1993 Eastern Conf. Finals Game 4 win over Knicks airs tonight at 7:30


1993 Eastern Conf. Finals Game 4 win over Knicks airs tonight at 7:30

Five things to watch in Comcast SportsNet Chicago's "Bulls Classics" broadcast of the Bulls' Game 4 Eastern Conference Finals win over the New York Knicks on May 31, 1993 (airing Monday night at 7:30 p.m.):

1) Another one of Michael Jordan's signature performances for the ages occurred, as the legend poured in 54 points to will the Bulls to a hard-fought, 105-95 victory. Jordan scored efficiently, shooting 18-for-30 from the floor, despite various Knicks defenders hanging all over him and when he ventured into the paint, having to soar past their malice-intentioned big men, who vigorously enforced the "no-layup rule." It wasn't as if Jordan could rest on the other end of the court either, as he had to defend relentless shooting-guard counterpart John Starks.

2) This series is considered one of the most testy affairs in NBA postseason history, as evidenced by the multiple on-court altercations and hard fouls exchanged between both squads. After conquering the Pistons in the past, the Bulls refused to be be bullied by the physical style of the Knicks. Regarded as a classic rivalry and involving two major media markets, the Bulls-Knicks clashes of the 1990s defined that era of the NBA.

3) The Knicks, coached by Pat Riley, never won a championship during the Bulls' reign, as they were often stymied by Jordan's brilliance, not to mention his outstanding supporting cast and Phil Jackson's strategy. However, they would advance to the NBA Finals during Jordan's brief first retirement, losing to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets. New York always had players who developed a cult following in those times, with the likes of brawny ex-Bull Charles Oakley, fellow enforcer and native New Yorker Anthony Mason and grocery bagger-turned-Jordan antagonist Starks becoming local heroes in the Big Apple.

4) Patrick Ewing, arguably the greatest Knick of all-time, is regarded as one of the best players to never win a title. The top overall pick in 1985, the first year the NBA instituted the draft lottery -- a circumstance that made many observers believe the league was rigged -- went under-appreciated for much of his career, as New Yorkers lamented the fact that he didn't bring the franchise a championship. Playing in era with other great centers, such as David Robinson, a young Shaquille O'Neal and the aforementioned Olajuwon, let alone Jordan, Ewing's combination of dominant defense, traditional low-block post play and feathery jumper carried the team for years, despite never having a true secondary-scorer sidekick.

5) With all the stars in the series -- Jordan, Ewing and Scottie Pippen were all on the first Dream Team -- Doc Rivers flew under the radar. But the Chicagoland native and current Celtics coach started next to Starks in the Knicks' backcourt and fit the gritty style Riley emphasized to a tee. While Riley is probably better known for the fast-breaking, "Showtime" Lakers of the 1980s, his Knicks team were a rugged bunch, something that clearly influenced Rivers' coaching philosophy when examining his defensive-minded Celtics teams.

Trubisky on NFC North QBs: 'Bring 'em on'

USA Today

Trubisky on NFC North QBs: 'Bring 'em on'

The NFC North was recently dubbed the most talented quarterback division in the NFL largely because of Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford.

Bears starter Mitch Trubisky may eventually be viewed as an elite quarterback someday, but his average rookie season has created some doubt among analysts about whether he'll ever be that guy.

In a recent sit-down with Bleacher Report's Tyler Dunne, Trubisky said he isn't concerned with outside opinion, nor is he intimidated by the resumes of his NFC North counterparts.

"I've realized that these people you look up to—watching Aaron Rodgers, watching Tom Brady—they're humans just like I am," Trubisky told Dunne. "They can make mistakes. They're just people. We've all been through similar things to get to where we are now. ... As a competitor, you want the biggest, tallest challenge you can possibly ask for.

"So, yeah, give me the division with Aaron Rodgers, Stafford and Kirk Cousins. Bring 'em on."

Trubisky's confidence has been evident this offseason. There's no doubt who the Bears' leader in the locker room is. Just ask Kyle Long.

Still, he's not without his critics, something he said he doesn't consume himself with.

"Why would I be worried about what anybody has to say on the outside?" he said. "You're sitting in a chair talking into a microphone. I'm in the war. I'm in the middle of the hurricane."

Trubisky's name is consistently mentioned after DeShaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes whenever the 2017 quarterback class is discussed and few -- if any -- experts expect him to be the best of the three.

But none of that matters. All Trubisky has to be is a winner in Chicago, and he certainly has the confidence needed to get there.

"So get ready," he said. "I'm going to be prepared. I'm going to give you everything I've got. Hopefully, I make people eat their words with what they say about me."

It looks like rough times are ahead for Brewers relief ace Josh Hader

It looks like rough times are ahead for Brewers relief ace Josh Hader

The Brewers' best pitcher is in some serious hot water before the second half of the MLB season gets underway.

As he was serving up a 3-run homer in the All-Star Game Tuesday night, Josh Hader's Tweets from 2011 were aired publicly and the result was...not good.

Hader's Tweets as a 17-year-old reflected racist and homophobic remarks, among other issues. (A summary of his Tweets can be found at Deadspin.)

After the All-Star Game, Hader was immediately put in front of reporters to respond to the Tweets and admitted he will accept any punishment that comes his way — including any possible suspension:

Regardless of whether or not he misses any game action for this (a suspension here would be rather unprecedented for MLB, but the world is certainly changing), this absolutely could affect Hader mentally moving forward. 

Case in point:

He can ask teammate Ryan Braun how to deal when fans turn on you, but it's going to be a lot more difficult for a 24-year-old in his first full big-league season to deal with any hate that comes down. 

Hader has been the Brewers' most valuable pitcher all season, going 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and a ridiculous 16.7 K/9. 

But over the last month-plus, he's been...human.

Ever since Jason Heyward turned on a 98 mph Hader fastball to tie the game in Milwaukee on June 11, the Brewers' relief ace has a 2.84 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 13.5 K/9.

Still great numbers, to be sure, but not the Superman-esque line baseball fans came to expect from Hader after the first couple months of 2018. (Plus, the All-Star Game homer he served up to Jean Segura, but that obviously doesn't count for anything.)

With the Brewers already chasing the Cubs by 2.5 games in the division in the second half, they can't afford Hader's slump to worsen.

Though Cubs fans may be rooting for that...