Last week we discussed how the fine folks of Chicago cannot muster the hate for Dwyane Wade that Clevelanders have so easily tapped into for LeBron James.
Why is that? He is a born-and-raised Chicago guy who flirted with the city before deciding to stay in Miami (and join forces with LeBron and Bosh). Why not hate?
A couple things hold it back, from the sports attitudes in Chicago to Wade himself. We asked your friendly neighborhood Bulls blogger, Matt of Blog-a-Bull — one of the longest-running and most-respected bloggers out there — about Wade and Chicago.
He said the LeBron and Cleveland dynamic was very different than Wade in Chicago, in large part because Wade wasn’t Chicago’s to lose.
‘Chicago’ and the ‘Bulls’ aren’t entirely in sync. The Bulls are a worldwide fandom (thanks to Jordan, of course), yet will always be an afterthought in Chicago sports behind the Bears and baseball. There are many Bulls fans who aren’t from Chicago and don’t care about the city aspect of it.
Also, Wade wasn’t a major star when he was a high school player here. He was definitely good, but famously was under-recruited before going to Marquette. So it was more of seeing his star blossom elsewhere and being a returning hero than the homegrown version.
…which of course brings to mind someone who WAS a star through high school here, and that’s Derrick Rose. Basically, if there are any special feelings toward a hometown superstar (and there are), they’re given to Rose, and Wade is then an afterthought…
I believe most fans feel that Wade was at best merely giving the Bulls a courtesy, but at worst leveraging his family situation to throw the Bulls off and help Riley with his master plan… But even so, he’s not nearly as reviled as LeBron or Bosh, maybe as at least some kind of respect for a guy working for his franchise. We’d be alright with Rose doing the same to help the Bulls recruit free agents. So Wade will be booed upon his return, but that’s just because of his jersey. I think the ties to his home are personal and separated, and that’s probably healthiest for us as fans anyway.
Hawks sign two-way Tyler Cavanaugh to standard contract
ATLANTA (AP) — Rookie forward Tyler Cavanaugh, who originally came to Atlanta on a two-way contract, has signed a multi-year deal with the Hawks.
Cavanaugh has averaged 5.5 points and 3.2 rebounds in 19 games, including one start, since signing the two-way contract on Nov. 5.
Cavanaugh, from Syracuse, New York, played two seasons at Wake Forest before transferring to George Washington, where he averaged 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds last season. He was selected the National Invitation Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2016 after leading the Colonials to the NIT title.
Carlos Boozer went from being known as a gritty second-rounder to an overpaid defensive liability.
In some ways, that’s the ultimate success story.
Now, after playing last season in China, he’s walking away.
Boozer on ESPN:
I’m officially retired.
The Cavaliers drafted Boozer with the No. 35 pick in the 2002. After he spent a couple productive seasons in Cleveland, the Cavs declined his cheap team option to make him a restricted free agent – with an agreement he’d re-sign at a reasonable rate if you ask them, with no handshake deal if you ask him.
Boozer bolted for the Jazz, who gave him a six-year, $68 million contract. He made a couple All-Star teams and helped Utah reach the conference finals.
The Bulls are 5-0 since Nikola Mirotic returned from an injury suffered when Bobby Portis punched him in the face during a preseason practice. Mirotic and Portis are both excelling individually, and Chicago has outscored opponents by a whopping 34.3 points per 100 possessions when those two share the court.
When asked if the two former combatants have spoken yet, Mirotic said, “We did on the floor. We’ve always spoken because we need to have good communication.” As for whether they’ve talked off the floor, however, Mirotic was succinct in his response: “No.”
I guess Mirotic hasn’t completely moved on, though he said he did. But that’s fine. How could someone get past a teammate punching him in the face?
Importantly, this is becoming just a regular NBA problem. The extent of that practice punch was practically unprecedented. But plenty of players have loathed teammates while making it work on the court. That happens more than people realize.
Mirotic and Portis can make this their status quo – at least the on-court cooperation. I’m not convinced Chicago will keep winning like this.
Watch Kobe Bryant’s ‘Dear Basketball’ short film (video)