29 Aug 2014 at 7:14am
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Jay Busbee takes us back to a day when a short man broke through basketball's height-prejudiced ceiling ... and kept on rising. Here's a story that ought to be a fairy tale, or maybe a children's book: The Little Dunker That Could. Or, from another perspective, The Sure Thing That Wasn't. Growing up in Atlanta in the mid-1980s, you didn't exactly have a banquet of exquisite sports options. There were the Braves, still years away from the start of their everything-but-rings dynasty. The Falcons featured the planet's most eligible bachelor in quarterback Steve Bartkowski ... and little else. The Hawks, though -- the Hawks had some promise. Though, as always seems to be the case with Atlanta, the Hawks' finest moments came when someone else was just a little bit better. Dominique Wilkins embodied and personified the 1980s Hawks. He would have been the most electrifying player in the league, were it not for Michael Jordan. He led a Hawks team that legitimately could have won at least one ring, were it not for the Boston Celtics. But 'Nique's not the whole story here. No, to get a sense of the frustrated potential of 'Nique, you only need look to his teammate, who at five-foot-seven literally played in his shadow. If Spud Webb didn't exist, high school coaches looking for a way to motivate their teams would have had to create him. Told all along that he was too short to play basketball, Webb just flat-out jumped over his critics and his doubters. He landed in Atlanta in 1985, more than a mascot, less than a credible threat. So it was no surprise that his decision to enter the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest was met with the kind of amused acceptance usually reserved for kids who say they want to be Batman when they grow up. Check out the crop of contestants at that year's showdown:
26 Aug 2014 at 9:32pm
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Prosecutors say former Chicago Bulls forward Ronnie Brewer has been sentenced to probation after pleading no contest to driving drunk in Beverly Hills.
26 Aug 2014 at 9:44am
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Kelly Dwyer takes a look at Randy Brown's throwdown over the Los Angeles Lakers. There was a time, young cats and kittens, when you had to work for this. I understand this will come off as a ?walk-two-miles-in-the-snow-to-go-to-school? story, but I?m actually of a generation that did leave me (in the vaunted winter of 1988) left to walk two miles to school just to learn how to write in cursive ? so I?m allowed to write with this furrowed brow. I?m also of a generation that left me, in the days before DVRs and League Pass, to tape every NBA game you could come across. With actual tapes. Oxide be damned, "Late Night with Conan O?Brien" episodes be saved, Marc Maron appearances on actual television shows (instead of tiny podcast downloads) to be respected. On one night, I nearly missed it. It was my mom?s night. My father is a chef, and six nights out of seven he prepped a fantastically brilliant dinner for us all. One night out of seven, though, he left the cooking to mom, no matter how late she came home from her work at a corporate gig with responsibilities that I still don?t fully grasp to this day. That back and forth between big business and misunderstood genius will never make sense to me, but what I did get out of it was solid-enough ground beef tacos from mom?s handiwork, spicy-enough chicken enchiladas, or, in this case, fantastic baked mostaccioli. Mostaccioli that I almost missed. It was 1996, DVRs did not exist and this 16-year-old was out of VHS tapes. It wasn?t so much that I needed to see Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Shaquille O?Neal and this cat named ?Kobe Bryant? play, it was that I need to tape every basketball game available to me because I don?t know why but let?s just tape every game to re-watch over and over during the summer and not ask questions because it might pay off later. My thoughts were almost entirely composed of run-on sentences back then. So, yeah, I should have had a license by then, but some things came up. I did manage to run down a few blocks to Osco to buy my usual brand of three-deep VHS tapes, and rush back to plop this brand of analog goodness into the machine. The machine produced a rough night out, initially. That Tuesday featured the NBA?s best defensive team giving up 72 damn halftime points to the damned Lakers, distracting me from junior-year homework that has absolutely no impact on my current profession (don?t do drugs or homework, kids) and wondering if I should renounce my profound love for one Nick Van Exel. Toni Kukoc started to get warm after that, though: He started to bring the Bulls back from 22, from 15, from whatever. Dude didn?t even start, didn?t matter ? Shaq, NVE, Eddie Jones and Jerome Kersey were the future of the NBA, and I was just some hopeless cat with a Robert Gordon haircut that was a few months removed from writing about basketball on the Internet (what a stupid endeavor!). Every loping lefty toss-in seemed to fly in the face of a Lakers team that expected differently by the first quarter. It was Michael Jordan who was supposed to lead a comeback. It was Dennis Rodman who was supposed to bury his face in Shaq?s left arm. It was Scottie Pippen who was supposed to get lucky. It was anyone but Toni Kukoc, that goofball that shouldn?t matter. Then it was Randy Brown, the only member of my hometown team who was actually from my hometown, that ? (You?ll have to excuse me.) (I miss my hometown, and I miss players like Randy Brown. Guys who can?t shoot to save their lives, but will never, ever, allow you to get past them on the other end.) (This is what Chicago is all about. Watch.) It?s a last-second spring, when nobody is expecting it. It?s a last push toward 21 by two, when the sun is going down and we don?t know if the lights are going to turn on. It?s a plunk right at the rim, because you can?t trust this backboard. It?s a left hand, when everyone expects a right hand and for Jane Byrne to clear the streets of snow and Harold Washington to make it past his second term. Michael Jordan dunked on Patrick Ewing a few times, Scottie Pippen did the same , Joakim Noah made me yell louder than I?ve ever yelled watching a sporting event while taking down Paul Pierce. I?m lucky. I?ve been able to grow up rooting for players that I love, teams I adore, and outfits that make me proud of my hometown. I also have the greatest job in the world, my world at least, and I?ll never forget that. Part of that job means watching basketball on a Tuesday in December, when the rest of the sporting world doesn?t care as much, and when the stakes seem to be low. Sometimes, though, there are people who care quite a bit. These people encourage followers who run down to a drugstore to buy VHS tapes, fans who turn an obsession into a living. And in a game with 252 combined points , one dunk will remind you of the two points that keep you coming back. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
25 Aug 2014 at 12:42pm
Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers will start at point guard for Team USA on Tuesday against Slovenia in its final tuneup heading into the FIBA World Cup.
25 Aug 2014 at 10:30am
Dick Bavetta retired last week after a 39-year career as an NBA referee. The longtime whistleblower did so in a relatively unspectacular fashion, considering his accomplishments, granting interviews to the league?s website and the Associated Press , hardly making a spectacle, and declining on turning the 2014-15 season into a year-long victory tour of sorts. A 40-year run would have been a tidy end to things, but Bavetta and his family decided that enough was enough. Bavetta?s extended family includes the hundreds of players and coaches that he?s worked with since 1975, a staggering crew that moves from the pre-ABA merger to the dregs of the drug years to the booming 1980s, the Jordan-dominated 1990s, and all the various bits of dynasties that have followed in the years since the fin de siècle. The combination of those last two realms would be typified by the 1998 NBA Finals, one that saw Michael Jordan on his last legs with the Chicago Bulls, working against a Utah Jazz team that seemed ready to establish a mini-dynasty of its own while using a group that included Jordan-aged superstars and younger contributors. Down 3-2 in Game 6, the Jazz saw a Howard Eisley three-pointer waved off and a Ron Harper two-pointer waved in by Bavetta. In the days before instant replay, the in-the-moment calls held up, even though it was obvious from the Standard Definition outset that both weren?t the right call. Watch: That?s a five point swing in a game that would end with a one point Bulls victory. Had Utah prevailed, it would have taken two in a row against Chicago and earned the right to play for the championship at home, where the Bulls would have lost four of six in two combined Finals? if the Jazz would have taken Game 6. Game 7 would have been played with an aching and/or drugged up or even inactive Scottie Pippen, working through major back woes, as well. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, a former Bull coach and the first Bull to have his number retired as a player, still holds no ill will for Bavetta?s role in possibly denying him his only NBA championship ring. From Brad Rock at the Deseret News : ?I think everybody has a chance of missing calls; nobody bats a thousand in this league, in coaching as well. But I think his interest was in doing the best he could for the league and everyone involved,? Sloan said. ?I never felt anything malicious about the calls. After the game was over and you see what?s going on, they do a pretty darn good job.? [?] ?I think you?ve got to put it behind you and go about your business. To be so concerned about something like that ? you have no control over it whatsoever ? so you just have to hope your team gets the benefit of the doubt,? Sloan said. That?s a pretty high-minded approach, as Sloan has more than earned the right to be a little cranky about those lost five points. In the modern NBA, official replay rules would have soon overruled those calls (though not after Jerry Sloan would have absolutely lost his mind on the needlessly-long review process on the most obvious of High Definition replays), and Michael Jordan would have had to dig deeper into his bag of tricks in order to pull out a win. (People can bitch about this all they want, but Michael Jordan?s off arm ? with his entire body and ball moving the opposite direction and with all the momentum going the other way, was not enough to push the 6-6 and 220 lb. Bryon Russell to the ground. Jordan had been turning the corner and going hard right on Russell all evening, rarely pulling back for the jumper that topped off his Chicago career, and Bryon got shook. Get over it.) (But Russell fell dude and his hand was on him!) (Get over it.) (Jerry Sloan has.) Enjoy your retirement, Dick Bavetta. Don?t be a stranger. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
25 Aug 2014 at 8:06am
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports? Puck Daddy recalls the night Shaquille O?Neal tore down the backboard against the New Jersey Nets in April 1993. Growing up as a New Jersey Nets fan in the late 1980s/early 1990s was a bit like being Turtle on ?Entourage.? Vinny Chase played over in MSG, and all the pretty people wanted to hang with him. Turtle played in a cavernous, personality-deficient building in a swamp, suffering through attendance challenges so severe that the team?s midweek ticket deals amounted to, ?No, seriously, we?ll pay you to see the Nuggets.? But just as Turtle was only tolerable because of those he associated with, the Meadowlands would only come to life when someone of greater renown came to town: the Knicks, the Celtics or Jordan, for example. Then the crowd would become myself, my father, about 50 other fans who remembered Otis Birdsong, and roughly 19,000 people there to watch the other guys. I?m reminded of that roundball cuckolding every time I view Shaquille O'Neal?s infamous backboard-demolishing, shot-clock-dislodging dunk from an April 23, 1993, Orlando Magic victory over the Nets. It?s the way the lower bowl of fans come to their feet after he brings down the backboard. It?s not in a ?Hey, wow, never seen that before? way; it?s in a ?YES, MAN-CHILD, DESTROY THE TEAM I?M SUPPOSED TO HAVE A GEOGRAPHIC DISPOSITION TO ADORE! TURN THEM TO ASH!? My father and I were at this game, in the nosebleeds. (As he?d remind you, he?s not made of money.) I remember being in awe of the moment. I had seen backboards shattered before ? the Nets? own enigmatic Chris Morris broke one at the Meadowlands once ? but never even conceived that the whole damn basket could be brought down. I mean, the shot clock hitting your back on a dunk ? what?s that, 70 points in an MTV Rock N' Jock game back in ?94? But that was Shaq. Even as a rookie, he was a force of nature. Certain athletes literally change the game. Jordan did. Tyson did. Lemieux did. And Shaq did, with that mountainous size and preposterous power. I always felt it was perfect symbolism that Michael?s shoe logo had him soaring from the foul line and Shaq?s had him hanging from the rim . Of course, the best dunks have co-stars. And in this case, that accomplice was Dwayne Schintzius. Best known for ? the most carefully crafted mullet in NBA history ,? the late Schintzius (he died in 2012 after a battle with leukemia) played eight minutes in that game against the Magic, backing up the immortal Sam Bowie at center along with Rick Mahorn. In just his third NBA season, Schintzius had already honed his role as the goofy tall dude that fans chanted for during garbage time. (See also: Dare, Yinka, for Nets fans.) Look at the way he challenges Shaq! And look at the way Shaq just dunks through his hands like an SUV going through those floppy dangling rags at the car wash ? This was like watching Tyson knock the snot out of Peter McNeely. Which, come to think of it, was most nights sitting at the Meadowlands around that time. More from BDL's Dunk History series: ? John Starks, the Chicago Bulls and 'The Dunk' ? Tom Chambers rising like a Phoenix and taking orbit as a Sun ? Taj Gibson starts the break, then breaks Dwyane Wade ? Joakim Noah makes Paul Pierce a memory ? Baron Davis unloads on Andrei Kirilenko, moves beyond belief ? Michael Jordan embarrasses, like, all of the Knicks
24 Aug 2014 at 4:12pm
Everyone knew the Minnesota Timberwolves needed to trade Kevin Love. The face of the franchise played six seasons in Minnesota without a postseason appearance. On the face of it, the Wolves had little leverage. So owner Glen Taylor, President Flip Saunders and general manager Milt Newton had to convince the sharks circling around them that they didn't HAVE to trade Love.
23 Aug 2014 at 12:37pm
(Reuters) - The United States team will travel to Spain without some of the sport's biggest names to defend their title at the Basketball World Cup after a selection process described as one of the "most difficult" in recent years. With marquee players LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love opting out of selection and All-Star Paul George hurt, the U.S.
23 Aug 2014 at 12:54am
Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard was among the final players cut.
22 Aug 2014 at 5:39pm
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Sports Illustrated Longform . Chris Ballard's full feature on Kobe Bryant transitioning into the end stages of his career went live today, so enjoy spending your weekend poring over it. PF : Bucksketball . Giannis Antetokounmpo's two-dribble dunk for Greece earned headlines on Thursday, but as K.L. Chouinard notes, this isn't exactly a new trick for the Milwaukee Bucks' rising sophomore; in fact, Giannis does this sort of thing pretty frequently. SF : Canis Hoopus . Good stuff from Key Dae on the state of Andrew Wiggins' game as he enters the NBA, where he figures to be able to make an impact early and where he's got to do an awful lot of work if he's to become the sort of franchise-leading superstar that the Minnesota Timberwolves hope he will be. SG : Bright Side of the Sun . A very thorough tape breakdown by Kellan Olson of just how good Eric Bledsoe looked when slotted in alongside Goran Dragic for the Phoenix Suns last season. PG : Chicago Tribune . David Haugh on the relative calm with which the Chicago Bulls, USA Basketball and the NBA ? everyone but Bulls fans, really ? took Derrick Rose's soreness-induced rest earlier this week. (Rose is expected to be in the lineup with Team USA takes on Puerto Rico in an exhibition at Madison Square Garden on Friday.) 6th : Hang Time . And yet, while coach Mike Krzyzewski made clear after Wednesday's exhibition win over the Dominican Republic that he's not worried about Rose, John Schuhmann wonders whether the U.S. can afford not to take an extra point guard given the uncertainty surrounding him, and what that might mean for the rest of Team USA's roster configuration. 7th : Silver Screen and Roll . James Lamar on what Julius Randle should be looking to take from Carlos Boozer as the rookie and veteran share reps in the Los Angeles Lakers' frontcourt. 8th : Liberty Ballers . Jake Fischer bids farewell to the soon-to-be newest member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and one of the few bright spots in a dim era of Philadelphia 76ers basketball: "? throughout that constant drab, Thaddeus Young was the perennial glimmer of hope, the workhorse that refused to give in to the status quo." 9th : SB Nation . James Dator chats with Roger Huang, the sculptor who gave us "Achilles," or, as it's been referred to colloquially, "That Sculpture of a Naked Kobe Fighting A Snake." 10th : Statitudes . A fun thought experiment from Justin Kubatko: If pros had been allowed to represent their countries in the Olympics before 1992, who would have made up the 1964 U.S. "Dream Team?" - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.
