Chicago Bulls - Fan Club <ChicagoBulls4Life>
"Mess With The Best And Get Burned Like The Rest - 2008-2009 - Is It Our Time?"
|Thunder send 1st-round pick to Bulls for Sefolosha||2/20/09|
|The Oklahoma City Thunder have picked up shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha in a trade with the Chicago Bulls, who had a logjam at the position after acquiring John Salmons from Sacramento earlier in the week.|
The Thunder sent a first-round pick in this June's draft to the Bulls for Sefolosha, who could fill a hole in Oklahoma City's backcourt. The Thunder also get cash in the deal.
Sefolosha has averaged five points and about three rebounds over three NBA seasons since being drafted in the first round out of Switzerland. He lost his starting job in Chicago after a slow start.
To make room for Sefolosha, the Thunder waived center Mouhamed Sene, a former first-round pick who hadn't played since November.
|Bulls put aside trade upheaval, beat Bucks||2/20/09|
|MILWAUKEE(AP) With the NBA trade deadline less than 24 hours away, there's a chance Wednesday night's game was Kirk Hinrich's last in a Chicago uniform.|
But if so, what a way to go out.
Hinrich scored a season-high 31 points - including three straight baskets during a critical stretch in the fourth quarter - and the suddenly short-handed Bulls shook off the upheaval of a trade earlier in the day to beat the Bucks 113-104.
Chicago might not be done dealing before Thursday afternoon's deadline, but Hinrich was trying to ignore the possibility of being dealt.
"Tomorrow's the last day,'' Hinrich said. "I'm just trying not to think about it, trying to focus on being here and trying to do whatever I can to help this team to play better and get in the playoff picture.''
Luol Deng added 21 for the Bulls, who were playing with a short bench after trading four players to Sacramento earlier in the day. Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro praised the remaining players for maintaining their focus.
"Kirk got hot, and he was really the difference,'' Del Negro said. "Just a good, gutsy win for us.''
Richard Jefferson tied a season high with 32 points for the Bucks, who brought a three-game winning streak into the game despite playing without injured starters Michael Redd, Andrew Bogut and Luke Ridnour. Charlie Villanueva had 17 points and 12 rebounds.
"Kirk had a great game, obviously shooting the ball and scoring,'' Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "He just took our guards and made us look pretty silly on several occasions because he was playing so hard.''
Chicago acquired center Brad Miller and forward John Salmons from the Kings in exchange for four players, including key backups Andres Nocioni and Drew Gooden. The Bulls also gave up Michael Ruffin and Cedric Simmons in the deal, and Sacramento traded Ruffin to Portland for forward Ike Diogu.
"It's tough, because you become friends with those guys,'' Deng said. "You become real close with them, but it's business. It's sad that we're not working together anymore, but you know, at the same time you've got to get the job done.''
And they did, thanks in large part to Hinrich.
Milwaukee cut Chicago's lead to three after a technical foul was called on Del Negro, who apparently was irate that a foul wasn't called under the basket after Hinrich missed a layup.
Villanueva hit the free throw after the technical - but Hinrich immediately stole the ball from Ramon Sessions on the ensuing possession and cruised to a layup on the other end, putting Chicago up 91-86.
"Sometimes you play best when you're a little upset, when you're angry,'' Hinrich said.
After a Milwaukee miss, Hinrich hit a 3-pointer to give the Bulls a 94-86 lead with 6:15 left in the game. Hinrich then hit a midrange jumper to extend the lead to 10.
Jefferson answered with a 3-pointer and was fouled clumsily by Joakim Noah. Jefferson hit the free throw to complete the four-point play and cut the Bulls' lead to six, but Tyrus Thomas forcefully dunked a rebound home on the other end to put Chicago back up by eight.
Jefferson hit another three, but Thomas sprang free for another dunk and Chicago led 102-92 with 3:29 left. Deng later added some insurance with a midrange jumper as the shot clock expired, putting Chicago up 104-94 with 2:10 remaining.
Trade talk dominated the Bulls' locker room before the game, as players expressed surprise over the earlier trade; most of them found out when their former teammates weren't on the bus.
And Hinrich tried to shrug off additional trade rumors that had the Bulls potentially dealing him to Minnesota before the deadline.
"I can't really sit here and be worked up and worried about something I really can't control,'' Hinrich said.
Bucks players were downplaying trade talk, too.
"This is a very funny business,'' Villanueva said. "Anything can happen. I just want this trade deadline to be over so guys can just concentrate on the teams they are going to be on.''
Notes: Jefferson has scored 25 points or more in five of the Bucks' past six games. ... Thomas, Deng and Noah played the fourth quarter with four fouls each, and Noah finally fouled out with 2:38 left in the game. ... Skiles also was called for a technical in the fourth quarter.
|Deng named CDW/Blackberry Player of the Month for January||2/20/09|
|# February 10, 2009 ? Luol Deng has been selected the Chicago Bulls CDW/Blackberry Player of the Month for January. The 6-9, 220-pound forward is this year?s third recipient of the monthly award, joining Derrick Rose (November) and Ben Gordon (December).|
Deng played in 11 games during the month of January, made 10 starts, and averaged 17.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.3 apg and 1.73 spg in 36.5 mpg. During that span, he shot .503 from the field and .840 from the line. He earned team-high honors in scoring four times and led the team in rebounds three games. Deng also posted five double-doubles, including three straight from Jan. 17 ? Jan. 20. He missed Chicago?s first five games of the month due to a sprained left ankle.
