Pau Gasol's first year in Chicago has been an overwhelming success, a point proven again Wednesday as the star forward took home the 2014-15 Magic Johnson Award.
The honor is handed out each year by the Professional Basketball Writers Association to the NBA player who "best combines excellence on the basketball court with cooperation and dignity in dealing with the media and public."
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Gasol beat out Steph Curry (Warriors), Manu Ginobili (Spurs), LeBron James (Cavaliers) and Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers) for the award.
According to the PBWA, a group of about 175 writers and editors who cover the NBA, Gasol "consistently fostered an atmosphere of mutual respect with the media."
Gasol joins Jalen Rose (2002-03) as the only Bulls players to win the award.
[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]
Past winners include:
2000-01: Ray Allen, Milwaukee Bucks
2001-02: Elton Brand, L.A. Clippers
2002-03: Jalen Rose, Chicago Bulls
2003-04: Jermaine O’Neal, Indiana Pacers
2004-05: Antawn Jamison, Washington Wizards
2005-06: Grant Hill, Orlando Magic
2006-07: Shane Battier, Houston Rockets
2007-08: Derek Fisher, Los Angeles Lakers
2008-09: Brandon Roy, Portland Trail Blazers
2009-10: Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors
2010-11: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
2011-12: Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
2012-13: Shane Battier, Miami Heat
2013-14: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
The Bulls faced a steep test opening their 2018-19 campaign against the Philadelphia 76ers.
That task won't become any easier with Kris Dunn missing the game for personal reasons, head coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters at shootaround on Thursday.
Dunn's exlusion opens up an opportunity for Cameron Payne, who will enter the starting lineup. Payne started 14 games for the Bulls last season, averaging 9.4 points and 5.6 assists in 26.5 minutes.
It also moves up Ryan Arcidiacono and Tyler Ulis, both of whom will be active, in the rotation. Expect both to see at least some playing time, especially with Denzel Valentine also out while recovering from a sprained ankle suffered in training camp.
It could mean an even bigger evening for Sixers point guard Ben Simmons. The reigning Rookie of the Year posted 19 points, 15 rebounds and 8 assists in Philly's season-opening loss to the Celtics on Tuesday.
On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, the Bulls Outsiders team of Matt Peck, David Watson, and John Sabine join Kevin Anderson to talk about the series premier of ‘Bulls Outsiders’ Thursday night. Hear about how the show came together and what they are hoping to bring to the Bulls fanbase this season. They’ll also share their bold predictions for the season including two potential end-of-season award winners from this roster.
0:15- Introduction to the Bulls Outsiders
3:15- The process of casting the show
9:45- John Sabine's Improv background and comedy's connection to basketball
11:20- What the Outsiders hope to accomplish with the show
13:00- What's great about Bulls fans
14:20- Who is their favorite Bull of all time, outside of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen
26:20- Bold on the court predcitions for the season
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: