Bulls

5 Questions with...ABC 7's Mark Giangreco

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5 Questions with...ABC 7's Mark Giangreco

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011

By Jeff Nuich
CSN Chicago Senior Director of CommunicationsCSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the citys most popular personalities on the spot with everyones favorite local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

On Wednesdays, exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guestwithout question, one of the most popular sports anchors in Chicago television history whose wit, wisdom and love of the Chicago sports scene is simply unrivaledhes been a fixture on the local news airwaves for close to 30 years and, for the last 16 years, hes been the sports director and chief sports anchorreporter for the top-rated ABC 7 Newslike a fine wine, this guy just keeps getting better and better each yearhere are 5 Questions withMARK GIANGRECO!

BIO: Mark Giangreco is the ABC 7 Chicago sports director and primary sports anchorreporter for the No. 1 rated 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. Giangreco has earned a reputation for being a sports anchor that even non-sports fans enjoy watching, delivering sports with humor, wit and an interesting spin on the day's sports news. He joined ABC 7 Chicago in 1994.

Giangreco came to ABC 7 from Chicago's WMAQ-TV, where he was the station's sports director as well as sports anchorreporter (1983-94) and the weekend anchorreporter (1982-83).

Previously, Giangreco worked at WLKY-TV in Louisville, Ky., where he was sports anchor and sports director (1978-82). Before this, he served as weekend sports anchor and reporter at WDTN-TV in Dayton, Ohio (1976-77).

Giangreco's broadcasting career began during his college years, when he joined WING-AM radio in Dayton as a news and sports reporter in 1972.

Giangreco has been honored with the prestigious Iris Award from the National Association of Television Program Executives, three Emmys, two Peter Lisagor Awards and two Associated Press Awards for "Best Sportscast." In 1996, the Chicago Father's Day Council named him "Father of the Year," and in 1995, he won the Dante Award from the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans and the Justinian Society of Italian Lawyers Award for journalism. Giangreco was also honored in 1982 with the Louisville Journalism Award for his excellence in sports reporting.

Giangreco's hobbies include hockey, classic cars and drawing.

Giangreco earned a B.A. in Communications from the University of Dayton in 1974. He lives in Chicago and has three sons.

1) CSNChicago.com: Mark, your career in Chicago has been beyond impressive highlighted by industry awards, continuously solid ratings and admiration from millions of viewers throughout the city. Why do you think your unconventional style has resonated so well with Chicago viewers over the years?

Giangreco: I dont know how unconventional it is, but its just me. I think the most important thing about doing television is to be yourself. Im a jaded, cynical, wise guy by nature and dont really take anything too seriously. I realize how deeply sports are woven into our culture but, at the end of the day, its just entertainment. I enjoy making fun of players, coaches, fans and myself. Its really ridiculous what I do for a living. I think people in Chicago get that. This is a classic, blue collar, ethnic, no nonsense town where phony grandstanders last about one ratings period.

2) CSNChicago.com: This may be tough to answer, but in your opinion, what would you say was the pinnacle championship moment (Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup, Bulls first championship in 91, White Sox WS title in 05, Bears Super Bowl XX win, etc.) in Chicago sports history that truly brought everyone in this city together?

Giangreco: I think the pinnacle championship moment that truly galvanized this city was Super Bowl XX. Da Coooooaaaach and his amazing cast of characters will never be duplicated. Id say the first Bulls title would be a distant second. I really enjoyed the Sox World Series, run but being a hockey nut, I have to say the Hawks 2010 Stanley Cup Quest was my personal, all-time favorite.

3) CSNChicago.com: As someone who has mentored hundreds who have appeared on-camera and behind-the-scenes over the years, who would you say were some of your mentors in the early part of your Chicago television career?

Giangreco: I dont know if Id call Chet Coppock a Mentor (maybe more like a Vegas Casino Greeter ha, just kidding Big Guy), but he certainly taught me that its not a broadcastits a showits not PBSits a Circusand youre the Ring Master. I took most of my cues from national sportscasters like Bob Costas and Al Michaels. They are machines. Then mixed in a few prominent comedians and writers and tried to steal as much as I could.

4) CSNChicago.com: Tell us about the single best concert youve ever attended in your life.
Giangreco: Best concert ever? No question: Santana and The Neville Brothers at Poplar Creek. Carlos actually broke up a brawl in the front row with his foot while still playing his guitarnever missed a noteand even handed the combatants some flowers after he finished the song. Then Aaron Neville and his band joined Santana for the most powerful encore Ive ever witnessed .

5) CSNChicago.com: Finish this sentence: If I werent a sportscaster, I would have loved to have had a career as a _______.

Giangreco: IF I werent a Sportscaster, Id love to have a career as a: guitar playing-hockey player of course!and drive a different, classic, muscle car to each of my gamesconcerts.

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: Anything you would like to promote Mark? Tell us, CSNChicago.com readers want to hear about it.
Giangreco: Hmmmmwell, Im still appearing nightly at 5pm & 10pm on the Big Blow Torch, ABC 7, and Tuesdays from Noon to 1pm on ESPN Radio with Waddle & Silvy. Im also the Honorary Chairman of the great Ronald McDonald House Charity effort here in Chicago.

Giangreco LINKS:

ABC 7 Sports official web page

Mark Giangreco on Facebook

Zach LaVine's conditioning at '70 percent' but still on schedule

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USA TODAY

Zach LaVine's conditioning at '70 percent' but still on schedule

Everybody saw the play, that awkward instance where Zach LaVine looked ready for his second dunk of the season but was fouled from behind by Atlanta’s Taurean Prince.

It looked as if LaVine was ready for liftoff but one of his jets misfired, sparking at least the thought of his recovery from his ACL injury being a bit off—but he laughed at the thought.

“I don’t know why everybody keeps talking about it,” LaVine said Sunday at New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center, where the Bulls held practice. “The dude stepped on the back of my foot, so I couldn’t get off the ground. Everybody’s wondering if I’m okay, yeah. I just missed a fouled layup.”

The adrenaline from his first two games have worn off a bit, and he missed his first four shots from the field Saturday before hitting a couple in the start of the third quarter in the Bulls’ 113-97 win over the Hawks.

He looked winded a few times during his stint and admitted his conditioning isn’t where it should be—as expected given he’s missed 11 months of real basketball. He said his conditioning is at about “70 percent”, and you can certainly see it in his jump shot not being as fluid as it was last season in Minnesota.

“It was feeling good in practice but in games it’s seventy,” LaVine said. “Playing defense, getting back, running the break, just getting used to it.”

Add to it, the Bulls cover the most halfcourt ground of any team in the NBA with their set offense and Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg has long said he’s not slowing down his offense while LaVine is in.

The shooting guard will have to catch up to the pace, and it’ll probably be better for him in the long run.

“I think it’s just ‘okay’ and rightfully so,” said Hoiberg about LaVine’s conditioning. “It’s impossible to simulate game action in practices when you’re doing individual workouts. Every time he plays that conditioning will ramp up. As he plays, it’ll get better and better. And he’s such a good and natural athlete, it’ll come back quickly.”

Hoiberg isn’t concerned about the variances in LaVine’s performances. He came out the gate with such force and adrenaline in his debut against Detroit and two days later against Miami, but it’s tailed off against Golden State and then Atlanta.

“I think Zach’s doing great,” Hoiberg said. “You look around the league where players have come back from significant injuries, he’s gonna be up and down. His first two games he’s been unbelievable. A couple games he hasn’t shot the ball great. He played unselfish basketball last night.”

LaVine’s minutes has been extended to 24 from 20, and he’ll still practice in the off-days as the Bulls want to keep his rehab on schedule as opposed to having him play heavy minutes initially.

He’ll be re-evaluated after Wednesday’s game in Philadelphia and could see his minutes rise before the Bulls host the Lakers Friday at the United Center.

“I should just get used to it,” LaVine said. “Just getting used to the swing of things. It takes a second for your body to get adjusted to it.”

Three Things to Watch: Bulls visit Pelicans

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Three Things to Watch: Bulls visit Pelicans

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Bulls take on the New Orleans Pelicans tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Pregame Live.

1. Anthony Davis

The five-time All-Star just continues to improve. While he's not averaging career-highs in any major category, no one's going to scoff at his 26.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 2.1 blocks in 36 minutes per game. He's shooting nearly 56 percent from the field and is on pace for a career-best in 3-pointers made, which is a pretty impressive statistic. Lauri Markkanen will have his hands full, and it may be in the Bulls' best interest to get Nikola Mirotic some early minutes to try and get physical with Davis. There's no real way to slow him down.

2. DeMarcus Cousins

And if the Bulls should so happen to get lucky and slow down Davis, there's another All-Star starter waiting alongside him. Boogie Cousins has been every bit as good as Davis this season, averaging 25.3 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 36 minutes. He's certainly not as efficient as Davis (47 percent from the field, 5.0 turnovers) but is deadly inside. He's shooting a career-best 52.8 percent on 2-pointers this season, and his 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks make him a serviceable defender (although the Bulls could certainly stretch their offense to make him work more).

3. Rajon Rondo

Rondo hasn't been great in his first season with the Pellies, but perhaps he's turning things around. Beginning with his absurd 25-assist game just after Christmas, Rondo is averaging 7.4 points, 8.2 assists and 1.0 steal per game. He's allowed Jrue Holiday to play more off the ball, and while his defense is nothing to write home about he's logging solid minutes for a Pelicans team woefully short in the backcourt.