分类目录归档:Stitched Bulls Jerseys

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It wasn’t always pretty, but the Bulls held on and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 113-106 victory over the Kings in Sacramento. Four observations from a game the Bulls had to have and wouldn’t be denied:

Bench turns the tide

Out of the gates, this game looked destined for a(nother) lackluster Bulls performance. The team’s first quarter offense was stilted in an all-too-familiar way — in the period, the Bulls shot 7-for-20 (35%) from the field, 3-for-12 (25%) from 3-point range and missed four layups, to boot. They trailed by as many as 11 in the frame.

Somehow, though, they were only behind 23-22 going into the second after closing the first on a 10-0 run. That spurt foreshadowed an explosive remainder of the first half, in which we glimpsed into the alternate reality where every optimistic preseason expectation came to fruition. The bench lit the torch. At the 7:56 mark of the second, Coby White, Ryan Arcidiacono, Denzel Valentine (!), Thad Young and Daniel Gafford all had plus-minuses of at least +13. None of the starters were better than a -7.

The Bulls forced 18 turnovers in the game, due in large part to the tone their scrappy, swarming reserves set early on. The 23 points they generated off said turnovers proved essential in warding off repeated comeback efforts by Sacramento.

Most encouraging is the fact that, after swinging the tide of the game, the rotations stabilized. They had their hiccups, but ultimately held on. All the starters played over 30 minutes; White was the only reserve to see over 20. That’s a formula for sustained success.

For extended stretches, Lauri Markkanen was excellent

In the second quarter, specifically, he did everything you could ask of him, hitting 3-for-4 from downtown and repeatedly attacking the basket with gumption. The bench flipped an 11-point Bulls deficit into a six-point lead over a seven-minute stretch spanning the end of the first and the beginning of the second quarter, but the starters took that baton midway through the period and didn’t miss a beat. The Bulls won the period 33-21 and went into the break leading 55-44.

Markkanen, for his part, canned two threes and and blew by Nemanja Bjelica off-the-dribble for a vicious (and much-needed) dunk in the latter half of the period. It feels hyperbolic to say that a third-year player ‘looked like his own self,’ but he really did on Monday, for the first time in what feels like a long time.

With the eventual victory, the Bulls move to 4-0 in games where Markkanen converts more than three 3-point attempts (he was 4-for-8 tonight).

Buddy Hield got hot, but so did the Bulls

The Kings, of course, didn’t go quietly into the night. The hosts (who hadn’t lost at home since October before this one) admirably stormed back from a 19-point deficit second-half to at one point pull within two. It wasn’t Hield’s most efficient night (9-for-21 from the floor, 3-for-13 from three), but he did lead Sacramento in scoring with 26 points and tallied 14 in the fourth. His presence loomed large with every run the Kings made.

As mentioned, the Bulls finished the first quarter 3-for-12 on 3-pointers. In the final three, they connected on 13 of 25 3-point attempts, and they needed every last one of them.

Bulls (finally) hold a fourth quarter lead

The Bulls entered this game 25th in the NBA in fourth-quarter defensive rating. Hot starts and big leads aren’t completely foreign to this team, but finishing out a full 48 minutes is.

It wasn’t always pretty (as Stacey King said, “they keep you on the edge of your seat”), but they held on tonight. And the guys that sealed the game couldn’t have been scripted better. Early in the fourth, with Buddy Hield beginning to warm, White stymied a few Sacramento bursts with two of his four threes to keep the Bulls at arms-length.

Then, down the stretch, it was Markkanen and LaVine leading the charge. LaVine had two crucial threes down the stretch, including one to put the Bulls up seven with just over a minute to play. Markkanen hit a pivotal long-ball of his own, and he and LaVine combined for eight free throw attempts (making them all) in the fourth. The two each scored 20+ points in the same game for the first time this season, on a combined 13-for-25 (9-for-15 on threes). That’s an extremely encouraging development.

This was a game the Bulls could and should have won. And, for once, they did, handing the Kings their first home loss since October. What lies ahead will be plenty challenging, but for now, they can bask in a clean, deserved victory.

Drive home safe.

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One of the storylines during the Rutgers men’s basketball team’s late-season resurgence last year was the promising play of the freshman class.

Sophomore center Myles Johnson established himself as a rising star in the paint, while sophomore guards Montez Mathis and Caleb McConnell showed improvement and earned key minutes as the Big Ten slate continued.

The Scarlet Knight (6-1) with the highest upside this year, though, could be Ron Harper, Jr., the 6-foot-6-inch sophomore forward from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. Harper Jr. has a championship pedigree, growing up under the guidance of his father, Ron Harper, who won five NBA championships with Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Harper Jr. soon made a name for himself on the court, becoming a star for Don Bosco Prep under head coach Kevin Diverio. He took a major leap in his senior season, doubling his scoring output to average 20.8 points per game. That scoring punch was a key factor in the Ironmen’s second straight TOC final appearance in 2018.

While Harper Jr.’s career at Don Bosco Prep earned him a four-star rating from Rivals, he wasn’t as highly sought after as guys like Mathis or true freshman guard Paul Mulcahy. Harper Jr. only had two Power 5 offers: one from Rutgers, and the other from Big Ten rival Nebraska.

Despite the Knights being the worst team in the conference (3-15 Big Ten record) at the time of his commitment, Harper Jr. bought in to head coach Steve Pikiell’s vision of what Rutgers basketball could be.

His commitment, which came just a week after Mathis’s in August 2017, marked a significant early milestone for the Pikiell era, as the duo of Harper Jr. and Mathis would be the first time since 2008 that the Knights had multiple four-star recruits in the same class. While it would take time for this group to develop on the court, the tide was beginning to turn for Rutgers on the recruiting trail.

Harper Jr.’s freshman year wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. After dropping 15 points on Fairleigh Dickinson in his debut, he struggled to find minutes in the rotation. When he did see the floor, he was inconsistent — the roughest outing being when he went 2-of-11 from the field in the loss against Seton Hall.

As the team went on a late-season surge in conference play, Harper Jr. finally came into his own and looked the part of a Big Ten scorer. He burst onto the scene in Iowa City, where the forward led the Knights with 27 points as they blew out Iowa 86-72.

But, the real jump for Harper Jr. came out of the offseason. An emphasis on conditioning and physicality saw the forward go up from 230 to 245 pounds, and it’s been paying off through the first seven games of the season.

Harper Jr. is now much more aggressive in the paint, using his added strength to get better looks inside. He’s now a much more efficient scorer, averaging 13.1 points a game on 54.8% shooting.

While Rutgers hasn’t faced any Power 5 teams so far this year, its young core seems poised to take the next step in its development this winter.

But, Harper Jr.’s game translates well to the Big Ten, and the added physicality will bring another dimension for a Knights team that is heavily reliant on Johnson and senior forward Shaq Carter in the paint. He also brings a presence on the glass, averaging six boards a game this year.

While there probably won’t be a single go-to guy for Rutgers this year, it’s clear that Harper Jr. is poised to stand out in big moments on the Banks.

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It was 25 years ago today, at General Motors Place in downtown Vancouver, that Michael Jordan added one of the great regular-season chapters to his already teeming Chicago Bulls legacy.

For the Grizzlies, in their first season as an expansion team, it was a red-letter day—the first time Jordan, now the owner of the Hornets, and the defending champs would play a game in Canada. For the Bulls, it was a bit of a chore, the sixth game of a seven-game, 12-day road trip they took early each season to accommodate the circus coming to Chicago.

In the early going, the Bulls played like a team that was tired of being on the road, Jordan in particular. This was an eye-opener for the locals, including one of the players for the Grizzlies, forward Antonio Harvey, who had grown up with Jordan as his idol. Vancouver was 2-12 at the time and would win 15 games that year. Jordan’s Bulls were 11-2 and would win 72 games.

This did not look like it would be one of those wins. Harvey picks up the story, which he told me for my book, Facing Michael Jordan:

“He was having a real tough night,” Harvey said. “I think he was 4-for-15 from the field, he had only 10 points, and he sat out most of the third quarter. Just a really poor night for a player like Michael Jordan. We came from behind and we were winning the game in the fourth quarter.

“We were an expansion team, it was our first season. We won 15 games that year—everyone was there to see Jordan, not us. But our fans were really into the game, they were giving us a standing ovation because it looked like we were actually going to win. It was a really cool moment for a team that was supposed to be as bad as us.”
Talking Trash to Michael Jordan? Bad Idea

Then one of the Grizzlies did something always unadvisable when facing Jordan—he talked trash. The player was Darrick Martin, a second-year guard who had been plucked from the Timberwolves in the expansion draft.

Martin was averaging 6.5 points in 17.0 minutes at the time but felt he had some standing with Jordan because he’d been one of the players who appeared alongside Jordan in the movie Space Jam the previous summer. With 8:35 to play in the game, Martin knocked down a 3-pointer that put the Grizzlies up, 85-78.

Martin approached the Bulls bench. Again, Harvey:

“The long and short of it is, Darrick thought they were kind of like friends because of the movie because they had hung out during the summer and Darrick thought that meant he could talk trash. So—I have to clean it up, I can’t tell you what was said word-for-word—but Darrick started yelling, ‘Aw, Mike, it’s just not falling tonight, Mike!’ And he ran by their bench and yelled, ‘I told you we were going to beat you, Mike!’”

The Grizzlies could have had a signature win in the franchise’s first season. For the Bulls, it would have been mostly a meaningless loss and Jordan might have stayed on the bench for the rest of the fourth quarter. But Jordan is a bear you don’t want to poke. Martin poked him. Jordan told coach Phil Jackson he wanted to go back in.

“Michael is listening to Darrick and finally, he gets up and checks back into the game,” Harvey said. “He proceeded to score, I think it was 20 points in a row, in just a few minutes. (Jordan scored 19 points in a row, in a six-minute span.) He was doing it all — he was posting up, he was driving to the basket, he was dunking.”

Jordan’s 19 points carried the load for the Bulls, who held the Grizzlies to three the rest of the way. So an 85-78 lead turned into a 94-88 loss.

“Michael hit a fadeaway, falling toward our bench,” Harvey said. “After it went in, he went and leaned down in front of Darrick Martin and said, ‘Shut up, you little (expletive)!’”

Michael Jordan 1995 vs Grizzlies – 19 points in final 6 minutesMichael Jordan goes off for 19 points in the fourth quarter to lead his Bulls to a come-from-behind 94-88 win. MJ finishes with 29. BOX SCORE: http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/199511300VAN.html2008-10-17T06:03:23.000Z
Byron Scott’s Lament

The Grizzlies didn’t last long from there. The team would go just 101-317 in its first six seasons in Vancouver before the franchise was bought and moved to Memphis. Among those 317 losses, though, was one of the great Jordan-led wins of the Bulls’ championship era.

More than Martin, the guy who suffered most was Byron Scott. While Martin’s mouth got the Grizzlies in trouble, it was the veteran Scott who spent most of the fourth quarter trying to defend Jordan.

“And Byron was at the end of his career, thirty-four or thirty-five years old, trying to keep up with Michael Jordan,” Harvey said. “And Michael was playing angry, which is not a good thing if you’re guarding him. After the game, Byron Scott comes into the locker room and you could tell he was heated, he was not happy with the way that game ended. We had a chance to win a big game on our home floor.

“So it was quiet, and he turns to Darrick and says, ‘Hey, man, do me a favor. Don’t talk (expletive) to my guy. Reserve that stuff for your guy.’ Oh, it was something else. It was maybe the greatest performance I have ever seen firsthand, it was that good.”

Harvey, for one, learned a lesson that day.

“That was the thing you learned from playing against him,” he said. “You can’t give him any motivation.”

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The thought that the Chicago Bulls could shop around power forward Lauri Markkanen should involve a plethora of players they could get in return.

If the Chicago Bulls were to decide to shop their third-year power forward Lauri Markkanen this season, what would be the ideal return they’d be looking for? The Bulls aren’t off to the ideal start, with a 6-14 record through the first 20 games of the regular season.

The good news for the Bulls, and John Paxson and Gar Forman, is that if they want to shop Lauri this season, there’s an abundance of veteran big men on on the trade block at the moment. Those would be quick fixes for the Bulls if that’s the route that GarPax wants to take.

NBA.com Bulls writer Sam Smith opened up on the idea of trading Markkanen this season in a recent version of his “Ask Sam Mailbag”. One of his questions he answered involved how he feels about trading Markkanen while he’s down right now.

Here was the question.

Considering Lauri’s not pulling his weight this season, would it make sense trading him for Domantas Sabonis? Would it make sense to try and trade for LaMarcus Aldridge?

Smith responded to that pretty adamantly that he didn’t think it was a good time to trade Markkanen, but that is a split feeling among the fans at the moment.

Here’s what he had to say in response to that Markkanen trade question.

It’s not a good idea to sell low. I’m more a believer that Markkanen is the guy we saw the first two seasons than the last five weeks. I’m still riding with him, though you never know what can happen if things don’t turn around.

Feeling out the pulse of the fan base right now, there are some that figure that starting anew from the top down is the way to go. That idea would stem from changing the front office personnel, letting go of head coach Jim Boylen, and figuring out a new direction in the third year of this Bulls rebuild.

Here’s a look at the three possible trade packages that the Chicago Bulls could piece together if they so decide to trade power forward Lauri Markkanen.
Next: No. 3

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According to the odds, the Bulls even with the fourth poorest record have a small chance of getting the No. 5 selection in the NBA draft lottery. The lowest odds are for pick No. 8 and then for pick No. 5. Though in league history, teams added a lot of future Hall of Famers to their team with the No. 5 pick in the draft. In fact, one would have to go beyond the five best selections in the modern era since 1976 to include all the players in the Basketball Hall of Fame selected with the No. 5 pick. Plus there were some greats in the early years of the NBA at No. 5, like Walt Frazier, Frank Ramsey, Larry Foust, Johnny Green, Jeff Mullins, Guy Rodgers, Bobby Jones and Darryl Dawkins. It could make for some interesting debate to rate the top five all-time No. 5 draft picks. Here’s one version.

1.

Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves, 1995. At the time, teams were hesitant about selecting a player directly from high school after Garnett played his senior year in Chicago. But the gangly seven footer went on to have one of the top careers in league history as a 15-time All-Star, league MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and 12-time all-defense player, four times league leading rebounder and community service winner with a championship late in his career when he resurrected the Boston Celtics.
Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics looks on in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics during the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 3, 2012 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts

2.

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat, 2003. The Bulls were certain he was going to be available at No. 7. And then the lightly regarded Marquette player from the Chicago area had a big tournament and was a last minute addition for Miami. Wade, who retired this season, went on to be a league scoring leader and 13-time All-Star, three times all-defense and three times an NBA champion, including carrying a Miami team with Shaquille O’Neal in support and then among the most famous championships with LeBron James.
Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets on April 10, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

3.

Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers, 1984. This is a difficult one in a faceoff with Scottie Pippen, who has six titles to none for Barkley. But Barkley was an 11-time All-Star and all-NBA player as well as a league MVP and led the league in rebounding. Like Pippen, he was on two gold medal winning Olympic teams and probably should have been on a third in 1984, but coach Bobby Knight didn’t like his back talk. He averaged more than 22 points and 11 rebounds in his career.
Charles Barkley #34 of the Phoenix Suns goes for a dunk during the 1996 NBA game against the Boston Celtics at America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.

4.

Scottie Pippen, Seattle Supersonics, 1987. Pippen, of course, became the draft jewel for Jerry Krause in a draft day trade with Seattle for Olden Polynice. Pippen was an All-Star seven times and all-defense 11 times and a league steals leader, though primarily known as the No. 2 player for the Bulls behind Michael Jordan. Many regard Pippen as among the best perimeter individual defenders in the game’s history. He was not a prolific scorer with a career average of about 16 points, but he was one of the premier facilitator forwards in the game.
Scottie Pippen #33 of the Chicago Bulls drives against the Vancouver Grizzlies on January 24, 1996 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

5.

Ray Allen, Minnesota Timberwolves, 1996. He was a draft day trade for Stephon Marbury and went on to a Hall of Fame career as a champion in Miami and Boston, converting with the Heat what is considered one of the greatest clutch shots in NBA history in 2013. He was a 10-time All-Star and one of the greatest shooters in the game’s history. He averaged more than 20 points for nine consecutive seasons and shot 90 percent on free throws and 40 percent on threes. He also was a winner of the citizenship and sportsmanship awards.
Ray Allen #34 of the Miami Heat shoots against the Portland Trail Blazers on December 28, 2013 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon.

And that doesn’t include Hall of Fame No. 5 draft picks like Mitch Richmond and Sidney Moncrief and future Hall of Famer Vince Carter. Plus, two of the best young point guards in the game, Trae Young and De’Aaron Fox, were taken with the No. 5 picks. Other No. 5 selections have included DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Love, Steve Smith, Kendall Gill, Walter Davis, Jason Richardson, Juwan Howard and Steve Smith.

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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.

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George Gervin, whose creative touch led to four individual scoring championships and a 27.3-point average in nine seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, will now do his scoring for the Chicago Bulls.

On the eve of the National Basketball Association’s 40th season, Gervin was traded yesterday to the Bulls for David Greenwood, a 6-foot-9-inch forward with a six-season 12.6 average. Both players are in the final seasons of their contracts.

”Unfortunately, this is not the way I visualized it when I took this job,” said Cotton Fitzsimmons, who is in his second season as the Spurs’ coach. ”What I saw in the future was George Gervin making a finger roll over Robert Parish of the Boston Celtics to win the N.B.A. title. Then he would make a decision to retire to his home in San Antonio. He may be the greatest shooter to ever play the game. I don’t know of anyone who has a better touch with the basketball than Ice.”

The 33-year-old Gervin apparently played a role in spoiling Fitzsmimmons’s dream when his scoring average slipped steadily the last three seasons and the franchise began to slip with him.

Gervin, who had been with the franchise for 13 seasons dating to its American Basketball Association years, missed practice the last three days.

”I wasn’t happy about George missing practice,” said Angelo Drossos, the Spurs’ owner, ”but that wasn’t the reason for the trade. I also wasn’t happy with our play the last few seasons. There comes a time for change even though they’re not popular.”

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With Quintin Dailey undergoing treatment in a drug rehabilitation center, the Bulls will have two new backcourtmen in the 6-7 Gervin and Kyle Macy, acquired earlier from the Phoenix Suns, to help Michael Jordan, their leading scorer.

Gervin, who averaged a lackluster 10.7 points during the Spurs’ seven-game exhibition season, rejoins Stan Albeck, the Bulls’ new coach. Albeck coached the Spurs for three seasons before he left in 1983 to become the Nets’ coach.

The 28-year-old Greenwood, the second player selected in the 1979 draft, averaged 6.1 points last season, when he was slowed by tendinitis in both heels that required offseason surgery.

Purvis Short, Golden State’s top scorer and captain, said he wants to be traded because of the Warriors’ refusal to negotiate on a requested contract extension. ”It’s not only an issue of money, but one of my character and integrity as well,” Short said at a news conference. ”I can no longer play basketball for the Golden State Warriors. . It would be best for all concerned if I continued my career elsewhere.”

”He’ll play for the Golden State Warriors or no one,” responded Franklin Mieuli, the team’s owner, a few hours after Short made his trade request.
A version of this article appears in print on Oct. 25, 1985, Section D, Page 25 of the National edition with the headline: SPURS DEAL GERVIN FOR BULLS’ GREENWOOD. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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Kris Dunn turned in one of the more complete performances of his career in Friday night’s loss to the Pacers. He racked up 17 assists, joining some great names in Bulls history.

Dunn became one of nine players in Bulls’ history to finish a game with at least 17 assists in a game.

The other eight players in Bulls history who have racked up at least 17 assists in a game are:

Guy Rodgers, Clem Haskins, Norm Van Lier, Ennis Whatley, Sam Vincent, Michael Jordan, Kirk Hinrich and most recently (via our Chris Kamka) before Dunn, Derrick Rose.

Out of the nine players in Bulls history to get at least 17 assists in a game, Dunn actually tied Whatley for the highest field goal percentage of the bunch at 66.7 percent on 6-for-9 shooting from the field. This is yet another figure that shows just how well Dunn was controlling the flow of the offense on Friday night.

And in a more specific measure, Dunn also became only the second player in Bulls franchise history to net 17 assists and at least two made 3-pointers in a game. This one was huge for Dunn, as it represented the first time he hit multiple 3-pointers in a game this season.

Dunn has been slowly but surely improving, and as of now he is playing a role this team desperately needs. His defense has always been good–foul issues notwithstanding–but it is well documented that if he can improve his 3-point shooting accuracy, his ceiling becomes very, very different.

So while the 17 assists are awesome to see, the 3-point makes were nice too. This season, Dunn is shooting a sizzling-hot 50 percent on corner 3-point shots, and 35 percent on all 3-point shots. Last season Dunn shot 38 percent on corner 3s and 32 percent from the 3-point line. So if he has improved again as a shooter, somewhere around the 34-to-35 percent mark from 3-point range would be about right, even if it comes on a much lower volume.

Much like Russell Westbrook–the former MVP and 7-time All-NBA team member–, Dunn received much doubt over whether he could develop into a quality NBA point guard because of his lack of a jump shot. But also similar to “The Brodie”, Dunn has flashed the ability to have a huge impact on games even if his shot isn’t falling.

Dunn’s 17 assist game may be remembered down the line as a nice little reward for Bulls fans among a tough season, or it may fall by the wayside like the not widely discussed or remembered Sam Vincent 17-assist game from 1988.

But if the development of the young Bulls’ core goes as well as John Paxson and co. expect, this game may well go down as the exact moment when the Bulls’ “Big 3” finally clicked.

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Zach LaVine, el estado de flujo y un trance especial. Primero de todo, vean lo que ha pasa en el partido. En concreto, en los últimos 30 segundos.

Un final de locura y una actuación histórica de LaVine. La (no) explicación en el Bulls vs Hornets (Vídeo)
Un final de locura y una actuación histórica de LaVine. La (no) explicación en el Bulls vs Hornets (Vídeo)
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24/11/2019
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Zach LaVine, el estado de flujo y un trance especial. Primero de todo, vean lo que ha pasa en el partido. En concreto, en los últimos 30 segundos.

Los Chicago Bulls se llevaron la victoria por 116-115 ante los Charlotte Hornets. LaVine terminó con 49 puntos pero fue increíble lo que pasó en el último minuto. O, en concreto, 30 segundos.

Restando 25 segundos, LaVine clavó su 12º triple y su equipo estaba a 4 puntos.
Posteriormente falta a Terry Rozier, anota un tiro libre de los dos que tiene
Siguiente acción, canasta de White. A 3 los Bulls.
En la siguiente posesión, Graham anota los dos tiros libres.
A falta de 14 segundos, 5 arriba los Hornets. 115-110.
Sacan rápido los Bulls, triple de Satoransky. 115-113
Sacan los Hornets, pierden la bola, 13º triple de Lavine. 115-116
Siguiente acción, nada. Ganan los Bulls.

Zach LaVine finalizó con 49 puntos y es el sexto jugador en la historia de los Bulls en meter al menos 49 tantos, junto a Michael Jordan, Jimmy Butler, Bob Love, Jamal Crawford y Chet Walker. Además, con los 13 triples que anotó se unió a Steph Curry y Klay Thompson como los jugadores con más tiros de tres anotados en un partido. El récord lo tiene Thompson con 14 el 29 de octubre del 2018.

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Su carta de tiro fue impresionante: 13 de 17 en triples

¿Qué pasó con Lavine? Pues lo que Gonzalo Vázquez definió como trance de tiro que definía así: «El estado de flujo representa la dimensión más alta de la creación humana, como si los sentidos fueran secuestrados por una entidad superior durante un trance celestial. Lo que el investigador traía a colación trascendía la clásica noción literaria de beatitud o soplo divino. El profesor húngaro daba así cuerpo y realidad a una experiencia que hasta entonces vivía como instalada en las vagas fronteras de la poética».

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It’s hard to tell at this moment what it would take for the Chicago Bulls front office to finally part ways with head coach Jim Boylen.
If this downward spiral continues for the Chicago Bulls for much longer, all options should be on the table as to what to do to fix this problem and right the ship. The Bulls sit with a record of 6-14 through the first 20 games of the regular season. That’s not where head coach Jim Boylen and the Bulls wanted to be at after upgrading the roster significantly over the offseason.

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John Paxson and Gar Forman seem to love what they have in Boylen. Losing doesn’t seem to bother the coaching staff or the front office, which is going to be a problem that continues to annoy the fans. The Bulls are working their way well outside the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, and toward another draft lottery pick.

However, the Bulls could repair the damage from the top-down this season if they finally make the move to shakeup either the coaching staff, front office, or both. GarPax and Boylen aren’t popular with the fan base, and with good reason. They just haven’t done anything to further this rebuild in its third year.

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This brand of Bulls basketball is getting harder and harder to watch every single game. With this latest Western Conference road trip largely coming up short, the impatience should only continue to grow from here.

Here’s a look into the three best current coaching candidates that could be called upon to replace Jim Boylen as head coach for the Chicago Bulls if he were to see the door by the end of the 2019-20 regular season.

It’s taken more than a month, but the Portland Trail Blazers finally have a little momentum.

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The Blazers defeated the Chicago Bulls 107-103 Friday night at the Moda Center, dismissing the NBA’s third-youngest team for the second time in the five nights.

The win gives the Blazers (8-12) their first three-game winning streak of the season.

Hassan Whiteside set a franchise record for blocks, Carmelo Anthony continued his NBA renaissance, Rodney Hood had another solid outing and the Blazers’ dynamic backcourt took care of the rest as Portland continued to creep out of its early-season funk.

