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31  General Category / Sports / Former Bulls guard Dailey dead at 49 on: November 10, 2010, 11:22:33 am
Former Bulls guard Dailey dead at 49Controversy dogged him during career that began when as 7th pick of 1982 draft
NBA Draft By K.C. Johnson, Tribune reporter
9:35 p.m. CST, November 9, 2010

Former Bulls guard Quintin Dailey, whose four seasons in Chicago were dominated by controversy, died Monday in his Las Vegas home. He was 49.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal, citing the Clark County Coroner's Office, reported Dailey died from hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

Then-Bulls general manager Rod Thorn selected Dailey from the University of San Francisco amid widespread controversy with the seventh pick in the 1982 NBA draft.

Dailey had been arrested in February of that year and charged with attempted assault with intent to **** a female dormitory counselor. Dailey pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and received three years probation.

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His rookie season, which featured him averaging 15.1 points per game and earning All-Rookie honors for a Paul Westhead-led team that went 28-54, was filled with picketing women's groups and brutal crowd heckling.

"People spit at me, said things you wouldn't believe and were always trying to get me to fight," Dailey said in a 1999 Tribune interview. "I didn't help things, having a drug problem. I never let any of those people provoke me; I wasn't that sort of person. But I was too scared to say anything because I was afraid people would take it wrong."

Dailey also admitted to being paid for work he didn't do while at USF, which led school officials to shut down their once-proud program from 1982-86.

And the aforementioned drug problem led to myriad issues during the 1985-86 season, his last with the Bulls. Dailey missed games and twice entered rehabilitation clinics in California for **** addiction.

Dailey averaged 16.4 ppg in 272 career games with the Bulls. He went on to play for the Clippers and SuperSonics, averaging 14.1 points over 10 seasons.

After his retirement in 1992, Dailey settled in Las Vegas. But instead of succumbing to that city's temptations, Dailey sought redemption. He worked as a youth supervisor for at-risk kids for the Clark County Park and Recreations Department and also officiated youth basketball games.

Dailey is survived by his son, Quintin Jr., a basketball player at Eastern Michigan, and daughter, Quinci. On his Twitter account Tuesday, Quintin Jr. wrote: "Tomorrow ain't promised … RIP Quintin Dailey Sr. I love you Dad.",0,1572543.story
32  Politics / Politics / Re: Three Good Things for Progressives to Take From the Midterm Election Results on: November 05, 2010, 01:24:16 pm
He is an American citizen, at least he is away from the bizarro Birther world.
33  General Category / Sports / Larger than life 1985 Bears never will fade away on: November 05, 2010, 01:23:10 pm
Larger than life 1985 Bears never will fade away

Bears defense sacks the Patriots' Tony Eason in Superbowl XX. (Ed Wagner, Chicago Tribune / January 28, 2005)

Dan Pompei
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Reunite the 1985 Bears? They never really were apart.

Relive the 1985 season? We never stopped living it.

Listen to stories from 1985? We can recite every one of them.

The 1985 Bears never have gone away. We never stopped celebrating them. Many of us still have a VCR tape of the game on a dusty shelf in the basement, or yellowed newspaper clippings in a box in the attic.

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We couldn't get enough of them that year, and we still can't 25 years later. So Friday night, thousands are expected to pay up to $199 per ticket to see at least 25 of them at the Arie Crown Theater, where they will tell stories and, well, just be 1985 Bears.

I've been asked over the years about writing a book on that team. But there really isn't anything to tell you that isn't known. .

When Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan almost came to blows, we couldn't have known about it any faster if Ditka had Tweeted it.

Keith Van Horne had to be restrained from going after Ditka on the sidelines? Old news, really old news.

We know all about Jim McMahon getting acupuncture, Steve McMichael throwing a chair that struck a chalkboard and the squabbles over making the Super Bowl Shuffle.

On a typical morning, the current Bears try to conceal more things before the coffee gets hot than the 1985 team tried to hide all season.

There was a delightful transparency about those Bears. So Chicago really got to know them — as a team, as individuals and as an experience.

By my count more than 20 of the '85 Bears still live in the Chicago area. And at any given moment, one of them is signing autographs at your local supermarket, another is hitting his tee shot into the woods at a charity golf outing and a third is telling you what's wrong with the current Bears on a radio show.

The face of that team, and maybe the face of the city, was the coach. Chicagoans have asked Ditka to run for the U.S. senate and for mayor. People still stream into his restaurant on East Chestnut to pay $27 for a pork chop. Damn good pork chop, and it comes with mashed sweet potatoes and Michigan cherry jus.

Oh, and he sells wine, cigars, sweater vests, vacation packages, Arena Football League tickets, football wisdom and words of inspiration. And Iron Mike vitamins are coming to a store near you.

All because of 1985.

That year changed things in the Chicago area. It had not had a major professional sports championship since the 1963 Bears. And since then, the Bulls (six), White Sox and Blackhawks have won.

Ditka never has to buy a beer in this town, and not just because he is a spokesman for Coors Light. Neither do Jimmy Mac, Hamp, Ming, The Colonel, Samurai, Big O or even the Bruise Brothers.

If one of the '85 Bears shows up at an appearance with a current Bears player, the guy with the Super Bowl ring always gets the louder ovation.

He deserves it.

The passage of time has a way of glorifying sports legacies.

That hasn't happened with the 1985 Bears because there really wasn't anything to embellish about them. They are the same now as they were then.

They couldn't get any better than they really were. They couldn't be any more appreciated than they were.

The style of ball they played, the manner in which they dominated and the way they connected with the public made them unique in the history of pro football. There never could be another 1985 Bears. Couldn't be anything remotely similar, really.

That's OK though. We have our memories.

I was there in New Orleans in 1985. I know, you were too — even if you weren't.

