President Obama expected in attendance at Bulls-Cavs opener


President Obama expected in attendance at Bulls-Cavs opener

The extra Secret Service members are in full attendance at the United Center, in anticipation of President Barack Obama’s attendance at the NBA’s season opener between the Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers.

No president in recent memory has attended the NBA’s tipoff game, but considering Obama’s diehard allegiance to his hometown Bulls and his being in town, it’s an easy hike to get down to the United Center tonight.

“He loves the game of basketball,” Cavs forward LeBron James said. “I think we all know that. It's an honor for me to be a part of a venue and a spectacle where the president would like to come and watch.”

It’s not James’ first time playing in front of the President, a huge NBA fan in general, but it’s the first time President Obama will see James play in Chicago. It hasn’t been revealed where President Obama will be sitting but while in Washington D.C., he usually has sat courtside as opposed to a suite.

“I played in front of him in DC, on the Olympic team we played Brazil here in America (in 2012) and he was able to grace that game,” James said. “He came into the locker room and things of that nature. It's great to represent the country and play the game that I love.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Cavaliers coach David Blatt said he can’t remember if he’s coached in front of President Obama before but considering he coached in Israel for a number of years, he felt it necessary to say this isn’t the first time he’s been in front of heads of state before.

“I've been in front of presidents in other parts of the world,” said Blatt, while acknowledging how ‘cool’ it is. “But of the United States, yes.”

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg was a little more excited about the possibility, with his mind being squarely on his first official game as an NBA coach.

“Yes, very honored to see him. That’ll be cool,” Hoiberg said. “It’ll be great for our guys to see the President in the building.”

When someone mentioned to Hoiberg there would be a President, a “King” (James’ nickname) and a “Mayor” (Hoiberg’s nickname), he replied with an easygoing quip.

“I’m pretty low on the totem pole on that one,” he said.

Report: Bulls looking to move up in NBA Draft for Bamba or Jackson

Report: Bulls looking to move up in NBA Draft for Bamba or Jackson

The Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings flipped a coin to determine which team gets two different sets of numbers for NBA Draft Lottery. The Bulls won, but their set of numbers landed them the seventh overall pick. Meanwhile, the Kings won overall landing the second overall pick.

While the coin toss and lottery didn't work in their favor, the Bulls could be taking matters into their own hands and are looking to climb the draft order. According to a report from Jonathan Givony of ESPN, the Bulls are "exploring the possibility of moving up to No. 4 or No. 5".

Bulls fans have been enamored with Michael Porter Jr., but Givony says the Bulls are looking for a big man to pair alongside Lauri Markkanen like Mo Bamba or Jaren Jackson Jr.

RELATED: All of our 2018 NBA Draft content in one convenient place

The seventh overall pick has been kind to the Bulls in the past, netting the team players like Kirk Hinrich and more recently, Markkanen (who was technically drafted by the Timberwolves but was a part of the trade for Jimmy Butler on draft night).

Now, Markkanen is the centerpiece of the Bulls plans as they build for the future. After Bamba's workout with the Bulls, NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider Vincent Goodwill noted the Texas big man could be the best fit alongside Markkanen and Bamba agreed.

“I think Lauri and I, we're in a sense ... the front court of the future,” Bamba said. “I mean, he can step out and really shoot it really well. That gives me a lot of room to operate down low and start to develop.”

NBA Draft night could once again shape up to be an exciting night for Bulls fans.

Make sure to follow Bulls Talk, insider Vincent Goodwill and Mark Strotman for all the latest news surrounding the NBA Draft. Goodwill and Strotman will be at the Advocate Center, the Bulls Draft headquarter providing extensive coverage.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls trade up or down in the draft?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls trade up or down in the draft?

Mark Carman, Hub Arkush, Phil Rogers and Will Perdue join Kap on the SportsTalk Live Podcast.

The guys start by discussing Brandon Morrow's injury that he sustained while taking off his pants... what's the craziest cause for an injury the guys can remember?

Plus, should the Bulls move up or down in Thursday's NBA Draft? Does it make sense to take on a bad contract in a potential deal?

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: