything particularly foudroyant for Sobers. He played in 78 games coming off the bench and averaged 9.2 points and 2.8 assists per game. He did progress during the season, scoring in double figures in 19 of his last 26 games and pouring in a season high 27 points.

The postseason was where Sobers really shined.

Sobers upped his averages to 13 points and 4.2 assists per game in the playoffs and actually moved into the starting lineup during the Conference Finals against the defending champion Golden St. Warriors and for all six games of the NBA Finals series against the Celtics.

After a relatively quiet first round series, Sobers put his mark on the series against the Warriors.

By game six, Sobers was such a potent weapon for the Suns, with 21 points through three quarters, that the Warriors were actually switching defensive assignments to account for him. The Warriors moved future hall of famer Rick Barry off of Sobers to give Phil Smith a chance to try to contain him.

The move seemed to backfire though, because while Smith did in fact contain Sobers, Dick Van Arsdale managed to limit Barry to just two fourth quarter points after scoring 28 in the first three.

The Suns 105-104 home win tied the series up at 3-3 and forced a game seven on the road against the Warriors.

So what did the rookie Sobers do when facing the hostile environment of a playoff game seven?

He walked in and punched Ricky Barry in the face.

Literally.

The altercation took place with the score tied 2-2 just moments into the game and helped set the tone.

The Suns weren’t afraid of the Warriors.

And Ricky Sobers wasn’t intimated by a legend.

Of course, this was the old guard of NBA basketball so after the melee cleared everybody just kept on playing… bloody noses and all.

The Suns went on to win the game 94-86 and eliminate the defending champions, moving on to play the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

A great recap of the game six and seven occurrences can be found in the May 24, 1976 edition of Sports Illustrated entitled, “Have the Suns Risen in the West.”

Sobers didn’t have quite as much impact in the Finals against the Celtics.

Although he did pump in a team high 25 points in the Suns 128-126 game five loss, he was mostly quiet during the series.

I vaguely remember hearing about some guy named Gar Heard hitting a pretty big shot at some point in that series.

The Suns lost to the Celtic in six games and didn’t return to the Finals again until 1993.

The Suns are now 25 years and counting since that appearance.

Sobers would end up only playing one more year for the Suns. He improved his averages to 13.6 points and 3.0 assists per game in 79 appearances, but his career really took off the next year after a trade to the Indiana Pacers.

Sobers was traded to the Pacers for 26 year old Don Buse, who was coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons. Although that seems like a pretty solid move, trading for an All-Star in his prime, Buse would only average about 8 points and 4.5 assists per game for the Suns in three seasons before moving on.

Sobers, meanwhile, averaged 18.2 points and 7.4 assists per game the next year for Indiana.

Sobers only played two years for the Pacers though, before bouncing around to the Chicago Bulls, Washington Bullets and Seattle SuperSonics. He carved out respectable career averages of 13.3 points and 4.3 assists per game while shooting 45.9% from the field and 84.3% from the line.

A pretty solid, but not spectacular, career.

Interestingly enough, Sobers was involved in another trade to the Suns to start his NBA career.

Sobers was traded by the Buffalo Braves (as a future 1975 1st round draft pick) to the Suns for a 1976 1st round draft pick that became hall of famer Adrian Dantley.

Despite Sobers’ 1976 playoff heroics I’m still gonna put that trade in the loss column.

Still, if the Suns can take someone at #16 this year and he ends up having a huge impact in a Western Conference Finals victory in 2019… I’d take that.

I would also just suggest that maybe the Suns shouldn’t give up on him so soon.

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Coby White is off to a good start with the Bulls, but he’s not ready to ask Derrick Rose-style, “Why can’t I be rookie of the year?”

“Nah, man, I just go out there and hoop,” he said before Saturday’s home opener. “Like I always say, as long as I go out there and play hard, everything will take care of itself.

“At the end of the year, if I’m in that discussion, then I’m in that discussion. If I’m not I’m not. I just know that at the end of the day, as a team I just want to accomplish our goal and that’s to make the playoffs.”

