Archive for the ‘Chicago Bulls’ Category

robin-ficker-yelling

Because it’s August and nothing is happening in the NBA, NBATV Canada has been playing a whole bunch of old Chicago Bulls games, which came in handy when my wife flew home for a quick family visit and I was left with a weekend of time to fill. And while I’ve seen such legendary games like Game 1 of the 1992 Finals or Game 6 of the 1998 Finals what feels like a million times, I’m pretty sure I hadn’t watched such lesser known gems like Game 6 of the 1992 Eastern Conference finals and Game 1 of the 1993 Finals in 20 years.

It’s from the latter of those two games, Game 1 of the 1993 NBA Finals, that the following story comes from, via ESPN’s Page 2 from a million blog years ago:

[Robin] Ficker speaks from experience. He once irked then-Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson by reading out loud from Jackson’s basketball memoir, “Maverick.” During a game. While sitting behind the Chicago bench.

“Jackson said he was going to have the referees come over if I kept reading,” Ficker said. “What got him so upset, I don’t know. If he didn’t want to hear passages from the book, he shouldn’t have written it.”

At the request of Charles Barkley, Ficker even traveled to the 1993 NBA Finals in Phoenix, where he razzed Michael Jordan about a series of gambling allegations.

“Barkley got me a seat behind the Bulls bench, so I brought these huge playing cards, dice and a bunch of dollar bills,” Ficker said. “During the game, I’m dealing [Jordan] a hand and asking him what he wants to bet. And he’s turning around and holding up three fingers. It was fun.”

The best part, which isn’t mentioned in the Page 2 article, is that Ficker was ejected from Game 1 of the Finals so quickly that NBC already had footage of him being talked to and escorted from his seats by stadium officials midway through the first quarter. That is some serious heckling, if you screaming so much that you can’t even last 12 minutes of game action before you’ve angered someone so much that they insist on your removal.

But when you hear this quick description of Ficker, via USA Today by way of the DC Sports Bog, you’ll believe it.

“Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls threw a basketball at him. Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons threw a shoe. The Golden State Warriors, en masse, doused him with Gatorade. Former Utah coach Frank Layden spit on him.”

Yep, that’s the guy Charles Barkley decided to give an all-expense-paid trip to Phoenix to show up at Game 1 of the Finals and yell like crazy, which he did before being promptly kicked out for doing so. Oh, and the Suns lost that game too. Money well spent.

Be right back. Gotta build a real quick time machine so I can go back to 1997, forge Australian passport documents and then hang out with Luc Longley and the rest of the championship Bulls in Chicago. Can’t wait to finally meet Bill Wennington, duh, but also can’t wait to have my first Beef Wennington in almost two decades. Going to be a great trip.

(via Believe the Hype)

I can’t wait for the one of these that comes out 20 years from now, where we see Kobe Bryant wearing giant stonewashed jeans, faux military hats and a surprising amount of pastels, all while controlling one of the worst teams in the league when he’d rather be golfing. It might not be as exciting as this, but everyone loves a trilogy.

Part one after the jump.

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tony-snell-showing-off-uniform

With the dust mostly settled on this offseason’s player movement — and there was a whole lot of it this year — it’s time to take stock of all the fascinating new faces in new places, as well as the more compelling stories of players who will face new challenges while sticking around. Over the course of the next few weeks, Andrew Unterberger will do a team-by-team look at the most interesting players going into next season — one new to the team, and one returning — as we all try to pass the dog days of NBA-less summer, dreaming of hoops-filled months to come. The series continues today with the teams in the Central Division: the Bulls, Cavaliers, Pistons, Pacers and Bucks.

CHICAGO BULLS

Most Interesting New Player: Tony Snell

Not a ton to choose from here, obviously — it’s Snell, fellow rookie Erik Murphy, and reserve sharp-shooter Mike Dunleavy, now about a team away from officially reaching journeyman status. Murphy seems unlikely to make a huge impact, Dunleavy’s impact will be decent but predictable, but Snell intrigues me. From his play in Summer League, he looks a lot like budding Spurs star Kawhi Leonard, and I of course mean that in the most literal sense — with his dreads, tall but slight build, and expressionless demeanor, there’s probably not a better physical comp in the league for Leonard than Snell. But he also looks like he could maybe provide a good poor man’s facsimile of Leonard’s skills: solid three-point stroke (39 percent his final season at UNM), long and athletic wing defender (6-foot-7 for a nominal shooting guard), toughness to spare. We’ll see if it actually pans out as such, but from the little I saw, I was impressed.

