NBC Sports Chicago announces Bulls home opener & expanded season-long, multi-platform coverage


NBC Sports Chicago announces Bulls home opener & expanded season-long, multi-platform coverage

NBC Sports Chicago’s 45-Game Bulls Regular Season Game Schedule gets underway with the 2018-19 HOME OPENER against the Central Division rival Detroit Pistons on Saturday, October 20!

HOME OPENER coverage - featuring veteran Bulls expert/multi-platform host MARK SCHANOWSKI, along with former Bulls standouts KENDALL GILL & WILL PERDUE, and new Bulls in-game reporter KELLY CRULL - to include on-site United Center remote editions of “Bulls Pre/Postgame Live,” plus - expanded social media coverage via every NBC Sports Chicago portal all day/night!

Highlighted match-ups on NBC Sports Chicago’s Bulls telecast schedule to feature the only home game telecast against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, a road battle against the two-time defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, plus – a special international road telecast against the Orlando Magic from Mexico City!

RETURNING THIS SEASON: Live streaming coverage of EVERY Regular Season Bulls telecast on NBC Sports Chicago – including all Pre/Postgame Shows –

to be made available to authenticated subscribers on NBCSportsChicago.com!

RETURNING THIS SEASON: NBC Sports Chicago to carry “Bulls Pre/Postgame Live” before/after EVERY GAME (including all games airing on WGN, TNT, and ESPN)!

RETURNING THIS SEASON: Bulls Legend/Four-Time NBA Champion HORACE GRANT to once again be a featured analyst as part of NBC Sports Chicago’s Bulls Coverage Team!

NBCSportsChicago.com to feature additional in-depth coverage from Bulls digital reporter/producer MARK STROTMAN; along with new editions of the popular “BullsTalk Podcast,”

Expanded Social Media highlights to include Bulls-focused editions of Facebook Live, enhanced coverage on Instagram & Instagram Stories,

plus 24/7 Twitter updates from NBC Sports Chicago crew of Bulls experts and much more!

“Bulls Season Preview” special to air Tuesday, October 16 at 7:00 PM CT!

Chicago, IL (October 10, 2018) – NBC Sports Chicago – THE Home of the #AuthenticFan – is once again ready to deliver another thrill-packed season of NBA action with 45 (22 home, 23 road) live regular season Chicago Bulls games (including live streaming to authenticated subscribers via NBCSportsChicago.com).  NBC Sports Chicago is also announcing the return of LIVE pre/postgame coverage for EVERY Bulls telecast (including games airing on WGN, TNT, and ESPN), along with its most expansive digital/social coverage to date and much more!

NBC Sports Chicago will carry its first game of the 2018-19 Chicago Bulls regular season on Saturday, October 20 with the HOME OPENER as the Bulls host the Central Division rival Detroit Pistons.  In addition to its expanded social media coverage throughout the day on its social media portals, game night coverage on NBC Sports Chicago begins with a special, ONE-HOUR United Center remote edition of Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light at 6:00 PM CT (featuring veteran Bulls expert/multi-platform host Mark Schanowski, along with pre-game analysis from former Bulls standouts/fan favorites Kendall Gill and Will Perdue). ALSO -- Bulls fans will also see new face on the team beat this season as NBC Sports Chicago’s Kelly Crull will provide in-depth, in-game reports and sideline commentary for every Bulls home game telecast this season. 

Tip-off for the Home Opener on Sat, Oct. 20 gets underway at 7:00 PM featuring the always-entertaining announcing tandem of veteran Bulls play-by-play announcer Neil Funk and three-time Bulls/NBA champion & fan favorite Stacey King providing game analysis.  Bulls Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois immediately follows the final buzzer featuring live post-game press conferences, live locker room player interviews, full highlights and complete post-game analysis.  Please note NBC Sports Chicago’s complete Bulls HOME OPENER coverage details below:

(THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE AFTERNOON/EVENING) NBC Sports Chicago’s social media outlets will provide fans with a multitude of Opening Night “Sights & Sounds” moments from the United Center throughout the day/night featuring enhanced cross-platform coverage on Facebook (Facebook.com/NBCSChicago) and Twitter (@NBCSChicago & @NBCSBulls), with additional photos/quick video offerings from ‘NBCSChicago’ via Instagram and Instagram Live. In addition, fans can look forward to special pregame segments on Facebook Live and live Periscope segments on Twitter. 

6:00 PM – Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light – Opening Night coverage from the UC gets underway with a special, ONE-HOUR edition of Bulls Pregame Live presented by Coors Light featuring host Mark Schanowski, along with analysts Kendall Gill and Will Perdue.  In addition to up-to-the-minute pre-game updates provided by Bulls in-game reporter Kelly Crull, this half-hour show will feature a complete player match-up breakdown, interviews with Bulls players and coaches, along with a look around the league at additional games taking place during the NBA’s opening week of action.

7:00 PM – HOME OPENER – Chicago Bulls vs. Detroit Pistons – Featuring the always-entertaining announcing tandem – entering their 11th season together – of Neil Funk and Stacey King, along with sideline reports via Kelly Crull.

9:30 PM – Bulls Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois (time approx.) – Hosted by Schanowski, and featuring Gill, Perdue, and Crull, Bulls Postgame Live will provide fans with a thorough game recap/highlights/analysis, plus live post-game press conferences and player interviews, along with preview of the Bulls upcoming match-ups.

10:30 PM – Bulls vs. Detroit (game replay)

For the second-straight season, which includes the team’s road/season opener on Thursday, October 18 at Philadelphia, NBC Sports Chicago will be providing its viewers with surrounding Bulls Pre/Postgame Live coverage for EVERY game (home and road) on the Bulls schedule, which includes local broadcast Bulls telecasts airing on WGN-TV, along with exclusive national games airing on either TNT or ESPN.  These additional airings of Bulls Pre/Postgame Live will feature primary host Mark Schanowski, along with a rotation of studio hosts/analysts, including Kendall Gill, Will Perdue, and Kelly Crull.  On nights of home games, Crull will also provide viewers with pre/post-game reports and locker room interviews.  NOTE: Due to live game programming airing on the main NBC Sports Chicago channel location on occasion, a number of Bulls Pre/Postgame Live editions will air on the network’s alternate channel, NBC Sports Chicago+.

ALSO this season – NBC Sports Chicago welcomes the return of Bulls legend/four-time NBA Champion HORACE GRANT as part of its Bulls Pre/Postgame Live crew for a number of select games on the network’s Bulls season schedule.  Grant, known for his trademark on-court goggles, spent 17 standout seasons in the NBA as one of the league’s dominant power forwards and helped guide the Bulls with his fellow teammates Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen to three consecutive NBA titles (1991, 1992, 1993). 

Throughout the season, EVERY Bulls game telecast airing on NBC Sports Chicago, including surrounding pre/postgame coverage, will be accessible live via NBCSportsChicago.com to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers.  The live streaming service is currently available to customers of Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Mediacom, RCN, WOW!, Time Warner Cable and Charter among numerous other carriers.  In addition, NBC Sports Chicago is also available on a variety streaming services including DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, fuboTV, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV.  For a full list of carriers and more information about NBC Sports Chicago’s live streaming service of Bulls games, viewers are urged to visit the following link: nbcsportschicago.com/live-faq

In addition, on Tuesday, October 16 at 7:00 CT, Bulls fans can look forward to a sneak preview of the 2018-19 NBA season with the Bulls Season Preview presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois special.  Hosted by Schanowski, along with analysts Gill and Perdue, this half-hour special, filled with player/coaches interviews and a detailed season preview analysis, will provide viewers with a comprehensive look at this year’s Bulls roster and all the off-season trades & acquisitions that will have fans prepped for the Opening Night tip-off.  NOTE: the Bulls Season Preview special is also scheduled to re-air on Tue, Oct. 16 at 10:00 PM, along with Wed, Oct. 17 at 11:00 PM & Thu, Oct. 18 at 5:30 PM.

In addition to its live stream of every NBC Sports Chicago Bulls game telecast, NBCSportsChicago.com will also provide fans with even more exclusive Bulls content throughout the season including the following:

  • NBCSportsChicago.com will stream EVERY Bulls postgame press conference LIVE - providing insider access to head coach Fred Hoiberg addressing the media as it happens – as part of the “Bulls Postgame Live” stream.
  • NBCSportsChicago.com Bulls digital reporter and producer Mark Strotman (@markstrot) to provide additional, in-depth Bulls/NBA reports and features throughout the season. Fans are also urged to follow @NBCSBulls on Twitter for full team coverage, #AuthenticFan Night updates, fan photos and game day news throughout the 2018-19 NBA season.
  • Video highlights from every Bulls game, including in-game highlights at halftime, as well as extensive post-game reaction from the locker room and analysis from the “Bulls Postgame Live” team.
  • “Bulls in :60” - If fans miss a game and want to know what went down, “Bulls in :60” answers the call by providing a quick, sixty-second game recap & highlights package available on NBCSportsChicago.com and across the network’s social media channels.
  • “BullsTalk PODCAST” (presented by Coors Light) – Featuring Bulls expert/multi-platform host Mark Schanowski, digital reporter/producer Mark Strotman, Bulls Pre/Postgame Live producer Kevin Anderson, along with an array of special guests, NBC Sports Chicago’s popular “BullsTalk” podcast features in-depth Bulls discussion on the hottest topics and breaking news throughout the season. Fans can download all of NBC Sports Chicago’s podcasts at NBCSportsChicago.com/podcasts and simply subscribe to them via Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher.  The podcasts can be played on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer.
  • BullsTalk (NBCSportsChicago.com/Bulls) - NBCSportsChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Bulls news, video features, recaps/previews, and original commentary section, features continually updated insights from the network’s talent, which includes the “BullsTalk PODCAST.”
  • Social media - Fans can also follow and connect with NBC Sports Chicago’s extensive Bulls coverage 24/7 on Facebook (including numerous “Facebook Live” segments with NBC Sports Chicago talent), Instagram and Snapchat at ‘NBCSChicago’






2018 - 2019 Chicago Bulls Schedule




  1. Sat, Oct 20           vs. Detroit                                7:00 pm         HOME OPENER!
  2. Mon, Oct. 22        @ Dallas                                  7:30 pm
  3. Wed, Oct. 24        vs. Charlotte                            7:00 pm
  4. Sat, Oct. 27          @ Atlanta                                6:30 pm        
  5. Wed, Oct. 31        vs. Denver                               7:00 pm        
  6. Fri, Nov. 2            vs. Indiana                               7:00 pm
  7. Wed, Nov. 7         @ New Orleans                        7:00 pm
  8. Mon, Nov. 12        vs. Dallas                                 7:00 pm         NBCSCH+
  9. Wed, Nov. 14       @ Boston                                 6:30 pm        
  10. Sat, Nov. 17         vs. Toronto                               7:00 pm
  11. Wed, Nov. 21       vs. Phoenix                               7:00 pm
  12. Mon, Nov. 26        vs. San Antonio                        7:00 pm        
  13. Sat, Dec. 1           @ Houston                               7:00 pm
  14. Tue, Dec. 4          @ Indiana                                 6:00 pm
  15. Fri, Dec. 7            vs. Oklahoma City                    7:00 pm
  16. Mon, Dec. 10        vs. Sacramento                        7:00 pm
  17. Thu, Dec. 13        @ Orlando (from Mexico City)   8:30 pm
  18. Fri, Dec. 21          vs. Orlando                               7:00 pm        
  19. Sun, Dec. 23        @ Cleveland                             5:00 pm
  20. Wed, Dec. 26       vs. Minnesota                           7:00 pm
  21. Sun, Dec. 30        @ Toronto                                5:00 pm
  22. Sun, Jan. 6           vs. Brooklyn                             2:30 pm        
  23. Fri, Jan. 11           @ Golden State                       9:30 pm        
  24. Sat, Jan. 12          @ Utah                                    9:30 pm
  25. Thu, Jan. 17         @ Denver                                8:00 pm         NBCSCH+
  26. Mon, Jan. 21        @ Cleveland                             12:00 pm
  27. Fri, Jan. 25           vs. Los Angeles Clippers           7:00 pm
  28. Wed, Jan. 30        @ Miami                                  6:30 pm        
  29. Wed, Feb. 6         vs. New Orleans                       7:00 pm
  30. Fri, Feb. 8            @ Brooklyn                               6:30 pm
  31. Mon, Feb. 11        vs. Milwaukee                          7:00 pm
  32. Sat, Feb. 23         vs. Boston                                7:00 pm
  33. Mon, Feb. 25        vs. Milwaukee                          7:00 pm
  34. Wed, Feb. 27       @ Memphis                              7:00 pm
  35. Fri, Mar. 1            @ Atlanta                                 6:30 pm
  36. Fri, Mar. 8            vs. Detroit                                7:00 pm
  37. Sun, Mar. 10        @ Detroit                                  11:00 am      
  38. Tue, Mar. 12        vs. Los Angeles Lakers             7:00 pm
  39. Mon, Mar. 18        @ Phoenix                               9:00 pm         NBCSCH+
  40. Wed, Mar. 20       vs. Washington                         7:00 pm        
  41. Tue, Mar. 26        @ Toronto                                6:30 pm
  42. Wed, Mar. 27       vs. Portland                              7:00 pm
  43. Mon, Apr. 1          @ New York                             6:30 pm
  44. Wed, Apr. 3          @ Washington                         6:00 pm
  45. Wed, Apr. 10        @ Philadelphia                         7:00 pm



22 Home, 23 Road regular season games

Total: 45 games


All Times Central Time

Schedule Subject to Change



NBA Buzz: Bulls will be in evaluation mode over final 2 1/2 months


NBA Buzz: Bulls will be in evaluation mode over final 2 1/2 months

Outside of maximizing their draft lottery odds, what exactly are the Bulls playing for over the final 35 games of the NBA season?

Wendell Carter Jr.’s rookie season is most likely over after going through surgery to repair ligament damage to his left thumb, so the 19-year old center won’t be able to continue to develop his offensive game. Carter did show enough in his 44 games to convince the front office he will be an important part of the team’s future.

Before we hit the trade deadline on February 7th the Bulls could ship out two of their veteran players in Robin Lopez and Jabari Parker which would move largely unproven players into backup roles.

Still, with almost half of the schedule left to be played there are several important things for the front office to learn about the roster and the coaching staff.

1. Should Jim Boylen be brought back next season? Bulls Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson told reporters the plan is for Boylen to be the coach next season, but as we all know, plans can change. Zach LaVine’s comments last weekend about the team getting blown out too often after playing competitively early in the season had to resonate with the front office. If the Bulls limp to the finish line and fall short of the 20 victory mark, Paxson and general manager Gar Forman will have to take a long, hard look on whether they can start Year 3 of the rebuild with the same coaching staff in place.

2. Is Kris Dunn the PG of the future? The Bulls were high on Dunn dating back to the 2016 draft when he was selected 5th overall by Minnesota. They thought about swinging a deal for the Providence All-American that year, and eventually did acquire him on draft night 2017 in the Jimmy Butler trade. Dunn has shown flashes of being a solid NBA starter, especially on the defensive end, but his lack of consistency and availability (due to injuries) will probably bring considerable debate in the Advocate Center offices on whether to offer the 3rd year guard a big money extension of his rookie contract this summer. Forman has already been seen in college arenas twice over the past week scouting Murray St. PG Ja Morant, who could wind up being the 3rd pick in the 2019 draft. Dunn needs to have a strong finish to the season to convince the Bulls’ decision makers that he’s the right man to direct the offense long term.

