Bulls practice notes: 'We're doing a lot of running... we'll be getting in better shape'

Bulls practice notes: 'We're doing a lot of running... we'll be getting in better shape'

The Jim Boylen Era for the Bulls is well under at the Advocate Center.

1. Run Forest, Run

The marathon practices continue under new coach Jim Boylen’s watch. And “marathon” doesn’t just describe the lengthy sessions spent in the film room and on the court at the Advocate Center, but the literal sense as well.

“We’re doing a lot of running,” said Ryan Arcidiacono after Thursday’s practice. “We’ve really gotten after each other. We’ve really played hard together, worked on the little things. We’re doing a lot of running, though. We’re getting up and down the floor.

"I can’t emphasize enough. We’re doing a lot of running. I think we’ll be getting in better shape.”

Following the Bulls loss to Indiana, Boylen said he was disappointed in the teams conditioning and that it would change. Sounds like he’s not wasting any time.  

2. The gang’s all back

Well… just about. For second straight day Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis went through full contact, full practice and according to Boylen there is a possibility they play against Oklahoma City on Friday at the United Center. He claimed Kris Dunn showed some flashes of who he could be.

And according to Arcidiacono, “the energy and the vibes have been great and just they bring a competitive nature to practice on a daily basis. Kris is always talking his smack. Bobby is competitive. They always want to win.”

Sure, they’ll be rusty, but wouldn’t it be nice for the Bulls' new man at the helm to have a few more bodies to run out against OKC.

Denzel Valentine was also spotted on the far side of the court talking to Dunn and Portis. Valentine’s left ankle was heavily wrapped and supported in a steerable knee walker.

3. Familiar Faces

Horace Grant and Doug Collins were roaming around the courts and chatting it up with players and coaches Thursday afternoon. Grant spent most of his time laughing and chumming it up with players while Collins sat for quite a while with Boylen.

When asked what those conversations were about Boylen said he’d like to keep that private, but did offer up this: “I want all the advice and the help I can get to put in what I want to do. So coach Collins is a – first of all, Bulls across his chest means a ton. He's got everything. He's won, he's lost, he's played in the playoffs, he's played. He's got a perspective, 45 years in this business, every situation. Not to get into it, but how it usually works is I ask him three or four things and kind of set the table for him on things I want to learn or know about or get another opinion on. Then he's good at giving it back to me.”

4. Moving Out

While the Bulls were on the floor practicing Thursday, long time team fixture and assistant Randy Brown returned to the front corridor area of the Advocate Center to pick up a few boxes and load them up in his car. Brown resigned Monday after being asked to take a different role with the team.

Certainly a quiet exit for a man who played on the Bulls’ second three-peat teams and spent the last seven years in the organization as an assistant and member of basketball operations. 

Zion Williamson injury updated to Grade 1 right knee sprain


Zion Williamson injury updated to Grade 1 right knee sprain

In a game in which you could spot the likes of Bulls General Manager Gar Forman and former President Barack Obama in the crowd, almost everyone came away disappointed. In the opening minute of Wednesday’s Duke-North Carolina game, Blue Devils star Zion Williamson slipped when trying to plant his foot, tearing through his PG 2.5 basketball sneaker and suffering an apparent knee/lower leg injury.

The Williamson injury happened approximately 40 seconds into the game, taking away much of the fanfare from one of the most anticipated college basketball games of the year for both fans and NBA scouts alike.

Postgame, Duke head coach Mike Krzyewski stated that Zion’s injury as of now is being labeled a mild knee sprain.

This initial diagnosis is very good for Williamson, as the injury appeared to be a much more serious knee or lower leg issue in real-time. Without Williamson, Duke had to rely heavily on freshmen RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and Tre Jones for offense, and Jone specifically struggled to take on a bigger role. Clearly, Williamson’s prolonged absence had both a mental and physical effect on this young Duke team. They had no rim protection without him and they severely missed his leadership once the game got out of hand.

There was no shortage of love for Zion on the night, with everyone wishing him a quick recovery, including President Obama and Nike.

As of Thursday afternoon, it was announced that Williamson is listed as day-to-day with what is now being called a Grade 1 right knee sprain.

He will almost surely missed Duke’s next game on February 23 against Syracuse. Their last game of the regular season is a rematch against UNC on March 9. After that, the Blue Devils will be getting ready for the ACC Tournament in Charlotte, that starts on March 12.

If Williamson is going to return this season, it would be reasonable to expect it to happen by the ACC Tournament, as it is hard to imagine the idea of Zion playing in the NCAA Tournament without any game reps prior.

And of course, Williamson could shut it down for the rest of the season if he wants to use this recovery period to get ready for the NBA Draft, an idea that Bulls Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen had already floated. Regardless of what Williamson chooses to do, the entire basketball world will be on the edge of their seats.

Someone dropped a WHOLE bunch of money on a Michael Jordan basketball card


Someone dropped a WHOLE bunch of money on a Michael Jordan basketball card

Someone had some cash burning a hole in their pocket. 

On Thursday afternoon, the Chicago Tribune ran a story about how someone spent THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS on a Michael Jordan basketball card. The card is, according to the piece, one of only 10 ever made. Of those 10 cards, only 3 -- including this one -- have been graded by the Professional Sports Authenticator service.

The card is apparently the most expensive MJ card yet, and the third most-expensive basketball card ever. What's even funnier is that the card was about to sell for $100,000, but a bidding flurry in the auction's final couple minutes raised the price almost 200%. 

That is a staggering amount of money to spend on a laminated, wallet-sized picture of a basketball player, but if that's what you want to drop hundreds of thousands of your dollars on, far be it from me to say otherwise.