Bulls

Malone: I'd choose Pippen over Jordan

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Malone: I'd choose Pippen over Jordan

Wednesday morning's edition of "The Dan Patrick Show", broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, featured Basketball Hall of Famers Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and David Robinson, all members of the 1992 U.S. Olympic "Dream Team," as guests. A much-anticipated documentary about the Dream Team will premiere Wednesday on NBA TV.

Malone made a surprising choice when asked which member of the Dream Team -- other than longtime Utah Jazz teammate John Stockton -- he would have started a team with that included himself.

"I would have to start my team with Scottie Pippen," he said. "This is why I would take Scottie: Do you remember the time that Michael retired? I watched Scottie Pippen when the Chicago Bulls weren't really good and Scottie led that team in every statistical category, and I just remembered that. Plus, he's a guy who could care less about scoring. He wants to stop the best player on the other team. That would have been pretty cool, to see Scottie guarding Michael."

Robinson was asked about the reported admissions by former Bulls Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen that they didn't want Chicago native Isiah Thomas, the leader of the rival "Bad Boy" Detroit Pistons, on the team.

"Didn't matter to me one way or the other. I heard all the talk. At the time, people were wondering whether Michael had something to do with it," said Robinson. "I didn't see it as a big controversy at the time. I still don't think it's a big deal."

Added Barkley: "I didn't care who was on the team...I know that Michael and Scottie didn't want him on the team, but I like Isiah Thomas. I've never had a problem with him.

"People forget I played on the second Dream Team, too, and the second Dream Team really sucked. We had so much junk going on, guys complaining about playing time, who was starting on the second Dream Team and I can honestly tell you this: On that first Dream Team, we never had any of that. I'm playing with the greatest team ever assembled. Everybody got along well."

The humorous Barkley also chimed in about the greatness of the team compared to the 1996 Olympic squad, saying: "'92 was the greatest thing ever, as far as camaraderie and everybody getting along, and in '96, I was like, 'You guys are kidding me. I played with the greatest team ever and you guys ain't that good.'"

His fellow all-time great power forward Malone, also a member of both teams. credited Jordan and Magic Johnson as being the leaders of the team.

"I would say the most competitive guys on the Dream Team were two: I would say Michael and Magic and the reason I say that is when we would do teams, they always had each guy on the opposite team, so the coaches wouldn't have to do anything but say throw the ball up and those guys always got everybody going," said Malone.

"I just want to see footage of the practices," said Robinson, who claimed he had not seen the documentary yet. "It was hard basketball, just everybody going at each other and talking, and everybody on that floor wasn't just competitive, but the ultimate competitor, too, so, it brought the best out of all of us."

Bulls Talk Podcast: How NBA Draft combine impacted mock drafts

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: How NBA Draft combine impacted mock drafts

On this edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Schanowski and Kendall Gill discuss the NBA Draft and what happened at the NBA combine that shifted most experts mock drafts.

Kendall also explains why a "promise" to draft a player isn’t guaranteed. He also shares his experience on getting drafted by the Hornets and why he initially felt they were the wrong team for him.

North Carolina "News and Observer" Duke basketball beat writer Jonathan Alexander gives us his opinion on Wendell Carter and the other Duke draft prospects including why he thinks Carter will be a future all-star. Also includes an interview with Carter from the draft combine.

Listen to the full Bulls Talk Podcast right here:

Bears coaching upheavals portend inevitable stumbles

Bears coaching upheavals portend inevitable stumbles

Call it a small Bears reality check, if not a full wake-up call, then at least a nudge in the night. And this sort of thing should be expected, not just in OTAs, not just in training camp or preseason, but when it all counts.

And it should serve as a lesson of sorts. Because some of the underlying reasons are worth a little highlighting and patient understanding around a team that has spent its offseason and millions of dollars refashioning an offense, beginning with coach Matt Nagy and coordinator Mark Helfrich, and that offense wasn’t particularly good on Wednesday.

In a sport where the operative cliché is “just get better each and every day,” the Bears didn’t, but as far as their coach is concerned, “there’s two ways to look at it,” Nagy said. “Whether you say on our side, on offense, trying to see a bunch of different looks a defense can give you, is it too much or not? It’s good for us. It’ll help us out in the long run. It’s good for our players and they’ve handled it well. There’s going to be mistakes but they have it on tape to be able to look at. “

This is about more than just a few bad reps or missed assignments. It’s part of the good-news-bad-news reality that a sea change brings to a team.

The good news is that the Bears have a new coaching staff on offense.

The bad news is that the Bears have a new coaching staff on offense.

The Bears defense is predictably ahead of the offense, hardly a surprise, given that most of the core of the top-10 unit has remained in place. That said, you do have to like the attitude of the barely-above-rookie No. 1 quarterback challenging that assessment Wednesday, with a “Who says that?”

This while the offense has myriad moving and new parts, and interceptions, blown plays and such were occurring for an offense that, like Halas Hall, is a massive building work in progress.

“Well, today was a bad ‘build,’ but that’s to be expected,” Helfrich acknowledged. “We’re adding a chunk each day, I thought today was the first day where we had somebody do something that just like, ‘wait, OK’ – a few positions here and there, a few new guys, obviously a few veterans here and there that it’s all new to, hit the wall.”

It’s a “wall” that arguably is inevitable with a coaching change.

Not to make excuses, but….

For a sense of perspective, scroll back to Jay Cutler, who went through offensive coordinators perhaps faster than he went through socks: a year with Ron Turner, two with Mike Martz, one with Mike Tice, two with Aaron Kromer, one with Adam Gase, one with Dowell Loggains, who at least was a holdover from the Gase year. (Whether Cutler’s failure to match potential with production was the cause of or because of that turnover, this humble and faithful narrator leaves to you, the reader).

More than a few current Bears can only dream of that kind of “stability.” And because of that, the 2018 pre- and regular seasons may be bumpier than the optimism surrounding the Nagy hire was anticipating.

Guard Kyle Long, still not practicing full-go while he rehabs from surgeries, is on his fifth offensive-line coach in six NFL seasons. Center Cody Whitehair, who has started every game since the Bears drafted him in the 2016 second round, has had three different line coaches in as many seasons: Dave Magazu for 2016, Jeremiah Washburn for 2017 and now Harry Hiestand. Left tackle Charles Leno was drafted in 2014, making Hiestand Leno’s fourth O-line coach.

And this is the offensive line, the unit that most engenders use of the term “continuity.”

“Each coach brings in a little bit, different techniques,” Whitehair said. “There’s a lot of time for us to hone in and get to know what he’s trying to teach us. But in the end it’s still football.”

Kevin White is entering his fourth NFL season. He is on his fourth receivers coach (Mike Groh, Curtis Johnson, Zach Azzanni, Mike Furrey) and third different season-starting quarterback (Jay Cutler, Mike Glennon, Mitch Trubisky), not including offseason battery mates ranging from Jimmy Clausen, Brian Hoyer, David Fales and Connor Shaw, depending on how much rep time he spent with which unit at various times during his training camps.

“It doesn’t matter,” White said. “Roll with the punches, come here and do my job every day.”

Regardless of how many bosses you’ve reported to.