Bulls

Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler top 10 in NBA jersey sales; Bulls second in team sales

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Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler top 10 in NBA jersey sales; Bulls second in team sales

Derrick Rose may not be the player he was in 2011, but the former MVP's jersey sales haven't changed one bit.

Rose ranked sixth among NBA players in jersey sales, the NBA released Wednesday afternoon. Rankings were based on the number of jerseys sold from October 2015 to December 2015 on NBAStore.com. It marks the seventh straight season Rose's jersey has ranked in the top six; Rose was No. 4 in 2010, No. 5 in 2011, No. 1 in 2012, No. 2 in 2013, No. 4 in 2014, and No. 5 in 2015.

[SHOP: Buy a Derrick Rose jersey here]

Rose trailed Stephen Curry, who led jersey sales for a second straight year, as well as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis, and Kevin Durant.

Rose wasn't the only member of the Bulls to find his name on the list. Reigning Most Improved Player Jimmy Butler debuted on the top 15 list, coming in at No. 10.

[SHOP: Buy a Jimmy Butler jersey here]

The Bulls ranked second in team merchandise, trailing only the defending champion Warriors. The Bulls were supplanted by Golden State after leading the league in merchandise sales for the first time since 2011-12. The top 5 rounded out with the Cavaliers, Lakers and Knicks.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Here are the top 15 player jersey rankings:

1. Stephen Curry, Warriors

2. LeBron James, Cavaliers

3. Kobe Bryant, Lakers

4. Kristaps Porzingis, Knicks

5. Kevin Durant, Thunder

6. Derrick Rose, Bulls

7. Russell Westbrook, Thunder

8. Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers

9. James Harden, Rockets

10. Jimmy Butler, Bulls

11. Klay Thompson, Warriors

12. Paul George, Pacers

13. Anthony Davis, Pelicans

14. Chris Paul, Clippers

15. Carmelo Anthony, Knicks

And the top 10 team merchandise rankings:

1. Golden State Warriors

2. Chicago Bulls

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

4. Los Angeles Lakers

5. New York Knicks

6. San Antonio Spurs

7. Oklahoma City Thunder

8. Miami Heat

9. Boston Celtics

10. Los Angeles Clippers

We've officially found the biggest Michael Jordan fan ever

We've officially found the biggest Michael Jordan fan ever

There are diehard Michael Jordan fans.

And then there's this guy.

Forget anybody getting a tattoo of their favorite team's championship trophy. Forget the people who wait for hours in terrible weather just to catch a glimpse of their favorite player.

This dude has a constant, 24/7 reminder of "His Airness":

Yep, that is a full tattoo of a Jordan "23" jersey on his back, complete with a Michael Jordan "autograph" in the middle of the "2." 

Dedication at its finest.

Couple questions: 

A) Does it carry over to the front at all? And if not, is that a plan for the future?

2) Will one of his buddies get a "45" Jordan jersey tattoo or are we just gonna continue to pretend that era never happened?

D) What will that tat look like in a few years? That guy better stay away from the Doritos...

Wendell Carter Jr. survives gauntlet of centers to begin career

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AP

Wendell Carter Jr. survives gauntlet of centers to begin career

Don't tell Wendell Carter Jr. the center position is a dying breed.

The 19-year-old rookie hasn't exactly been able to ease into the NBA, finding himself up against a handful of All-Stars and powerful frontcourts just five days into his career.

It culminated Monday night with a date against Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan, and once again the seventh overall pick held his own. It was much of the same as it was against Philadelphia's Joel Embiid and Detroit's Andre Drummond last week (and Nikola Jokic in the preseason finale): some good, some bad, plenty of poise and zero backing down. The NBA is unforgiving, but this could very well be the toughest stretch Carter faces all season.

"He’s playing against top level centers now," Fred Hoiberg said before Monday's game. "It’s a great experience for him. He’s going to learn and get better and he plays within himself, we will continue to look for him to be more aggressive."

He was as aggressive as the Bulls have seen him against Jordan and the Mavericks. He blew by the 20 and 18 minutes he played in the first two games of the year, totalling 32 minutes. His final line won't tell the story - 4 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and a block - of a Carter who defended well at the rim, picking and choosing his spots on when to attack shots and when to simply use his verticality.

He wasn't credited for a block but he contested a Jordan dunk that turned into a Bobby Portis dunk on the other end. Plus-minus isn't always a good indicator of a player's worth, but Carter was a +5 in a 14-point Bulls loss. He even attempted a corner 3-pointer early in the shot clock, showing no hesitation. Carter's had his moments, but it's also apparent he's got a 19-year-old body going up against veterans each night. That'll come with time in the weight room. For now the experience is 

"I appreciate the fact I’m able to play against these very talented bigs early in my career," Carter said after the loss to the Pistons. "What I need to work on is I have to get stronger; that’s the first thing I recognize; just being up against the best. I love the competition. It’s always a great feeling going against the best."

What the Bulls are finding out is they have a player mature beyond his years. As he progresses he'll continue to get more difficult assignments. He had his rookie moment late in Monday's loss, committing a turnover in the backcourt after the Bulls had cut the deficit to five with 35 seconds left. The fouls are also an issue, as Carter has committed 10 in three games (after committing 17 in five preseason games).

That doesn't necessarily seem important for a Lottery-bound team, but considering the continued struggles of Robin Lopez (and Cristiano Felicio is entirely out of the rotation) it is. Lopez had 2 points and 1 rebound in 10 minutes while committing five personal fouls. In three games he has 11 personal fouls and 11 points, and also has more turnovers (five) than rebounds (four). If the Bulls are going to compete until Lauri Markkanen returns, Carter will need to hover around the 32 minutes he played Monday.

He'll get a much easier test on Wednesday when the Charlotte Hornets arrive in town. Cody Zeller doesn't exactly have the credentials of a Jokic or Embiid, meaning Carter may have a little more room to work. 

The Bulls know they have something in Carter. It'll be abother month until they can deploy him alongside Markkanen, but if the first three games are any indication, Carter won't have any problems matching up with some of the league's best.