Five Things To Watch: Chicago Bulls

Bulls jersey sleeves

It’s been quite the summer for the Chicago Bulls as they head into the 2015-2016 season. It began with another disappointing postseason exit when they were dispatched by their nemesis LeBron James and the eventual the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers in May. From there, a whirlwind offseason began. After falling to James in the playoffs for the third time under Tom Thibodeau and failing to make it past the seccond round for the fourth consecutive year – compounded with other


Scotto: Dragan Bender’s Rising NBA Draft Stock

Dragan Bender

NEW YORK – Dragan Bender is the trending name amongst NBA general managers and executives after Maccabi Tel Aviv’s tour in Chicago and New York. At 17, the Croatian forward has the league drooling over his long-term potential and future lottery teams scheming for the ping-pong balls to select the 7-footer in next year’s draft. League executives and scouts from Denver, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Utah were on hand at Madison Square Garden to watch Bender. “Closet thing to Pau (Gasol)


France, Spain Headed for Rematch in EuroBasket semifinals

Tony Parker Nicolas Batum

Spain will have a chance at revenge Thursday when it faces France in the semifinals of Eurobasket 2015. Both won quarterfinal games Tuesday, setting up another meeting between Europe’s two most talented countries. In last year’s World Cup in Spain, France ended the host’s dreams of a gold medal with a 65-52 victory in Madrid. France lost to Serbia in the semifinals before edging Lithuania for the bronze medal. Now Spain has a chance to get even by toppling the hosts. It was


Eurobasket ’15: Who Could Challenge Team USA In Rio?


This year’s European Championship, the Eurobasket, will be kicking off this weekend with group play taking place in France, Croatia, Germany and Latvia, with 24 teams fighting for two automatic bids for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Both the champion and the runner-up will automatically qualify for the prestigious competition next summer, with the 3rd-7th place teams earning the right to fight for one of the three final bids for the Olympics in next summer’s three pre-Olympic qualifying tournaments. Team USA is


Mitnick: Looking at the NBA’s 2015-16 Euro Rookies

Magic Rob Hennigan Mario Hezonja

In the past, a handful of players have come over from Europe and made a big impact in their rookie seasons in the NBA. Pau Gasol came from Spain to win NBA Rookie of the Year with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2002. Coming off two straight Italian League MVP awards, Manu Ginobili gave the San Antonio Spurs the extra push off the bench they needed to win the NBA title in 2003. Luis Scola and Juan Carlos Navarro were immediate contributors as


Sheridan: My Postseason Awards Ballot; Toughest MVP Vote Ever


There is a reason why I always wait until the 82nd game of the season is in the books before deciding on my postseason awards choices. Three words: What’s the hurry? This is a lesson I learned way back in 1999 when I was covering a late regular-season game at the Alamodome during the lockout-shortened 50-game season. There were still three of four games left, and I was sitting alongside a veteran reporter from USA Today and asked him which way he


Rookie Rankings, Week 21: Get a Grip, People. Wiggins is Rookie of the Year

Andrew Wiggins

In recent weeks, there have been a number of folks advancing the theory that someone other than Andrew Wiggins deserves Rookie of the Year. There was a piece that said Nikola Mirotic was more deserving. There was another that said the award should go to Nerlens Noel. There was even one that said the top rookie is Elfrid Payton. Get a grip, people. Mirotic, Noel and Payton all have had fine rookie campaigns. All three are putting together strong finishes to their season. And