Bulls

Bulls join the NBA in mourning the loss of Craig Sager, an 'incredible human being'

Bulls join the NBA in mourning the loss of Craig Sager, an 'incredible human being'

MILWAUKEE—His suits preceded his smile, which preceded his work ethic. And unfortunately it all preceded a battle that TNT announcer Craig Sager couldn’t beat, as the Illinois native passed away Thursday following a battle with leukemia.

Known for colorful suits and probing questions, Sager was as embedded in the NBA fabric as any member of the media and beloved by seemingly everyone he came across in his three decades covering the NBA for Turner Sports.

The loss, while not unexpected given how long Sager has been battling the disease, still rocked NBA players, coaches and anyone associated with the league to their core.

“Like so many guys in our league, when you see Craig coming, you just put a smile on your face,” Dwyane Wade said. “When you see him in the building, you know it’s a big game. As a player you do everything you can to make sure that you get the interview with him at halftime or after the game.”

Whether it was his battles with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich or his hilarious All-Star exchange with Kevin Garnett, he always took the ribbing in stride and took even more pride in how he presented himself.

“You had a joke for him, you had a moment,” Wade said. “If as an individual, you can go through life and impact that many people, just being who you are, having fun in life and loving, then you’ve done an amazing job. He’s a legend, and his legacy he left behind and stories we’ll tell for years to come.”

Sager’s battle, going through three bone-marrow procedures, became the story of legend to go along with his never-ending work ethic, often shuffling from treatments in Houston to wherever he was scheduled to work, became a point of inspiration for the players he encountered and the fans who loved him.

“That’s an incredible human being,” Jimmy Butler said. “As many lives as he inspired, the smile he constantly had, to giving back in the tough times, we need more people like that. He definitely made the world a better place and gave a tremendous amount of people hope. He will be missed.”

Sager even got the notoriously-focused Popovich and Tom Thibodeau to loosen up during interviews, often becoming the subject of tributes from the players while trying his best to do his job.

“Very sad. He was a great man,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I did have the opportunity as a coach when he was covering the NCAA Tournament down in San Antonio. I got to know him a little bit. He was just so great for the game, just a guy that always asked the right questions.”

And with no more questions to ask and no more bright suits to wear, the world seems a little duller with Sager leaving it behind.

Bulls forward Thaddeus Young invited to USA Basketball training camp for 2019 FIBA World Cup

Bulls forward Thaddeus Young invited to USA Basketball training camp for 2019 FIBA World Cup

Thaddeus Young could don one more different jersey before he hits the court with the Bulls for the first time.

According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Young has been invited to participate in USA Basketball's training camp roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Team USA has seen several star NBA players withdraw their name for consideration from the team in recent days, including Wizards guard Bradley Beal and 76ers forward Tobias Harris. Thus, there is at least a small chance that Young makes the final roster, which would be the fourth-straight World Cup in which a Bull plays for Team USA

Derrick Rose donned the stars and stripes in both 2010 and 2014, following Kirk Hinrich in 2006 and Jay Williams in 2002. Perhaps Bulls guard Zach LaVine will be the next player to receive an invite?

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Report: Bulls to hire Damian Cotter as Windy City head coach

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USA TODAY

Report: Bulls to hire Damian Cotter as Windy City head coach

The Windy City Bulls are expected to name Damian Cotter their head coach, according to 2 Ways & 10 Days' Adam Johnson.

The Bulls were in search of a replacement for Charlie Henry, who took an assistant coaching role at Alabama University in April after two seasons with Windy City.

Cotter spent last season as an assistant with the Capital City Go-Go, the Washington Wizards' G-League affiliate. In 2018, Cotter was an assistant for the Long Island Nets, the Brooklyn Nets' G-League affiliate. Cotter, an Australian native, has also coached the NBL's Sydney Kings both as an assistant (2013-14) and head coach (2014-15). He has also coached U-19 men's and women's teams in Australia.

Coaching turnover isn't rare in the G-League, and Windy City is no exception. Cotter will become the team's third different head coach in four seasons since the team was founded in 2016. Nate Loenser, now an assistant under Jim Boylen and the coach of the Bulls' 2019 Summer League team, was Windy City's inaugural head coach.

Windy City enjoyed their first winning season in 2019, going 27-23 under Henry and bowing out in the first round of the postseason to the Westchester Knicks.

Myriad injuries to the NBA's Bulls meant that a half dozen Windy City alums saw time on the United Center floor at the end of last season. Those players included Walt Lemon, Jakarr Sampson, Brandon Sampson, Ryan Arcidiacono, Rawle Alkins and Cristiano Felicio.