Bulls

Blackhawks return to Stanley Cup Playoffs action this week on CSN

Blackhawks return to Stanley Cup Playoffs action this week on CSN

First Round Coverage vs. Nashville Predators Begins WEDNESDAY NIGHT (Apr. 15) beginning at 5:30 PM CT; Face-off at 7:30 PM featuring Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk with the game call!

Comcast SportsNet to Air Games 1, 2 & 4 in the Chicago Market (and Games 5 & 7 if nec.);

CSNChicago.com to provide LIVE video stream of EVERY Blackhawks post-game press conference, plus exclusive behind-the-scenes video from team practices and post-game reports from Blackhawks “Insider” Tracey Myers 

“SportsNet Central: Blackhawks Playoffs Preview” special airs TONIGHT at 10:30 PM

Chicago, IL (April 13, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, is ready to bring fans the thrilling excitement of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs with exclusive first round Western Conference Playoffs action as the Blackhawks take on the Central Division rival Nashville Predators.  Comcast SportsNet will be the exclusive television home in the Chicago market to see Games 1 & 2 from the Bridgestone Arena, along with Game 4 from the United Center.  If necessary, Comcast SportsNet will also carry Games 5 & 7 from Nashville.  Plus, every Comcast SportsNet Stanley Cup Playoff game telecast will also be presented in a high-definition (HD) format.

Comcast SportsNet’s Blackhawks Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage gets underway with Game 1 Wednesday, April 15 at 5:30 PM CT with a special, Blackhawks-focused edition of SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado featuring host David Kaplan with live remote talkbacks from the Bridgestone Arena.  Following SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business at 6:30 PM, fans can look forward to Chevy Blackhawks Pregame Live with hosts Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd at 7:00 PM featuring a complete Game 1 preview, analysis and interviews (NOTE: Former Blackhawks RW Jamal Mayers will join CSN’s surrounding game coverage beginning with Game 2 on Friday, April 17).  Opening face-off for Game 1 is set for 7:30 PM featuring Comcast SportsNet’s announcing tandem of Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk with the expert play-by-play and analysis, plus – Comcast SportsNet’s Blackhawks beat reporter Luke Stuckmeyer will provide in-stadium reports throughout the first round for all playoff games. Immediately following all playoff games –Blackhawks Post Game Live presented by Hawk Ford will feature live locker room interviews, detailed analysis, along with head coach Joel Quenneville’s post-game press conference and numerous player interviews. (Comcast SportsNet’s complete First Round coverage schedule is included in this release.)

TONIGHT (Mon, Apr. 13) at 10:30 PM, Blackhawks fans can look forward to a Stanley Cup Playoffs primer with SportsNet Central: Blackhawks Playoffs Preview.  This half-hour special, hosted by Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd, will provide a detailed, inside look at the Blackhawks vs. Predators first round match-up, a recap of every regular season battle against the Predators, along with the very latest player status updates, including Patrick Kane, a look back the past regular season featuring key highlights, plus - player/coaches interviews and an overview of the entire Stanley Cup Playoffs picture with analysis on both conferences.

Throughout the playoffs, viewers are also urged to tune in nightly to SportsNet Central (presented by GMC at 10:00 & 10:30PM and presented by CLR at midnight; times may vary due to airing of live events) for the most in-depth Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage, including game recaps, previews, up-to-the-minute team/player updates, interviews and numerous playoff highlights from around the league. 

Also, throughout the playoffs, Comcast SportsNet’s comprehensive website, CSNChicago.com, will provide fans with even more exclusive Blackhawks/Stanley Cup Playoffs content including the following:

  • CSNChicago.com will stream EVERY Blackhawks postgame press conference LIVE (sponsored by Xfinity) providing insider access to coach Joel Quenneville addressing the media as it happens.
  • CSNChicago.com Blackhawks “Insider” Tracey Myers will be on-site -- for EVERY Blackhawks playoff game -- filing stories and video for each game and team practices, plus Myers will provide up-to-the-second Tweets via @TramyersCSN throughout the series, as will CSNChicago.com Blackhawks digital reporter Nina Falcone (@NinaFalcone).  Falcone will also provide Blackhawks opponent perspective/reports on days of home games.
  • Video highlights from every Blackhawks playoff game, including in-game highlights after each period.  Pre-game interviews from morning skates will also be provided, as well as extensive post-game reaction from the locker room and analysis from the “Blackhawks Postgame Live” presented by Hawk Ford team.
  • “Blackhawks Pulse presented by AT&T U-Verse,” a one-stop social media hub that reveals the latest trending topics and player buzz from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Plus, “Blackhawks Pulse” aggregates all Blackhawks player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #HawksTalk. For additional 24/7 team updates on Twitter, fans are urged to follow @CSNBlackhawks.
  • BlackhawksTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Blackhawks news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. BlackhawksTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBaskteballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk and GolfTalkCentral. SportsTalk was extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk, CubsTalk, WhiteSoxTalk, BearsTalk, ChiFireTalk, PrepsTalk, IrishTalk and B1GTalk, which contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent.
  • CSNChicago.com’s new state-of-the-art “AT&T U-Verse Lounge” to provide expanded Blackhawks playoffs content through daily and weekly shows and segments.
  • CSNChicago.com’s Blackhawks content will also be distributed via its digital network of partnerships, including NBCSports.com, NBCNews.com, Yahoo! Sports and Xfinity.com.
  • Expanded coverage from Pat Boyle and Luke Stuckmeyer, CSN Chicago’s Blackhawks reporting team will provide pre-game and post-game coverage, along with digital content contribution and videos for CSNChicago.com throughout the playoffs.  Follow them on Twitter @CSNBoyle and @LukeStuckmeyer.
  • CSNChicago.com and ChicagoBlackhawks.com will collaborate in content creation and distribution throughout the playoffs to provide fans in-depth player interviews and features plus behind-the-scenes access to everything going on and off-the-ice within the Blackhawks organization. 

Note the following first round schedule of games and additional coverage information on Comcast SportsNet: 

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS vs. NASHVILLE PREDATORS on COMCAST SPORTSNET 

* Game 1: Wed, April 15, 7:30 PM – Blackhawks at Predators (Bridgestone Arena)

(NOTES: Blackhawks/Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage on Comcast SportsNet begins at 5:30 PM with a special Blackhawks-focused edition of SportsTalk Live hosted by David Kaplan, which will be followed by SportsNet Central at 6:30 PM; Blackhawks Pregame Live airs at 7:00 PM & Blackhawks Postgame Live will immediately follow the game; which will be then followed by an expanded edition of SportsNet Central with even more comprehensive Blackhawks/Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage; game replay at 11:00 PM on CSN+HD)

-- IMPORTANT BULLS NOTE:  The Bulls vs. Atlanta game (originally scheduled to air on Comcast SportsNet) will now move to CSN+/CSN+HD (coverage begins at 6:30 PM; viewers urged to visit CSNChicago.com for exact channel locations in their area).

* Game 2: Fri, April 17, 8:30 PM – Blackhawks at Predators (Bridgestone Arena)

(NOTES: SportsTalk Live at 5:30 PM; SportsNet Central at 6:30 PM; special-one edition of Blackhawks Pregame Live at 7:30 PM/Blackhawks Postgame Live after the game; followed by an expanded edition of SportsNet Central with even more comprehensive Blackhawks/Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage; game replay at 12:30 AM on CSN)

* Game 3: Sun, April 19 at approx. 4:30 PM – ‘Blackhawks Post Game Live’ on Comcast SportsNet

* Game 4: Tue, April 21, 8:30 PM – Blackhawks vs. Predators (United Center)

(NOTES: SportsTalk Live at 5:30 PM; SportsNet Central at 6:30 PM; Blackhawks Pregame Live at 8:00 PM/Blackhawks Postgame Live after the game –both shows live from the United Center; followed by an expanded edition of SportsNet Central with even more comprehensive Blackhawks/Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage; game replay at 12:30 AM on CSN)

-- IMPORTANT WHITE SOX NOTE:  The White Sox vs. Cleveland game (originally scheduled to air on Comcast SportsNet) will now move to CSN+/CSN+HD (game coverage begins at 7:00 PM; viewers urged to visit CSNChicago.com for exact channel locations in their area).