22 Aug 2014 at 1:05pm
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Kevin Kaduk , overlord of these here Yahoo Sports Blogs, celebrates Scottie Pippen's ravaging of Patrick Ewing during Game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference semifinals. I heard my favorite dunk in basketball history hours before I ever saw it. It may seem a crazy notion in this age of pirated live streams, sanctioned apps and instantly distributed GIFs, but there was a time when there were actual barriers to watching NBA playoff action as it unfolded. Laptops were a rarity. Tablets and smartphones were more than a decade away. Heck, even simply being in a suburban Chicago home with a television set didn't guarantee you a chance to see the dynasty-era Chicago Bulls play each and every game. Back in 1994, roughly 37 percent of American households didn't own a cable subscription. Among them were my neighbors, who had two boys who needed a sitter (e.g., me) from time to time. It was a good gig in that I loved playing goalie in their endless games of driveway hockey and getting paid a few dollars an hour for it. It was not a good gig in that it provided no way to watch Game 6 of that spring's legendary Eastern Conference semifinals between the Bulls and New York Knicks. And so, with Scottie Pippen and the Bulls facing elimination after the "Hue Hollins game" at the Garden, the three of us settled in front of the stereo and tuned in Neil Funk and Tom Boerwinkle's call on 670. There have been plenty of odes written to the pleasures of baseball on the radio. Listening to football in the car is acknowledged as an acceptable substitute if you're on your way home from church or running out to pick up food. Listening to a basketball game, however, remains an underrated joy. Without the static starting points of baseball and football plays, the exercise forces you to use your imagination a lot more for basketball's free-flowing action. And unlike the chaos of hockey, the sport's playbooks provide just enough definition that you don't have to do all the heavy lifting. Listening to a basketball game on the radio remains a decent way to quicken a long drive or provide company while cleaning a garage. On that day, though, we did nothing but sit and listen. We didn't have to create any tension or sense of drama on our own as Funk began to call the action with his clipped cadence. " Scottie ... ahead to Horace... kicks out to Toni ... Kaboom!" "Starks ... into Ewing .. Six-footer ... And the Bulls lead is down to four." The noise from condemned Chicago Stadium ? which needed two Bulls victories to delay the old building's shuttering ? was constant through our speakers, though you could sense a certain reserve for much of the first half. The Bulls and Knicks had faced off the previous three springs, with Michael Jordan and Co. prevailing in each alley fight. Now it was Chicago being put to the test, its streak of three straight titles hanging in the balance. While it wasn't the same team with Jordan shagging flies in Birmingham, the enthusiasm around Chicago remained high, and the thought of elimination at the hands of New York caused just as much dread. Pippen had stepped out of Jordan's shadow to lead the Bulls to 55 wins and a first-round sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers with an MVP-caliber performance. (He'd finish third in Most Valuable Player voting, behind winner Hakeem Olajuwon and runner-up David Robinson.) Number 33 in red and black remained the center of attention in the Knicks series, for better or for worse. His 1.8 seconds of pouting at the end of Game 3 marred his reputation (even with Toni Kukoc nailing the game-winner in his absence) and he rebounded with a 25-point, eight-rebound, six-assist effort in a Game 4 win that tied the series. Pippen was then involved in one of the most debatable fouls in NBA history, as Hollins blew a late whistle on the Bulls forward, sending Hubert Davis to the line for two free throws that put the Knicks on the brink of advancing to the conference finals. There was no way the Bulls were going to close the old Stadium with a loss, though. We sat and listened as they took an early 6-4 lead in Game 6, and then built on it as the free-throw advantage turned the Bulls' way on their home court. Chicago built an 11-point halftime lead, but their inability to close out the games at Madison Square Garden still left a nagging feeling the Bulls might blow it. Until it happened. I wish a simple Internet search would call up a replay of Funk's call of the action ? you can hear the TV call with Johnny "Red" Kerr in the clip above ? but if a version exists online, I've yet to find it. That's OK, though. I can still remember the roar that came through that speakers, a rush of noise that painted a clear picture. Pippen had just come off a fast break to dunk over Patrick Ewing in the lane, and the 18,676 fans lucky enough to be at Chicago Stadium threatened to send it into orbit, where it'd definitely avoid the wrecking ball. The Bulls lead had reached 17, the series was going seven games, and it was already clear we'd be talking about this dunk for the rest of our lives. *Indeed, there were several articles written when the 20th anniversary of Pippen's dunk rolled around on May 20. It'd take until the evening news for me to see a clip of the dunk, but those of you with the ability to watch from home knew what immediately followed. Pippen came down over Ewing, forcefully pushing him to the ground with a shove that drew a technical. He then marched over to Spike Lee, had his say with the roadtripping Knicks fan and proudly strode the other way. Meanwhile, the cathartic roar continued through those speakers. It was like nothing I'd ever heard before, and maybe since. At some point, I realized that all three of us were standing. The boys hopped up and down. I felt the need to call someone. I didn't, because there was no way I could stop listening to that stereo. In years to come, replays of the dunk and pictures would familiarize me with every little detail. From the quick passes of B.J. Armstrong and Pete Myers to reading Scottie's lips in his exchange with Lee ("Sit your a** down!") to appreciating the just-before-it-happened looks of the other players in the frame of Nathaniel Butler's poster-worthy photo. Seriously, does it get any better than this?
22 Aug 2014 at 12:05pm
In the early 1970s, the Chicago White Sox decided to put a live and televised microphone under broadcaster Harry Caray as he led the Comiskey Park faithful in a previously-un-broadcast seventh inning rendition of ?Take Me Out to the Ballgame.' That tradition carried over to Wrigley Field when Caray began calling games for the Chicago Cubs, and the process was turned over to a rotating cast of celebrities when a heartbroken city learned of Caray?s death in 1998. Chicago Bulls rookie Doug McDermott is the latest amongst those celebrities to take to the mic, and on Thursday evening he ? well, he did not acquit himself well to the faithful. Whether or not you want to listen is your own call: Summers without Harry Caray are like hell without ice cream. I was born and raised in Chicago and I?m not a Cubs fan, but nothing will ever match listening to that man calling a game for a team that will probably end its season with 80 wins, with Vance Law?s glasses manning the hot corner. I respect the fact that the Cubs continue the tradition of letting stars both big and burgeoning lead the Wrigley crowd in the middle of the seventh, but sometimes you?re going to have some clunkers. McDermott, coming off of a fantastic NBA Summer League performance, is one of those clunkers. Still, he?s to be credited for trying, and as someone who has gotten the yips in preparation for singing in front of a crowd of 50, it?s understandable that this young man would have a few issues belting this song out in front of over 30,000 people . It?s not Doug?s gig to sing, though. He?s in town to hit 24-footers, and all indications point to him being perfectly suited to work that role. We can?t wait to see him work as a Bull. Doug, still, do yourself a favor, new Chicagoan, and hit the Hot Doug?s line before Chicago?s other favorite Doug hangs it up for good. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
22 Aug 2014 at 10:00am
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Kelly Dwyer revels in Michael Jordan doing terrible things to John Starks, then Charles Oakley, and then Patrick Ewing during Game 3 of the first round of the 1991 Eastern Conference playoffs. The New York Knicks weren?t the enemy yet. The Detroit Pistons? They were the enemy. The Cleveland Cavaliers remained a hated foe, and out West, it seemed as if the Portland Trail Blazers would become the enemy. In the end, it turned out that the Los Angeles Lakers would be the enemy, as well. The Knicks? There had been some fearsome regular-season back-and-forths in the five years prior, and there was always going to be intrigue present after Chicago dealt an admittedly better and younger player (power forward Charles Oakley) to New York for a player they badly needed (center Bill Cartwright) in 1988. A deal that resulted in this 8-year-old throwing a pillow at a lamp in his parents? den, knocking it over and breaking it. The 39-win, pre-Pat Riley Knicks, though, were not the Bulls' enemy in 1991. They were a fitful team still struggling to find an identity in the post-Rick Pitino era, perpetually featuring a starting point guard battle and doing all the Knicksian stuff that you?ve come to know and that New Yorkers have come to fear over the years, like dealing a first-round pick to Portland for Kiki Vandeweghe?s last legs. No, the Knicks weren?t the frightening outfit that would win 51 games and take the Bulls to seven games in 1992 under Riley, or post more regular-season wins than Chicago the year after. They weren?t the same team that downed the Jordan-less Bulls in 1994, or gave Chicago perhaps its toughest consistent postseason challenge in the 72-win season of 1996. They were coached by an interim lifer named John MacLeod, they had lost the first two games of a best-of-five first-round series by a combined 51 points, and all signs pointed to Game 3 of the first-round pairing as a bit of a mercy killing on the Knicks? home floor. One last poor showing before Riley came aboard and ended clowntime. Before that happened, though, Michael Jordan clowned all over Patrick Ewing?s face: The complete and utter fooling of Oakley and John Starks ? two of the more intelligent and active defenders of the era ? is enough. To then rise over the conference?s best big man after expending quite a bit of energy in putting Oakley and Starks in the blender is almost unfair. Jordan likely knew Ewing was around, but Ewing had every right to believe that he?d be able to wipe Jordan?s shot out at the rim after watching him feint and twirl and cross over some 17 feet from the basket. It should have been his. Nothing, for Ewing and for the Knicks, ever was. That isn?t to say that the Knicks didn?t go on to scare the ever-lovin? wits out of Bulls fans like me. By the time Chicago moved past the Knicks in 1992 and 1993, or even in 1996 as Chicago went on to play an ill-prepared Orlando Magic squad after slugging it out with the Knicks, the ensuing opponents felt like pushovers by comparison. My father noted as much at the time, pointing out that it felt like the Bulls were up at the plate swinging freely after spending a series against the Knicks in the on-deck circle, warming up for an at-bat with three bats loaded with heavy bat doughnuts. Baseball analogies abounded in the Dwyer household, and we said the word ?bat? a lot. It was a real home run. Jordan scored 33 points with seven assists and six steals in this Game 3, as Chicago went on to win the game by nine, the series in a sweep, and eventually the franchise?s first title. The Knicks went on to get their act together, and promise themselves that this would never happen again. Even in defeat, it didn?t. Nothing came easy in New York after this. More from BDL's Dunk History series: ? John Starks, the Chicago Bulls and 'The Dunk' ? Tom Chambers rising like a Phoenix and taking orbit as a Sun ? Taj Gibson starts the break, then breaks Dwyane Wade ? Joakim Noah makes Paul Pierce a memory ? Baron Davis unloads on Andrei Kirilenko, moves beyond belief ? The joy of hearing Scottie Pippen posterize Patrick Ewing More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
21 Aug 2014 at 7:04pm
Team USA point guard Derrick Rose expects to play in Friday night's game against Puerto Rico in New York after sitting out Wednesday's exhibition to rest his knees.
