Perhaps Wade's meetings with the Bulls were legitimate and he is truly conflicted about where to go. His divorce and custody battle have to be playing a major role in his thought process. As the father of four kids I know I would surely be thinking heavily about moving back home to provide stability in my kids lives.
So, here is what I am wondering. Does Dwyane Wade know he is going to Chicago? And if he does is he taking his time to be respectful of the people in Miami who have been very good to him over the past several years? If his children and winning are his top priorities then the only choice for him to make is to play in Chicago. Imagine a backcourt with Wade and Derrick Rose. Then add in Joakim Noah and another signing from the free agent class of 2010 and you have a team that would be among the favorites to win the NBA title this season. In Miami you have a franchise that is devoid of talent and has only two players currently under contract.
You have to believe that Jerry Reinsdorf and company are too smart to not have a deal with one of the prime time free agents very close to completion. Why else would they have traded Kirk Hinrich and been working extremely hard to move Luol Deng. The Bulls have been extremely professional and noticeably quiet as the process plays itself out. For those of us in Chicago, a Wade, Bosh, Rose trio is what we dream about. For those in Miami it is their worst nightmare come true.
Here is the complete interview from Tuesday's Chicago Tribune Live.
The source also told me that Del Negro kept his cool knowing that he is owed 2 million dollars and not wanting to do anything that could jeopardize his guaranteed money. He also did not want to damage his reputation in the NBA as he wants to continue coaching even if he is fired by the Bulls.
In addition, in a story reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has hired independent lawyers to investigate details of the altercation. The argument casts further doubt on Del Negro's long term future with the team and multiple NBA sources I spoke with tonight all but guaranteed to me that Del Negro will not return for his third season in 2010-11.
Here is the official wording from the Chicago Bulls press release:
Derrick Rose Injury Update
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose injured his left wrist
yesterday (Thursday, March 11) in the first quarter of
As the first decade in the 21st century comes to a close, let's take a moment to reminisce about the best and worst moments and athletes of the past ten years in Chicago Sports.
Best Team: 2005 Chicago White Sox
Only one Chicago team could call itself champions in the first decade of the 2000s, and that team plays at 35th and the Dan Ryan. The White Sox magical run to a world championship in 2005 erased an 88-year drought of glory on the south side. Everything went right for Ozzie Guillen's club that year, as his starting staff of Mark Buehrle, Jose Contreras, Jon Garland and Freddy Garcia each won 14 or more games in the regular season, leading the club to a 99 win campaign. Playing "Ozzie Ball", the Palehose used speed and timely hitting to scratch across runs with Scott Podsednik changing the team's offensive strategy. The White Sox stormed through the playoffs, going 11-1 in October, which included a sweep of the then-defending champion Red Sox, and the Astros in the World Series. Their bullpen was rock solid all year, as Bobby Jenks burst onto the scene as a bona fide closer, and earned the save on October 26, 2005 to earn the Sox a ring.
Worst Team: 2000-2001 Chicago Bulls
After a historic run of six world championships in the previous decade with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, things went very bad and very fast for the Bulls after the nucleus of the team left the Windy City. The team did have Elton Brand, who averaged 20 points per game, Ron Mercer, who could still contribute, and Ron Artest--who by his own admission--was drinking on the job. The team went 15-67, bad enough for a miserable .183 winning percentage, and ranked dead last in the NBA in points per game (87.6). Need any further proof this team was a disaster? This team only had three players average double-digit scoring, and Ron Artest barely qualified in double-digits with just over 11 points per game. Also, how about these names that contributed minutes to Tim Floyd's club that year: Dragan Tarlac, Khalid El-Amin, Dalibor Bagaric, A.J. Guyton, Jake Voskuhl. Need I say more?
Best Athlete: Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears
Say what you want about Urlacher's attitude, or problematic character at times. It's no question this city could have embraced him far more than they did over this past decade. But when it comes to the best athlete in Chicago sports over the last ten years, Urlacher takes the cake. After being drafted in the first round out of New Mexico in 2000, Urlacher immediately emerged as a standout linebacker for the Bears and quickly vaulted to the top of the NFL. He had more than 800 tackles in the decade, 37.5 sacks, and 17 interceptions. He was one of the most feared defensive players in the league for the majority of the decade, and led his team to multiple playoff appearances including a Super Bowl berth in 2006. Note: Honorable Mention goes to White Sox ace Mark Buehrle, for a consistent and successful decade.
Worst Athlete: Corey Patterson, Chicago Cubs
Corey Patterson had a three good months as a Chicago Cub. That's it. Otherwise, his career as a Cub could really only be described as a debacle. The 3rd overall pick in the 1998 draft figured to solve the Cubs center field problem for the long haul. All we read and heard about him coming up was that he had great speed, great power, and could be a five-tool superstar type player to anchor the Cubs outfield. Instead, he was a free-swinging, undisciplined, stubborn liability for the Cubs for parts of five seasons. Other than the 83 games in 2003 in which he hit .298 with 13 homers and 55 RBIs, he was detracting from the team's success. (And funnily enough, when Patterson got hurt the Cubs acquired Kenny Lofton, who was a catalyst and a big reason why the Cubs nearly reached the world series that season.) In 2004, he was a microcosm of the team's shortcomings, and his 2005 season was one of the worst statistical seasons put forth by an everyday player in history. He's still toiling around baseball, last seen with the Brewers this past season. The Cubs traded him to Baltimore before the 2006 year, and the Cubs have still not found a long term solution for center field.
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Yahoo Sports has gone public with their take on yesterday's Gar Forman media session in which the Bulls GM did absolutely nothing to support Vinny Del Negro, his embattled head coach.
Once Forman finally came out of hiding Tuesday night, his coaching staff expected him to honor his private insistences with a public acknowledgment. That was the plan. Vinny Del Negro's boss had a chance to make a most minimal pledge: management supports its coach.
Forman sputtered, danced and deflected. The words wouldn't come out of his mouth. For the first time, two sources with direct lines to the coaching staff said Del Negro finally realized what he refused to believe: Yes, the GM wants him out.
"To say the least," a close associate of Del Negro said, "the staff was disappointed by Gar's failure to step up in an embattled moment."
As far as textbook undermining goes, Forman has delivered a clinical performance. The players were listening on Tuesday night, and the message was unmistakable: Despite the back-to-back wins since Tyrus Thomas' return, the coach is a short-timer.
Forman has sworn to people that he hasn't made one call about a replacement, and multiple sources insist that simply isn't true. Just Tuesday, Forman was on the phone asking about exiled NBA coach Eric Musselman.
He's telling people he needs a long-term solution for the Bulls. He had already called the Nets two weeks ago on Lawrence Frank. Another report linked the Bulls to Doug Collins.
The article goes on to criticize Forman for how he has handled the Del Negro situation, and for painting the picture that the Bulls should be better than they are despite a sub par roster and a number of key injuries.
Is Vinny Del Negro a great coach? No, not at this point in his career. But the man works hard, is prepared, and his team is hanging in there. He hasn't complained one time to the media about how he has been left to twist in the wind. The man just shows up and does his best every day.
Management owes him better treatment than they have given him so far.
Broussard also says that former Bulls coach Doug Collins was contacted to gauge his interest in the job, but reportedly is not interested. So if Collins doesn't want the job, then who is available that would interest the Bulls, and would provide them with a quality name that could help them lure a star from next summer's free agent class? In addition, what "name" coach can the Bulls hire that can help accelerate the development of Derrick Rose, who the franchise is hoping to build around and to use to attract a marquee name next summer?
Jeff Van Gundy, Byron Scott, and Avery Johnson are all currently out of coaching but to land one of them would be very expensive. The Bulls are still paying former coach Scott Skiles, who is now the head man in Milwaukee, and if they fire Del Negro they will be on the hook for the rest of this season and 2010-11. That means they would be paying several million dollars to two coaches who wouldn't be with the organization. Add in the big contract it would take to land one of the big names mentioned above, and you can see why the Bulls would be proceeding with caution before they commit millions more to yet another coach.
What do I see happening? I believe that the Bulls will indeed fire Del Negro and I believe that they will hire a proven name as their head coach. Who that will be remains to be seen, but I don't think that we have heard the last of the Doug Collins speculation. Only time will tell.
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In addition, the lurid details about his sex life are now surfacing which has turned the intensely private Woods into a late night talk show punch line. And with the count of women coming forward now at six who knows when this story will leave the news and allow Tiger and his wife some time to work on repairing their relationship.
Then you had the Bears who were coming off of an embarrassing blowout loss to the Vikings. Well, on Sunday the beloved Bear finally put a game into the win column by beating the completely inept St. Louis Rams 17-9 at Soldier Field.