WHITESIDE SETS BLOCK RECORD

Whiteside had the type of dominant defensive performance the Blazers were expecting when they acquired him from the Miami Heat in a four-team trade during the offseason, finishing with eight points, 15 rebounds and a franchise-record 10 blocks.

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The Blazers’ starting center blocked his first shot one minute, eight seconds into the game, swatting away a Zach LaVine floater, and the rejections came in waves from there, as he owned the paint against a Bulls team that thrives off driving to the basket.

Whiteside blocked four shots in the first quarter, had six by halftime, and collected a couple in crunch time that helped the Blazers fight off a surprisingly stiff challenge from Chicago (6-14).

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“Hassan had a hell of a game tonight,” Anthony said. “Being the anchor on the defensive end. We kind of fed off of that.”

Whiteside tied the franchise record with 4:55 left, when he blocked a LaVine driving layup from behind to preserve a four-point lead. And then, with 1:43 left and the Blazers clinging to a 101-98 lead, Whiteside swatted away a Tomas Satoransky drive to set the franchise mark.

He broke a record that had been shared by Bill Walton, Joel Przybilla, Theo Ratliff and Mychal Thompson.

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When told after the game that Walton was one of the players who owned the old record, Whiteside beamed.

“Anytime you beat a Hall of Fame record, it’s special,” he said.

But it wasn’t just Whiteside’s dominant shot-blocking that carried the Blazers Friday night. His last bucket came on a crucial last-second put-back that helped preserve the victory.

With the Blazers holding a 105-103 lead, Lillard tried to ice the game with a 9-foot turnaround jumper. It missed. But Whiteside skied out of nowhere and followed the errant shot with a left-handed tip-in with 8.8 seconds left, sealing the win.

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He ended up finishing two points shy of his fifth career triple-double. Whiteside, who fell two blocks shy of his career high, owns four of the NBA’s last five triple-doubles that include blocks.

Either way, for a player who has endured an injury-riddled and up-and-down beginning with the Blazers — and even had his effort challenged — it was a performance worth remembering.

“He had a great, great defensive performance,” Lillard said. “I thought it was pretty much the difference in the game for us. He came up big on the glass, rebounding out of his area and he blocked 10 shots. If they didn’t change (their offense), he probably would have blocked 15. That’s the version of him that we need to be the team that we planned on being to start the year.”

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Anthony continued to be a valuable addition for the Blazers, finishing with 23 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, Lillard had 28 points and six assists and CJ McCollum added 20 points and seven rebounds. All the while, Hood added another solid outing to his underrated season, recording 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting, including 3 of 5 from three-point range.

LaVine led the Bulls with 28 points, six rebounds and five assists and Wendell Carter Jr. added 16 points and nine rebounds.

HOME COOKIN’

It was the Blazers’ second consecutive win at home at an important point of the season. After a road-heavy first month, they will play 10 of their next 14 games at the Moda Center, where they have traditionally excelled.

So while the three-game winning streak features a pair of wins against the Bulls and a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, they are also much needed for a Blazers team desperate to build a little holiday momentum after underwhelming most of the season.

The Chicago Bulls aren’t performing well as a team, so let’s talk about the individuals. Here’s how the players stack up against each other.
After 10 regular-season games, the Chicago Bulls were really disappointing. Now, after 20 games, they’re somehow even more disappointing. They’re 6-14 on the season and have the second-worst offense in the league. So much for this “playoff-hopeful” team.

Despite the Bulls playing horrible basketball as a unit over the first 20 games of the 2019-20 season, there has been some nice individual play. Let’s get into it.

8. Ryan Arcidiacono
Previous ranking: Unranked

Ryan Arcidiacono is arguably the least skilled player on the entire Bulls roster. There are a lot of G League guys that have more raw basketball skill than Arch. He brings two things to the table every night that earn him a spot on this list, though: effort and savviness.

His savvy play often pays off on both offense and defense. On offense, he uses noon-ball moves in the paint that help free him up for open floaters. On defense, he pulls the chair out when bigger opponents think they can post him up. He truly is one of the most intelligent players on this roster.

If you need a stat to quantify Arch’s effort, look no further than the list of players who have taken the most charges so far this season. Arch is tied for seventh.

When Ryan Arcidiacono is on the floor, you don’t have to worry about him. He’s not going to make egregious mistakes, which is more than you can say for a few guys on the roster.