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Bulls questions coming into Phoenix
by Sam Smith
Posted on Nov 13
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There’s no complaining this season — or shouldn’t be — about the annual November road trip starting in Phoenix Wednesday. The Bulls play just four games in the Western Conference over eight days before a final road game in Milwaukee Nov. 24. But in playing the Suns, the Bulls face a bit of a defensive quandary they haven’t quite seen yet this season.
The Suns feature a front court loaded with individual offensive minded players in Michael Beasley, Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat, meaning it’s not going to be easy to help. Because they tend to isolate often and shoot jump shots, the Suns have a habit of falling behind early. But they’ve also shot their way back into games with a deeper bench led by Proviso East’s Shannon Brown.
Derrick Rose once made one of his most famous dunks over Goran Dragic, who has matured into one of the top point guards and leads the Suns in scoring, assists and steals. Kirk Hinrich remains day to day with his hip injury, and the Bulls surely could use him back against someone as slick as Dragic.
But that’s for Wednesday. For now it’s time for another Bulls trivia quiz. So we’ll start with a Suns related question, and remember, no peeking at the answers below:
- Who was the coach of the Suns in arguably the most infamous coin flip in NBA history for the No. 1 pick in the 1969 draft when the Suns lost their chance for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Who did the Suns draft.
- Who did the Bulls draft in 1979 in the other most famous coin flip in NBA history when they lost the choice for Magic Johnson?
- There’s a rich history between the Suns and Bulls other than the great 1993 Finals. Original Bulls employees and Chicagoans Jerry Colangelo and Red Kerr went to start the Suns. There have been more than 20 players who’ve played for both teams. Seven have won titles with the Bulls. Name them.
- There have been 10 former Bulls players who became NBA head coaches. Name five.
- What two champion Bulls players won a title with the spurs in 1999?
- What current Suns employee and former Bull was known as the Michael Jordan of Hungary? Name another NBA team he played for.
- What three Bulls’ players are winners of the NBA slam dunk championship at All-Star weekend.
- Although the NBA eliminated the center position from the All-Star ballot that was released Tuesday, Joakim Noah is a top contender to make the All-Star team. Name the only other Bulls center to make an All-Star team.
- The No. 23 obviously is the most famous number in Bulls history, if not also NBA history. It was retired for Jordan. Six players wore it previously. Can you name one?
- Name the opening night starting lineup for the 1995-96 Bulls, the winningest team ever and regarded by many as the best ever NBA team.
- Johnny “Red” Kerr. The great Kerr might have been a Hall of Fame coach had the Suns won after Kerr led the expansion Bulls to the only playoff berth ever for an expansion team. The Bucks won the pre-lottery flip and in the classic line Kerr said to devastated GM Jery Colangelo after Milwaukee won: “Maybe they’ll take Walk.” The Bucks selected Abdul-Jabbar. The next season they acquired aging Oscar Robertson from Cincinnati and in his third season the Bucks won the NBA title. The Suns remain without one. They took Neal Walk, the all-time leading rebounder in University of Florida history. He was with the Suns five seasons, traded and eventually finished in Europe. In 1988, a tumor was discovered on Walk’s spine and he has been in a wheelchair since and has played wheelchair basketball.
- David Greenwood. As an aside, the NBA ended the coin flip process and switched to the lottery in 1984 after so many teams, including the Bulls, were suspected of purposefully losing games for a chance to draft No. 1 and take Hakeem Olajuwon in 1984. The Bulls lost out and ended up with the third pick and Michael Jordan.
- They are Steve Kerr, Scott Williams, Randy Brown, Jud Buechler, James Edwards, Luc Longley and Craig Hodges. The others who have played for both teams are: Ricky Sobers, Paul Shirley, Jake Voskuhl, McCoy McLemore, Keith Erickson, Shannon Brown, Luc Longley, David Wood, Corie Blount, Mark Bryant, Kurt Thomas, Ed Nealy, James Edwards, Jim Fox, Clem Haskins, Linton Johnson, Michael Holton, Gar Heard, Hakim Warrick and Jalen Rose.
- Jerry Sloan, Bill Cartwright, Matt Guokas, Rick Adelman, Gar Heard, Larry Krstkowiak, Reggie Theus, Bob Weiss and Darrell Walker.
- Will Perdue and Steve Kerr. Kerr also won a title with the 2003 Spurs, retiring afterward when they threatened to make him a starter. Perdue now is an announcer for ESPN and Kerr for TNT.
- Kornel David. He played for the Bulls in 1999 and later, also briefly, for the Cavs, Raptors and Pistons. David now is an international scout for the Suns.
- Michael Jordan, Nate Robinson and Brent Barry. Barry was the Bulls first big free agent signing at six years and $27 million in the post-championship era. He was traded after a season for Hersey Hawkins.
- Artis Gilmore in 1978, 1979, 1981 and 1982 with the Bulls.
- The six are Norm Van Lier (mostly wearing No. 2), Jackie Dinkins, Rowland Garrett, Eric Fernsten, Oliver Mack and Mike Bratz. Surprisingly it wasn’t famous before it was worn by Jordan.
- Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper and Bill Wennington.