Bulls

Word on the Street: Probert, Duerson had same brain disease

Word on the Street: Probert, Duerson had same brain disease

Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Late Probert had same brain disease as Duerson

Former Blackhawks forward Bob Probert suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Probert died of heart failure last July. CTE is a degenerative brain disease found in people who have had a history of repetitive brain trauma including concussions.

This comes nearly two weeks after former Bears safety Dave Duerson committed suicide and asked that his brain be donated to the same facility. Duerson's family contacted Boston University to examine Duerson's brain for abnormalities related to CTE. (New York Times)

Scuffle in Cubs dugout

Dust was flying in the Cubs dugout after the first inning duringWednesday's game against Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs made three errorsin the inning, which in turn led to three unearned runs. Carlos Silvaappeared to be involved in the scuffle, coming into the dugout angrily. Apparentlysome words were exchanged and players scrambled to break up the incident.

Silva was removed from the game the next inning. Strength coach TimBuss walked Silva to the clubhouse after the top half of the third, butsaid that Siva was "not in the right frame of mind to talk." (CSNChicago.com)

Sox Pierzynski gets speeding before ST game

While making his way to the White Sox's spring training game against the Cinncinnati Reds in Goodyear, Ariz., A.J. Pierzynski was ticketed for speeding. The White Sox catcher's gray and black Sox road uniform eliminated any chance of getting out of the ticket.

Pierzynski was ticketed for going 10 m.p.h. over the speed limit.

His manager, Ozzie Guillen, apparently found the situation hilarious: Whit the uniform on thas funny arizona polices are awesome lol, Guillen tweeted. Please policeman be nice and send insurance card back to aj. 223 tickets in his live lol lol (CSNChicago.com)

Toews to host golf event

It seems Jonathan Toews will have to take his skills to the golf course. TSN is reporting that the Chicago Blackhawks captain was named official host of the Canadian Tour event in his hometown of Winnipeg.

"I'm really looking forward to expanding my role," Toews said in a statement. "It's an amazing Canadian Tour event with a very bright future."

The tournament will be July 14-17 at Pine Ridge Golf Club. (TSN)

Rose's summer text to Lebron

In a long feature story in this week's Sports Illustrated, the transformation of Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose over the summer caught the organization off guard. He emerged as a leader, no longer willing to defer to his teammates.

But this development was best revealed in a text he sent to LeBron James while James was shopping his talents around the NBA. Rose sent the message as damage control because of the assumed ambivalence of James possibly joining the Bulls.

"I'm just hitting you up to kill all the rumors that I don't want to play with you," he wrote. "I'd like to play with you. I just want to win." (Sports Illustrated)

Ex-Bull Hinrich not a fan of guarding Rose

Despite missing Monday's game because of a calf injury, Kirk Hinrich will face his old team, the Chicago Bulls, tonight. But he knows what that will entail: a tough battle against Derrick Rose, who he is matched with.

"It's a nightmare," Hinrich said of trying to cover the MVP candidate. "With his strength and athleticism, it definitely has to be a team effort, that's for sure." (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Lauri Markkanen's struggles are a daily storyline, but the solve isn't simple

Lauri Markkanen's struggles are a daily storyline, but the solve isn't simple

MILWAUKEE — When Thad Young played for the Pacers, this was, according to Young, that team’s scouting report on Lauri Markkanen:

“He’s a guy who can score in different levels of the game. He can shoot the midrange. He can take you off the dribble and do his hanging fade to get his shot off. Or he can step behind the line and tee up some 3s,” Young said. “So we tried to keep him seeing bodies so he wouldn’t take the ball from one side to the other.”

Markkanen’s struggles — and the Bulls’ usage of him — is becoming an almost daily storyline. It certainly dominated Monday’s postgame questioning after the Bulls dropped to 1-18 versus winning teams with a 111-98 loss to the Bucks.

For the second time in three games, Markkanen failed to score in the second half. Seven of his 11 attempts came from 3-point range — all of which he missed. His eight points came from two putbacks and four free throws.

That’s it.

