Bulls

Neck issues send NBA player into early retirement

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Neck issues send NBA player into early retirement

From Comcast SportsNet
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- San Antonio Spurs guard T.J. Ford is retiring, effective immediately, after a series of neck and spine injuries during eight years in the NBA. The 28-year-old Ford announced his decision Monday on Twitter. "Basketball has been great to me & my family for 28yrs," he wrote. "It's official " I Retire from the NBA " as of today." Ford released a statement through the team that referred to the injuries, the most recent a "stinger" he suffered on March 7 in a game against New York. "While this was a tough decision to make, it is what is best for me and my family at this time," Ford said. "Regardless of what the future holds, I will carry the experiences, the friendships and the memories with me forever." Ford joined the Spurs on Dec. 10, and appeared in 14 games, averaging 3.6 points, 3.2 assists and 1.3 rebounds in 13.6 minutes. Coach Gregg Popovich said the team enjoyed having Ford this season. "I congratulate him on all that he has achieved as a player and fully support the difficult decision he was forced to make," he said. Ford, a college star at Texas, was the eighth overall pick by Milwaukee in 2003. Halfway through his rookie season, he suffered a spinal injury and surgery forced him to miss the entire 2004-05 season. He played for the Bucks, Toronto and Indiana before joining the Spurs. For his career, Ford played in 429 games, averaging 11.2 points, 5.8 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.16 steals 27.7 minutes per game. In two years for the Longhorns, Ford averaged 12.9 points and 8.8 assists per game and was both the Naismith and Wooden Player of the Year Award winner in his sophomore year.

Former Bulls guard opens up about having depression

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AP

Former Bulls guard opens up about having depression

During his NBA career, he was known as having a joking, outgoing, clown-type of personality. Now, former NBA point guard Nate Robinson opened up about having depression.

Robinson, an 11-year NBA veteran, told Bleacher Report that he began going to therapy sessions in the 2012-13 season when he played for the Bulls.

He said he would struggle with having an angel and a demon inside of him.

"The NBA gave me my depression," Robinson told Bleacher Report. "I've never been a depressed person in my life."

"The hardest thing in my whole life, of my 34 years in existence on earth, was dealing with 11 years in the NBA of trying to be somebody that [NBA coaches] want me to be," Robinson said.

When Robinson was with the Bulls, he said he would sit in front of the plane so he wouldn’t be tempted to crack jokes. His one year with the Bulls ended up being one of the top seasons statistically in his career. He averaged just over 13 points and four assists per game. He played in all 82 games (starting 23) on a team that finished 45-37 with a berth in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

He thought his behavior was always looked down upon, and Robinson thought he was being punished for his actions.

“It’s like Spider-Man, that Venom. I never wanted that Venom outfit to just consume me,” he says. “I wanted to be Spider-Man. I wanted to be positive. I never wanted that dark side to come out because I know what that dark side could do.” 

This might come as a surprise for NBA fans, knowing how energetic Robinson was on the court, no matter what team he was a part of.

Even though Robinson is just 5-foot-9, he brought a spark of energy when he came into the game.

He hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2015-16 season with the Pelicans and spent last year with the Delaware 87ers in the G League.

Robinson is known for his participation in the NBA Slam Dunk competition. He won three contests, going back-to-back in 2009 and 2010.

One highlight was Robinson jumping over Dwight Howard in 2009, which ultimately gave Robinson his third title. Another highlight is welcoming former 1986 Slam Dunk Champion Spud Webb on the floor in 2006 and jumping over him.

Robinson is still vying for a comeback to the NBA.

Bulls Talk Podcast: 2018 NBA Draft primer (and some Kawhi talk)

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AP

Bulls Talk Podcast: 2018 NBA Draft primer (and some Kawhi talk)

On this edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Strotman and Scott Phillips get you set for the 2018 NBA Draft. They put together their own mock draft, analyzing each of the first seven picks, analyze a handful of options the Bulls should look at at No. 22, and answer questions from Twitter. They also discuss the Kawhi Leonard trade rumors and whether the Bulls could put together a package that would entice San Antonio.