It was fitting.
Michael Jordan is soaring high, larger than life outside the United Center.
Now, inside the building and in full color, Scottie Pippen has his eyes on everything.
The Bulls unveiled a bust of Pippen at halftime of their trouncing of Boston Thursday night. The statue of the Bulls legend will be displayed inside the United Center as a tribute.
Pippen was unquestionably a key cog in the Bulls dynasty era, but few would have pictured this honor when he left the Bulls organization on bad terms in 1998. Now he now a regular fixture at games with courtside seats. In the playoffs he will be doing game broadcasts for CSN Chicago. He is again part of the Bulls family.
He needed to be honored in a way that distinguished him from Jordan — while the two are forever linked through titles their roles were different, their styles different.
This is fitting. Pippen was gracious in his acceptance and threw bouquets to the Bulls fans throughout his talk.
Those fans — and Pippen — went home happy. Good times are back with the Bulls. And as part of that, honoring Pippen is fitting.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.