Bears

The Starting Five: Bulls vs. Pistons

The Starting Five: Bulls vs. Pistons

Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010
5:00 PM

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

DETROITBulls television analyst Stacey King will not be in attendance at Sundays game against the Pistons, after the death of his mother, Lois Jean King, Saturday evening. She was 75. Bulls radio analyst Bill Wennington will join play-by-play man Neil Funk in Kings absence, while Chuck Swirsky will handle radio duties alone Sunday. CSNChicago.com expresses its condolences.

1. In the wake of Derrick Roses three free-throw attemptsdespite repeatedly getting hitSaturday against the Knicks, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau discussed the All-Star point guards lack of whistles going to the hole prior to Sundays game. We want him to get to the line more and we dont want him to not drive because hes not getting the calls. We want him to continue to attack and hes got to drive with force, which he does. I think he drives with speed and when he gets hit, he should be getting the calls. The one thing that he doesnt do is he doesnt exaggerate contact and sometimes in this league, thats what you have to do. Thats probably something that he can work on, butI dont want him to change anything that hes doing. I think a big part of who he is and what makes him so special is when hes attacking in transition. When hes coming at you with a head of steam, I want him to get to the rim as quickly as he can and then make his decision at the rim. I think as time goes on, he will get more and more calls, said Thibodeau. Hes got a great way about him. His demeanor is excellent and hes very respectful of the officials. I think at the appropriate time, he has to make his points to the officials, which I think hes getting better at. Sometimes its hard because of his speed, quickness and strength because its happening so quick, sometimes its not being recognized. But I think, in time, hell get calls.

2. Pistons center Ben Wallace talked about Chicago, his former team, before Sundays game. I think they made a lot of good changes. They got a lot of good pieces with the addition of Carlos Boozer, Brewer. Those guys know how to play and theyve been playing in a structured system where they got a lot of discipline, and you can tell it definitely helps that team out. When they get Joakim back, I only think theyre going to get that much better, Wallace told CSNChicago.com.

3. Wallace also discussed former teammate Luol Deng with CSNChicago.com. Lus a true professional. It doesnt matter what you say, what situation you put him in, you know hes going to find a way to make the best out of the situation. He got criticized when I was there, he still catches some criticism right now, but all he does is go out there and play hard and thats all you can ask, said Wallace. Sometimes, people find somebody they can pick on and thats all they do. But hes always been a professional. He just goes out, plays hard, plays his game, plays within himself and makes the most out of his opportunities.

4. Injured Bulls center Joakim Noah was mentored by Wallace upon entering the NBA, and Big Ben expressed pride in his former protgs development. Joakims not one of those guys whos happy to be out there. Hes out there making a difference. You could see the upside as a rookie. He had that drive, he had that hunger and he had that potential. Now, hes developed into a contender in this league. If he continues to play like that, hes going to be an All-Star in this league.

5. Dont forget to follow me on Twitter at @CSNBullsInsider.

Is Matt Forte pushing for a coaching job with the Bears?

Is Matt Forte pushing for a coaching job with the Bears?

Is former Bears star Matt Forte going to be the team’s new running backs coach?

For now, that’s Charles London’s job, who was hired to head coach Matt Nagy’s staff earlier this year.

But on Tuesday night, Forte tweeted that he would like a coaching spot with Chicago sometime in the near future.

Serving as evidence, the now-retired running back responded to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which announced the Broncos’ hiring of former linebacker Demarcus Ware as a “pass-rush consultant on a part-time basis.” Forte tweeted at the Bears, saying that he is “available” to take on a similar role to Ware’s new Denver gig.

Forte’s tweet was relatively cryptic, and he never specified exactly what type of job he would want with the Bears. After finishing up a storied career this past season and solidifying his name as a Bears legend, Forte has proven that he could easily coach young running backs or even wide receivers at some point.

But isn’t this all just a joke?

Forte silenced the doubters by tweeting “I wasn’t joking” as a response to an article saying that his desire for a new occupation with the Bears was simply a gag. The former workhorse was also intrigued by a fan’s tweet asking “Coach Forte??”

The mere thought of having Forte back in Chicago with the Bears’ coaching staff sent fans on Twitter into a frenzy. In April, Forte came back to Halas Hall to ink his name on a one-day contract, successfully allowing him to retire as a Bear. Now, Forte wants a lengthier stay in the Windy City.

Ware’s role with Denver is not extensive by any means and, according to Schefter, he will work a pretty scattered schedule with Broncos players. What Forte’s role would look like with the Bears is completely unknown if his plan to coach becomes a reality.

Forte has the running back credentials to take on a coaching position. In eight seasons with the Bears, Forte racked up a combined 8,602 rushing yards, second to only the great Walter Payton. Forte’s 4,116 receiving yards as a running back, 12,718 yards from scrimmage, 24 games with 100 rushing yards and 25 games with at least 150 yards from scrimmage also ranks second behind Payton.

Maybe this will be a new development in Chicago’s offseason plans, but there is no real talk of bringing one of the team’s all-time leading rushers back to the team as of right now.

Last month, NBC Sports Chicago announced Forte will be joining the network as a Bears game day studio analyst for the upcoming 2018 NFL season. And we're not joking about that.

Brandon Morrow lands on DL after hurting back while taking his pants off

Brandon Morrow lands on DL after hurting back while taking his pants off

Remember that one time Sammy Sosa threw out his back while sneezing? Well, Brandon Morrow may have topped that on the Cubs all-time list of wacky injuries.

The 33-year-old closer was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to Wednesday's game after hurting his back while taking his pants off upon returning from the team's road trip to St. Louis. It's being labeled as "lower back tightness."

"It's frustrating any time you can't get out there, and especially when you can't go because of something stupid like taking your pants off," Morrow told reporters on Tuesday.

And that's put the Cubs pitching staff in a tough spot for the rest of the week, given Wednesday's series finale against the Dodgers is the third game in a little more than 24 hours for the Cubs.

"I don't want to downplay anything," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. "Obviously he had back spams, he had the same thing in spring training. We'll start treating it the same way we did in spring training; I think he was out about a week to 10 days. If things go as we hope, I think it'd be the kind of thing where he'd probably be able to be throwing before the 10 days is up.

"But we felt like it wasn't going to be something where he was ready this weekend and if he's not going to be ready all weekend, we can already backdate it three days so it made sense to put him on the DL."

Morrow is tied for fifth in the National League with 16 saves and owns a 1.59 ERA is 26 relief appearances this season. Justin Hancock, who served as the 26th man during Tuesday's doubleheader, stayed with the team as a result.