Bulls

NBA schedule officially released

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NBA schedule officially released

The NBA officially released the 2011-2012 schedule on Tuesday and after the Bulls open the season on Christmas Day in Los Angeles, they will play in California in their following three games. The rest of the four-game road trip features games against the Warriors on Dec. 26, the Kings on Dec. 29 and back to the Staples Center to play former Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro's Clippers on Dec. 30.

The first home game of the season will take place New Year's Day, when the Bulls host the Grizzlies at the United Center. The team's lone back-to-back-to-back stretch of the abbreviated, 66-game regular-season schedule starts Jan. 9, when they host the Pistons, and ends Jan. 11 with a matchup against the Wizards, sandwiching a quick road trip to Minnesota in between.

Chicago's schedule features four games against Eastern Conference finals foe Miami -- the first game against the Heat is a Sunday afternoon affair in South Florida on Jan. 29, with home games on March 14 and April 12, and a final road contest on April 19 -- as well as a Martin Luther King Day matinee in Memphis on Jan. 16. Though the Bulls avoided their annual November circus trip, the first Heat game kicks off the Bulls' longest road swing of the season, a nine-game trip that also includes games at Washington, Philadelphia, New York, Milwaukee, New Jersey, New Orleans, Boston on Feb. 12.

Other notable games on the slate include an April 1 afternoon affair against Kevin Durant and the Thunder at Oklahoma City, another Sunday matinee on April 8 in New York (the Knicks will then travel to Chicago for an April 10 rematch), an April 21 home matchup against the Mavericks -- the sole contest against the defending champions this season -- and the regular-season finale, April 26, against the Cavaliers at the United Center. The Bulls' two preseason games will be against the Pacers, Dec. 16 in Indianapolis and Dec. 20 in Chicago.

Former Bulls guard joins Illinois State coaching staff

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AP

Former Bulls guard joins Illinois State coaching staff

A former Bulls point guard will soon be back on a basketball court near Chicago.

Illinois State head coach Dan Muller announced the hiring of Chris Duhon earlier today. Duhon has been added to the coaching staff for the 2018-19 season.

Duhon, a former McDonald’s All-American, NCAA national champion and a nine-year NBA veteran, comes back into the coaching role after three years as an assistant coach at Marshall University. The Thundering Herd made a NCAA tournament appearance in March for the first time in 33 years.

"Chris brings a high level of on-the-court experience and success to our program," Muller said in a press release. "His playing career speaks for itself. He is a leader, a teammate, a worker, and a winner. As a coach, Chris helped a tremendous amount with the turnaround at Marshall under Coach D'Antoni, and is eager to continue to grow here with us."

Duhon was drafted in the second round in the NBA draft by the Bulls in 2004. Duhon averaged 6.9 points and 4.4 assists before leaving the Bulls in free agency, joining the New York Knicks on a two-year $12 million dollar contract.

He also played for the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Before entering Duke University, Duhon was named Mr. Basketball of Louisiana. And the year to follow, Duhon was no stranger to success at Duke.

Duhon finished as Duke's all-time leader in steals (300), minutes (4,813), and second in assists (819). Duhon was the only player in ACC history to record 1,200 points, 800 assists, 475 rebounds, 300 steals, and 125 3-point field goals.

He was also part of the 2001 National Championship team his sophomore season.

"I'm very thankful to Coach Dan Muller and the University for giving me the opportunity to be an assistant basketball coach," Duhon said. "I'm excited to be working for a University as prestigious as Illinois State, and I'm looking forward to coaching and working with a great group of student-athletes."

Duhon joins an Illinois State team that is returning multiple top scoring threats, and 88 percent of the team’s scoring from a year ago.

Brotherly love: Justin and Jrue Holiday will walk NBA prospect Aaron cross stage at draft

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USA TODAY

Brotherly love: Justin and Jrue Holiday will walk NBA prospect Aaron cross stage at draft

Here's a cool story to get your week started off right.

Per Yahoo's Shams Charania, the NBA for the first time will have its green room invitees walk across the stage with two family members prior to the draft.

For UCLA guard Aaron Holiday, his brothers will accompany him.

Aaron, a 6-foot-1 guard, is projected to go off the board sometime late in the first round. It's pretty neat that his brothers will be in attendance, both Justin of the Bulls and Jrue of the Pelicans.

And there's a chance Aaron gets to play with Justin. The Bulls hold the 22nd pick in the first round (ironically from Jrue and the Pelicans) and Scott Phillips has Aaron as one of the five players the Bulls should look at with the 22nd pick.

Writes Phillips:

Aaron Holiday, G, UCLA: This potential pick would already have ties to the Bulls as Aaron's older brother, Justin, is currently on the roster. After three stellar seasons with the Bruins, Aaron is now hoping to become the third Holiday brother in the NBA (brother Jrue is with the Pelicans).

Smaller than his older brothers at 6-foot-1, Aaron makes up for his smaller size at the point with an absurd 6-foot-7.5 wingspan that enables him to play bigger on the defensive end. A talented perimeter shooter who never shot below 41 percent from 3-point range during his three years in Westwood, Holiday has shown that he can run a team on the ball or play as a shooter off of the ball. It should also be pointed out that Holiday was a selfless teammates at UCLA. Opting to come off the bench his sophomore season so Lonzo Ball could start, Holiday was great as both a starter and a sixth man during his college career.