In general, I was also impressed with the way the Bulls basically oriented their entire offseason around one simple strategy: improving their outside shooting. Maybe not all of Snell, Murphy and Dunleavy will end up being legit contributors to the team, but if two of them do, that’s a simple dimension added to the Bulls’ attack that simply wasn’t there last season, when Jimmy Butler and the departed Nate Robinson were the only outside threats of any consistency. Nothing too sexy, but you never know when an outside shot or two could make the critical difference in an Eastern Conference playoff game, even a whole series. Definitely better to have than not have.

Most Interesting Returning Player: Derrick Rose

Would’ve loved to say Jimmy Butler here, since I’m fascinated to see if he can continue the improvement of his breakout season and become the near-All-Star contributor I feel he might could be, but c’mon. There’ll be no bigger story the first month of the season — with the possible exception of Dwight’s first games in Houston, but I can certainly tell you which of the two I’m more excited for — than D-Rose’s return to the Bulls lineup after a full year’s absence. I practically had heart palpitations when they announced that the first TNT game this year was going be the Rose-led Bulls against the two-time-defending Heat — there might not be a better opening night matchup possible than those two old foes squaring off with both sides finally back at full strength.

Can a fully healthy Derrick Rose lead the Bulls past the Heat in the East playoffs? For now, I’m still pretty skeptical, but to have one more legitimate challengers to the throne — in a season where there are already one or two other credible contenders on the far side of the map as well — should certainly make things more interesting (and less depressing), for the regular season and beyond. I can’t wait.

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jimmy-butler-fashion

I probably never would have guessed that this was the case, but as it turns out, when it comes to fashion questionnaires in newspapers, the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler is one of the best interviews in the game. But check the facts revealed, courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times, and tell me this isn’t one of the best NBA fashion talks you’ve ever read.

  • He says he would never wear a Heat jersey, moving the Bulls-Heat feud forward in the smallest way possible while also guaranteeing that if he ever signs with the Heat in the next decade, someone will be able to bring this up and be like, “Gotcha.”
  • He loves “colorful pants” so much that he mentions them twice over the course of six questions.
  • J-But is also probably the first NBA player of recent vintage to come out in favor of cowboy boots. Considering he’s the NBA’s reigning Mr. Country, this shouldn’t be too surprising, but still.
  • Jimmy Butler says he “usually” doesn’t wear socks, but literally every time I’ve ever seen Jimmy Butler he’s been wearing socks.
  • He likes to have fresh breath nearly as much as he likes to have fresh earrings/colorful pants.

So there you go, five bullet points worth of why Jimmy Butler might be the best NBA interview about fashion yet. None of this “Guys need to tighten up their silhouettes and be adventurous” nonsense, just some straight-up “Hey, I love cowboy boots and colored pants,” which is a nice chance of pace, I think. At the very least, it’s nice to see what I am assuming is his prom picture.

(via Beyond the Buzzer)

en-noir-leather-bulls-shorts

Remember when 75 percent of the famous people at this year’s All-Star Weekend were wearing leather sweatpants and we all collectively thought, “This truly is the apex of leather clothing and the NBA. We’ve finally reached peak leather?” Well, we were all wrong, because a) look at these “Raging Bulls Shorts” from En Noir and b) read this product description:

RAGING BULLS SHORTS

Nappa leather
Applique raging bull style lines
RiRi zippers
Wax coated drawstring
Custom lace tips

Maybe you can’t tell from that picture up top or using context clues, but those “Applique raging bull style lines” are the exact same as the detailing that’s been on the Chicago Bulls’ shorts since their first season in 1966. Here’s a closeup.

en-noir-bulls-details

No Bulls logo, but these are basically Chicago Bulls leather shorts, which seems like something Carlos Boozer would really be in to. I’m not sure I’m going to drop the $1,250 to buy these — I get sweaty enough in non-leather shorts, so I have to imagine these would turn my crotch in to a rainforest — but it would be a pretty boss move to go to a Bulls game wearing leather Bulls shorts. I don’t know if you’ll automatically get courtsides, but you’ll look famous enough that it’s possible. At the very least, I bet you’ll get upsized to a commemorative stadium cup for free. Better than nothing.

Something like 50 million blog years ago during the blogazoic era, Derrick Rose vowed to return to the Chicago Bulls once he felt comfortable dunking off his surgically repaired left leg. That never happened during last season (even though it kind of happened during last season) but this summer HE IS BACK.

Just look at that elevation — his head is at the rim and he’s putting the ball between the legs before throwing it down. Sure, the rim he’s crushing on is only eight feet tall and almost every single NBA game is played on a 10-foot hoop, but still. At the very least, he’s ready to dominate a three-on-three league in La Grange that I played in a few years back. They’ve got 9-foot rims, but I have a feeling he can handle it. You’re next, full-size hoop.

(via TNLP)