The 1985 Bears brought us together. They made us feel good about being Chicagoans. And time hasn't changed anything about it.,0,7128252.column
34  Genres of Film & Literature / Videogames / NBA 2K'11 Review - Michael Jordan Is Still King of The NBA on: October 05, 2010, 03:04:03 pm
NBA 2K'11 Review - Michael Jordan Is Still King of The NBA

It's entirely fitting that Michael Jordan is on the cover of NBA 2K11 because the greatest NBA player of all time belongs with one of the best NBA games of all time. Yep, it's that good.
It's got a great TV-like presentation, a highly detailed franchise mode, and tremendous gameplay, Oh, and did we mention MJ? When I started NBA 2K11 for the first time, I got tingles because the game instantly takes you to Chicago Stadium for Game 1 of the 1991 NBA Finals against the Lakers. You follow Jordan as he walks down the tunnel, turns his head towards you as he is about to enter the floor and asks "Are you ready?" It's a seriously awesome piece of Jordan fan service.
Speaking of which, there's also the Jordan Challenge mode, which allows players to relive 10 different "legendary" games from Michael Jordan's career. You can try to torch the Cavs for 69 points like His Airness did in 1990, try to battle back from the flu and defeat the Jazz in Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Finals, or his last game as a Bull on June 14, 1998.
Complete those and you can unlock a MJ: Creating a Legend mode offering gamers the chance to be a rookie Michael and craft a new career for him on any current NBA team. Jordan vs. LeBron anyone?
Add this to improved core gameplay, including all-new IsoMotion dribbling controls, deeper My Player mode with new My Career feature visual, upgradable Jordan sneakers and much more and you get pure awesome if you're an NBA fan.
GameSmith Rating: 9/10
(NOTE: A PS3 retail copy of the game was provided to GameSmith for review purposes)
35  Genres of Film & Literature / Videogames / 'NBA 2K11' mode places rookie Michael Jordan in today's league on: September 09, 2010, 01:16:54 pm
Aug 12, 2010
'NBA 2K11' mode places rookie Michael Jordan in today's league
11:31 AM

Michael Jordan in 'NBA 2K11.'
2K SportsCurious how Michael Jordan would play alongside Kevin Durant in an Oklahoma City Thunder uniform, or how his airness would perform with the Miami Heat's new power trio? A new mode for pro basketball simulation NBA 2K11 will let players witness for themselves.
ESPN reports this year's NBA title from 2K Sports will feature a mode called "MJ: Creating a Legend." Players will take control of Jordan as a rookie and guide him to legendary status on any NBA squad.
"He is rated a 79 overall, which gives you plenty of room to improve, but he has all of the physical tools of Michael as a rookie -- the fast speed, the high jumping, the quickness -- but he lacks a lot of the shooting skills and the offensive and defensive awareness," NBA 2K11 producer Erick Boenisch tells ESPN.
As Jordan completes seasons during the mode, players will see his appearance change as he ages.
The mode is unlocked after players complete The Jordan Challenge, a feature where players can relive classic moments in Jordan's career.
NBA 2K11 hits stores in October. Readers, what do you think of the new game mode?
By Brett Molina
36  General Category / Sports / The NFL's Most Popular Team on: September 09, 2010, 01:14:37 pm

The NFL's Most Popular Team
A Study Ranks All 32 in TV Viewers and Online Cachet; and the Winner Is…

The New York Giants generate more online buzz than any other National Football League team but garner just about the lowest local-TV ratings. Every grandmother in Cincinnati watches the Bengals when they're on TV, but the rest of the country doesn't seem to realize they exist. And then there are the Jacksonville Jaguars, who, no matter how you look at it, don't seem to have accumulated much fan support of any kind.
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Diane Fields for The Wall Street Journal
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE: A 1976 lunchbox shows some of the NFL's iconic team logos.
The NFL season begins Thursday night as the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints host Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings. This game will pull a national-TV rating that's huge by sports standards: If precedent holds it will likely outdraw most games of Major League Baseball's World Series.
But as prolific as the NFL has become in its ability to divert eyeballs to televisions, there are substantial differences in the relative popularity of its 32 teams. Everybody knows the Green Bay Packers have a devoted and frostbitten following, for instance, but what about the Atlanta Falcons?
In a first-of-its-kind study performed this summer, Nielsen Co., the media-research firm, developed a system for ranking the popularity of NFL teams based on each team's local and national TV rankings, how often they're mentioned on the Internet and how many visitors they attract to their official websites. The report, dubbed the Nielsen Sports Media Exposure Index, is the company's first attempt to classify pro-football teams in this manner.
Not surprisingly, the survey confirms that America's team is, in fact, "America's Team," as in the Dallas Cowboys. In the final ranking, they were a stunning 23% more popular than the No. 2 team, their old rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Giants were next, followed by three of the four teams in the NFC's North division: the Chicago Bears, the Green Bay Packers and the Vikings.
The Cowboys are on top in part because they're popular to begin with. Nielsen counted the total number of viewers of a team's national broadcasts from last season, rather than the average. So in most cases the more a team was picked to play in front of a national audience, the better it did. The Cowboys, who led the league last year with six national appearances, had a whopping 117 million viewers.
Bill Wanger, the executive vice president of programming and research at Fox Sports Media Group, says the Cowboys are among a handful of "national-appeal teams" that draw huge TV ratings no matter what market they're broadcast in. The Cowboys also were helped in the study by the massive amount of traffic their website draws—nearly 50% more monthly unique visitors than the second-place Steelers.
How the Cowboys Got to Be the Star
Brady's Bieber Hair and Other NFL Mysteries :
The latest NFL news and notes
Check The Daily Fix Thursday night for a live blog of the Minnesota-New Orleans NFL season-opener.
On the other end of the spectrum, five of the eight teams in the NFL's two West divisions are in the bottom 10 of the overall rankings. This includes the St. Louis Rams, who, on top of averaging an embarrassing two wins per year over the past three seasons, finished last in this report. They have the worst mark in two of the categories and were in the bottom six in the others.
"When you've won as much as we have recently, it's not surprising," says Kevin Demoff, the Rams' executive vice president of football operations and chief operating officer. But it's not as though the Rams are incapable of being popular. When they reached multiple Super Bowls a decade ago, "everybody in the city loved us," says Hall of Fame-caliber running back Marshall Faulk, who played on those teams.
The Nielsen report uses one year of data, but separate research from the past two decades has shown similar results. Harris Interactive, a New York market-research firm, has been asking respondents to name their favorite NFL team annually since 1992. The Cowboys came out No. 1 on 11 occasions in that poll and were never lower than No. 4. The Rams, since they moved to St. Louis in 1995, were in the bottom five on five occasions. The only teams that fared worse than the Rams were the Bengals and the Jaguars. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished next-to-last in the Nielsen study.
The Jaguars declined to comment. A spokesman for the Bengals said the team would likely perform better in these rankings next year, and a Bucs spokesman said the faltering Tampa economy likely played a large role in recent struggles to attract fans.

