Bulls

Bulls flex their muscles in Game 5 win

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Bulls flex their muscles in Game 5 win

CHICAGO--With the season on the line, Bulls Tom Thibodeau said we'd see what his team is made of.

They showed their character by out-muscling the Sixers in Game 5.

"It was a highly physical game," Sixers forward Elton Brand said.

"They're all going to be physical," Philadelphia coach Doug Collins agreed.

It's no secret the Bulls are playing without two of their best players in Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. But their brand of basketball all season has been physical in nature, and that is one way they hold an edge over Philadelphia, as evidenced by Tuesday's performance.

"We're not a physical team," Collins said. "You look at some of those guys, those are big, strong guys.

"You can't play out of character. You can't always say 'we're going to run out there and we're going to play smash-mouth basketball.' Because that's not what we do. If we do that, we'll fall into the trap that they want to put us in. That's why I told the guys when they had that little scrum there at the end of the bench 'Just stay with what we're doing. We're going to be OK.'"

Late in the second quarter, Taj Gibson and Brand were on the ground fighting for a rebound in front of the Bulls bench. The encounter turned even more physical when the two started pushing and shoving and players from both teams quickly got in on the action. John Lucas, the Bulls' diminutive point guard, was seen standing toe-to-toe with some of the Sixers' bigger players and the Chicago coaches had to restrain the Bulls players on the bench from rushing the floor.

The referees eventually restored order, but not after a delay of almost 10 minutes. The result was a double technical on both Gibson and Brand.

"It was just a tussle," Brand said. "I thought I had an elbow to the face and I can't allow that. But nothing dirty. After the play was over, it was over."

It may have been over, but the scuffle ignited the United Center crowd and only further empowered the Bulls, who used a 10-2 run to close out the second quarter.

"You just can't get in an arm-wrestling match with these guys," said Brand, the Bulls' first-overall draft pick in 1999. "Even Rip Hamilton. He seems slight of build, but he's a tough guy."

Former Bulls guard opens up about having depression

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AP

Former Bulls guard opens up about having depression

During his NBA career, he was known as having a joking, outgoing, clown-type of personality. Now, former NBA point guard Nate Robinson opened up about having depression.

Robinson, an 11-year NBA veteran, told Bleacher Report that he began going to therapy sessions in the 2012-13 season when he played for the Bulls.

He said he would struggle with having an angel and a demon inside of him.

"The NBA gave me my depression," Robinson told Bleacher Report. "I've never been a depressed person in my life."

"The hardest thing in my whole life, of my 34 years in existence on earth, was dealing with 11 years in the NBA of trying to be somebody that [NBA coaches] want me to be," Robinson said.

When Robinson was with the Bulls, he said he would sit in front of the plane so he wouldn’t be tempted to crack jokes. His one year with the Bulls ended up being one of the top seasons statistically in his career. He averaged just over 13 points and four assists per game. He played in all 82 games (starting 23) on a team that finished 45-37 with a berth in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

He thought his behavior was always looked down upon, and Robinson thought he was being punished for his actions.

“It’s like Spider-Man, that Venom. I never wanted that Venom outfit to just consume me,” he says. “I wanted to be Spider-Man. I wanted to be positive. I never wanted that dark side to come out because I know what that dark side could do.” 

This might come as a surprise for NBA fans, knowing how energetic Robinson was on the court, no matter what team he was a part of.

Even though Robinson is just 5-foot-9, he brought a spark of energy when he came into the game.

He hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2015-16 season with the Pelicans and spent last year with the Delaware 87ers in the G League.

Robinson is known for his participation in the NBA Slam Dunk competition. He won three contests, going back-to-back in 2009 and 2010.

One highlight was Robinson jumping over Dwight Howard in 2009, which ultimately gave Robinson his third title. Another highlight is welcoming former 1986 Slam Dunk Champion Spud Webb on the floor in 2006 and jumping over him.

Robinson is still vying for a comeback to the NBA.

Bulls Talk Podcast: 2018 NBA Draft primer (and some Kawhi talk)

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AP

Bulls Talk Podcast: 2018 NBA Draft primer (and some Kawhi talk)

On this edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Strotman and Scott Phillips get you set for the 2018 NBA Draft. They put together their own mock draft, analyzing each of the first seven picks, analyze a handful of options the Bulls should look at at No. 22, and answer questions from Twitter. They also discuss the Kawhi Leonard trade rumors and whether the Bulls could put together a package that would entice San Antonio.