Word on the Street: Obama backs the Bears

Word on the Street: Obama backs the Bears

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011

Obama to be the first President attend the Super Bowl?

President Barack Obama has never hid his love for Chicago sports teams. An avid White Sox fan, plus a Blackhawks supporter last summer, the President is now showing the Bears some love.

Obama announced today from the Oval Office that he will "no doubt" be going to Dallas to watch the Bears play in the Super Bowl should they win this weekend against the Green Bay Packers. (NBC Chicago)

Carmelo Anthony not getting any closer to Chicago

Representatives for Carmelo Anthony are engaging the Chicago Bulls with hopes of pushing them into becoming a serious bidder for the Denver Nuggets star. Trade discussions have completely stopped with the New Jersey Nets, and Anthony has been enthusiastic about a possible trade to the Bulls for a while.

But Denver and Chicago officials had been previously unable to come to terms on a deal. John Paxson and Gar Forman are interested in acquiring Anthony, but are not ready to lose Joakim Noah.

Anthony has reportedly been a very unhappy client, and is pressuring his agents to make a deal soon. (Yahoo! Sports)

Toews relieved to be without All-Star captain title

Blackhawks fans were a bit upset after the outcome of the NHL All-Star Game's captain selection, as Jonathan Toews was not selected. But that didn't upset Toews at all.

"I'm relieved ... I'm more comfortable sitting on the outside. It's only my second All-Star Game appearance. There's no reason to take all that pressure right off the bat," Toews said after practice.

The Red Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom and Hurricanes' Eric Stall were selected team captains for the Jan. 30 game. (Chicago Tribune)

White Sox invite 14 non-roster players to spring training

With spring training right around the corner, the White Sox have added new players to their list of non-roster invitees.

Earlier this winter, the Sox agreed to minor-league contracts (with spring training invitations) to pitchers Brian Bruney, Jeff Gray, Josh Kinney, Shane Lindsay and Miguel Socolovich. Catchers Donny Lucy and Jared Price and infielder Dallas McPherson were also signed to minor-league deals.

Left-hander Charlie Leesman, outfielder Jordan Danks and catcher Josh Phegley were among the 14 players invited to the White Sox's spring training as non-roster invitees. (Chicago Tribune)

Milton Bradley arrested on felony charge

Milton Bradley was not the most popular player in Chicago. And it looks like he's not that well-liked in Los Angeles either.

At 10:40 a.m. at a residence in Encino, Calif., Bradley was arrested about two hours after police received a call from an unidentified woman saying a man had threatened her.

The former Cub was booked on a felony charge of making criminal threats and released after he posted 50,000 bail. His court date is set for Feb. 8. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Former Sox Crede signs with Rockies

The Colorado Rockies signed former White Sox third baseman Joe Crede to a minor-league contract with an invite to major league camp in spring training.

Crede was a member of the 2005 World Series championship team. He played only 90 games for the Minnesota Twins in 2009, hitting .225 with 15 home runs and 48 RBI. He sat out the entire 2010 season because of back injuries. (ChicagoBreakingSports)

Green Bay paper apologizes for spelling error

After spelling "Chicago" incorrectly in a front page headline that read "On To Chicaco," Bears fans had some new material to work with.

Today, the Green Bay Press-Gazette apologized for the spelling error saying "We know the great city of Chicago is spelled with two "C"s and a "G," and not three "C"s. We were equally embarrassed we got it wrong in the first place and then failed to catch it in the proofreading process."

The paper went on to say that in the event the Packers move on to the Super Bowl, they will spell the host city of Dallas correctly. (Chicago Tribune)

Four observations: First half energy fades in Bulls' loss to 76ers

USA Today

Four observations: First half energy fades in Bulls' loss to 76ers

The Bulls hung with Philadelphia in the first half, but let another one slip in the third quarter and beyond. Observations from the Sixers' 100-89 victory:

Run, Chicago, run

The Bulls are at their best on the run — they entered play tonight ranked sixth in the NBA in percentage of total points on the fastbreak (14.3%), and that dynamic kept them in this one in the earlygoing.

Through quarter one, the Bulls outscored the Sixers 11-2 on the fastbreak (24-11 on the scoreboard), and extending into the beginning of the second, 16 of the Bulls’ first 27 points came in transition. By halftime, leading Philadelphia 47-46, their fastbreak points advantage had swelled to 18-4. All of that while forcing only five Sixers turnovers.

Lauri Markkanen benefitted the most from the pick-up in pace. He ran the floor hard throughout the first two quarters — cutting, dunking and curling around screens with purpose en route to 12 first half points on 5-for-7 shooting.

As a team, the Bulls had six dunks in the first half. Rims were rattling:


The Bulls finished the night wih 29 fastbreak points, but the energy noticably shifted in the Sixers' favor as the game wore on.

The third quarter got away from the Bulls

In the Bulls’ three games prior to this one, they outscored opponents by an average of 4.7 points per game in third quarters. Their season-long -1.9 third-quarter point differential ranks 27th in the NBA.

Tonight’s third quarter, which the Sixers won 35-24, was thus a regression. In the 12 minutes that ultimately decided the game, Ben Simmons sliced and diced his way to six points and four assists, and Al Horford had nine points on 4-for-5 shooting. The two of them burned the Sixers’ pick-and-pop coverages with regularity. The Bulls committed five turnovers and shot 2-for-8 from three in the period. 

But Furkan Korkmaz led the way. In the period, he scored 14 points and hit 4 of 4 from 3-point range on the heels of a first half that the Sixers shot the longball at only a 21.4% clip. Korkmaz finished the night 24 points on 8-for-11 shooting and hit a career-high six threes.

In the second half, the Sixers outshot the Bulls 55% to 41.5% from the field, 40% to 10.5% from three and outscored them 54-42. Philadelphia is a vastly better team and dominant at home, but it felt all too familiar.

Lauri Markkanen faded again

Also of note from that third quarter: Markkanen played eight-and-a-half of 12 minutes and took no shots as the 76ers vaulted from down one to up 10. In the second half, overall, Markkanen went scoreless on 0-for-2 shooting after his aforementioned strong first half.

This is a pattern now and has been for some time. Markkanen's 13:22 minutes in the first half (a half in which he at one point sat for a 10:38 minute stretch between the first and second quarter) and 28:48 minutes for the game feels too few (with the obvious caveat being the unknown severity of his lingering ankle ailment). Still, when all was said and done, Luke Kornet finished with more points (13) and shots (10) than Markkanen.

Salvaging Markkanen’s development should be trending towards a major priority for the Bulls in the second half of this season. Performances like this aren’t encouraging in the context of that mission.

Individual notes

  • Ben Simmons loves playing the Bulls. He finished this one with 20 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists and for long stretches looked absolutely unstoppable against the undersized cast of characters the Bulls threw at him. Entering play, Simmons was averaging 19.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists with three triple-doubles against Chicago in his career.

  • Might it be Coby time? A bright spot! (I always try to sneak one in these things). Coby White ended up the Bulls’ second-leading scorer with 14 points and added four assists, to boot. His 5-for-13 shooting from the field and 2-for-6 from three don’t jump off the screen, but in spurts, he sparked the Bulls’ offensive attack and is beginning to pepper in more instances of his improved patience and decision-making in the halfcourt. The Bulls are now 15-28. If development is the focus, might it be time to give White a shot with the big boys?

  • Zach LaVine couldn’t find the netting on his jumpers tonight, finishing 0-for-7 from three. But he still got to the rim at will and finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and 9-for-13 shooting inside the arc. It’s his first game since Jan. 6 with less than 25 points. It all goes to show how not-empty LaVine’s offensive numbers are, even if not all of his stellar performances translate to wins. On a night where he was good not great, the Bulls mustered only 89 points and were out of the game part-way through the third quarter.

Kyle Long looking forward to 'seeing what another set of eyes from a coaching perspective can give Mitch'


Kyle Long looking forward to 'seeing what another set of eyes from a coaching perspective can give Mitch'

Former Bears offensive linemen Kyle Long appeared on The Rap Sheet and Friends podcast hosted by NFL insider Ian Rapoport and he didn't shy away from questions about Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Long, while stating that he understood the questioning and criticism that Trubisky faces, still believes in him.

"The Bears have won with Mitchell Trubisky."

Indeed Mitch was the starter for 14 games of the Bears 12-4 season before this year's 8-8 disappointment. The issue was Trubisky's play was of course, as he didn't show any noticeable improvement in 2019 after tossing 24 touchdowns in 2018. "We all regressed this year, but unfortunately heavy lies the head that wears the crown, and Mitch is the captain," Long said. 

"Mitch is the quarterback. He’s also suited to take the stuff that he’s gotta deal with, and that’s what I love about Mitch. He can deal with the noise, and he’s young. He’s so young."

Long seems excited by the idea of Chicago's hires, saying that new faces could have quite the positive effect on Trubisky’s game "I’m looking forward to seeing what another set of eyes from a coaching perspective can give Mitch. It’ll be cool to see.”

This offseason the Bears have brought in a new offensive coordinator (Bill Lazor), quarterbacks coach (John DeFilippo), and promoted former quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone to passing game coordinator. Bears head coach Matt Nagy, similar to Long, has faith in Trubisky developing, especially in regard to Ragone. In December Nagy said, “I think I know Mitch better than anybody in this building, except maybe Dave Ragone.”

Long certainly seems to miss his teammates though he clearly has no regrets about his decision. He and Trubisky definitely share a bond that will last long beyond their playing days. “I love the kid, he’s a great friend obviously, a teammate, but I’m looking forward to seeing him develop.”

Similar to the message delivered by the Bears’ front office, Long was in full support of Trubisky throughout the entire interview.

"Mitch is the quarterback. He’s also suited to take the stuff that he’s gotta deal with, and that’s what I love about Mitch. He can deal with the noise...”

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