Bulls

Hamilton won't play in opener

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Hamilton won't play in opener

INDIANAPOLIS--Although new Bulls acquisition Richard Hamilton will be allowed to wear his trademark headband--team general manager Gar Forman said the organization will make an "exception" to its long-standing rule because Hamilton needs the accessory to keep sweat out of his face when paired with his protective mask--the veteran shooting guard won't need it Friday night. That's because he won't play in the Bulls' preseason opener against the Pacers.

"One day and a shootaround, I didn't feel comfortable with it," said Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. "He'll get up to speed pretty quickly. Today, even with just one day of practice, he seemed a lot more comfortable, so I'm confident that he'll move along."

Hamilton agreed with the decision.

"Thursday was my first practice, getting in tune with everybody, learning the system offensively and defensively, schemes and stuff like that," said Hamilton. "I just want to be fully prepared and he thought so, too, that I should be fully prepared before I go on the floor."

"It's a lot of information I'm trying to learn in short window of time," he continued, before speculating on whether he'd play in next week's preseason finale, at the United Center, in a rematch against the Pacers. "We'll see. We'll play it by ear, day by day and hopefully I can learn more."

Thibodeau also commented on the Bulls' decision to waive the man Hamilton will potentially replace--returnee Ronnie Brewer will start Friday's game--Keith Bogans.

"We have a great appreciation for what he did. I thought he had an unbelievable year for us last year," said Thibodeau. "He filled his role great, played great defense each and every night, knocked down open threes, he's the consummate professional and we wish him well."

In another expected team transaction, the Bulls also waived veteran guard and Chicago native Jannero Pargo.

Kendall Gill named to Illini Athletics Hall of Fame

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NBC SPORTS

Kendall Gill named to Illini Athletics Hall of Fame

Kendall Gill can add another bullet point to his resume.

NBC Sports Chicago's Bulls analyst was announced as a member of the University of Illinois' Athletics Hall of Fame for the Class of 2018. Gill enters in the same class as his coach at Illinois, Lou Henson, and former Bulls broadcaster Johnny "Red" Kerr.

Gill was a part of Illinois' 1989 Final Four team and earned consensus Second-Team All-America honors the following year as a senior when he led the Big Ten in scoring (20 points per game). He is third in program history in steals with 218.

He went on to have a 15-year NBA career, which included a stint with the Bulls.

Last year was the inaugural class for Illinois' hall of fame.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.

1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.

2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…

3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling.