Bulls

Boozer in starting lineup Wednesday vs. Magic

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Boozer in starting lineup Wednesday vs. Magic

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010
Updated 1:45 p.m.

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

On a day where league-wide focus is on LeBron James much-anticipated return to Cleveland on Thursday night, all eyes in the Windy City are on the Bulls, specifically whether Carlos Boozer makes his season and team debut Wednesday evening at the United Center.

After Mondays practice, Boozers first full-contact session since suffering a broken fifth metacarpal on Oct. 2, the prized offseason acquisition indicated he was optimistic he would suit up against the visiting Magic -- he even made reference to the shellacking the Bulls received in Orlando during the preseason -- on Wednesday. After Tuesdays practice, however, the two-time All-Star tried to temper expectations.

Its still a little sore. I may or may not play Wednesday, but Im hoping this week or this weekend, cautioned Boozer. I feel close.

When its ready, Ill be out there. ... Well just see how it feels, he added. It got hit yesterday, so it was a little sore today. Look, guys -- Ill be out there when Im out there. You guys will know. Hang in there. If you have any questions about Orlando, we can rap about Orlando, but when my hands ready, you guys will know about it.

Despite Boozer emphasizing patience to the media, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was more optimistic.

Well see how it goes Wednesday, but I cant foresee any problems, he said, adding a decision would be made after Boozer warmed up prior to Wednesdays game, which is standard practice for Bulls dealing with injury issues. If hes not having any problems and as long as hes comfortable, were ready to get started.

Boozer gives you a guy you can run pick-and-roll with, you can post him up and we want to be an inside-out team," continued Thibodeau, who also praised Boozers underrated passing ability. "In order to be successful, you have to be well-balanced. We have a great pick-and-roll game with Derrick already. Carlos will only add to it and now well have a stronger low-post game. When you hit him in the post and you cut, if youre open, hes a very willing passer.

Aside from his on-court contributions, Bulls center Joakim Noah also thinks Boozer has added to the teams chemistry.

Carlos is a good dude, said Noah. Hes been on every road trip with us, hes been at every practice. Hes a good leader, hes a good vet to have around and hes definitely going to help us when he steps onto that court.

Whether that day is Wednesday or not, Boozer is chomping at the bit to make his Bulls debut.

I want to play in the worst way. I hate sitting out and I think our whole team is like that. we all want to win. I just want to be out there and be part of it, said Boozer. Im very anxious. Im looking forward to getting out there.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.coms Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Michael Jordan's emotional tribute to Kobe Bryant

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Michael Jordan's emotional tribute to Kobe Bryant

David Haugh and Scott King join Laurence Holmes on the panel.

0:00 - Robin Lehner is a Golden Knight. Steve Konroyd joins the guys to talk about the Blackhawks' trade deadline moves. Did Stan Bowman get enough? What will the goalie situation look like in the future? And is this team in a rebuilding mode?

11:30 - The basketball world gathers at Staples Center to remember Kobe Bryant. The guys react to the emotional speeches by Michael Jordan and Vanessa Bryant.

20:00 - Rick Renteria told his players "it's time." So can he handle the pressure that comes with expectations?

Listen here or in the embedded player below.

 

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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Michael Jordan delivers heart-wrenching eulogy for Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan delivers heart-wrenching eulogy for Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were more than competitors, more than peers... More than even friends. Jordan made as much clear in eulogizing Bryant at a public memorial for him and his daughter Gigi at Staples Center on Monday.

Amid a beautifully numbing overall ceremony, Jordan’s comments struck the perfect balance between reflective, hilarious, heart-warming and gut-wrenching. My words couldn’t possibly do it justice. Here are Jordan’s, in full:

 

“Maybe it would surprise people that Kobe and I are very close friends,” Jordan said. “Kobe was my dear friend, he was like a little brother. Everyone always wanted to talk about the comparisons between he and I. I just wanted to talk about Kobe.”

And so he did. Highlights included a perfectly-timed ‘Crying Jordan’ meme quip and Jordan recalling countless late-night (and early-morning) conversations with Bryant about everything from basketball to business to family. On a day meant to be a celebration of life, Jordan delivered a deeply intimate look into his and Bryant’s relationship, and all the ways Bryant inspired him. It was incredibly powerful.

 

“He wanted to be the best basketball player he could be. As I got to know him, I wanted the best big brother that I could be,” Jordan said.

That manifested in those aforementioned conversations, which Jordan said turned from an “aggravation” to a deep passion over the course of knowing Bryant.

“He knows how to get you in a way that affects you personally, even if he’s being a pain in the ass,” Jordan said. “But you always have a sense of love for him, and the way he can bring out the best in you. And he did that for me.

“I remember maybe a couple months ago, he sends me a text. And he said ‘I’m trying to teach my daughter some moves, and I don’t know what I was thinking or what I was working on, but what were you working on as you were growing up trying to work on your moves?’ I said ‘What age?’ He said: ‘12.’ I said, ‘At 12 I was trying to play baseball’... And this was at 2 o’clock in the morning. But the thing about him is we could talk about anything related to basketball and anything related to life.” 

Jordan’s most emotional moments of speaking came when he detailed Bryant’s passion for basketball and family, and his unwavering desire to make those around him better. Those are the things that will endure.

“When Kobe Bryant died, a piece of me died,” Jordan said. “I promise you, from this day forward, I will live with the memories of knowing that I had a little brother that I tried to help in every way I could.” 

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