The study shows a winning tradition doesn't guarantee a large fan base. Two of the NFL's more successful and iconic franchises, the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers, finished near the bottom of the rankings despite owning a combined eight Super Bowl titles (representatives for the teams couldn't be reached for comment).
Despite the healthy rankings for the Packers and the Saints (No. 9), the study suggests being in a smaller media market presents some challenges. Five of the bottom 10 teams hail from Charlotte, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Tampa and St. Louis.
That said, it's not clear what to say about the New York Jets. (They finished No. 18).
Write to David Biderman at
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37  Genres of Film & Literature / Videogames / Re: Catch a glimpse of Michael Jordan in action in 'NBA 2K11' on: September 01, 2010, 11:35:36 am
38  Genres of Film & Literature / Videogames / Re: Catch a glimpse of Michael Jordan in action in 'NBA 2K11' on: September 01, 2010, 11:35:17 am
39  Genres of Film & Literature / Videogames / Catch a glimpse of Michael Jordan in action in 'NBA 2K11' on: September 01, 2010, 11:34:58 am
Catch a glimpse of Michael Jordan in action in 'NBA 2K11'
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  Recommend The virtual Michael Jordan is helped off the court in 'NBA 2K11.' The moment recaptures a game in the 1997 NBA Finals where Jordan battled a stomach virus during Game 5 to lead the Chicago Bulls to victory over the Utah Jazz.

CAPTION2K SportsPublisher 2K Sports has offered up some additional images and video of basketball legend Michael Jordan from their upcoming hoops simulation NBA 2K11.

Two modes tied to the Chicago Bulls superstar have already been revealed by 2K. The first is The Jordan Challenge, where players must guide Jordan through 10 classic career moments.

Once completed, players will unlock MJ: Creating a Legend, a mode where players can guide a rookie Michael Jordan toward a Hall of Fame career as a member of any current NBA team.

Check out the screenshots below for how Jordan will look in the game. 2K has also released a trailer with snippets of Jordan in action, as well as other players including Washington Wizards rookie John Wall and new Miami Heat star LeBron James.
40  General Category / Sports / And you sir, are no Michael Jordan on: August 18, 2010, 03:16:26 pm
And you sir, are no Michael Jordan
javascript:void(0); javascript:void(0);Doug Thonus on 08.17.10 at 6:00 AM | 160 comments |
Doug Thonus

Yes, I'm looking at you Kobe Bryant. I'm looking at you LeBron James. It's not your fault, the media screwed you both on this by bringing it up all the time, but in case there's any doubt, let me clear it up for you. You may be great, but you are no Michael Jordan.

For whatever reason the media loves to dust off the "is this guy better than Michael Jordan" talk every couple years with some guy who's clearly not better than Jordan. There's only two men who can rightly be compared to Michael Jordan. Wilt Chamberlain (the domineer of raw stats) and Bill Russell (the domineer of wins). They both lose, but you at least have some type of argument for either guy.

Before we begin, let me address the argument that because we're having a conversation about this that somehow it validates the idea. I had a conversation yesterday with my five year old where she told me I no longer need to go to work. She said she called my boss and made sure it's okay, and that he understands that she misses me too much. I asked what his name was, and she replied "barbecue".

Having a conversation doesn't validate in any way the contents of the conversation. If you've ever spoken with a moron (I assume we've all done that at some point) then I doubt you feel their thoughts were validated merely by being spoken outloud. The media are simply morons with this. Except they're not actually morons, they're shameless self-promoters trying to boost their ratings by attempting to prop up the players playing presently on their networks.

There are many ways to sum up this argument, and what makes it so simple is that Jordan wins all of them. That's why the case of comparing Kobe or LeBron is so absurd. Neither guy wins any argument against Jordan.

It'd be easy to close the book on where these guys are right now. There are so many open and shut ways to do so. I could say look at the rings. Look at the Finals MVPs. Look at the stats. Look at the league MVPs, defensive MVPs, any statistical or subjective metric etc... Those would all fairly simply prove the point Jordan is the best to ever play the game, and any rationale person would choose Jordan after hearing those arguments.

However, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to take it a step farther. I'm going to show you that no reasonable extrapolation of the rest of their career for Kobe or LeBron can ever put them ahead of Jordan regardless of how many rings they win from here on out.

That's right. If Kobe wins the championship the next three seasons or LeBron rattles off eight straight, neither guy is better than Jordan. They just aren't, and the rings if they come (which they probably won't in enough volume for either guy to pass MJ anyway) then it still won't matter. Jordan will still be the best ever.

So let's begin with fictional Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant has five rings right now, let's say the Lakers win three more rings to finish with eight, can he be viewed as greater than Jordan due to the rings?

Wait for it, because I'm about to go Robert Horry on your ass. Robert Horry was a key contributor for teams that won seven rings. No one considers Horry better than Jordan, Kobe, or heck, Karl Malone. Why? He wasn't the best player on any of those teams. Winning a ring is an accomplishment, but when weighing rings against the greats, it matters who you were in the pecking order when you won it.

