Bulls

Bulls' Noah on Garnett: 'He's a Dirty Player'

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Bulls' Noah on Garnett: 'He's a Dirty Player'

Sunday, Apr. 18, 2010
2:43 P.M.
By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

CLEVELAND Bulls center Joakim Noah hasnt necessarily endeared himself to Cavaliers fans, and if Chicago somehow gets past top-seeded Cleveland to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals, a potential opponent might not be too happy with him either.

After Sundays Bulls practice in Cleveland, Noah was asked if he watched any other playoff games following Chicagos 96-83 loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday.

That was unbelievable yesterday, huh? That Boston-Miami game. Hes unbelievable, that guy? said Noah, referring to Celtics forward Kevin Garnett elbowing Miami swingman Quentin Richardson. Im going to say thishes a dirty player, man. Hes a dirty player. Thats messed up, man.

I dont know about a suspension, but hes always swinging elbows, man. I mean, Im hurting right now because of an elbow he threw, continued Noah, who obviously has a history with Boston from last springs epic Bulls-Celtics playoff series, although Garnett didnt play. Its one thing to be competitive and compete and all that, but dont be a dirty player.

He knows what hes doing. Its wrong.

Noah also pontificated about the city of Cleveland, in the wake of Cavaliers fans chanting, Noah sucks during Game 1, in response to Noahs pre-series shock the world comments after the Bulls regular-season finale, playoff-clinching win in Charlotte on Wednesday.

ClevelandI dont know about Cleveland, said Noah. There is nothing to do. Its bad, man. Its bad.

What, that Cleveland sucks? Noah, went on to sayin jest, when asked about whether the fans derision motivated himbefore turning serious. They played very well. Shaq is back and playing at a high level, and theyre on a mission right now.

Well see what were made of on Monday.

Although Noahs lightning-rod status may concern some, his teammates are supportive, knowing his emotion can be used to the Bulls benefit.

Oh, youve got to love him. I wish they were calling my name like that. Id love it, said Chicago point guard Derrick Rose. It would make me play harder. It should make him play harder. I just love playing away from home and shutting the crowd up, but its going to take some wins.

For that to occur, Noahs matchup against Cleveland center Shaquille ONeal must turn in the Bulls favor.

What do I have to do to wear Shaq out? Hopefully he wears himself out, Noah continued. Weve got to try to make it a track meet as much as possible.

You want me to give him all the credit in the whole world and then, what? said Noah, when asked about the difficulty of stopping ONeal, who dominated the paint, in contrast to the foul trouble Noah and Chicagos other big menrookie power forward Taj Gibson and backup center Brad Millerexperienced on Saturday. Guarding ONeal is as hard as it looks.

Despite their Game 1 loss, the Bulls were in high spirits during Sundays practice, continuing their theme of using the sessions to re-focus, loosen up and motivate themselves. For example, a round-robin game of one-on-one between reserves Jannero Pargo, James Johnson, Joe Alexander and Rob Kurz captivated the rest of the teamincluding Noah, even as he was being interviewed.

I remember when I used to do this with Tyrus and Big Pookie Jerome James my rookie year, said Noah. You get tired and you get really pissed off at the coaches. This is adversity in its rawest form.

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.

Zach LaVine's injury provides an opportunity to evaluate Rawle Alkins

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USA TODAY

Zach LaVine's injury provides an opportunity to evaluate Rawle Alkins

According to sources of Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic, the Bulls have called up Rawle Alkins in the wake of the Zach LaVine injury news. 

However, the 21-year old wing will not play with the Bulls tonight in San Antonio.

Alkins is a 6-foot 5 wing player who plays with tenacity and energy on the defensive end. In 18 NBA G League games Alkins has averaged 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game. 

The main weakness in Alkins game was his inconsistent perimeter shooting, which has looked good so far with the Windy City Bulls. He is shooting 38 percent on 4.5 attempts from 3-point range per game, though he is struggling mightily from the free throw line. 

It will be interesting to see how Jim Boylen deploys Alkins in lineups—assuming he gets solid playing time in LaVine's absence—because a Alkins-Shaq Harrison-Kris Dunn pairing could provide a very big dose of switchability and defensive pressure for a team that has been quietly been 17th in the league in defensive rating since Boylen took over. 

LeBron James says meeting Michael Jordan for the first time was "godly"

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AP, USA TODAY

LeBron James says meeting Michael Jordan for the first time was "godly"

LeBron James and Michael Jordan are often-pitted against one another in basketball debates, with fans arguing which player truly is the greatest of all-time. 

Like Jordan before him, James has had a brilliant career and is considered by many as the best player since Jordan. But despite his own success, James said meeting Jordan for the first-time in June 2001 was "godly" for his 16-year-old self.

"It was godly," James said in a recent interview with ESPN. "I've said that over and over before, but it was like meeting God for the first time. That's what I felt like as a 16-year-old kid when I met MJ.

"MJ made the game global." "He made the game global. He made people all over the world want to watch the game of basketball because of his marketability, because of the way he played the game of basketball, because of who he was.

"He kind of transcended that era."

Jordan was 38 in June 2001 and technically retired, though he ultimately unretired for the second time. He joined the Wizards that fall, playing for Washington for two seasons, from 2001-03. Ironically, Jordan retired for the final time after the 2002-03 season, with James making his NBA debut that fall, in October 2003 with the Cavaliers.

At the end of the day, it's nice to know James had the same reaction that most fans would have if they got the chance to meet Jordan. 

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