Sam Smith Archive

Jul 19

Some will say that it’s just NBA summer league, the Bulls fabulously fun 84-82 overtime win Monday against the Minnesota Timberwolves to finish with a perfect 7-0 record and win the summer league title.

But winning does matter; more so, perhaps, now than ever in professional basketball with high schoolers switching schools at a whim no matter the outcomes, shoe …

Jul 18

It’s been a steady, if unlikely, climb for Jimmy Butler, one scratch-your-head, is-that-really-Jimmy-Butler moment to the next from a college basketball scholarship to first round pick, if barely, to NBA All-Star, maximum contract and now an Olympian.

NBA champion?

Butler wasn’t quite ready to declare that as USA Basketball Monday opened its training camp for the 2016 Olympics in Rio …

Jul 18

You don’t want to be a player for the Minnesota Timberwolves summer league team. Figure they’re looking at a five-hour practice before Monday night’s championship game finale.

That game is against the Bulls, the former team of Timberwolves coach and president Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau, of course, is not coaching the summer ‘wolves.

But what delicious drama and bonus entertainment for …

Jul 16

Nate Thurmond was the missing piece, the final brick for the Bulls first NBA championship tower. Everyone was sure of it, and certainly Bulls owner Arthur Wirtz, who agreed to include the then stunning amount of $500,000 to the Golden State Warriors along with center Cliff Ray and a No. 1 draft pick in trade for Thurmond.

The Bulls had …

Jul 13

It was a season of refection for Bobby Portis, the Bulls top draft pick a year ago who spent more time watching than playing, and more than a little time, he admits, worrying, wondering and shedding a tear or two.

Basketball was the life, but it wasn’t turning out to be the life Portis expected. So he committed to work, …

Jul 13

We all knew this was coming with Tim Duncan, whose retirement was announced Monday by the Spurs in a press release. Well, no one was sure if it would be this summer or next, but it was close with Duncan in his 19th season and his playing time declining. But everyone was sure it would come, like this, in some …

Jul 11

Here’s the truth: You never really know someone until you live with them, and even then it’s not always clear sometimes.

We’re mythmakers in the media, and I’ve been guilty as well, telling stories, revealing intimacies about heroes and villains, drawing that word picture that takes you inside to how they really are. Except it’s merely a snapshot of time …

Jul 11

Cristiano Felicio knows something about having to fill big shoes.

He’s hoping to help the Bulls do so this season with the free agency departures of Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol, and he took a big step in that direction Sunday with 17 points, 10 rebounds and four assists and making all eight of his field goal attempts in leading …

Jul 9

Denzel Valentine Saturday played one of the best four of 16 shooting—zero for nine on threes—games you’re going to see in the Bulls summer league opener, a 71-62 victory over the Boston Celtics.

No, really.

“My shot wasn’t falling,” Valentine, the Bulls’ No. 1 draft pick, agreed after his NBA debut. “But I tried to do all the little things, …

Jul 7

The Bulls have a chance to be much improved, and what’s wrong with that?

That Thursday was the message from General Manager Gar Forman, who spoke to reporters at the Advocate Center following Rajon Rondo’s introduction as the Bulls’ new point guard. Forman was not permitted comment by league rule about Dwyane Wade, who is expected to sign soon with …

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