Kobe Bryant won three rings as the second banana. Three more championships gives him at most five finals MVPs, and when looking at titles, you don't get credit for the ones you Robert Horry your way into as anything less than the best player on the team. If Scottie won a ring in Houston or wasn't robbed by the referees in Portland, then would he be better than Michael? 7 rings, key player on all seven teams? No. It'd be absurd.

Of his two finals MVPs, the second was almost by default, because he didn't really play that great in the finals in 2010. In fact, Pau Gasol had a higher PER than Kobe Bryant in the regular season in 2010. They have almost turned into a 1a / 1b type of option in LA similar to Kobe/Shaq. In fact, statistically, Pau has more of a case to being the Lakers best player last season than Kobe ever had over Shaq.

The problem for Bryant is that this isn't going to get better as he ages. In fact, it's highly likely that if the Lakers do win three more rings (an event I consider to have a near zero probability) that Bryant will not be the finals MVP three more times anyway.

On top of that, the statistical argument is too strong against Bryant. The amount of time in the NBA you could have possibly considered him the best player in the league is far too small. How many years in the NBA would you say there was no doubt that MJ was the best player? 6? 8? 10? In retrospect, it's probably at least 8. I'm not sure there's ever a season where Kobe's the undisputed best player, and there's certainly no where near eight such seasons.

Kobe's been no where near the clutch player that Jordan was in the finals either. He quit on his team in the playoffs once. He had a very mediocre finals on several occasions where a Jordan like performance would have easily won the ring. If Kobe was Jordan, given his caliber of play in the finals, he'd already have seven or more rings. He's not. Disregarding playoff stats, his regular season stats also fail to compare.

In short, Kobe's a great player, 2nd greatest SG of all time, but there is a noticeable gap in every area between him and Jordan, and even if he wins three more rings, unless his play radically improves (an unrealistic expectation at the age of 32), then he's got no hope of ever passing Michael.

Let's move on to LeBron. LeBron is more difficult to argue, because LeBron has so much career left. In fact, he'll only turn 26 this season. An age where Jordan had yet to capture an NBA championship. LeBron's career arc thus far resembles Jordan except that he came out three years younger. However, he's dominated the league individually without much help while yet to be able to win a title.

LeBron though, is about to add some jewelry. The problem with LeBron is that his help is too good. His team is too strong. I love Scottie Pippen to death, but Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are better than Scottie and Grant/Rodman. Wade was a finals MVP in his own right already, and is a legitimate year in and year out MVP candidate.

LeBron's cast may be so good that he may not even win the finals MVP. Is LeBron really the closer on this team? We've yet to find out. Much like Kobe, and much unlike Jordan, LeBron has also bailed on his team in a playoff series. He's quit. He hasn't shown the same level of utter commitment to get it done. I don't think he took the easy way out. While Jordan said he wanted to beat Larry and Magic, do you really think Jordan would have been upset if one of them was traded to the Bulls? He was always begging for help.

However, it didn't happen that way for Michael. The Bulls added good players, but he won his six titles as clearly the man. He was so much the man in his title wins, that few players have ever meant more to their team in a championship run than Jordan did to the Bulls. Hakeem is the only one who leaps to mind. LeBron won't have that.

That means his rings will be weighed out less valuable than Michaels. Can he win eight rings? nine rings? Anything is possible, but it's awfully unlikely. It would take an inconceivably good run in order for LeBron to win eight more rings in his career. Especially since Wade isn't going to hold up for eight seasons.

Ignoring the rings argument, can LeBron win a defensive MVP? Can he make 9 defensive first teams? Can he lead the league in scoring for 11 seasons? The thing about Jordan too is that he made these accomplishments in the majority of his seasons in the league. Jordan only had 11 seasons in his prime, losing one to injury, and two to retirement. Heck, of those 11 seasons, several were well past his prime, it's just that he was so awesome a past his prime Jordan still dominated the hell out of the league.

Even if LeBron can match some of Jordan's raw numbers in terms of awards (unlikely), he'll take 16+ seasons to do what Jordan did in 11. I won't be surprised if LeBron wins six rings. I won't be surprised if there is huge media hype that he's better than Jordan at that point, however, when we look back and measure who he had to do it with, how many years it took him, how he contributed in other areas, then a reasonable person will still look back at the pair and pick Jordan without blinking.

LeBron's already spent too much time to match Jordan's accomplishments in a similar time frame. He's too far behind the pace in too many areas. He's already put himself on an easier path. He's come close to living up to Jordan's stats, but he's fallen just short. In short, everything about LeBron so far is close, but he'll lose by a little bit in every category. Not as clutch, not as good a defender, not as good statistically, not as clearly dominant as Jordan, will need more talent to win, not as mentally tough, just not as good in every area.

His only hope is to win in terms of titles, but he's put himself to not be as important to his title teams as Jordan, and he'd still need to win seven titles to even be debatable in that one category while still losing in everything else.

Jordan may not be the greatest forever. There may come a day where someone dominates their era more so than Michael his, but it's not someone in the league yet.

So sorry Kobe, sorry LeBron. I'm sorry that you keep getting propped up in this conversation you can never win. Perhaps one of the only conversations that can be brought up to diminish your talents. That said, you're still no Michael Jordan.
Published in Miscellaneous and tagged chicago bulls, kobe bryant, lebron james, michael jordan
41  General Category / Sports / Bulls' Rose gives lowdown on Obama's game on: August 18, 2010, 03:05:18 pm
Bulls' Rose gives lowdown on Obama's game
August 13, 2010 11:45 AM | 6 Comments
 Staff report

Bulls guard Derrick Rose was among a group of NBA players invited to the White House recently for President Barack Obama's birthday party, and came away with this assessment of the Chief Executive's basketball skills.

"He's left-handed, he's not that quick," Rose told "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on WMVP-AM 1000. "He has his own swag about himself. He plays with a lot of confidence, I'll tell you that.

"It was really fun. He hit a game-winning shot one time. I could have blocked his shot one time, but I didn't want to get kicked out of the White House, so I let him shoot."

(Photo: White House / Peter Souza)
Rose likes the Bulls' offseason addition of Carlos Boozer and said he's looking forward to going up against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the rest of the new-look Miami Heat.

"It's going to be fun," Rose said. "I don't know about everybody else's team, but I think my team is ready for war."

Asked if he'd tried to recruit James to play for the Bulls, Rose said, "Really couldn't get in contact with him. My thing was that if he really wanted to come, he would have come, no matter what. He's grown, he makes his own decisions, and to him, he made the right decision. So everybody got to live with it. He has to live with it."
42  General Category / Sports / Re: Scottie Pippen in the NBA Basketball Hall of Fame on: August 13, 2010, 01:25:47 pm
Paxson: Pippen was very encouraging as a teammate

"The subtle things that he did so well-defensively helping his teammates, recovering out to guys offensively, making plays, being unselfish-those are things that teammates always recognize and noticed," John Paxson said of Scottie Pippen. "You always felt like Scottie had your back."

"When I first got the job as general manager, I really wanted to try and bring Scottie back," Paxson said of Pippen, shown above announcing his retirement. "I was hopeful more than anything that he would be able to put a stamp on our young players at that time. Scottie came in and did and said all the right things."
(Adam Fluck/Chicago Bulls)

Scottie Pippen | Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame | Class of 2010

By Adam Fluck | 08.12.10

Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson was a teammate of Scottie Pippen's for seven seasons, including the organization's first three championships in 1991, 1992 and 1993. Following Paxson's retirement, he joined Phil Jackson's coaching staff for one season, the 1995-96 campaign in which Michael Jordan and Pippen's Bulls finished with an NBA-best record of 72-10. He connected again with Pippen in the fall of 2003, when he signed the veteran to a two-year deal, giving the legend the opportunity to end his pro career where it began. Now, as Pippen returns for his third stint with the Bulls at team ambassador and enters basketball's Hall of Fame, Paxson recalls his illustrious career, the qualities that made him such a popular teammate and leading Chicago to 55 wins without Jordan in 1993-94.

What comes to mind when you think of Scottie, given you've seen him from the perspective of a teammate, coach and general manager over the years?

"I know a lot of guys have talked about the kind of teammate that he was, and it is dead on. Scottie was very encouraging as a teammate. He was the type of guy that if you weren't playing well, or you missed a few shots in a row or had your head hanging down, he was going to encourage you to look for your shot. That was really important for a lot of us because we respected him as a player, and as a person, for the way he approached the game and worked at his craft. The fact that he would encourage the majority of his time was a big thing for us."

When you talk about Scottie encouraging, is there a moment that comes to mind in the locker room or behind closed doors that the general public might not see or understand?

"I remember often in games, with me, if I was struggling with my shot, he would keep looking for me. He would keep saying, 'One's going to go down.' It's just how he was and that was pretty important for us. We all understood the pecking order, believe me. But to have one of your best players out there encouraging and wanting you to do well was always important. I've seen him in a lot of different lights. When I first got the job as general manager, I really wanted to try and bring Scottie back. Unfortunately, his knee wasn't in good shape as any of us would have liked to have him play. I was hopeful more than anything that he would be able to put a stamp on our young players at that time. We were kind of a disjointed group; guys that didn't necessarily care about the right things playing. This was 2003 and we had a lot of different young guys. Scottie came in and did and said all the right things. Unfortunately, that group wasn't ready to hear a lot of what he had to say. It's not a coincidence that most of the guys from that team weren't with us very long. Scottie said the right things and I was glad we were able to bring him back and he ended his career in a Bulls uniform."

Those qualities that you just mentioned, might they make Scottie a great coach someday if he chooses to go that route?

"I think so. I think that in coaching today, you have to be smart. There's no question about that. You have to have a balance between challenging and letting guys know that they're doing the right things out there on the floor. One of the underrated things about Scottie, always, is how smart he is as a basketball player and a basketball person. He can see things. In terms of decision maker on the floor, he was very, very good. Here's a guy that is 6-8 and for all tense and purposes was our point guard. He handled the ball, made decisions, got us into offense, and had to make plays to set us up. Scottie and I have talked about this over the years. A lot of guys who get out of the game need to see what life is like without the game for a while, especially the great ones. They got to see what it's like without the game. It's funny how they do tend to come back to it, because they know it so well and it draws them in. I'm personally thrilled that he's back with us in this capacity. It allows him to be around more and see where the organization is at. We welcome him in and I'm personally thrilled that he's doing something for us."

Touching on his basketball IQ, one place that really helped him out was on the defensive end of the floor. Did you ever play with a better defender in your time and how does he rank among the best of the best defenders?

"It's hard. Michael was a great defender as well. Scottie could probably defend more positions. Guys have an ability to defend on the ball which he can do, and he could defend point guards to some power forwards because of his length. But he's also a tremendous help defender. One of the things that made us good during that time, defensively-a lot of credit is given to the athleticism of Michael, Scottie, and Horace, which is true-was the fact that you have to be tied in as a defensive unit. Scottie was really, really good at providing help. He knew with his length where to play guys. He knew how much to give ground on the perimeter so he could be in position to help on post passes or penetration. Those are just things again that made him such a smart player. They didn't go unnoticed by his teammates. That's probably the biggest thing. The subtle things that he did so well-defensively helping his teammates, recovering out to guys offensively, making plays, being unselfish-those are things that teammates always recognize and noticed. You always felt like Scottie had your back. If you made a mistake somewhere on the floor, he was going to try and cover up for you. Like I said, those are things that all of us respected and appreciated about him."