21 Aug 2014 at 6:31pm
It?s an intelligent, age-old trick. Any time the whiff of criticism or even worry is in the air, you can attempt to devalue its presence by making a hyper-reach and devoid the issue of any context. NBA commissioner Adam Silver is a very smart man, and he recently did as much in discussing the issue of NBA player ?sacrifice? in relation to the camp, exhibition, and FIBA World Cup commitments this summer. With Derrick Rose having been shelved due to body fatigue and Paul George already out for what should be the 2014-15 season after badly breaking his leg in a televised scrimmage, Silver addressed reporters on Thursday about growing fears and criticism that points toward what some have criticized as a needless tournament. Via Marc Stein at ESPN, here are Silver?s thoughts : "It is a big risk without enormous financial reward," Silver said when asked about a sentiment shared by outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban during a "Commitment to Service" news conference to discuss a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense at Madison Square Garden. "But I am sitting next to our highest ranking military official," Silver said of General Martin Dempsey." I'm almost embarrassed to be talking about the risk that our players face compared to what our men and women in uniform face." Come on, guy. Mr. Adam Silver-guy. This is akin to Phoenix Suns management bringing up how comparatively little firefighters make in their negotiations with frustrated restricted free agent, because they?re the real heroes, y?know? Perhaps this is just an instance of Silver feeling ashamed in the moment , catching himself mid-answer and pointing out that, yes, it is silly to call Derrick Rose?s turn playing basketball under five-star settings ?a sacrifice? with a decorated military official sitting a few feet away. If that?s the case, though, and you know these questions are coming? Don?t share the stage with a decorated military official, and don?t call your back and forth with reporters a ?Commitment to Service? news conference.? There?s a way out of such embarrassment. Silver went on to remind that Team USA?s band of brothers were a volunteer army ? OK, he didn?t state it like that, I?m paraphrasing, but it is true that Rose, George and others want to be on this team, and they want to make this particular sacrifice because it?s still fun to play with great players and compete at a high level in August and September while ably representing your country. Silver also rightfully pointed out that American-born NBA players aren?t the only ones also competing in this tourney, as Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies fans were fearfully reminded of when Pau and Marc Gasol got into a skirmish in a ?friendly? match between Spain and Ukraine on Thursday. Those other teams and players won?t feature coaches wearing polo shirts on national TV with a shoe company?s logo stretched out to the same length of the Team USA logo, prominently featured and inescapable. Those other teams aren?t providing the league?s highest-rated television partner (we love you, NBA TV, but your matinee Spain/Ukraine games don?t count) with content during the dregs of the summer. And those other teams, formidable though they may be, aren?t the ones promoting the NBA?s brand of ball overseas this summer. As it was in 1992 with the Dream Team, a move credited with enhancing both the sport and league?s popularity across the globe. That was the first thing Adam Silver brought up, as he should, when Mark Cuban criticized the NBA?s agreement with the International Olympic Committee, and FIBA : "The [International Olympic Committee] is playing the NBA. The IOC is an organization that has been rife with corruption, to the point where a member was accused of trying to fix an Olympic event in Salt Lake. The IOC [pulls in] billions of dollars. They make a killing and make Tony Soprano look like a saint. "The pros in multiple sports are smart enough to not play when they are eligible free agents. But teams take on huge financial risk so that the IOC committee members can line their pockets. "The greatest trick ever played was the IOC convincing the world that the Olympics were about patriotism and national pride instead of money. The players and owners should get together and create our own World Cup of Basketball." Cuban vacillates between talking up the good health and well being of NBA players and more typical revenue concerns of his ? the NBA doesn?t get the same exposure (and actual cash) that the international bodies, that shoe company, ESPN and Duke University will take in, and Mark wants the league to set up its own tournament that sees the league taking in the actual profits. Oh, and, the whole thing about allowing teams to pull its players from any tourney for reasons that would go beyond the ?reasonable medical concern?-tag that is already in place. That?s not going to happen any time soon, not with that shoe company, Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Jerry Colangelo, and the IOC still lording over their sweetheart deal. Silver has mentioned twice this summer that the role of international play will be brought up in this November?s NBA Board of Governors meeting, but the tone and eventual impact of those discussions remains to be seen. Silver also relayed Larry Bird?s early-in-the-proceedings quote about Paul George?s injury on Wednesday evening, reminding us that these sorts of injuries can happen any time ? whether it?s at an NBA practice facility with full staff managing the goings-on, a Team USA scrimmage, or Nick Young firing up 30-footers in some summertime tourney. Bird and Silver are right, and Silver was correct to point out that if players were going to practice and/or participate in any tournament at any point during the summer, the best choice would certainly be to do so in full view of the Team USA coaching and medical staff. We?ve been lucky, outside of George?s injury, that NBA seasons haven?t been plagued with players still smarting from a late summer stint on a national team. Manu Ginobili sprained his right (jumping) ankle during the 2002 World Championships and it stayed with him for the duration of his entire (championship) rookie year, but he wasn?t even a technical member of the San Antonio Spurs at the time. Playing international ball just about every summer for a decade gave Toni Kukoc a nasty case of plantar fasciitis in the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons, but that was a different era. There were a spate of player injuries to former Athens Olympics NBA athletes during the 2004-05 season that some writers attributed to their time spent in Greece, but the connection to those injuries and the Games was tangential at best. The most severe of which, Richard Jefferson?s season-ending wrist injury, occurred when he was undercut by Chauncey Billups near the basket. These things build up, though. Most can agree that the NBA?s regular season is too long, but few (not including myself, I kind of like watching LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki go at it twice a year) actually want the season shortened. It would be nicer if the NBA debuted its season earlier in October so as to allow for more time between games and a proper All-Star break , but the league seems pretty steadfast in not attempting to go up against the baseball playoffs. Good for TV rewards, to be sure, but maybe not as much for the league?s players ? who are getting faster and stronger while being asked to do more and more. What LeBron is doing right now (four straight years in the Finals, a harried exhibition schedule, international play tossed in the 2012 offseason) is just about unprecedented, and though no medical licenses hang on our walls, and a faulty air conditioner was to blame, one couldn?t get away from thoughts about James? workload as he sat on the sidelines with cramps in what at that time was the most important game of his NBA career. It?s a delicate, tricky situation. There is no direct line between international play and NBA athletes eventually breaking down; but that?s just as of the summer of 2014. International exposure is good and the NBA is far from at saturation point in that realm, but it?s not needed nearly as much as it was in 1992. Stars like Kevin Durant have the option to pull themselves out citing fatigue, but a move like that brings needless criticism ? one national writer (whom I won?t link to, because it was a clickbait piece) that was hired by both the Associated Press and ESPN to be their lead NBA reporter at previous stops, bashed the 2014 MVP for in the writer?s estimation choosing endorsement possibilities over national pride. We don?t want basketball to stop. On Wednesday night I had to watch a rain-delayed baseball game and actually interact with my children, for heaven?s sake. This unholy but wonderful mix of emerging young talent, returning stars, and a player in Derrick Rose looking to start it all over again has been wonderful to behold, even with all those shoe company logos everywhere. Just one guy has been injured, and though the setback will turn an entire franchise (and fanbase) on its ear, that?s just still one guy in 22 years of the NBA encouraging its players to represent their country. The process by which we build these teams, though, needs a revisit. And Adam Silver can?t insult smart questions by hiding behind the cloak of those whose sacrifices were much greater as he ponders change. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
21 Aug 2014 at 11:30am
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Eric Freeman remembers Baron Davis's detonation on Andrei Kirilenko in the 2007 Western Conference semifinals. Some basketball teams gain a reputation as boom-bust outfits, squads that either fail spectacularly or win with impressive vitality. In many ways, the 2006-07 "We Believe" Golden State Warriors were a stereotypical boom-bust team, but this group was special, because their best moments went beyond merely impressive basketball and took on an air of outright invincibility. In their now legendary (in the circles I travel in, at least) first-round dismissal of the 67-win Dallas Mavericks, Don Nelson's team didn't just play with a confidence that belied their underdog status ? they overwhelmed Dirk Nowitzki and Co., dictating the terms of the series to degrees we usually only associate with title contenders. Whether they just had a particularly favorable matchup or briefly reached a legitimate championship level is up for debate. At their best, these Warriors made onlookers know they were in control. Those who merely believed were late to the bandwagon. If the Mavs series served as the moment of ecstatic revelation, then the following conference semifinal against the Utah Jazz proved a test of that certainty. Two opening late-game losses in Salt Lake City put Golden State in a hole, although they had played well enough to win both and seemed in decent shape heading back to a presumed gargantuan home-court advantage at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Nevertheless, there was a sense that the Warriors had to show that they were still the team that inspired such passion against Dallas, that band of marauders who could sweep aside any opponent and take wins that hadn't previously appeared to belong to them. Game 3 rewarded those who had remained Warriors zealots. In a game that was essentially over by halftime, the Warriors made 15 3-pointers, forced 23 turnovers, and won 125-105. The crowning highlight was the play that has since eclipsed most other memories of the series ? Baron Davis's dunk on Andrei Kirilenko. The most vicious acts of posterization carry a fundamental indecency. They endure not just because of great feats of athleticism, but because there is a sense that the dunker has sized up the dunkee and essentially robbed him of his pride and good name. I don't want to claim that Baron's dunk is especially more indecent than all others ? the Dunk History series has and will feature plenty of contenders ? but it must rank fairly high on the list. For one thing, it came at a point in the game when the Warriors' best players arguably shouldn't even have been on the floor. (Golden State's lead hadn't dipped below 15 points for more than 25 minutes of game time.) On another level, the physicality of the dunk itself involved Davis brushing aside Kirilenko, provoking a metaphor and making it literal simultaneously. A lot of players drop defenders to the floor with dunks, but Davis actually pushed Kirilenko in the face ? I've heard plenty of claims that it should have been an offensive foul ? as a (possibly unintentional) dismissal. Then, to top it all off, Davis raised his shirt to show he was wearing a girdle, or at least something that looked like one, which gave the whole play a vaguely self-deprecating but really quite arrogant comic showmanship. The dunk is impressive enough to excite anyone unfamiliar with the "We Believe" fervor or the specifics of Baron Davis's career. But it's pretty much impossible to appreciate it fully without those contexts, because the play had the characteristics of a climax even when it didn't look like a conclusion was coming within the next week. That was particularly the case for Davis, a stupendously talented point guard who had earned a reputation as a very good player who nonetheless looked unlikely to reach his incredible potential. At UCLA, Davis burst onto the seen as arguably the most athletic point guard of all time, tore his knee in the NCAA Tournament as a freshman, and returned as a sophomore with slightly less bounce but enough awe-inspiring ability achieve many of the amazing highlights in this clip (my favorite basketball mix on YouTube, incidentally). His NBA career up until 2006-07, his eighth season, was decidedly mixed, with enough high points to deem it a success but several criticisms, including the dreaded "coach killer" tag, doing enough to bar him from unquestioned stardom. The first few weeks of the 2007 postseason made it clear that the ideal Baron Davis had finally arrived, even if it wasn't entirely clear how long he would stay. Against the Mavericks, he was quite simply the best player of the first round, a do-everything point guard with enough talent, verve, and miraculous shot-making to make the Warriors' largely unwarranted confidence look prudent rather than arrogant. Even when the team lost, like in Game 2 against the Jazz, Davis was impressive enough to reward faith that he would carry his team to more victories. The dunk on Kirilenko was the clearest manifestation of his dominance, a statement of force in a game that was already a blowout. In the moment, it wasn't absurd to believe that Davis was capable of anything. He wasn't, obviously, because the Warriors lost the next two games in the series ? including Game 4 in Oakland, a fairly shocking result given their play at home up until that point ? and were eliminated from the playoffs. Whatever the "We Believe" team stood for was to be short-lived. If we take basketball history to be written by the victors, then they'll only ever occupy a few short paragraphs of the NBA chronicles. But more personal histories can tell us a great deal about the importance of specific events, and in that case the team meant a lot to anyone who wishes to see basketball pushed to its extremes. When Baron Davis dunked on Andrei Kirilenko, "We Believe" reached its apex. It's almost irrelevant that it didn't stay at that peak for more than a few days. A flash of brilliance can inspire more joy and awe than years of steady success. More from BDL's Dunk History series: ? John Starks, the Chicago Bulls and 'The Dunk' ? Tom Chambers rising like a Phoenix and taking orbit as a Sun ? Taj Gibson starts the break, then breaks Dwyane Wade ? Joakim Noah makes Paul Pierce a memory ? Michael Jordan embarrasses, like, all of the Knicks ? The joy of hearing Scottie Pippen posterize Patrick Ewing - - - - - - - Eric Freeman is a writer for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @FreemanEric
20 Aug 2014 at 11:29pm
NEW YORK ? Here's what we learned during the U.S. men's national basketball team's 105-62 pasting of the Dominican Republic in an exhibition tuneup for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, now just nine days away : ? James Harden (12 points, four assists, three steals in 16 minutes) will see a lot of the ball with the first-team U.S. offense, and he will attack a lot, and he will shoot a lot, as befits a man of his confidence ; ? Anthony Davis (seven points, four rebounds, two blocks, one steal in 16 minutes) has quickly gone from end-of-the-bench mascot on the gold-medal-winning 2012 Summer Olympic team to indispensable interior cog, barking out pick-and-roll coverages on the back line, drawing attention everywhere he directs his increasingly massive frame on offense and profiling as the lone sure-thing American big; ? Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (19 combined points, 4 for 8 from 3-point land) can shoot; ? The U.S. is considerably better than a Dominican Republic side playing without star Al Horford. If none of that strikes you as particularly revelatory, you're not alone. The U.S. has two more exhibition games coming up ? vs. Puerto Rico back here at Madison Square Garden on Friday, and against Slovenia next Tuesday after crossing the Atlantic and heading to Spain ? and still has some questions to answer as the coaching staff looks to cut a 16-man roster down to 12 before opening pool play on Aug. 30 against Finland in Bilbao, Spain . Hmm ? sorry, what was that, Coach? "We like to use the term 'not selected,'" Mike Krzyzewski said during his postgame press conference. Ah. My bad. To "not-selected" the roster down to 12. Those hoping that a friendly matchup with a Dominican side led by NBA veteran Francisco Garcia and former Louisville star Edgar Sosa would indicate whether the U.S. offense is better than the start-and-stop unit on display for most of the Brazil game, and would help clarify the U.S. coaches' upcoming roster decisions, likely came away from Wednesday's contest feeling like the matter remained clear as mud. That's due in part to the sheer disparity in talent between the two clubs making it hard to perform sober analysis of how well the U.S. actually played, and in part to several impressive performances by players on the much-discussed U.S. fringes. DeMar DeRozan bounced back from a "did not play-coach's decision" in last Saturday's exhibition victory over Brazil by scoring a team-high 13 points on 6-for-9 shooting, dishing six assists and grabbing five rebounds with just one turnover in 23-plus minutes. The bulk of DeRozan's work came after halftime, long after the game had become a laugher, but the Toronto Raptors guard refused to take his foot off the gas. "If you play four or five or six minutes, you have to play as hard as possible," he said . DeMarcus Cousins seemed to take a similar approach after staying seated on Saturday against Brazil as a precautionary measure. The Sacramento Kings center grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in just under 16 minutes, banging on the interior against Dominican bigs Eloy Vargas and Jack Michael Martinez, running the floor hard on offense without grousing about a lack of touches (just two points on one attempt) and looking none the worse for wear after going down with an injury during Team USA's Chicago workouts . Andre Drummond, a healthy scratch against Brazil, turned in an active performance against the overwhelmed Dominicans. The Detroit Pistons' center scored 12 points in 16 minutes, grabbing four offensive rebounds, throwing down an impressive alley-oop finish off a feed from DeRozan late in the proceedings and even trying to intercept a pass for a putback on the very last possession of the game. "Drummond is a young guy, and it showed right on the last play, where he tried to get a steal," Krzyzewski said. "As long as he's on the court, he's trying to do what we want him to do." Team USA ratcheted up the defensive intensity early, finishing with 10 steals and forcing 19 Dominican turnovers that led to 23 U.S. points. When the likes of Garcia, Sosa and guard James Feldeine were able to beat the U.S. guards off the bounce and get to the middle off pick-and-roll and dribble handoff actions, Team USA's superior length, quickness and athleticism enabled them to force awkward, heavily contested looks that limited the Dominican Republic to just 62 points on 34.3 percent shooting. On the other end, the U.S. frequently got just about whatever it wanted, shooting 57.9 percent from the field, 10 for 23 from long distance, and turning it over just 13 times. Even that last number didn't especially trouble Coach K, who noted after the game, "Most of our turnovers are on attempted lobs for dunks. They're not sloppy passes. We're maybe a little bit too unselfish, and we don't know each other that well yet." With Derrick Rose a late scratch on Wednesday, Kyrie Irving stepped into the starting lineup at the point and performed admirably, scoring 12 points on perfect 5-for-5 shooting, dishing five assists without a turnover and pulling down four rebounds in just under 16 minutes. While Irving did make some mistakes , he played a more aggressive brand of perimeter defense than we're accustomed to seeing from him, and showed comfort working off the ball as a spot-up shooter on a couple of occasions when one of his mates was handling the rock. "I just try to do whatever's needed for our team, whatever it takes to get out there on the court," he said after the game. "If that takes me picking up full court, then I'm going to do it. [...] It's a sacrifice I need to make in order to be on this special team." Given how sharp the U.S. offense looked with Irving at the controls and Krzyzewski's praise of Irving's ability to work at either guard spot ("Kyrie can get anybody a shot any time, and he can score"), it seems increasingly likely that Irving will "be on this special team." We might not be much closer to knowing just who will join him, though. Harden, Davis and Curry are lead-pipe locks. Irving seems to have sewn up a spot, as have Thompson and apparent new starting power forward Kenneth Faried, who seems at home as a board-crashing, full-court-pressing, turnover-creating four man, even if he can't really shoot. Kyle Korver seems a good bet, despite not playing Wednesday and getting only three minutes against Brazil, because he's such a well-known quantity and because he can really shoot. "Kyle's a specialist, you know, one of the top 3-point shooters and a veteran," said Krzyzewski, who noted that Korver will likely return to the lineup Friday against Puerto Rico. "He doesn't even have to play and we know who he is." The U.S. staff feels the same way about Rose, whose absence was well noted by an MSG crowd that chanted his name several times throughout the exhibition.
20 Aug 2014 at 9:20pm
Derrick Rose heard the fans chanting his name, and yes, he would've loved to give them what they wanted. ''Just trying to protect myself, just knowing that this is a long, long schedule and this is the most basketball I'll be playing in two years,'' Rose said. ''I want to be out there, but at the same time my health is the No. 1 issue right now.'' With Rose sitting out, Kyrie Irving started and made all five shots, scoring 12 points as the U.S. James Harden also scored 12 in limited playing time for the Americans, who used their subs for most of the second half.
20 Aug 2014 at 9:08pm
The United States hammered the Dominican Republic 105-62 in a basketball World Cup tune-up at Madison Square Garden in New York. Wednesday's lopsided contest gave US coach Mike Krzyzewski a prime opportunity to tinker with his star-studded lineup. He was without Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, who was a late scratch after returning to the game for the first time in eight months on Saturday in an exhibition win over Brazil in Chicago.
20 Aug 2014 at 7:00pm
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose was held out of Team USA's exhibition game Wednesday night against the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden in New York as a late scratch.
20 Aug 2014 at 3:31pm
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Kelly Dwyer revisits Joakim Noah making a meal out of Paul Pierce during the first round of the 2009 Eastern Conference playoffs. If you stick with the game long enough, and your team long enough, you?re usually rewarded with a couple of different generations? worth of highlights. If your fandom sustains, the cookin? ain?t greasy and your squad's on the right side of both luck and execution, the highlights can play out in varying, wonderful contexts. Watching Michael Jordan win a couple of Slam Dunk Contests was thrilling in the moment, but they were taken in by a kid who could barely write in cursive at the time. Those 3.9 seconds that John Paxson left on the clock in Phoenix were fretted over by a kid still learning his way around a guitar fretboard. Championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998 were celebrated with fist-pumps and laps around the basement den by a young adult who was just starting to figure out that he wouldn?t mind writing about this game for the rest of his life. Jordan retires, families grow old and often apart, and the kid?s got to get his stuff together. The Chicago Bulls have to rebuild, and they?ll pay the price for most of the next decade. You?re now legally allowed to buy beer, and your gut pays the price for most of the next decade. You get a girl, she comes with some kids, and you get a place of your own. And, if you?re lucky, you once again get a team and player of your own. Joakim Noah, for me, is that player. And he plays on my team. I?m very lucky. It wasn?t always easy for me, my team, and Joakim Noah. He was drafted to a Bulls team in 2007 that had made the second round of the playoffs the year before, taken in the lottery as a response to Isiah Thomas? obsession with Chicago native Eddy Curry. What seemed like the perfect rookie slot on an up-and-coming team turned into an outright nightmare in 2007-08, though, as the Bulls performed terribly on both ends, and Noah was treated as a whipping boy of sorts after he chided some laughing veterans on the Bulls bench during a loss (nothing wrong with that) and argued with respected Bulls assistant Ron Adams (nothing cool about that). The bad-luck streak in dancing school changed a bit as the year moved along. The Bulls were somehow able to find a taker for Ben Wallace?s contract in a trade, which gave Joakim a proper mentor in Brad Miller while afforded starting status to Noah, who, even with his rookie quirks, was still outplaying the indifferent Wallace. Then the Bulls shot up eight slots in the 2008 lottery, allowing them to draft Chicago native Derrick Rose with the top overall selection in that year?s draft. The team also hired Vinny Del Negro to coach, because you can?t win ?em all. The next season was designed as a holding pattern as the team celebrated backing into a franchise player in Rose, who won the Rookie of the Year that season. Chicago finished at .500, understandable for a young team still figuring things out, but possibly an underachievement considering the level of talent and sound veteran helpers (Miller, John Salmons and Ben Gordon and don?t laugh they were actually pretty good then) the rotation boasted. By the time the team hit the first round of the playoffs, they were expected to act as a road bump of sorts for the defending champion Boston Celtics, even if the C?s were working without Kevin Garnett. Rose and the Bulls caught a still-sleeping Boston squad on the first matinee game of the 2009 playoffs, with the rookie scoring 36 points to go along with 11 assists, and Noah contributing 17 boards and three blocks. The younger Bulls lost the next game, just barely, but after a blowout Boston win in Game 3, things seemed to have righted themselves. Chicago roared back to take Game 4, though, in a double-overtime battle. Boston hung on to win a disputed Game 5 at home, in yet another overtime classic. With Game 6 pitched back in Chicago, with the Bulls? backs pushed up against the proverbial wall, Joakim Noah helped me make some memories of my own: I didn?t see this one in my parents? basement, or in a living room I had to share. This was in my house, my living room, on my TV, with my Latrell Sprewell-styled air punches thrown and me not giving a rat?s ass if I woke up my kids who were trying to sleep in the next room. My favorite player on my team, going nearly coast-to-coast and fouling out the other team?s best player along the way. Putting these Bulls up three points (after the foul shot) in triple overtime and forcing Celtics coach and Maywood, Ill., native Doc Rivers into a state of despair. This is my memory, something I?ll never forget, and something Joakim Noah was perfectly suited for. This was a center going 79 feet after slapping a steal away from a swingman. This was a center who in no way resembled the mythical ?low-post scorer that we can dump the ball into? that my father continually asked me if it was possible to deal for. This was a guy who worked his way through the lows of 2007-08, coincidentally being suspended by the team on the same day of the lowest point of my professional career, who later developed into my absolute favorite type of player ? a slick-passing big man who knows how to move his feet. Chicago went on to lose the series two days later, and turned in yet another .500 effort and first-round exit next season. Cap space and Tom Thibodeau resulted in Chicago managing the league?s best record over the next two seasons, but injury and LeBron James denied the Bulls a chance at the title. The last two seasons have been spent in purgatory while Rose recovered from two different severe knee injuries, possibly placing undue stress on the heretofore indefatigable Noah, who will turn 30 midway through 2014-15. The Bulls restocked again over the summer, Rose is healthy again , and the team figures to be one of the NBA's more intriguing outfits heading into next season. If things go wonderfully, they could make it past LeBron, into those Finals, and bring a title back home to Chicago. Because I?ve been blessed in my employment, I?ll be there to watch it happen in person. I?m glad I didn?t go to the United Center to cover Game 6 of the first-round match-up between Chicago and Boston in 2009, though. I?m glad I got to celebrate that moment in my own, grown, way. By acting like a giddy child all over again. More from BDL's Dunk History series: ? John Starks, the Chicago Bulls and 'The Dunk' ? Tom Chambers rising like a Phoenix and taking orbit as a Sun ? Taj Gibson starts the break, then breaks Dwyane Wade ? Baron Davis unloads on Andrei Kirilenko, moves beyond belief ? Michael Jordan embarrasses, like, all of the Knicks ? The joy of hearing Scottie Pippen posterize Patrick Ewing More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
20 Aug 2014 at 1:01pm
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge ? the smash-hit viral video campaign aimed at raising awareness of and money for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease ? has captivated an awful lot of people over the course of the past couple of weeks, and the NBA world has been no exception. A slew of hoops-related luminaries, from Team USA through LeBron James and Commissioner Adam Silver and beyond, and now, it has reached the rarefied air of Air Jordan himself: Michael Jordan. After being nominated by soccer legend David Beckham , and Jordan Brand athletes Ray Allen and Derek Jeter , the Chicago Bulls legend and Charlotte Hornets owner faced the music in a video released Wednesday: We loved you for your vertical leap when you played, M.J., but would it have killed you to go horizontal for the video? C'mon, man. Jordan aimed pretty high with his challenges, calling out his former head coach and current New York Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson, as well as his teammates from "The Dream Team," the U.S. men's national Olympic basketball team that changed the face of international hoops by dominating at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Among Dream Teamers, only Jordan, Larry Bird and Chris Mullin have already completed the challenge as of press time. (Press time! In a story like this!) I'm sure the Turner Sports crew will come up with something wonderful for Charles Barkley's pay-up, and I can only hope that John Stockton and Karl Malone are able to link up on an appropriately pick-and-roll-themed ice bath. However the other members' entries play out, two things seem certain ? first, that every other Dream Teamer will mercilessly tease Christian Laettner's submission, and second, that Jordan will hold Patrick Ewing's job as the Hornets' associate head coach in the balance if he even thinks about declining. Then again, few folks have ever needed an ice-down as much as Patrick , so maybe he'll welcome it. The campaign has been a monstrous success, with the ALS Association reporting Sunday that there have been "about 260,000 new donors" responsible for "$13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year, according to the New York Times . After a few more big days, including the single most successful day in its 30-year history , the organization tweeted Wednesday that it received a whopping $31.5 million between July 29 and Aug. 20. Pretty sensational news for those who struggle with or have been affected by this terrible disease. (If you'd like to donate to the ALS Association, you can do so here .) More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.
