Bulls earn inaugural Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year award


Bulls earn inaugural Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year award

Derrick Rose is up for an ESPY award tonight in Los Angeles, but his Bulls team has already gone home a winner.

The team announced Wednesday that they had been named the inaugural ESPN Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year, an award that "celebrates and recognizes how members of the sports industry use sports to serve communities and make a positive impact."

According to the team's press release, during the 2014-15 season the Bulls organized more than 100 community events that affected more than 30,000 people. The events were run by more than 1,350 volunteers who dedicated a combined 6,500 hours of their time, and $2.5 million in cash was donated to various nonprofits.

ESPN will present the Bulls a $75,000 grant to Chicago Bulls Charities, which will be distributed between After School Matters, The Salvation Army Kroc Center and Youth Guidance, the Bulls' three community partners in Chicago.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

“The Bulls feel a great sense of responsibility to give back to the city of Chicago and the people who give so much to us. The team’s commitment to helping others has been steadfast for many years, but it has been incredible to watch our work evolve and flourish over the last few years under Michael and Nancy’s leadership, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a press release.

"I am very proud of the terrific job they have done engaging players, coaches, staff, corporate partners and community partners with the goal of helping others. We thank ESPN for this incredible honor and for recognizing the positive impact sports teams can have in a community.”

The Bulls won the award over the MLS' Portland Timbers, the NFL's San Francisco 49ers and WWE Community Relations.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Of Bulls and Blackhawks, which team will finish with higher draft pick?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Of Bulls and Blackhawks, which team will finish with higher draft pick?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times), Hub Arkush (ProFootball Weekly) and Jason Goch (SB Nation) join Kap on the panel.

The guys debate which team will finish with a higher draft pick when the season ends: Bulls or Blackhawks?

Plus, hear their reaction to the MLB’s new pace-of-play rule change.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here:

There are 600,000 reasons you won't hear Gar, Pax or Hoiberg discuss losing


There are 600,000 reasons you won't hear Gar, Pax or Hoiberg discuss losing

The Bulls made headlines on Tuesday when VP John Paxson announced that David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne would be entering the rotation, thus continuing the youth movement in Chicago.

On the surface the moves make sense. The 24-year-old Nwaba, the 25-year-old Felicio and the 23-year-old Cameron Payne will be replacing 28-year-old Justin Holiday, 29-year-old Robin Lopez and 25-year-old Jerian Grant. The Bulls want to see what they have in these younger players who haven't played much; they already know what they have in Lopez and Holiday, and Grant (like the other two) is under contract through next year.

OK, got that? Here's why they're making the move: they're sitting 8th in the NBA Lottery standings and really want to move into the top-5 to give themselves a chance at what should be a loaded front-end of the draft class. It's pretty obvious, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either named Gar Forman, John Paxson or Fred Hoiberg.

And here's why: On Wednesday Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was fined a whopping $600,000 by the NBA for comments he made on a podcast regarding tanking. The Mavericks are currently 18-40, the third worst record in the NBA. This comes a season after they finished 33-49, netting them the No. 9 pick that turned into talented point guard Dennis Smith Jr.

So when Cuban was asked about the best interests of his Dallas team, which touts young talent but clearly isn't headed for the postseason in 2018, he said this on the House Call with Dr. J Podcast:

"I'm probably not supposed to say this, but, like, I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night, and here we are, you know, we weren't competing for the playoffs. I was like, 'Look, losing is our best option. [Commissioner] Adam [Silver] would hate hearing that, but I at least sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans were going to be this summer, that we're not going to tank again. This was, like, a year-and-a-half tanking, and that was too brutal for me. But being transparent, I think that's the key to being kind of a players owner and having stability."

Cuban isn't wrong, and the Mavericks sure as hell aren't the only team tanking. But to come right now and admit that losing is the team's best option wasn't, as Cuban predicted, going to sit well with the league office.

Commissioner Adam Silver sent out a memo with the fine that said Cuban's comments "which concerned his perspective on the team's competitive success this season" were "detrimental to the NBA."

So while the Bulls are going about their business in trying to lose as many games down the stretch as possible, don't expect anyone to admit it's the reason behind their personnel moves. There are 600,000 reasons why.