In your final season, you have called it Scottie's defining year, which was also his favorite season. What did you see from him that maybe you hadn't before in the 1993-94 campaign?

"It was the first time he was in a position of leadership more on his own than any other time. Nothing really changed. What people don't remember about that year was that we got off to a real slow start. Scottie was hurt at the beginning of the year and we were 4-7 coming back at the end of an early trip. At that point, we were kind of disjointed because we were trying to incorporate [Toni] Kukoc into the lineup. I had a good view because I was hurt for most of the year. It was at that point that I think Scottie got in his mind, 'You know what? This is my team. I've got to lead.' And he did. It's really remarkable when you think about it. 55 wins is terrific. It became a 70-game season because we started off 4-7. That was really when mentally it kicked in for him. We always knew he could do it. I think the one thing I found interesting that year was that statistically, things didn't change much for him. He didn't look at it like he had to take on everything, and that's where teammates loved him. He had his best statistical year, but he found a way to make his teammates feel a part of it, reward them when they were open, and do all those things that he had done before, but not just in a little different role. So many people had written us off that year because we didn't have Michael. Everyone said that we were going to win 25-30 games. Scottie kind of said, 'Nope, it's not going to happen.' He led us to 55."

What was your experience like as an assistant coach as the Bulls went 72-10, seeing Pippen and the rest of the players from that role on the bench?

"Well, I knew who they were, what they represented, and how hard they worked. Nothing really changed. By that point, Michael and Scottie had to incorporate Dennis [Rodman] into the mix. That wasn't necessarily a real easy thing to do at the very beginning. I think that year that I was looking at the game a little differently, I had a greater appreciation for how good and how smart a player Scottie was. As a player, you can get caught up on your own and what you're doing out there. But when you're on the staff, you look at everything. I had a great appreciation going in that year, but it definitely grew watching them from a different seat."

Is it possible for you to think of Scottie without thinking of Michael, and vice versa?

"They are always going be linked, there's no question about that. Scottie went out on his own obviously to Houston and Portland, and had great years there. To have won six championships together in an eight-year span, they'll always be linked, no question."

You talk about the six championships in eight seasons; do you think there will be another team that can match a run like moving forward?

"It's possible. You never know in this business, but I wouldn't discount it, that's for sure."

In closing, what are your thoughts in general on Scottie as he's ready to enter the Hall of Fame this weekend?

"I'm thinking about when he first came here, and he was raw as a player. He wasn't as confident in front of cameras and the media. One of the great things I guess I can take with me as being so lucky to have played with him and Michael, I was able to see him develop as a player and a person. When he came into the league, he had these great tools like length and athleticism. One of the things I remember about his first year was that he had this gift of getting the ball off the board and taking it lengths of the court, but he had a real high dribble. He often times would come out of there like a colt, a defender would be there, and they'd take it away from him. As time went on, he obviously learned that he had to come out a little lower with the ball and make his plays that way. It was part of a learning process for him. I felt like I was able to see him grow so much as a player and as a person. I really am happy for him and proud that he gets to stand up in front of the greats of the game and accept being included. There's no question that he absolutely deserves it."

43  General Category / Sports / Re: Scottie Pippen in the NBA Basketball Hall of Fame on: August 13, 2010, 01:24:44 pm

Rodman: Don’t compare LeBron to Pippen
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Aug 13
LeBron James, given his size and remarkable all-around abilities, has been compared to Bulls legend Scottie Pippen before. The parallels became even stronger with James’ decision to join Dwyane Wade in Miami, creating a Jordan and Pippen-like combination in some minds.

But Pippen’s former teammate, Dennis Rodman, swiftly dismissed that notion on Thursday following an autograph session at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

“People talk about LeBron,” said Rodman. “You’ve got to understand, LeBron has no business even being in the same conversation with Scottie. Scottie was the epitome of the (do it all elite player). What do you want me to say? Scottie was great.”

Just as so many of his other teammates have regularly done, Rodman was only following suit for the player who garnered so much respect throughout his 17 season career and will enter basketball’s Hall of Fame Friday in Springfield, Mass.

“Scottie was supportive. Michael was like his big brother and I came in as the black sheep of the family,” Rodman said of his Chicago arrival in 1995. “I did my wild thing, but it was cool and we kept it together. Scottie was right in the middle of that team and he supported us all.”

In Rodman’s first season, of course, the Bulls were at their very best, starting the season with a 41-3 record and finishing with a league-record 72 wins. Following Horace Grant’s departure, Rodman was acquired by the Bulls in a trade for Will Perdue, who was sent to the San Antonio Spurs.

It was considered a fairly risky move adding the unpredictable Rodman, but under Phil Jackson, Jordan and Pippen’s umbrella, the player known as “The Worm” continued to do his thing. He turned in another season as the NBA’s best rebounder, averaging 14.9 per game.

Rodman actually was the league’s rebounding champion for seven straight seasons, from 1992 to 1998. While speaking at the Hall of Fame, he couldn’t help but make his case to eventually be enshrined with the game’s greats.

“I’ve had a helluva run. I think being here signifies that I should be in someday, one day before I die,” said Rodman.

Given his resume—five-time NBA champion, seven-time NBA All-Defensive First Team, two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and two-time NBA All-Star—the argument is certainly valid.

“It’s up to the people here,” said Rodman. “I don’t know what they’re going to do or what they’re going to put a scale on whether Dennis Rodman should be in with all of his off court antics. But look at the history of sports. You’ve had alcoholics in baseball, **** addicts in basketball. You tell me.

“Not to toot my own horn, but I think a lot of people in the community are probably a little envious because I’m such a showman,” Rodman continued. “I’d love to be in for my kids, mostly for them.”
44  General Category / Sports / Re: Scottie Pippen in the NBA Basketball Hall of Fame on: August 11, 2010, 01:24:45 pm
Grant: Pippen had the hunger to be great

"He loved the game and the team," said Grant of Pippen. "He was unselfish, but unselfish to a fault. We knew when he had the ball he was going to make a play and score or find the open guy. We had some great times."