3. Can Dunn, LaVine & Lauri Markkanen co-exist? The three players acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade with Minnesota haven’t had much time to play together because of injuries, but the analytics show they aren’t very successful over the minutes they have shared the court. Both Dunn and LaVine are at their best when playing on the ball, which means all too often Markkanen has a tough time getting consistent touches. The Bulls’ coaching staff and front office will be watching closely over the final two and a half months to see if the threesome can co-exist or if a trade might be necessary to improve offensive efficiency.

4. Is Bobby Portis still worth a lucrative contract extension? The Bulls worked with Portis’ agent right up to the opening night deadline with hopes of extending the 4th year forward-center. Reportedly, the Bulls made a very competitive offer on a 4-year contract, but Portis and his agent decided to roll the dice and see if he might do better as a restricted free agent this summer. Problem is, Portis has already missed two long stretches of the season because of knee and ankle injuries, which could hurt his value in a crowded 2019 free agent market. The Bulls will have to evaluate his play over the final 35 games and decide if a good shooting 6th man is worth a 4 year contract that could fall anywhere from 48 to 64 million dollars.

5. Is Chandler Hutchison a starting caliber SF? The Bulls are happy with Hutchison’s growth over the first half of the season, but questions remain about his ability to shoot consistently from the outside. On a team lacking consistent 3 point shooting, can the Bulls afford to start a non-shooter at a position that normally features a primary scoring threat? With the Bulls hoping to land Zion Williamson or R.J. Barrett in the draft and possibly making a run at free agent SF Tobias Harris, they’ll want to have a better idea of where Hutchison fits in the rebuilding puzzle by season’s end.

So, when you’re watching the final 35 games and our pre and post-game coverage on NBC Sports Chicago and the My Teams by NBC Sports app, these are some of the areas to focus on that go far beyond winning or losing that night’s game.



When training camp began in late September, Paxson told the assembled media the Bulls were healthy and 2 deep at every position. As we all know, that blew up almost immediately with Markkanen suffering a serious elbow injury in one of the first practices, Denzel Valentine being lost for the season to ankle reconstruction surgery and Dunn and Portis going out in the opening weeks of the regular season with knee sprains.

The Bulls were hoping to show the kind of progress we’ve seen in Sacramento and Brooklyn this season. Both of those teams have gone through long stretches of losing basketball, but they’re finally coming out on the other side. Sacramento is over the .500 mark for the season with 2nd year PG De’Aaron Fox looking like a future star, Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic scoring on the wing, and young forwards Marvin Bagley III and Justin Jackson still in development mode. Kings’ coach Dave Joerger has done a terrific job getting his young squad to play with pace and believe in each other. Plus, Sacramento will have significant cap space this summer to try to add a veteran star to a team on the rise.


The situation looks even brighter in Brooklyn, where the Nets currently hold the 6th playoff spot in the East, own two 1st round picks in the upcoming draft and have the potential to offer two max contracts in free agency,

In case you didn’t know, the Nets have won 17 of their last 22 games and their improvement hasn’t been lost on the rest of the league. Head coach Kenny Atkinson told Newsday’s Barbara Baker, “Hopefully, there’s really talk among players in the league, like ‘hey that’s a neat place to go to.’ “They care for their players. It’s a positive culture, a collaborative culture. You really want players to talk about that, to say that’s a place I’d love to go.”

Baker wrote dramatic improvement engineered by Atkinson in his 3 seasons in Brooklyn could outweigh the lure of Madison Square Garden when the Nets and Knicks compete for the elite free agents available this summer. If Kevin Durant would seriously consider signing with the Knicks, why wouldn’t he jump at the chance to bring another elite free agent with him to a team on the rise in nearby Brooklyn?

The progress made by organizations like the Kings and Nets will only make things more difficult for the Bulls when they try to recruit free agents in July.


Klay Thompson was at it again Monday night in Los Angeles, making his first 10 three point attempts against the Lakers to tie an NBA record and finishing with 44 points in just 27 minutes.

Bulls’ fans witnessed another Thompson explosion back in October when he knocked down an NBA record 14 threes and didn’t play in the 4th quarter. Surprisingly, Thompson hasn’t shot the ball exceptionally well for the season, but it looks like he and Draymond Green are back in peak form after slow starts.

The Warriors have won 8 in a row, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are playing at MVP level, they’ve got another former All-Star in the line-up with DeMarcus Cousins at center and they’ve taken over 1st place in the West.

Barring injury, it’s hard to imagine any team beating Golden State in a best of 7 series come playoff time.


Finally, January 22nd holds special significance for a couple of recent events. Back in 2006, Kobe Bryant exploded for 81 points against the Raptors, which ranks as the 2nd highest single game total in NBA history, trailing only Wilt Chamberlain’s incomprehensible 100 point performance.

Closer to home, January 22nd, 2010 is the night Derrick Rose unleashed that iconic two hand thunder dunk on top of Suns’ guard Goran Dragic. It definitely ranks as one of the signature moments in Rose’s career and the classic call by Stacey King has been replayed locally and nationally hundreds of times. Check it out on our website when you get a chance. I guarantee it will still bring a smile to your face.

Wendell Carter's begins rehab with positive outlook: 'I'm just looking at the long-term now'


Wendell Carter's begins rehab with positive outlook: 'I'm just looking at the long-term now'

When Wendell Carter Jr. tripped over Tyson Chandler early in the Bulls’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers last week, he didn’t think much of his jammed left thumb. He had some soreness but wasn’t in much pain despite the thumb swelling. In fact, he was planning on playing Saturday after sitting out Thursday’s game as a precaution.

That’s when the roller coaster began. The Bulls reportedly had internal fear that Carter’s injury was significant, but a second scan showed that the ligament in his thumb was actually intact. But Carter saw a hand specialist back in Chicago and it was revealed that surgery was the best scenario. Both Joakim Noah (2010) and Kirk Hinrich (2008) had the same surgery.

“So many people have had this injury and they don’t get it taken care of and bones are coming out of their socket very easily,” Carter said. “I just wanted to eliminate all that. If I was to get in a cast and come back and the tendon didn’t come back out, then I’d have to wait another eight weeks and get the surgery. So I just went ahead and knocked it out to get it out of the way.

"It's all good. I'm just looking at the long-term now."

Carter underwent the season-ending surgery on Monday. He’ll be in a cast for 10 days and begin rehab on the thumb while wearing a splint. Though Carter never explicitly stated his rookie season is over, the Bulls have 11 weeks remaining in the regular season and will be in no rush to bring back their 19-year-old foundation piece.

Carter’s rookie season was typical but one that featured more good than bad. It took him just a few days to supplant Robin Lopez as the team’s starting center, a position he didn’t relinquish despite being one of the league’s youngest players. He averaged 10.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 25.2 minutes.

He played multiple roles in his 44-game rookie season, acting as a third scorer and at times an initiator in the high post while Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn were sidelined early in the season. As the Bulls regained their health Carter was able to focus more defensively and work around the rim.

"That was something I always worked for ever since I was a kid, to be able to get to the NBA. Not just get here but also be a star in this league," Carter said. "Those games show the potential I have in this league."

Jim Boylen applauded Carter’s maturity in his rookie season and how he was able to bounce back from bad quarters by not letting it affect the rest of his game. His hard-nosed defensive principles certainly played to what Boylen looks for in a foundation, and Boylen was pleased with how Carter improved his shooting and decision making in the pain.

“I think he had a great learning curve in those 44 games and he’ll keep learning as he’s watching, things will make more sense to him now while he’s watching. And it’s not ideal but it is what it is.”

Carter will soak in as much as he can the rest of the season while he rehabs the thumb, and it’s Boylen’s hope that he’ll travel with and be around the team during the final weeks of the season.

“I like guys being around. (Denzel) Valentine’s been with us. I love Wendell’s spirit around this group. He’s got a great kind of swag to him and energy level to him, he likes being around the team so yeah I hope so.”