The Bulls finally won a game after they beat the Detroit Pistons at the United Center earlier in the week. However, they were drilled both Friday and Saturday by the Cavaliers and Raptors respectively with the latter winning by 30+ at the United Center.
The Blackhawks won 2 of 3 this week with an 11 round shootout deciding a tough win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday evening before the Hawks lost to Nashville on Friday night at the United Center. However, the Hawks bounced back quickly beating the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in OT on Saturday evening.
Baseball now grabs center stage with the Winter Meetings officially underway in Indianapolis. Both the Cubs and the White Sox are expected to be very active participants with the Cubs hoping to move Milton Bradley while the Sox are considering dealing closer Bobby Jenks.
So who makes our week in pictures? Check em' out because we have the stars of the week and the women who are reportedly chasing a Tiger.
Enjoy and get ready for our updates of the Winter Meetings which are in high gear through Thursday and where we have a ton of great sources. Also, please make sure you tune into Chicago Tribune Live at 5:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet and Sports Central on WGN Radio at 7 p.m. Have a great week! Kap
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There is no better city in America for sports than Chicago and with the end of the year fast approaching it is time to ask for your help to vote for the best in Chicago sports in 2009.
Each year on Chicago Tribune Live we award The Kappy's to honor excellence among Chicago athletes. Click here to vote now! Your help is greatly appreciated!
So here is how I have decided to ask the question. If you had to carve a Mt. Rushmore of Chicago sports who would be the four men who would have their likenesses carved into your tribute to their greatness?
Below I have pictures of the players that I have nominated. Am I missing someone? Please post a comment with your nominees and your thoughts. Soon I will have a competition to crown the winners based on your voting. However, I have to make sure that the ballot is correctly done. And for that I need your help. So please weigh in. Thanks, Kap
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Outside of Ozzie Guillen, name me one guy who you think really keeps it interesting, and is engaging not only with the media, but in the way he acts on the playing field. Let's examine the coaches and managers first, then we'll look at the players who call Chicago home.
Managers and Coaches
He may not be everybody's cup of tea, but I find him so entertaining to watch and to cover that he would probably the guy I'd hire if I owned a baseball team. Ozzie is honest to a fault, and he says what most fans are thinking even if his players don't like his frankness. His personality keeps the White Sox in the headlines even when his team may not be great. Plus, he has a World Series ring on his hand. So those who don't like him can't really argue much, because he accomplished something that no one else has done in this city in a very long time.
When Lou was hired by the Cubs, many fans and members of the media (myself included) expected a Mike Ditka-like presence in the Cubs dugout based on what we had seen of Sweet Lou during his time as the manager of the Seattle Mariners. However, with rare exception, we have seen a much more mellow Piniella, especially in 2009 when his lack of public anger frustrated many fans. When he shows his emotion, he is a colorful "Chicago type" personality. And that is what he needs to show in 2010.
While he may know his football, he is one of the most boring personalities we have seen on the Chicago sports scene in a long time. Smith is steady and unspectacular, but his lack of charisma drives fans who remember the days of Mike Ditka crazy, when every news conference and media moment was must-see TV. Smith is true to himself, but I believe that sometimes management forgets that professional sports are entertainment and you need to keep people watching even when you aren't going to the playoffs.
Coach Q is very intense, and will flash a glimpse of his fiery personality from time to time behind the bench. But he does not usually show that side of himself away from game action. His news conferences are calm and informative, but he doesn't do much to garner attention.
Vinny Del Negro
Another of the modern day coaches who does not ever say anything to stir the pot. Del Negro is polished and concise in his comments, but like most of his Chicago counterparts he is not must-watch TV when he addresses the media.
Did you know that the over/under total of wins for the Bears in Las Vegas when the season began was 8 1/2? You have to think that the large numbers of Chicagoans who travel to Vegas must have put some serious money down on the over. The Bears look pretty solid and with Jay Cutler at the controls it would take a real collapse to not win at least 9 games.
The total bet in Vegas that has the casinos very happy is the number that they posted on the Broncos of 6 1/2 after seeing huge money come in on the under with the total posted at 7 1/2. The casinos adjusted their number out of concern that they could lose a ton on the under. Several "wiseguys" continued to pound the under and the casinos could make a fortune with the Broncos already 4-0.
Here's to hoping he can dance through defenses like that to help the Bulls win this winter.
The Pistons have inked the free agent guard to a five year deal worth roughly fifty-five million dollars. Detroit is also working to sign Gordon's former UConn teammate and former Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva.
Without Gordon the Bulls will have some cap space as they figure to be in the mix in the 2010 free agent signing period that will have an unprecedented amount of talent available. In addition, this makes you wonder whether the Bulls will make a move in response to the Gordon loss, given that BG will now be suiting up for rival Detroit.
Despite a down year, the Pistons finished last season just two games behind the Bulls in the Central Division, going 39-43 and earning the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. (They were swept by the Cavs in the first round.) The Bulls finished .500 at 41-41, and were the seventh seeded team in the East when they were eliminated by Boston in seven games.
Johnson is reporting the deal for Gordon is "in the neighborhood of $50 million over five years". The source I talked to confirmed BG is in Detroit now and is set to meet with Pistons GM Joe Dumars.
However, several NBA sources believe Detroit has already contacted his agent and stated their desire to sign him today. Also, sources tell me that Oklahoma City has told Gordon that they will not be outbid for him and while their team is not very good the lure of a huge contract may be too much to pass up.
The Chicago Tribune's great beat writer K.C. Johnson has the latest goings on with the Bulls in his column today. Will they make a big move early in free agency? Stay tuned.
The Bulls are also expected to monitor the pursuit of Hedo Turkoglu by Detroit because if they land him on a big deal that will kill their interest in Gordon. Here is the latest from the NBA rumor world on the early hours of free agency.
If the Pistons are serious about Turkoglu then that will severely limit Gordon's options and we will find out just how truthful he was when he said that playing on a team that has a chance to win a championship is one of the keys to where he will sign.
There isn't much out there at the center position but if the Bulls move Kirk Hinrich and his big contract they will need a big time backup point guard who is also a stellar defender.
Add that along with a shooter to replace Gordon if he leaves and it promises to be a very busy month for new GM Gar Forman and VP John Paxson.
Draft day is hours away and it's anybody's guess who the Bulls will grab at No. 16 and No. 26, or even if they'll keep those picks!
Could they pick Tyler Hansbrough? Should they pick him? Answer the poll below and I'll be discussing the results tonight on Sports Central.
While I agree that Derrick Rose made a mistake in posing for a photo that shows him flashing gang signs at a party during his freshman year at Memphis the fact that people are making a big deal about it absolutely stuns me.
I know that I did some stupid things when I was a teenager or as a college student as many of you did but none of us expected it to be splashed all over the internet and to have to address it to the world through the media as Derrick did this afternoon.
His statement was eloquent and well crafted and while I'm sure that his agents put it together for him, I know Derrick and I have found him to be one of the nicest young men that I have dealt with in sports in a long time. K.C. Johnson, who covers the Bulls as the Tribune's beat writer wrote a great piece about his experiences covering Derrick and after you read it I think you'll agree that Rose was acting like millions of college kids at parties each and every day.
Let's not forget that Rose is still a kid and while he is an incredibly talented basketball player kids are still apt to make stupid decisions. Let's not go over the top about this one.
Memphis says it should keep the victories from the 2007-08 season which ended in the national title game after an internal investigation turned up no proof that a former men's basketball player cheated on his SAT exam.
"Certainly, the University of Memphis should not suffer a financial penalty or vacation of records for the 2008 NCAA tournament as a result of this allegation," according to a report detailing the school's investigation into NCAA allegations.
The report, released to The Associated Press and other news outlets Tuesday under a public records request, details Memphis' internal probe into accusations that a former player -- widely reported to be Derrick Rose -- allowed a stand-in to take his SAT. The report also looked into charges of grade tampering on behalf of the player.
More to come as this story develops.
Also, listen to my interview with State Rep. Monique Davis on Derrick Rose.
I had Illinois Rep. Monique Davis (D-27th) on Sports Central yesterday to talk about a resolution she put forth honoring Derrick Rose.
Our conversation was lively, shall we say, as she defended Rose and refused to even acknowledge the possibility he could be at fault.
It certainly created sparks on the radio. Listen and enjoy.Click here for the interview
ESPN is reporting this afternoon that the University of Memphis knew
as early as May of 2008 that Derrick Rose's SAT score was being
investigated by the NCAA. Here is what ESPN reported on its web site today:
One month after Memphis lost to Kansas in overtime in one of the most thrilling national championship games in recent memory, the Tigers were rocked by an e-mail from the NCAA.
It was then that Memphis was first notified that star freshman point guard Derrick Rose, who helped the Tigers to an NCAA-record 38 wins and was soon going to become the No. 1 pick in the 2008 NBA draft by his hometown Bulls, had an invalidated standardized test score the previous year at Chicago's Simeon High School, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the e-mail.
The University of Memphis' legal counsel, Sheri Lipman, would not identify the student-athlete as Rose, but said Monday, "for the student-athlete, whoever that was, the first indication that we got was in early May  that his score was being invalidated."
Memphis' administration knew that if this were indeed true, then coach John Calipari's team rode the superstar exploits of an ineligible player to an extraordinary season that was stopped just short of the program's first national title.
I will be discussing the scandal tonight on Sports Central on WGN Radio (720 AM in Chicago) at 7 p.m. so make sure you tune in as I will take calls and get your thoughts on how this could affect Rose going forward.
I think that Charles Barkley is one of the best anaysts in sports but he is very lucky that he has understanding bosses at TNT after several screwups that would have most people in the media world looking for a job.
Earlier this season Barkley was arrested on a DUI charge and admitted to the arresting officer that he was headed to a rendezvous with a woman he was having an affair with. He was suspended by TNT and spent several weeks off of the air. Now this weekend he called broadcast partner Kenny Smith "numbnuts" and then called his producer a "pussy" during a TNT studio show.
TNT executives issued the following statement: "While Charles often makes jokes about his producer during our telecasts, he used poor judgment on Saturday during our NBA coverage. His comment was inappropriate and TNT apologizes to our viewers. We have spoken with Charles privately about it and will not have any further comment."
Barkley is hilarious but he better be careful because with several highly publicized problems there will come a time when TNT won't be able to overlook his colorful language. I truly enjoy his analysis and honesty so I hope that he doesn't go too far the next time.
Let's see....where should I start? The Zambrano meltdown? The Blackhawks elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs? Derrick Rose's name being linked to an NCAA scandal at Memphis? The Jake Peavy rumors that continue to link both Chicago teams to the superstar pitcher?
Let's start with the Derrick Rose story that was broken by the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper.
So you think it is easy to be a General Manager? Okay, you are Gar Foreman and you have just been named GM of the Bulls. Ben Gordon is an unrestricted free agent and your best scorer. Do you try to re-sign him or do you let him go? He averaged 20 ppg and bumped that up to 24 ppg in the playoffs. However, he can't play the point as a backup to Derrick Rose, he doesn't play defense, and he is a very selfish player. He is however, a GREAT scorer and a proven scorer in the playoffs which is very hard to find.
I was a huge Gordon fan when he was coming out of college but I am not sure that the Bulls can afford to pay him huge money when they have a ton of cash tied up in Luol Deng. They have many other needs to address including finding a low post scorer who can attract defensive attention. Do you re-sign Gordon? I say yes because the Bulls can't lose their best perimeter scorer but you cannot break the bank to keep him if he is unreasonable in his demands.
As a former college basketball coach and NBA scout I know how important it is to have a great shooter in your arsenal of offensive talents. However, after watching 5 years of Ben Gordon in a Bulls uniform it is time to cut the cord and move on.
Gordon is not a point guard (besides we have a great one in Derrick Rose), he is a poor defender, and he is a selfish player who when his shot is not dropping provides very little value to your club. He reminds me of former Detroit Pistons star Vinny Johnson but at least Vinny knew his role.
Gordon thinks he is a star and wants to be paid like one. Save the cash, make a run at either Amare Stoudemire or Chris Bosh in a trade and get ready for next season when Rose should be that much better!
The Bulls/Celtics Game 5 matchup was awesome theater but it was also one of the most frustrating games I have watched as a Chicago Bulls fan. With a double digit lead in the 4th quarter you have to do a better job of putting the Celtics away.
In addition, the Bulls made a decision to not double Paul Pierce and he made them pay by hitting several big shots. Watch a replay of the game and tell me that Pierce doesn't go to his right on nearly every dribble drive.
You have to force him left, run a double team at him and make Tony Allen, Stephon Marbury, Rajon Rondo or someone else beat you because Ray Allen had fouled out of the game with over 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. That decision is one that I am sure Vinny DelNegro would love to have back.