Bernucca: If Outspoken Butler Isn’t Leader of Bulls, Who Is?

Jimmy Butler

If you are like many Americans – middle-class, middle-aged males not unlike myself – and watched your first NBA games this season on Christmas, then you probably think the Chicago Bulls are just fine. If you have watched at any other time this season, then you know otherwise. On Christmas, the Bulls played perhaps their best game of the season. They went into Loud City without injured emotional leader Joakim Noah and never trailed against the Thunder, leaving with a convincing 105-96

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Sheridan: MVP Rankings, Edition III: On Kobe Bryant, Steve Harvey & Ish Smith

Harvey1

Pre-Christmas week brought a foreshadowing of what was coming, as an e-mail from columnist and NBA Encylopedia author Jan Hubbard (who lives in Dallas) included a notation that he was in Los Angeles, where the locals are still infatuated with Kobe Bryant to an extreme degree — or so it seemed to an outsider and objective observer, as Hubbard was. Christmas then brought the news that Bryant is running away with the lead in All-Star balloting, which is always a popularity

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Tweet of the Night: Dan Le Batard reacts to a clip of Kobe Bryant’s slow run

LeBatard

Kobe Bryant’s first month of the season was so ugly that many watching him simply hoped he would retire early or start sitting out a whole lot more games. In the month of November, Bryant averaged 14.9 points on an unfathomable 29.3 percent shooting from the field – that’s 16.7 attempts per game. Half of those shots weren’t even close and plenty of airballs were thrown. It appeared as though Bryant was done being a useful player on the floor. [Read

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Tweet of the Night: Darius Morris puts Byron Scott on blast

Morris

It’s no secret that Kobe Bryant has been historically bad in what has been confirmed as his final season in the NBA. The former superstar shooting guard has been a shell of himself in every aspect of the game (understandably so with all the damage and mileage in his body) and has gone into one arena after another to fire up some of the most inexplicable shots in the history of the league. No really. There have been a countless number

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Bernucca: Is NBA Experiencing Parity, or Mediocrity?

Warriors

Is the NBA inching toward parity? Or slowly sinking into mediocrity? Those may seem like strange questions during a season in which the Golden State Warriors have imposed their dominance over the rest of the league in unprecedented fashion. Yes, at 22-0 the Warriors have obliterated the best start in NBA history and have looked downright unbeatable while the clock was ticking during a vast majority of those 22 games. In that sense, they present a very strong argument against the notion

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Scotto: NBA Season’s First Quarter Observations

quarterpole1

We’re a quarter of the way through the regular season and the NBA landscape has shifted dramatically. Kobe Bryant is retiring after this season and wants to be remembered as a “talented overachiever” when it’s all said and done. Meanwhile, Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers (3-15) trail only the Philadelphia 76ers (1-19) for the league’s worst record. With every loss, the Lakers grow closer to keeping their top-three protected draft pick and potentially land top prospect Ben Simmons. On the flip side, the Golden

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Hubbard: Best Bet on Kobe This Season was Not Betting Your Gut

Kobeface

The troubling part of Kobe Bryant’s descent into mediocrity – to be kind and properly deferential – is that the more gullible among us shared his vision of himself. Yes, we were aware of Achilles, knee and shoulder injuries that caused him to miss 123 of 164 games the last two years. But this is basketball’s version of the bionic man. Some of us believed what Lakers coach Byron Scott said after Bryant’s right rotator cuff injury in January. “I think the

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