Bulls

Fred Hoiberg's message to Bulls at trade deadline: Control what you can control

Fred Hoiberg's message to Bulls at trade deadline: Control what you can control

Jimmy Butler was the lone member of the Bulls not at practice Wednesday night at the Advocate Center. But the three-time All-Star wasn't on his way to Boston as part of a blockbuster trade. Instead, he was simply receiving an extra day of rest after a busy weekend in New Orleans.

With a little more than 12 hours remaining until the NBA trade deadline - Thursday at 2 p.m. CT - the Bulls' roster remains intact. Butler continues to be linked to the Boston Celtics - although multiple reports have stated that the two sides remain far off on a potential deal - and the likes of Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott and Robin Lopez all have popped up in various trade rumors over the past week. Even Fred Hoiberg said "Jimmy's obviously been great for us and we thinkn that will obviously continue to happen" when asked if the team's leadeing scorer might be dealt.

The latest report came Wednesday evening when The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Bulls are continuing their pursuit of Chicago native and Sixers center Jahlil Okafor, with Mirotic as a potential part of the package going back to Philadelphia.

Fred Hoiberg, who's been in a front office role at the deadline with the Minnesota Timberwolves, said he understands the trade deadline process of needing to "listen to everything and see if there's something that can help out without jeopardizing the future." But Hoiberg, as he's done when asked about the deadline the last few weeks, reiterated that "99 percent of the things that you hear and read don't transpire."

Still, as a former player he's aware of the strain the trade deadline can put on players, specifically players of a team in selling mode. He's implored his team to not read too much into reports and sources that pop up on social media and to focus on the task at hand, a Friday night matchup against the Suns.

"I don't think it's affected us at all. I think our guys have done a great job. Again, there's so many rumors that get thrown against the wall and that's what most of them are, they're rumors," Hoiberg said. "Our guys have done a good job ignoring that and going out and trying to work through and control what they can control, and that's going out and competing."

Butler has strung together another career year and started Sunday's All-Star Game for the first time in his career. But as the Bulls internally discuss whether to begin their rebuild - which would come in the form of dealing Butler to the Celtics for young assets - Dwyane Wade, who is expected to play through his wrist injury Friday against the Suns, understands that every rumor, report and eventual trade is fair game this time of the year.

"It's a business. every organization has a job to do to try to make their orgnaizatioon the way that they see fit. and as players you can't get sensitive about that at all," Wade said. "Trade deadline is more talk than anything, normally, but it's exciting for the fans to see what the team is gonna do or don't do and all this and that. But a lot of it is just talk."

For the Bulls, all talk remained just that at last year's deadline. They find themselves in a similar position as they did last season, although wins over contenders in Toronto and Boston have produced some optimism for the seventh-seeded Bulls. The schedule doesn't get much easier in March, with the Bulls facing off against 11 current playoff teams in their next 14 games.

And they'll know a lot more about where they stand when the clock strikes 2 p.m. on Thursday.

"I think it's always a relief for anybody that's in this business once that trade deadline comes and goes," Hoiberg admitted. "Then you can just focus on what you need to work on and not have to worry about all the things that are being thrown around and all the rumors that are out there. Just worry about getting your guys ready to play the stretch run and again hopefully play well."

Bulls host 17th annual Thanksgiving Dinner

Bulls host 17th annual Thanksgiving Dinner

The Bulls hosted their 17th annual Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday at the Pacific Garden Mission. Several members of the organization, coaching staff, and players wearing red “Bulls” aprons and clear plastic gloves, scattered throughout the large cafeteria space to serve the community a warm Thanksgiving meal.

The scene was great. as head coach Jim Boylen helped carve one of the four turkeys in the Ceremonial Turkey Carving, while Will Perdue looked like he was vying for his fifth NBA Championship as he balanced almost ten plates on two trays. Perdue then joyfully shuffled through the room with his wife, assisting his game by handing off plates to the seated guests. And Thad Young brought his two sons, Thad Jr. and Taylor, to help him hand out food. 

Aside from Thad Young, among the eight or so players serving at the event was the recently healthy, Chandler Hutchison, who was impressed by the Bulls’ commitment to the community through the annual event, and grateful to be a part of it.   

“The fact that they’ve (The Bulls) done it for 17 years speaks so much to the dedication that they have,” Hutchison said. “I mean, just seeing the look on their face when you’re handing them out food and they're like, ‘Those are actually the people you know that are playing and they're sitting here, helping us out, taking time out of their day.' It makes me feel good inside to be able to do that.” 

Hutchison saw the event as a small way that he was able to show love to others.  

“It just takes an hour, maybe two hours out of our day, but to them it could mean a lot," he said.  

Also present at the event, was Tomáš Satoranský, who is new to the idea of celebrating Thanksgiving. 

“First of all, I come from Europe, so I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving that much,” Satoranský said. “But it was amazing to see how much good stuff they’re making and how much work is behind it, to serve such great food like that.”  

Satoranský is in for a surprise when the Bulls celebrate Thanksgiving on the road in Portland. The Bulls haven’t given him much insight into what it will entail, other than that “the Chicago Bulls always celebrate it ‘Big Time,’ leaving him in anticipation. A team that makes sure his first Thanksgiving celebration is one to remember, among other things, gives Satoranský a lot to be grateful for this season. 

“I’m thankful for being here, being with the team and my new teammates, belonging in a new family, as well as I have a new baby born who's nine months old — that’s what comes to my mind now," he said. 

Hutchison shared several reasons he is thankful to the Bulls’ organization this Thanksgiving, starting with how they drafted him 22nd overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. 

“I mean really, they drafted me, “he said. “So, let’s start there. I’m thankful to be in this situation and playing with and meeting people throughout the organization and on my team, who care about me, people that I am going to be spending a lot of time with — just a good all-around situation."

Hutchison was asked what he brings to the Thanksgiving “table,” so to speak, or Bulls organization.

“I just try to be someone that’s light-hearted and always kind of in a good mood, bringing energy," he said. "Someone who’s just going to show up, work hard, and not just do what’s required, but do extra. For me, that’s something that I feel like I bring to the table.”

Pacific Garden Mission is the oldest, continuously-operating rescue mission in the country, and has been a refuge for the Chicago community since 1877.

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Michael Jordan professes his love for NASCAR

michael_jordan_ap.jpg
AP

Michael Jordan professes his love for NASCAR

Did you know Michael Jordan is a huge NASCAR fan?

Sunday, Jordan attended the final race of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season in Miami. In an interview with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jordan professed his fandom for the motorsport.

“I’m a big race fan. Started off when I was a kid and I grew up watching [Dale Earnhardt], Richard Petty [and] Cale Yarborough was an original 11 that I remember,” Jordan said. “Now I’m good friends with Denny Hamlin and we go way back. He’s a season ticket holder at the Hornets, and I spend a lot of time playing golf with him and obviously I’m a big NASCAR fan, so I came out to support him.

Jordan added his friendship with Hamlin goes back seven years. Hamlin is a Jordan brand athlete and Jordan owns the Charlotte Hornets, so the two have some ties.

“He’s just gotten better, and my interest in the sport has been there for a long period of time,” Jordan said. “I love watching; I set my clock every Sunday to watch NASCAR and I pay attention.”

Although he’s a big fan of the sport, Jordan said he hasn’t thought about becoming a NASCAR owner.

“I love being a fan,” he said. “I still understand the sport, but in terms of ownership, I think I’m just gonna sit back and watch it and support from afar.”

Watch the full interview:

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