* Game 5:  Thu, April 23 (Time TBD) – Blackhawks at Predators (Bridgestone Arena) (if necessary)

(PRECISE GAME DAY COVERAGE DETAILS ARE TBD)

* Game 6: Sat, April 25 (Time TBD) – ‘Blackhawks Post Game Live’ on Comcast SportsNet (if necessary)

* Game 7:  Mon, April 27 (Time TBD) – Blackhawks at Nashville (Bridgestone Arena) (if necessary)

(PRECISE GAME DAY COVERAGE DETAILS ARE TBD)

ALL TIMES ARE CENTRAL TIME

Jabari Parker unafraid of history, expectations that come with Chicago's homegrown stars: "There's no fear"

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USA TODAY

Jabari Parker unafraid of history, expectations that come with Chicago's homegrown stars: "There's no fear"

The Chicago sunlight followed Jabari Parker as he walked through the East Atrium doors of the United Center, facing Michael Jordan’s statue before meeting with the media, introduced as a Chicago Bull for the first time.


For his sake, the brighter days are ahead instead of to his back as he’ll challenge the perception of being the hometown kid who can’t outrun his own shadow.


Parker re-enters Chicago as the No. 2 pick in the draft that the Milwaukee Bucks allowed to walk without compensation despite holding the cards through restricted free agency, damaged goods on the floor but not giving the Bulls a discount to don that white, red and black jersey he’s always dreamed of wearing.


“There were other teams but as soon as I heard Chicago, I just jumped on it,” Parker said.


It took a two-year, $40 million deal (2019-20 team option) to get Parker home, along with the selling point that he’ll start at small forward—a position that’s tough to envision him playing with on the defensive end considering three of the game’s top six scorers occupy that space.
It was a dream come true for his father, Sonny Parker, and high school coach, Simeon Academy’s Robert Smith, who both couldn’t hide their joy following the first question-and-answer session with the media.


“This is where he wanted to be,” Sonny Parker said. “His family’s happy, the support is there. All I know is the United Center will sell out every game. He can’t wait.”


“Normally guys get drafted here. He signed to come here. He had a couple offers from other teams but he wanted to come here.”


The biggest examples of Chicagoans who arrived with outsized expectations for this franchise had varying results, but Derrick Rose and Eddy Curry both came away with scars of sorts that had many wondering why any hometown product would willingly choose to play for the Bulls.


The risk seems to far outweigh the reward; the emotional toll doesn’t seem worth the fare. And with the roster makeup not being ideal for Parker, no one could blame him for going to a better situation—or at least one more tailored to his skills rather than his heart.
“I think every situation is different. Derrick was excelling,” Bulls executive vice-president John Paxson said to NBCSportsChicago.com. “MVP of the league in his hometown before the injury. Eddy was just a young kid who didn’t have the savvy Derrick had. I think every situation is different. Jabari is such a grounded, solid person that he’s gonna be just fine.”


“You don’t have to spend a whole lot of time with him to figure out he’s got it together. He knows who he is. Comfortable in his own skin. A quiet guy. Hopefully he’ll thrive here. The goal is it works great for him and works great for us.”


It seemed like he was bred to be a pro—and not just any pro, but the type Chicago demands of its own when a covenant to play 82 nights a year has been reached. If the constant prodding from his father didn’t break his façade, or older brother Darryl doing everything he could to coax emotion from the most gifted of the Parker clan couldn’t do it, two ACL surgeries on his left knee may pale in comparison.


The numbers from Parker’s recent stint with the Bucks don’t bear it out, but Smith sees a player who’s back on track to being what his talent has always dictated he should become.


“Even watching him work out lately, it’s like whoa,” Smith said. “But of course, everything with Chicago period you have to be cautious. With his family and the support system he has, this thing is about winning basketball games and giving back to the community.”


“He’s had that (target) on his back since he stepped on the court at Simeon, coming behind Derrick and being one of the top five players as a freshman and No. 1 player as a junior. I don’t think it’s a huge problem, it can help him a little bit. If he has those moments if something doesn’t go right, he has someone to help him.”


Parker is more known for his restarts than his unique skill set in his young career, but even at 23 years old speaks with a sage of someone 20 years his senior, unwilling to tab this portion of his journey as a fresh start.


After all, it would be easy to envision his career beginning from the moment he left Simeon as a phenom followed by his one season at Duke—having two games where he totaled just 24 minutes with just two points to start the Bucks’ first-round series against the Boston Celtics isn’t typical of a star’s story if he sees himself that way.


“I don’t. I don’t want to forget all the hard work I had,” Parker said. “To forget I hurt myself and came back is to discredit my success. That in of itself is something outside the norm. I want to always remember the setbacks and failures I’ve had in my career so far. I want to use that as a sense of motivation.”


Bringing up his awkward pro beginnings in Milwaukee, where Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ascension to an unexpected strata mirrored thoughts he might’ve had of himself before his injuries, didn’t cause him to growl.


“I’ve never got jealous a day in my life. That’s why it wasn’t hard because I wasn’t jealous,” Parker said to NBCSportsChicago.com. “My journey is my journey. I gotta be proud of that and be patient. I took that and I move forward.”


The mention of his defense didn’t make him defensive, either, as he definitively pointed out the truth as he saw it, that today’s game is far more offensive-minded than the bruise-fests of the previous decades. Telling by his words in subsequent interviews, the best defense is a great offense and when he’s right, there aren’t many who can get a bucket as easily and with as much diversity as himself.


The only time Parker broke serve was at the notion he’d be following in the footsteps of Rose’s perceived failures, the setbacks Rose suffered when his knees began to fail after reaching inspiring heights players like Parker wanted to emulate.


At the podium for all to see, he corrected a question formed around Rose’s “rise and fall”, a sound byte copied and pasted by a couple Chicago-bred NBA players on social media in support of Parker’s words and feelings.


“Derrick had no lows. He didn’t. He still maintained. Derrick’s a legend, no matter what…no rise and falls. Injuries are part of life. Derrick is one of the best icons in Chicago. He accomplished his duty already.”


And later, he wanted to set the record straight again, drawing a line from how the media has presented Rose compared to how the people of Chicago see him, and vice-versa.


“We didn’t turn on Derrick, the media (did),” Parker told NBCSportsChicago.com. “We’re hometown. I speak for everybody, we love our hometown.”


The love of Chicago meant more than the prospect of not being able to live up to a glorious prep past, even though he should be well aware wanderlust can turn to villainy in a heartbeat—or the wrong step.


“There’s no pressure for me,” Parker said to NBCSportsChicago.com. “I’m just happy I get to play with some young guys, and I don’t harp on the negative. Anybody and everybody is gonna have an opinion. I value more my dreams than their opinions.”


And the dreamer steps forward, with a confident gait, eyes wide open and a city hoping it doesn’t repeat the same mistakes of its past.


“There’s no fear,” Parker said. “I haven’t faced any other pressure than bouncing back. I’m back on my feet and moving on.”


“When you struggle more, you succeed more.”

Sports Talk Live Podcast: With Jabari Parker in the mix, are the Bulls playoff contenders?

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USA TODAY

Sports Talk Live Podcast: With Jabari Parker in the mix, are the Bulls playoff contenders?

David Haugh, Patrick Finley and KC Johnson join Kap on the panel. Jabari Parker is officially a Chicago Bull. So does that make the Bulls a playoff team? And who will play defense for Fred Hoiberg’s young team? Vincent Goodwill and Mark Schanowski drop by to discuss.

Plus with Manny Machado now a Dodger, are the Cubs no longer the best team in the NL?

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below: