We're two preseason games into the new '13-'14 campaign and what better way to celebrate Rose's (actual) return than a 4-man pod?!
I was thrilled to join Mitch & Nillz as a special guest on The Bulls Show this week and above, you can listen to us and frequent contributor E, discuss all things Bulls preseason. That's more than Derrick Rose's return — we provide a fun and analytical fan perspective on the play of bulked up Taj Gibson, the grit of Kirk Hinrich, Jimmy Butler (and his haircut's) disruption on the court, and even the reported front office friction.
Plus, the guys tailored their world famous (probably) "Fastbreak" segment for me to answer some hip hop/NBA related questions. If you can't wait to hear my answer to "Which rapper personifies this Bulls team?", then fast forward to the 39 minute mark. In between, you'll have more of my analysis like that of my first point: "Derrick Rose is fast." I know, I know. Might as well play the whole thing through without skipping.
Shoutout to Mitch & Nillz for having me on. They have a lot of great things going on at the newly launched TheBullsShow.com — game recaps (Nillz was in Indiana for the opener), a fantasy basketball league, and an upcoming trivia event before the season starts with the winning team getting $500 cold hard cash. Interested? We'll be there too, I'm gettin' together a Gowhere Team now!
Whether a Bulls fan or NBA fan in general, I think you'll enjoy this episode. I can't promise you laughs... actually... I can, because anytime it's just the guys talkin' bout their favorite team, we're in for a good time. Give it a listen as work winds down on Friday, and be sure to subscribe on iTunes and/or keep it locked here on GWHH for future episodes.
BONUS: I got to pick the two songs in the episode. Here they are, hope you're not sleeping...
ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell returns to the show to share the sights and sounds of training camp. The Bulls’ beat writer then helps us conclude our weekly preview of Eastern Conference contenders with a breakdown of the Miami Heat.
Find out if what Nick’s seen and heard at the Berto Center this past week is enough to put the Bulls “over the top” against the defending champions.
Also, stay locked on TheBullsShow.com for more details on our inaugural Bulls trivia night hosted by State Restaurant & Cafe on Monday, October 28th!
Hey Michael, how many more days until the Bulls’ preseason starts and Derrick Rose plays basketball again?
We react to the front office’s decision to end contract extension talks with Luol Deng and review some of the implications. In the latter half of the show, we’re joined by Tom Lewis of IndyCornRows.com as part of our weekly Eastern Conference Contender Preview. Hear what the Pacers’ expert thinks about the team’s championship expectations and how they match-up with the like-minded Bulls.
For more evidence that it’s like looking into a mirror when the Bulls play the Pacers, check out Coach Nick’s breakdown of their regular season game this past February:
Leave your own thoughts and feedback in the comments below. If you like what you’re hearing, subscribe to the show on iTunes.
We check in on Derrick Rose’s offseason workouts and continue our Eastern Conference preview with the revamped Brooklyn Nets. We discuss the strengths of last year’s first round playoff opponent and the challenges rookie coach Jason Kidd will have to overcome against the Bulls. To conclude the show, the Fastbreak mirrors a TMZ report with the latest gossip from around the league.
As we look ahead to Brooklyn’s prospects this season, it gives us an opportunity to look back on their most memorable failures last season. Never forget.
2013 NBA Playoffs – 1st Round, Game 4: The “Nate Robinson” Game:
2013 NBA Playoffs – 1st Round, Game 7: Joakim’s Guarantee
In our annual Bulls player preview, we set our expectations for the upcoming season for each member of the roster. Find out which Bulls we believe will improve and produce in 2013/14, and which players may have reached their ceiling.
Sometimes, basketball is more than just a game. For some, it’s an outlet. For the most fortunate, it’s a livelihood.
For professional athletes and Chicago natives Will Bynum and Nazr Mohammed, basketball has become an opportunity and platform to give back to their community.
At a modest 6 feet, Will Bynum looks more running back than NBA guard. Now entering his 7th year in the league with the Detroit Pistons, Bynum overcame much more than his size to arrive where he is at today. As a product of the grueling and gang-infested west side of Chicago, Bynum describes his inner city childhood as an experience he “wouldn’t trade for anything, but at the same time wouldn’t wish on any kid either.”
This polarizing perspective acknowledges a difficult upbringing that created a mental and physical toughness Bynum has channeled into a productive basketball career. Undrafted out of Georgia Tech, Bynum currently holds the Pistons’ franchise record for most points by a player in a quarter. In 2010, he became the first Piston since his childhood idol and fellow Chicagoan Isiah Thomas to dish out at least 20 assists in a game. When asked if he has any reservations about his team’s crowded backcourt this upcoming season, Bynum expressed his confidence with a focus on the team while still relishing the competition. “It’s going to be hard for somebody to physically outplay me, (but) it’s not me battling another person. It’s who is going to produce out there on the court… It’s about developing that chemistry” said the Pistons’ back-up point guard.
This perseverance and attitude are just some of the principles Bynum is trying instill in today’s youth through his annual summer basketball camp. In its third year, the event hosted at Chicago State University last week allowed the area’s elite talent from 7th through 12th grade to showcase their abilities on the court and learn on the sidelines – but the education extended far beyond the game. In addition to training and drills, nearly 60 campers attended breakout sessions focused on leadership, mentoring and a healthy lifestyle. The comprehensive and exclusive 3-day program was a deliberate effort by Bynum to better the lives of camp participants and their communities. Bynum admitted the motivation behind the camp was to create a unique outlet and opportunity for underprivileged adolescents that he never had himself growing up in Chicago.
The camp culminated in all-star games that featured select players not only recognized for their basketball skills, but also for their academic and humanitarian achievements. Immediately following the players’ display of sharp shooting, lightning-quick crossovers, and tremendous athleticism, the camp concluded with Illinois Governor Patt Quinn taking center court to sign state legislation implementing a new anti-violence task force. Bynum also required campers to sign the Norm Van Lier non-violence pledge, which documented an individual’s promise to abstain from violent acts in Chicago.
A little over 48 hours later and approximately 15 miles north, Chicago Bulls center Nazr Mohammed hosted his own philanthropic event at Pazzo’s, an upscale Italian restaurant located in downtown Chicago. The 2nd annual Nazr Mohammed Foundation fundraiser aimed to benefit Chicago-area students, teachers, and learning institutions through the financial support of educational initiatives. While the aesthetic of the venue and the demographic of its guests presented a stark contrast to a youth basketball camp, the objective and message remained the same. Mohammed’s foundation is dedicated to serving and improving the community.
The fundraising gala, emceed by Bulls’ radio voice Chuck Swirsky, featured a silent auction and raffles of highly coveted prizes ranging from autographed sports memorabilia to gift packages to artwork. Those in attendance enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and an open bar to the backdrop of live entertainment. The six hour party also witnessed appearances by current and former NBA stars, Rajon Rondo, Ben Gordon, and Antoine Walker.
Proceeds from the event helped subsidize a number of local organizations, including Mohammed’s alma mater Kenwood Academy High School and “The Village Project” – a program concentrated on mentoring adolescents to become positive role models amongst their peers. The 15 year NBA veteran and southside product also spent the evening selecting three grassroots organizations that would receive donations from his foundation. The beneficiaries included CircEsteem, Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, and Sue Duncan’s Children Center. All organizations are committed to creating opportunities in academics, athletics, art, and/or religion to foster the growth of children in their communities.
These acts of kindness and charity may surprise some Bulls fans who revere Mohammed most for his infamous shove of LeBron James during last season’s playoffs. However, the emotional outburst was uncharacteristic and practically ironic for someone that ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell described at the event as “one of the nicest and most genuine guys in the league.” Despite the infraction, it’s evident from his foundation and fundraiser that Mohammed strives to be remembered for his efforts off the court as much as on it. While the former NBA and NCAA champion looks to help bring a title to his hometown in a supporting role for the Bulls this season, Mohammed has already brought hope to the city through the support of educational programs.
Will Bynum and Nazr Mohammed have never been NBA teammates, yet still play for the same team – the community. These Chicago natives have managed to each use their resources and standing in the community to preserve and inspire the city’s future. Their work and dedication is a welcomed initiative for a city ravaged by crime and violence. These charitable endeavors may not receive front page headlines like an NBA title, but with more professional athletes like Will Bynum and Nazr Mohammed, basketball becomes more than a game and leaves a positive impact well after the final buzzer.
From summer league (over?) reactions to 13th man speculation, we somehow find a way to extensively discuss a Bulls off-season mostly full of inactivity. We also look into other news and moves around the league, including Team USA mini-camp and how the East is shaping up.
We discuss the beef between Thibs & Gar Forman, the free agency signing of Mike Dunleavy Jr., and who the Bulls may sign next at the veteran minimum. We also review the biggest winners of the off-season thus far and whether Dwight Howard made the right decision.
We 3-man weave our way through Thursday night's NBA draft and discuss whether the Bulls' picks were the right fit for the team. We also take a look at other noteworthy events of the past week including the blockbuster Nets/Celtics trade, Dwight Howard's free agency, LaMarcus Aldridge's "trade request" and "the return"... of JL3?