Blackhawks

Word on the Street: Rose joins Japan relief effort

Word on the Street: Rose joins Japan relief effort

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Derrick Rose joins NBA Japan relief effort

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is just the latest NBA star to pledge to donate 1,000 for every point they score in this weekend's games. Pau Gasol (L.A. Lakers), LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers), and Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks) are also participating in the NBA charity effort.

If Rose scores at his season average of 24.9 points during this weekends two games, the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief effort will be 50,000 richer.

"When disaster strikes we are all on the same team," Rose said in a statement. "Right now were all pulling for the people of Japan... We need to step up and help however we can." (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Mayweather wins hefty bet on Bulls game

Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. just won some money courtesy of Derrick Rose. The undefeated boxer put down 41,000 on the second half of last night's game between the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks.

His winnings? A cool 37,272.75.

Mayweather tweeted, "My lil brother Derrick Rose will always get you Paid," along with a picture of his betting slip. (BusinessInsider.com)
MJ restaurant returns to Chicago

After a 12-year absence, a Michael Jordan-branded restaurant is returning to Chicago. His Airness will open Michael Jordan's Steak House in late summer in the second-floor dining room and ground-floor bar area of the InterContinental Chicago on North Michigan Avenue.

This would be the third Michael Jordan's steakhouse. The Connecticut venture is in the Mohegan Sun casino and another location in New York City's Grand Central Terminal.

In 2004, Jordan said he wanted a more visible downtown location for his steakhouse, and seven years later, that's exactly what he's getting.

If the menu in any way resembles that of the New York and Connecticut menues, macaroni n' cheese will be served. (Chicago Breaking Business)

Yard sale at Scottie Pippen's house!

The current owners of Scottie Pippen's mansion in Highland Park invited the general public to the property and put just about every belonging inside on sale. That included trading cards, cabinets, used towels, and Beanie Babies.

Shoppers began lining up at the door at about 6:30 a.m. for the sale that didn't start until 9 a.m. (Yahoo Sports)

Ochocinco begins his MLS tryout

Chad Ochocinco began his four-day trial with Sporting Kansas City today. The Begnals receiver, who's looking for something to do in the NFL lockout, was reportedly moving fluidly on the field. Forty media members watched him getting individual instruction from assistant coach Zoran Savic.

Ochocinco seems to like spending time with Sporting Kansas City tweeting, "What an awesome place Kansas City is, just getting here and it feels like home already, superb hospitality." (Pro Football Talk)

New Organist at U.S. Cellular?

A new organist is scheduled to sit at the organ at U.S. Cellular Field, filling the legendary shoes of Nancy Faust. Faust was the White Sox organist for the past 40 years.

Lori Moreland will start at U.S. Cellular Field on Opening Day on April 7. She's been going over her 100 plus tune repertoire, including Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer," "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," and other pop songs in addition to the baseball staple "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

"If I don't get that one right, I'll be in big trouble," she said. "But I've got that one down pat for sure." (Chicago Tribune)

Buddy Ryan Battling Cancer

Former Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan was recently diagnosed with cancer. New York Jets coach Rex Ryan told the New York Daily News about his father's recent diagnosis.

Although Rex did not specify what type of cancer his father was diagnosed with, he said that it is a different form of cancer than the melanoma he haw beaten twice.

"It's going to take more than this to get rid of him," Rex told the New York Daily News. "That's what he always says. He's tougher than (s---)." (CSNChicago.com)

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: After 20 games, do we know the identity of this Blackhawks team?

sharpkanetoews.jpg
USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: After 20 games, do we know the identity of this Blackhawks team?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast Tracey Myers and Jamal Mayers join Pat Boyle to discuss the teams wins over the Rangers and Penguins.  Have they figured some things out and what is the identity of this team after 20 games?

Jammer weighs in on Artem Anisimov’s big week and are there enough Hawks committed to net front presence?  They also discuss the surging play of the blue liners and did the Hawks fail to send a message to Evgeni Malkin, after he kneed Corey Crawford in the head?

Lauri Markkanen, Lonzo Ball making rookie history as they prepare to face each other

lonzolauri.png
USA TODAY

Lauri Markkanen, Lonzo Ball making rookie history as they prepare to face each other

It'd be a stretch to say that any rookie is having a better or more impactful season than Philadelphia's Ben Simmons. The Sixers are 9-7, and Simmons looks like a 10-year veteran with his decision making, athleticism and all-around feel for the game. He's the frontrunner for MVP, but there are two other rookies vying to catch Simmons and win that title. And they'll face each other tomorrow night in Los Angeles.

Lonzo Ball was the second pick in June's NBA Draft, and fellow Pac-12 freshman standout Lauri Markkanen went five picks later to the Bulls, who had traded up as part of the Jimmy Butler trade. Both players were drafted to rebuilding franchises - the Lakers still working out the kinks in the post-Kobe era, and the Bulls beginning their rebuild after dealing Butler - and were expected to make immediate impacts on their franchises.

Ball's was more pronounced, as the Lakers dealt D'Angelo Russell to the Nets on draft night to free up space at the point for their prized No. 2 pick. Markkanen's came more abruptly, as the 20-year-old was thrust into the starting lineup after Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic's fight put Mirotic in the hospital and Portis on paid leave. However they got there, both players have been impressive in their early NBA careers.

Starting with Markkanen, the Bulls knew the 7-foot stretch forward was a perfect build for the modern NBA. He set freshman 3-point and rebounding records that, since 1992, only some guy named Kevin Durant had reached. After a successful summer in Eurobasket he was set for a large role with the Bulls, and he's succeeded in just about every aspect. His 15.6 points per game are third only to Simmons and the other Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma, and his 8.1 rebounds are second to Simmons. And his 2.6 made 3-pointers per game are most among rookies, and well past No. 2 on the list (Utah's Donovan Mitchell, 1.9 per game).

In fact, Markkanen would become the only rookie in NBA history to average at least 8.0 rebounds and 2.5 3-pointers per game. The 2.5 3-pointers would break a rookie record currently held by Damian Lillard (2.3 per game). The closest a rookie has ever come to reaching those marks was Stephen Curry, who averaged 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 3-pointers per game as a rookie. Allen Iverson also met the 4/2 threshold, but that's a far cry from Markkanen's 8/2.5 mark. Paul Pierce's rookie season saw him average 6.4 rebounds and 1.8 3-pointers.

But that's not all. If he kept those averages up he would be just the fifth player EVER to accomplish those thresholds. The others are James Harden, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Antonie Walker, who naturally did it twice.

So, yeah, Markkanen is having quite a rookie year.

So, too, is Ball. While he's had some real issues with efficiency, slashing .313/.228/.462 and has committed 2.6 turnovers per game, his counting stats have been outstanding. Ball is averaging 8.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists, and that puts him in equally impressive company.

Simmons has reached those numbers this season, too, averaging 18.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists. You may have heard of the other two players, named Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson.

The two future Hall of Famers averaged these numbers:

Robertson: 30.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, 9.7 assists (missing averaging a triple-double for the season by 20 assists)

Johnson: 18.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists

Ball is also averaging 0.9 blocks, and no other rookie guard has ever accomplished that. It might not always look pretty for Markkanen and Ball as they feel their way out in the NBA, but just remember watching these two that they're in the midst of making history in the new era of the NBA.