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Sam Smith Archive

Jul 29

Media members were only allowed in for the last half hour of USA Basketball scrimmages Tuesday in Las Vegas. I watched carefully, and Derrick Rose did appear fast, though not faster than a speeding bullet. He was powerful, though not more so than a speeding locomotive and Rose’s jumping ability seemed untainted, though not quite ready to leap a tall …

Jul 28

There was much anticipation and a festive atmosphere Monday on the UNLV campus for the opening of USA Basketball training camp for the 2014 Basketball World Cup. It was Derrick Rose’s latest return from multiple knee surgeries, and the reviews were spectacular.

“Better than four years ago,” raved coach Mike Krzyzewski.

“Looked real explosive, I thought he was one of …

Jul 28

It’s Comeback III for Derrick Rose starting Monday in Las Vegas with the USA Basketball World Cup team training camp. Yes, it’s Roman numerals now because it is that significant.

And it’s also time to begin setting the record straight regarding Rose.

He’s joined an elite group in NBA history, stars who have been demeaned in their own community. For …

Jul 18

Phil Jackson knows greatness. He’s seen it in Pau Gasol, who helped Jackson’s Lakers win two NBA titles. And when Gasol’s career is finished, presumably after this run with the Bulls, Jackson believes there’ll be a place for Gasol among the immortals of the game.

“He will be a Hall of Fame entry after his career,” Jackson wrote me in …

Jul 17

The young coach sits at the end of the Bulls bench in summer league, watching intently, offering a bit but also trying to learn. Coby Karl, the son of veteran NBA coach George Karl, is helping out as a Bulls assistant this summer. But he has much to offer beyond his knowledge of the fundamentals.

As the son of a …

Jul 15

Billy Baron isn’t the next Mike Smrek, but he hopes to at least get the chance Smrek did.

Smrek, a seven-footer, played one season for the Bulls in 1985-86 as a rookie and was the last player from Canisius College to play in the NBA. Baron, who is playing for the Bulls summer league team, hopes to be the next.…

Jul 15

Since Carlos Boozer was signed by Chicago as a free agent in 2010, statistically one of the most successful free agent acquisitions in franchise history, the Bulls were just one of four NBA teams to win at least 200 games. The others were the Spurs and Heat, who won three of the four championships, and the Thunder, who went to …

Jul 14

The NBA draft overall has not been particularly kind to the Bulls.

Sure, it did help them to all their six championships with the drafting of Michael Jordan in 1984. And it did produce the only other MVP in franchise history with Derrick Rose in 2008. There was a big one with Scottie Pippen in 1987 and later residuals from …

Jul 13

The Bulls are getting the band back together. At least with a few new members.

The Bulls Sunday agreed to terms on a two-year deal with veteran point guard Kirk Hinrich. Former first round draft pick Nikola Mirotic also posted on his Twitter account–as Pau Gasol did Saturday–that he was signing with the Bulls. Mirotic’s deal is estimated at three …

Jul 13

The Bulls apparently are about to introduce the next Big Three: Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Pau Gasol.

Not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven… wins hopefully by Thanksgiving.

Gasol, 34, the four-time All-Star who vied with Dwight Howard four years ago to be considered the league’s best center when he helped the Los Angeles …

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