In a recent interview, Dwyane Wade shot down the idea of returning to his home town to play for the Bulls, questioning the loyalty of the organization that did not keep Michael Jordan or Scottie Pippen around. Even though those two chose to distance themselves from the Bulls. Whatever.
Bulls General Manager Gus Forman stepped up to bat for the Bulls in an interview with ESPNChicago.
“Anyone who would question our loyalty is obviously misinformed,” Forman told ESPNChicago.com. “I think it absolutely ignores our record, which speaks for itself.
“We have a number of ex-players that are — and have been — employed within our organization within a variety of capacities, ranging from the front office to the coaching staff, in our business office, as part of our broadcasting teams. We take great pride in not only how we treat our current players, but also in how we treat our former players.”
The list of former Bulls involved with the team is pretty long and starts high up the ladder with Vice President John Paxson, who is putting that Notre Dame education to use. As ESPNChicago points out, other players who have had front office jobs include Bill Cartwright, Randy Brown, Bill Wennington, Stacey King, Pete Myers and B.J. Armstrong.
Frankly, that reality doesn’t really matter here — if Wade believes the Bulls are not loyal as an organization then that is the perception that matters. It means Wade is not coming to play in Chicago (which isn’t really a shock, he was going to stay in Miami anyway). The only question is if Wade’s perception taints the well for other free agents.
Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.
There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.
Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.
“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”
Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.
Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.
That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.
And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.
MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.
Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.
Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.
Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.
Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.