“He missed some shots he normally makes. That happens,” coach Jim Boylen said. “I thought he was moving well. He had a couple great cuts to the basket, opportunities at the rim. That’s what we want from him — inside, outside.”

But that’s not happening enough. Fifty-three percent of Markkanen’s attempts this season have been 3-pointers. That’s up 11.5 percent from last season and 4.1 percent from his rookie season.

Too often, Markkanen is being relegated to playing as a stationary, 3-point shooter and not the dynamic, multifaceted scorer for whom Young’s Pacers teams prepared.

“Yeah, I think I can do a lot of good things besides just shoot threes,’’ Markkanen said. “Haven’t really been able to do that lately. Just have to figure out the way I can attack the rim more and get to the free-throw line. I need to figure out my spots.”

This is not meant to fully absolve Markkanen, who has indeed missed open looks consistently this season. For the second straight game, Markkanen joked about how Boylen called a play for him on the first possession, only for Markkanen to turn it over.

Markkanen also again acknowledged the sore left ankle he is playing through as he tries to reach his well documented goal of playing all 82 games. Markkanen called the ankle “not normal but getting there” and also shook off banging knees with Donte DiVincenzo that left him running hobbled for a few possessions.

Markkanen said he has no problem talking to Boylen about his usage and, as is his nature, looked inward.

“We’ve talked about it. He ran some plays for me. I turned it over. He does run some stuff for me. I just have to make the plays,” he said. “If you shoot the ball like [I have], you don’t really deserve touches. Can’t really complain.

“When you’re feeling it and actually making shots, it would be good to get closer to the rim and kind of keep it going. A lot of our plays I screen and pop.’’

The Bulls tied their franchise record with 48 3-point attempts. Boylen said that was the gameplan since opponents averaged 40 3-point attempts and 17.5 makes in the Bucks’ mere six losses.

Never mind that even if the Bulls hadn’t gone ice cold in the second half to finish with 14 makes that adding 3.5 more makes would’ve still left them on the losing end. The Markkanen problem is bigger than a math problem.

“I think the system complements him to the point where he has a lot of freedom to do different things,” Young said. “If he’s open, he takes a 3. If he’s not, he tries to make a play. He’s doing the best he can, just like me and any other guy on this roster. He has to continue to believe in what we’re doing.”

Markkanen now has nine single-digit scoring games after posting just four last season. He has nine 20-point games after registering 22 last season.

This is a huge season for Markkanen not only because his success is tied into the success of the Bulls’ rebuild but also because he’ll be eligible for an extension of his rookie contract following this season.

“I know he’s going to work. And he cares. He has high character,” Boylen said. “I believe in him. And our team believes in him.”

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Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich puts Nolan Arenado trade talks to bed

nolan_arenado.jpg
USA TODAY

Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich puts Nolan Arenado trade talks to bed

Were you hoping the Cubs could pull off a miraculous deal for Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado? If so, at ease.

In an interview with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich squashed any chance of Arenado getting dealt this winter.

“With the season coming up and spring training on the horizon, we are going to start focusing on that,” Bridich told Saunders. “We have listened to teams regarding Nolan and really nothing has come of it. We are going to move forward pretty much as we expected — with Nolan in the purple and black and as our third baseman.

“So, we can put this to bed and collectively look forward to the upcoming season and work toward that.”

There you have it.

The chances of the Cubs swinging an Arenado deal were always slim-to-none. The 28-year-old signed a lucrative contract extension with Colorado last February and is still owed $234 million through 2026. The Cubs have money coming off the books each of the next few seasons, but they would have had to clear payroll to acquire Arenado this offseason.

Furthermore, it’s questionable if the Cubs would have put together an enticing enough package for the Rockies. Chicago's farm system has grown barren through the years, and now that it’s slowly improving, it wouldn’t have made sense to trade prospects away.

Monday’s news isn’t completely bad for Cubs fans. The Cardinals were also reportedly interested in Arenado, and Bridich’s statement means St. Louis won’t be acquiring Arenado anytime soon, either.

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