20 Aug 2014 at 10:29am
Luc Longley's stories are better than yours. After more than a decade away from the game, Crocodile Longley is back in the basketball spotlight as an assistant coach for an Australian national team hoping to make noise at the FIBA World Cup. Aussie publication "Inside Sport" caught up with Longley , and he reminded us all why his stories are the best. For those unfamiliar with Longley, the 7-foot-2 center was discovered by New Mexico coach Gary Colson in Perth, Australia, averaged 13.4 points and 7.0 rebounds for the Lobos and was drafted No. 7 overall by the Timberwolves in 1991. After a few unsuccessful seasons in Minnesota, Longley was traded to the Bulls, for whom he served as the starting center during the second of Michael Jordan's three-peats. The legend of Longley, though, was born in Chicago, where he missed two months of the 1996-97 NBA season for separating his shoulder while bodysurfing on a road trip with Bulls teammate Jud Buechler off Hermosa Beach, Calif. When he arrived in a sling, Longley told the Los Angeles Times he'd injured it fighting a shark ? " He was bigger than me ? and better looking " ? before conceding the truth. After another trade sent him to Phoenix for a trio of players and a first-round pick that later became Ron Artest, the legend of Longley continued. In April 2000, he played through a pair of scorpion stings ? one to his foot and the other his buttocks ? suffered while sitting on the floor of his Arizona home sorting his CDs . As he told the Tucson Citizen, "I could just see the injury report: Ass bite." So, when a career-ending ankle injury sent Longley packing back to Australia 13 years ago, the world was robbed of a great basketball storyteller ? save for the time he purchased the rights to name a newly discovered shrimp species after his teenage daughter Clare Hanna on eBay in 2009. See what I mean? Fear not, for Big Red has returned in midseason form as a 45-year-old assistant on the same national team he led at age 19 to its highest ever standing, a fourth-place finish at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. On a serious note, as relayed to "Inside Sport," Longley learned his basketball career was over as a member of the Knicks while living in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, which is a pretty crazy story in itself. "We just decided to head for Australia. At that stage there were no commercial flights, so we boarded a friend?s jet and put the parrot and the dog in that. We stopped at Chicago to drop the parrot off with my mother, dropped the dog off with a restaurant partner of mine who liked the dog, then we hung out in LA for a couple of days and organised a Qantas flight home. We landed back in Australia around September 15th or 16th." Outside of a one-day trip back to New York City to undergo an X-ray on his ankle, Longley didn't return to the U.S. for more than a decade. In between, the legend of Longley has grown down under. "Um, about five years ago my house burnt down; that was pretty freaky. I had separated with the mother of my daughters by that stage. My girlfriend had only just moved in. The lot went. She literally had nothing and I had nothing, so we started again. We ended up marrying. She?s a high-school buddy ? was in a band called the Jam Tarts, who were very popular when we were young. I used to go watch her play. Anna (cooking TV personality Anna Gare) and I ended up with a ?Brady Bunch? ? two kids of mine and two of hers. Now they?re all off at university, so we?re going to pack up the camper and head down south." This story is wild for many reasons, the least of which is the fact he married a woman who once fronted an all-girl band named the Jam Tarts and now makes a mean vegemite sandwich . Truth is, Longley is selling himself short here, since he reportedly saved his girlfriend, kids and a couple friends from the fire that claimed much of his Bulls memorabilia , except for his three championship rings . Longley also touched on his recent experience with Australian basketball ? admitting the Boomers still don't know if Dante Exum will participate in the World Cup; respectively dubbing future stars Ben Simmons and Thon Maker as potentially better than this past June's No. 5 overall pick and "in the Kevin Garnett mold"; and describing his native country's approach to basketball as "blood-thirsty." And this bit about returning to the game as a coach is fun in an Aussie accent: " I?m glad that I got caught up in it because I think it?s something that?s good for the game, having the older guys around with the younger guys and having that cross-pollination of knowledge and youth; you can get a bit of gold out of that." Then, there's Longley's wonderful description of the evolution of basketball since his retirement. "Probably the glaring difference is the lack of ?monsters?; it?s not such a scary movie anymore. A lot of the monsters are smaller and more agile. When I say monsters, I mean the big guys. I was effectively a monster, but a monster with small teeth. ... There were plenty with big teeth ? the Ewings, the Shaqs. There?s just not a lot of those around anymore. They try to say that Dwight Howard is the current version of the old-style monster, but I?m not buying that. A lack of monsters means the floor is more spread; there?s less interior defense. The game seems to have sped up and got more athletic as a result. Some of the 'bigs' are really becoming what we call 'stretch-bigs' ? they can stretch the floor and hit threes and that sort?ve thing. We have a couple on our national team ? David Anderson is one of the early prototypical stretch-bigs in Australian basketball. That?s how he got a job in the NBA ? the game started moving that way. Chris Anstey was definitely a stretch-big. Me on the other hand? Not a stretch-big. Maybe it?s time for me to coin the opposite of stretch-big: big hairy monsters." And of course no Q&A session with Longley would be complete without a fantastic Jordan story. "We were playing Detroit and I came out on fire in the first half. I think I had 17-18 points, half-a-dozen rebounds, a couple of blocks ? playing like an All-Star. For the first time ever, because Michael was very cautious with his praise, he came into the locker room high-fiving me, slapping me, hugging me, saying, 'Man, you play like that, we?re going to win the world championship. That?s awesome! You?re an All-Star. Why don?t you play like that every day? I knew you had it in ya.' Anyway, so we went out for the second half ... and I finished the game with exactly the same stat line as I had at half-time. I had a terrible second half. We came in after the game ? we?d won. When everybody else was happy to be winning, Michael was furious. He said, ?Luc, I am never, ever going to say a nice thing about you again.? It demonstrated how Michael thought that because he said something good ? Like, it had nothing to do with Michael, really. It was me playing the game. I just drew a couple of fouls and didn?t play as well and didn?t get my opportunities. He was true to his word; never said anything nice again." As always, Luc Longley's stories are better than yours. More NBA coverage:
19 Aug 2014 at 5:46pm
Longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta is hanging up his whistle after 39 years.
19 Aug 2014 at 3:02pm
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Andy Behrens of Roto Arcade recalls the time he watched Taj Gibson posterize Dwyane Wade's very soul during the Chicago Bulls' win over the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the 2011 Eastern Conference finals. To be perfectly honest, I'm not even sure that Taj Gibson's dunk on Dwyane Wade was even the best jam of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals ? that title might belong to Derrick Rose's unholy, ruthless assault on Joel Anthony . But Gibson checked all the boxes on the list of things that make for a stellar in-game dunk. First of all, the play began with Taj forcing a turnover that led to a three-on-one, so the right guy was rewarded with the highlight. The break developed beautifully: deflection, outlet, one dribble, pass, DEVASTATION. Adding to the greatness of the dunk is the fact that the victim in this instance was, at the time, one of the five or six greatest players on Earth. And then we have the incredible thoroughness of Wade's foul ? this wasn't some cheap blow-by and-1. Wade committed something like four separate infractions on the play, none of which achieved the desired result. He thwacked Taj's left arm, his face, his right arm and his body ... and none of it mattered. Gibson crushed it, then delivered the classic flex/scream post-dunk celebration, then hit his free throw. Just perfect. You know a dunk is badass when the dunkee's children are like ... I had 2 laugh at ths..I was playing my oldest son Zaire on his nerf rim & he dunked & said Gibson while screaming..L2MS Kids u gotta luv em ? DWade (@DwyaneWade) May 16, 2011 More from BDL's Dunk History series: ? John Starks, the Chicago Bulls and 'The Dunk' ? Tom Chambers rising like a Phoenix and taking orbit as a Sun ? Joakim Noah makes Paul Pierce a memory ? Baron Davis unloads on Andrei Kirilenko, moves beyond belief ? Michael Jordan embarrasses, like, all of the Knicks ? The joy of hearing Scottie Pippen posterize Patrick Ewing
19 Aug 2014 at 2:19pm
Carmelo Anthony might not think the New York Knicks are going to vie for a championship this season, but he does expect to return to postseason play. Fred Kerber of the New York Post caught up with the $124 million man prior to a Monday workout, and the newly slimmed down Anthony said he's looking forward to a reversal of this past season's dismal fortune : Anthony on Monday asserted his belief the Knicks ?absolutely? will be back in the playoffs after missing out last season. ?Yeah, I think so for sure. Absolutely,? an impressively slimmed-down Anthony said of the Knicks? playoff chances before entering a Midtown gym for a late morning-to-early afternoon workout with a group of NBA players. Anthony snuffed an attempt to establish any goals for the revamped Knicks, who will enter their first full season under team president Phil Jackson and new coach Derek Fisher. ?I can?t wait to get started,? said Anthony, who missed the playoffs for the first time in his career when the Knicks stumbled to a 37-45 record last season. ?No goals. Not setting any goals, but I just can?t wait to get it back on.? (What, you expected him to say he was pretty sure the Knicks were going to suck again?) Before we continue, here's a look at some footage from that NYC workout, which also featured Anthony's Knicks teammate J.R. Smith, Charlotte Hornets shooting guard Lance Stephenson, Golden State Warriors forward David Lee and more, thanks to the Yahoo Sports Minute : Now, then: As I've written a few times this summer , even after retaining Anthony in free agency, the Knicks face a number of obstacles to bouncing back into playoff contention this season, with scheme, personnel and competition all presenting major issues to resolve. New York will be implementing new systems on both ends of the court under new head coach Fisher. Anthony ought to work perfectly fine as the pinch-post focal point of the Triangle offense; new addition Jose Calderon, with his sharp 3-point shooting and heady distributing, should be a hand-in-glove fit; and a system that has long served big guards who can dribble, pass, move without the ball and catch-and-shoot could help get more out of the promising but uneven Iman Shumpert. Beyond them, though, questions abound, and it remains to be seen whether the new scheme's introduction will short-circuit an attack that ranked 11th in the NBA in points scored per possession last year ? and fourth-best in the league after Andrea Bargnani went down for the season ? even after a miserable start to the season.
19 Aug 2014 at 1:59pm
DeMarcus Cousins puts the probability of playing in Team USA's exhibition game on Wednesday night at 50-50.
19 Aug 2014 at 11:16am
As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Ben Rohrbach examines Tom Chambers taking flight over, and through, Mark Jackson back in 1989. As anyone walking the streets of L.A. can attest, Mark Jackson is a God-fearing man , so that bright orange sun on Tom Chambers' short shorts setting over the former New York Knicks point guard's head as a knee collided with his grill may have jogged this Bible passage from his memory: For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. On Jan. 27, 1989, Chambers ? the Sun of righteousness, his beautiful golden hair emanating like crepuscular rays ? took flight from a fast break give-and-go with Kevin Johnson. He rose like a Phoenix, kept on rising and then rose some more, using Jackson's face as a catapult. "I was a rookie with the Suns when Chambers dunked over Mark Jackson, and what made that dunk amazing was that he literally put his knee on Mark?s shoulder and elevated about another foot," Steve Kerr later told the TNT crew . "It was like a pole vaulter.? When the ashes began to settle, Chambers looked upon the rim from above and dunked with both arms at 90-degree angles. He went forth and skipped like a calf from a stall, as did an Arizona crowd decked in spectacular '80s garb. The fourth-quarter bucket ultimately proved the difference in the Suns' 132-130 win ? one of 55 before a Western Conference finals playoff run. ?It was one of those things where I didn?t have time to stop and go around him," Chambers added. "I had to just try and get myself to the rim, so I was able to do that and literally jumped over Mark Jackson. He tried to protect himself and maybe gave me even a little bit more of a boost, because I know I had to kind of duck to not hit my head when I was coming down from that dunk." And Jackson still hasn't completely healed. On the wrong end of inarguably the greatest white-dude dunk in NBA history, he's still the original poster boy for getting posterized, as he was consulted when DeAndre Jordan jammed on Brandon Knight : "The funny thing is that the people talking about the lists of the dunks and the younger announcers forget about it until you can tell the one with a little bit of gray hair says, 'What about the Mark Jackson one?'? he said. "Then, all of a sudden it lights up, and it was comical because a lot of my players didn't know it was me. They were talking about the Tom Chambers dunk, and a couple of the older guys said it was me in the picture. Then, all of a sudden it's, 'That was you, Coach.' It's a bad memory. A bad, bad memory." Jackson has since argued for an offensive foul ("It's funny because I've seen people say he made the right play and they're right, but nobody ever said I was trying to take a charge and what a great play by me"). But a few looks at the replay of a video that's now more than a quarter-century old reveals he was considering a block when the knee convinced him otherwise: While Jackson may have made his only All-Star roster that season, this was not a great play by him by any stretch of the imagination. Chambers, too, made the All-Star squad in 1988-89 ? his second of four such bids ? but the two couldn't recreate this magic. Then again, nobody in real life ever quite has. (Though some have tried .) Never fear, for the jam has been immortalized twice. First, as children of the '90s will recall, the makers of the 1991 Sega Genesis game "Lakers versus Celtics and the NBA Playoffs" allowed Chambers to double-clutch dunk from just inside the 3-point line ? even from a standstill. It was a ridiculously unstoppable move that forced gaming connoisseurs to outlaw the use of the Suns: A decade after the dunk, the Suns rightfully inducted Chambers into their Ring of Honor in 1999. During a ceremony honoring a 16-year NBA career that included 20,049 points, the 1987 All-Star Game MVP and the distinction as the league's first unrestricted free agent signing , the team presented Chambers with a sculpture of him Earl Grey-bagging Jackson:
18 Aug 2014 at 10:44pm
(The Sports Xchange) - The New York Knicks will add Jim Cleamons to new coach Derek Fisher's staff, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Cleamons, a longtime NBA assistant, served on former Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Drew's staff last season. Knicks president Phil Jackson and Cleamons have a long history of working together - first with the Chicago Bulls and then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Cleamons was on Jackson's coaching staff for numerous NBA titles. ...
18 Aug 2014 at 6:43pm
The New York Knicks will add Jim Cleamons to new coach Derek Fisher's staff, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
Bulls vs. Preseason Games - 8TH ROW FROM FLOOR! Great Autographs (Section 105, Row H) $200
27 Aug 2014 at 11:05am
I have two tickets in Section 105, Row H (8th row from the floor), two isle seats next to Bulls entrance alley. As a bonus, if you get there when the gates open, this is the only section that is allowed to walk down a few rows and get some Bulls play [...]
BULLS Halloween Night OPENER!!! (Downtown) $175
26 Aug 2014 at 10:24am
I'm selling my tickets, for the Season Opener, on Fri- Oct. 31st. ( Halloween Night ) -vs- The Cavs
My seats are in Sec. 304
Seats 22 & 23 ( Aisle Seats )
Beautifully situated, just steps away from Bar and restrooms.
The Price is- $350 fo [...]
**2014-2015** Chicago Bulls Season Tickets! (Chicago) $5000
26 Aug 2014 at 1:28pm
The Chicago Bulls 2014-2015 Season is almost upon us. With the arrival of some new players, and the return of some of our greats, this season is sure to be spectacular!!
With that being said, I am selling BOTH of my season ticket seats! You will get [...]
CHICAGO BULLS SEASON TICKETS $2300
23 Aug 2014 at 3:45pm
This is it, Rose is healthy and back to his MVP form. We are rated as a championship team and it promises to be a memorable season. Here is your chance to witness it all live in person. D-Rose, Noah, rookie Mc-Buckets, Gibson and the championship exp [...]
Bulls- Pre-season Game Package (sec 318, row 9) $65
27 Aug 2014 at 12:56pm
our two season tix for Tuesday's playoff game, available by paypal
(will forward the electronic tix to you ) OR Hard Tix Available in Skokie come September:
Individual Preseason Games:
10/06/2014 -- Chicago Bulls VS. Washington Wizards ($80/ticket [...]