No one ever will overshadow Michael Jordan and his brilliance that led to six championships. But it was the additions of Pippen and Grant that established the Bulls as contenders and it was Pippen's willingness to fill in every left over blank that became the missing puzzle piece for the Bulls' success. (Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.

Scottie Pippen | Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame | Class of 2010

By Sam Smith | | 08.11.10 | 10:45 a.m. CT

Horace Grant said he knew his buddy was destined for greatness. And if anyone really knew, it was Horace, who teamed with Scottie Pippen when they came to the Bulls together in the 1987 draft like Butch and Sundance, Damon and Pythias.

It was all about trust, loyalty and teamwork.

"We came to that first press conference when the Bulls were introducing us and we just hit it off," said Grant, whose friendship with Pippen became something of a legend around the Bulls virtually to the point of the duo doing everything together and even dressing alike.

"Both rookies, from small towns. It became sort of a security thing," says Grant. "Not because of danger, but we needed a friend. It wasn't a young team and you had Michael and he was such a big star already, so we just came together.

"Yeah, we always shopped together, too (they bought identical dogs, houses and cars and compared notes on what to wear to the games)," recalled Grant. "We'd go to Rochester Big and Tall and get the same clothes. But different colors."

Now you can color Grant proud as he'll see his buddy Pippen reach the ultimate in the sport when Pippen is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. Friday.

"Here we are rookies coming in to play against the best players and we have one of the best on our team and you don't know what to expect," said Grant, who now lives quietly in Northern California where he trains dogs and horses and does some basketball tutoring. "You make a lot of mistakes and you are not used to the criticisms you get at such a young age. So you need, in a way, a shoulder to cry on, someone to vent to and offer advice.

"But one thing right away about Scottie," said Grant. "He wanted to be one of the best at his position and felt he would be. He had that hunger. You knew he was going to be a great player even at that time because he was so sure and you saw the work he put in. The sky was the limit with Scottie because he was so gifted as a basketball player."

And Grant said everyone could see what he and his teammates did in the 1991 Finals when the Bulls won their first championship by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers.

"If I had a vote in that first championship for MVP it would have been Scottie," said Grant. "He brought his whole game and everyone could see. The way he played Magic (Johnson) and made him turn and turn and turn and made him work like that was the difference, especially after we lost the first game. And he averaged more than 20 points. I think he was our leading scorer when we won."

In fact, Pippen did score 32 points in the clinching Game 5 to lead the Bulls in scoring. He also led the team in rebounding in the series, and that Game 5 clincher was one of the truly amazing, if typically overlooked — given Pippen's history — great Finals games. Pippen also led both teams with 13 rebounds, had five steals and was 11 of 12 in free throws in breaking down the Lakers' defense. And with Jordan he shredded the Lakers' offense in Game 4 with an aggressive trap that held the Lakers to about 37 percent shooting in a rout.

Pippen, obviously, wasn't someone who went unnoticed with a series of controversies that Grant shared with him in long talks.

"Things happen, people make mistakes and I believe if Scottie didn't make some of them he wouldn't be the person he is now who matured," said Grant. "He learned from mistakes and grew up. He came to understand to be in the position he was in you cannot take nights off. And it wasn't easy being Michael Jordan's sidekick. He learned and did the things needed to be done to be successful.

"After I left the Bulls (for Orlando in 1994), I'd look up and see some of the controversies and think, 'Wow.' But other guys could not go through that and he grew up in the league," said Grant.

So the favorite?

Grant said it was that 1993-94 season.

"When Michael retired, Scottie became our leader and we were one phantom foul from playing Indiana in the Eastern Conference finals," said Grant. "And we beat them that season (4-1, including the last meeting in Indianapolis). That season showed his leadership and that he could carry a team. He had to step into that role and he did, and we were successful, more than anyone thought we ever could be. Everyone wrote us off, but we knew the kind of players we had and we knew how good Scottie was. I wasn't surprised at all."

No one ever will overshadow Michael Jordan and his brilliance that led to six championships. But it was the additions of Pippen and Grant that established the Bulls as contenders and it was Pippen's willingness to fill in every left over blank that became the missing puzzle piece for the Bulls' success.

Pippen defended; he passed; he shot when necessary, developing a reliable three pointer. And whether planned or not he took on his share of the pressure of success with his various controversies and survived and endured.

"He was the most popular teammate we had," says Grant. "You could laugh with him and joke and he wasn't the kind of guy who got mad. He was a fun teammate, fun to be around and always cared about everyone. If you had a problem, you could always talk it out with him. And he loved the game and the team. He was unselfish, but unselfish to a fault. We knew when he had the ball he was going to make a play and score or find the open guy. We had some great times."

45  General Category / Sports / Re: Scottie Pippen in the NBA Basketball Hall of Fame on: August 11, 2010, 01:21:15 pm
Myers: Pippen was the Jack of all trades
“The credit goes to Scottie,” said former teammate and longtime friend Pete Myers of Pippen’s induction to the Hall of Fame. “This guy came in as a raw athlete with a decent skill level and turned himself into one of the elite players in the league. Now he is being recognized as one of the best.”

It was at the end of the 1993-94 season, in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals as the Bulls faced the Knicks at the old Chicago Stadium, when Pete Myers had perhaps his most notable assist. Most fans know it simply as the “Ewing Dunk.”
(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

Scottie Pippen | Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame | Class of 2010

By Adam Fluck | 08.04.10

When Pete Myers first crossed paths with Scottie Pippen, Myers was a junior at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, while Pippen played for Central Arkansas just 20 minutes down the road.

One of Myers’ teammates grew up with Pippen in tiny Hamburg, Arkansas, population 3,000, and Pippen would occasionally join Myers’ group for pickup games in the summer. What they saw on the floor was a small taste of what was to come.

“He was the best player in the gym,” said Myers. “He may have been at an NAIA school, but his talent was superior to ours on a Division I team. He was a long athlete, the run and jump type. We were that type of team at Little Rock; we pressed all the time and played like UNLV did. Scottie couldn’t shoot all that well back then, but he had a very good skill level.”

"I never viewed Scottie as a guy who needed to score hoops to feel good about himself. That wasn’t his motivation," said Myers of Pippen. "He was always about wins and losses."
(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images)

Myers attempted to get Pippen to transfer and join him in Little Rock, but it didn’t work out. Little did he know, they would be teammates down the road at the next level.

Myers joined the Bulls for the 1986-87 season and the following summer, then General Manager Jerry Krause asked him for input on Pippen. Myers shared with him what he knew and on draft night, the team orchestrated a trade with Seattle to acquire Pippen. Along with the selection of Horace Grant later in the evening, the team’s core for the first three championships, with Michael Jordan on his way to becoming a seasoned NBA veteran, had been solidified.

“It was a shock to a lot of people,” said Myers of the reaction in Arkansas to Pippen’s rise to the NBA. “When you come from an NAIA school and get picked fifth in the draft, that’s huge. It’s hard to evaluate talent when you aren’t going against Duke, North Carolina or the other major schools with some of the best talent. It’s hard to get a true measurement.”

While Myers came in as a 23-year old rookie and played behind Jordan, the starter at small forward during Pippen’s first season was Brad Sellers. Training camp was much longer in those days—almost a month as opposed to less than a week now—so players had more of an opportunity to fight for a starting job.

“Over that period, I didn’t know when Doug [Collins, Pippen’s head coach for his first two seasons] was going to pull the trigger, but I knew then that Scottie was a better player,” said Myers of moving Pippen to the starting five.

In Pippen’s 79 games his first year, he didn’t start, averaging a modest 7.9 points per game in a reserve role. His minutes dramatically increased in his second season, from 20.9 as a rookie to 33.1 per game, as did his productivity (14.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game).

Myers ultimately ended up joining the Spurs for the 1987-88 season, but he returned to the Bulls for the 1993-94 campaign, when he was handed the unenviable task of stepping into Michael Jordan’s starting shooting guard spot following his first retirement. One might think the pressure was enormous with such shoes to fill, but Myers said it was the opposite.

“It was easy on me,” Myers explained. “I came to a team that had just won three championships and there wasn’t a lot of pressure on us. The big star had left, and it was like, whatever you guys can do, the city is going to appreciate it.”

That season, the Bulls proved there was life without Jordan. Pippen led his team to a 55-27 regular season record and Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In his best individual season, he finished third in the NBA’s MVP voting and was named the All-Star Game’s MVP.

“It gave us a chance to see Scottie in a different light—not as the second fiddle guy, but the head guy,” recalled Myers. “I thought he was outstanding. I used to go home and watch the games when they’d come on at 2 in the morning. He was just unbelievable. I never viewed Scottie as a guy who needed to score hoops to feel good about himself. That wasn’t his motivation. He was always about wins and losses.”

Pippen’s ability to affect the game on both ends of the floor propelled the Bulls to exceed expectations that year, said Myers.

“Scottie was the anchorman,” he explained. “He was the Jack of all trades and did everything for us—he rebounded the ball, made plays, and had assists to Steve [Kerr] and those guys to make sure they felt like they belonged. Defensively, he guarded on the perimeter and the interior. He did everything imaginable, which made everyone else’s job kind of easy.”

It was at the end of that season, in Game Six of the 1994 Eastern Conference Semifinals as the Bulls faced the Knicks at the old Chicago Stadium, when Myers had perhaps his most notable assist. Most fans know it simply as the “Ewing Dunk.”

“My body was turned, not facing the rim, but facing the backcourt,” said Myers of receiving a pass on a fast break from B.J. Armstrong. “I could see Scottie out of the corner of my eye sprinting down the lane. When I caught it, I just flung it to him. The great thing about Scottie, Michael and Horace too, is that they had some of the best hands in the business. They’re like baseball gloves. It wasn’t a great pass at all, but he was able to, in rhythm and fluently, scoop it up and take off.”

The end result was a monstrous dunk over the seven-foot Ewing that sent him to the floor as Pippen hovered above him.

As great of a play as that was for Pippen and the Bulls, Myers doesn’t feel it was Pippen’s defining moment. He points back to when Pippen's 29 points, 11 rebounds, and four steals led the East to a 127-118 victory at the 1994 NBA All-Star Game in Minneapolis.

Pippen and his red Nikes dazzled a capacity crowd of 17,096 at the Target Center, earning unanimous selection by an 11-member media panel as the game's Most Valuable Player. Pippen's 9-for-15 shooting night included 5-of-9 accuracy from three-point range.

“For a few years, Scottie didn’t get to start on the All-Star team because of Larry Bird,” Myers noted. “With Jordan out of the game, he was representing the Bulls, along with B.J. Armstrong and Horace Grant. I remember thinking there was a chance he’d get MVP. I know it’s just the All-Star Game, but when you can stand out among your peers, that’s always a defining moment. At that moment, he saw himself, if not being the elite guy in the league, then as one of the top two or three for sure. It ignited him and he came back after the break more focused and in tune.”

As Pippen prepares to join the game’s greats in the Hall of Fame on Aug. 13, Myers said it’s a fitting end for a star who worked his way to the top.

“Sometimes with an elite star like Michael, it’s hard to notice the others,” said Myers of Pippen’s Bulls career. “But Chicago really recognized that this guy, although maybe not as good as Michael, wasn’t that far away. We were blessed to see two stars on this Bulls team. The credit goes to Scottie. This guy came in as a raw athlete with a decent skill level and turned himself into one of the elite players in the league. Now he is being recognized as one of the best. That’s the ultimate and it’s where every guy when they first start out is trying to go.”
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