White made his official United Center debut on the 35th anniversary of Michael Jordan’s first game as a Bull, which was a 109-93 victory over the Washington Bullets at the Stadium on Oct. 26, 1984. Orlando Woolridge was the Bulls’ leading scorer that night with 28.
Coby tries coaching:

Bulls coach Jim Boylen credited Coby White for some coaching help late in Friday’s win at Memphis.

“He came up to me during a free throw and said, ‘Hey, let me set the screen on this one because I think they’re sticking to me,'” Boylen said. “I don’t know guys, that doesn’t happen with a 20-year-old or 19-year-old kid at our level like that, where you’re thinking not about yourself, but how you can help the team in that moment. That’s big time.”

White said his suggestion was a simple one: Put he and Zach LaVine in a screen-and-roll, since both had a hot hand.

“They would have had to make a split (second) decision,” White said. “When we did it, they kind of got confused and Zach hits a wide-open 3 off of it. … Coach puts his trust in his players.”
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Hutch closer to return:

Considering Otto Porter Jr. has been on a minutes limit and left Saturday’s game in the second quarter with an injury, coach Jim Boylen is anxious to get Chandler Hutchison back from a hamstring issue.

“Yeah, he’s really close,” Boylen said before Saturday’s game. “Hutch is a big wing, Hutch is what the league is. You know, 6-7, 6-8 guy that can guard multiple positions, he can handle the ball, he can get out and run. Our multiple-ballhandling system was put in with him in mind. We will not rush him back, he is closer than ever.”
WC Bulls draft three:

The Windy City Bulls chose three players in Saturday’s G-League draft. They started with 7-foot center Lamous Brown from Shaw University. He’s a Chicago native who went to Morgan Park High School.

They chose 6-5 guard Jordan Adams, who was a college teammate of Zach LaVine at UCLA. The third pick was 6-5 guard Trey Phills from Yale. He’s the son of the late Bobby Phills, who died in a car accident on a day he was supposed to play for the old Charlotte Hornets against the Bulls.

Windy City opens the season Nov. 8 at Wisconsin, followed by the home opener the following night at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

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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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After Nate Thurmond’s inaugural introduction to the crowd at Chicago Stadium, fans gave the former San Francisco/Golden State Warrior a rousing round of applause as he made his way to center court.

After 12 seasons in the Bay Area, Thurmond joined the Chicago Bulls in the summer of 1974. In the team’s first game of the season Oct. 18 against the Atlanta Hawks, the 33-year-old completed the NBA’s first quadruple-double in the Bulls’ 120-115 overtime win.

The future Hall of Famer played all but three minutes in the game and was 8-of-12 from the field. He finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocks.

“I was born in the Midwest, but I haven’t lived here for 11 years,” he said. “I was amazed at the people who came up to me on the street, shook my hand and wished me well. You really feel like playing ball for fans like that.

“The offensive part of my game is the slowest to come. I don’t usually put it together for about 20 games, but the shot was there tonight, so I used it. Blocking shots was easier than usual because they drove right into me and didn’t use picks effectively.”

The Hawks pressed the life out of the Bulls’ game plan and forced the home team into 26 turnovers. Atlanta led for almost the entire game.

But Chicago eventually figured out the press and came back from a 12-point deficit thanks to turnovers and late-game mistakes by the young Atlanta team. The Bulls actually had a chance to win the game in regulation with eight seconds remaining, but Chet Walker’s shot rimmed out and the game remained tied at 108.

That sent the contest to overtime, where the Hawks scored the first two points, but within a few minutes the teams found themselves knotted at 112. Bulls rookie Bob Wilson gave Chicago its first lead, 114-112, with 3:18 left in the overtime, and the Bulls never looked back.

Thurmond bodied the boards to protect the lead and ensure that Chicago came away with the victory. Wilson finished with 20 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds, while Walker amassed 25 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists.

“I never saw Nate play better, and I think I know why,” said former Warriors teammate Clyde Lee. “The fans got behind him right from the start, and it gave him a lift. They never appreciated what a great center he was for all those years in San Francisco. When he got that ovation before the game started, you could see it pick him up — and he sure picked up the Bulls.”

Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn’t drop his second album.