Deng is currently third on the Bulls in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.7 ppg and 6.2 rpg respectively. On the season, he is also averaging 1.9 apg, 1.23 spg and shooting .457 from the field, .806 from the line in 34.8 mpg.
Here is a glimpse of Luol Deng?s highlights during the month of January:
# Against Toronto on Jan. 14, in his second game back from injury, he posted a double-double with 16 points, a season-high 14 boards, including a season-high five offensive caroms, and four assists in 39:27.
# Versus Cleveland on Jan. 15, he posted team highs with 22 points and eight rebounds, and also added a season-best four steals and three assists in 39:43.
# In Los Angeles against the Clippers on Jan. 28, he scored a team-high 23 points, grabbed nine rebounds and finished with three assists and three steals in 37:03.
# At Phoenix on Jan. 31, he posted his fifth double-double of the month with 17 points and a team-high 10 rebounds in 37:31.
|Chicago defeats Indiana 89-84||7/9/08|
Orlando, Fla. ? Derrick Rose's second NBA appearance was quite similar to his first. The rookie guard struggled again from the floor, shooting just 2-of-9, and scoring nine points but the Bulls topped the Indiana Pacers 89-84.
Once again it was forward Demetrius Nichols who delivered early for Chicago. After scoring 11 points in the first half of Monday's game, Nichols did the same against Indiana, finishing with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting in the first 20 minutes of play.
From the onset, the game was extremely sloppy as the teams combined for 12 first-quarter turnovers. Chicago guard Keith Langford capped off the first frame with a 19-foot fade-away jumper with just under a second left, putting the Bulls ahead, 19-13.
The Pacers gained ground in the second quarter, outscoring the Bulls 22-16, behind a combined 11 points from Earl Calloway and Andre Emmett.
Rose started the game 0-for-4 and the Bulls committed 12 first-half turnovers. The squads combined for 21 first-half turnovers and headed to the break tied at 35.
Roughly two minutes into the third quarter, Rose's first bucket of the night came dropped when he drove on a fast break, hung in the air and found the bottom of the net from 10 feet away.
Nonetheless, the Pacers remained persistent and forward Josh Davis poured in nine points in the third, propelling the Pacers to a 59-51 lead at the end of three quarters.
The Bulls started the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run tying the game at 59 with 7:58 remaining, forcing Indiana to call a time out.
Thereafter, consecutive threes by Keith Langford and Demetrius Nichols put the Chicago ahead by six, 66-60. The Bulls, without Rose for nearly all of the fourth, put on a shooting display, making a stellar 65 percent of their fourth-quarter shots, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Aaron Gray made his presence felt inside, recording 13 of his 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the final frame.
Keith Langford led the Bulls with 19 points on 6-of-7 shooting while Thomas chipped in with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Earl Calloway scored a game-high 20 points for Indiana who was outscored 38-25 in the final quarter.
|Round 1 to Beasley: His Heat top Rose's Bulls||7/8/08|
|ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Michael Beasley stood in the doorway to the gym an hour before gametime, iPod in his left hand, head bobbing slightly as he chatted with new Miami Heat teammate Mario Chalmers.|
He was the picture of cool.
And on the court, his demeanor didn't change much.
If Beasley was the tiniest bit anxious about his first pro outing - one that came against the Chicago Bulls and Derrick Rose, the only player selected before him in last month's NBA draft - he hid the nerves perfectly. Beasley scored 28 points in 23 minutes, lifting Miami past Chicago 94-70 on Monday in the Orlando summer league opener for both teams.
It was the ninth-highest scoring performance in Orlando summer league history, and true to his form, Beasley wasn't the least bit impressed.
"Could have played better," he said. "Could have got a couple more assists, made a couple extra passes, got a couple more rebounds, could have got a couple stops early on."
He was 9-for-21 from the field, with nine rebounds and 19 points in the second half - matching the total that Bulls forwards Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas, both second-year NBA players, managed in the entire game. The Bulls started with Thomas guarding Beasley, switched to put Noah on him midway through the first quarter, and neither had much of an answer.
"He's a great player on the pick-and-roll and he's going to be someone who'll be very tough to guard," Noah said. "I mean, I was very impressed. He was very comfortable in everything that he wanted to do and he did a great job."
Meanwhile, Rose had some moments, but simply never took over the game offensively the way Beasley did.
The guard who spearheaded Memphis' run to the NCAA title game this past season finished with 10 points on 3-for-8 shooting, with four assists and five turnovers - mostly while being guarded by Chalmers, who hit the big shot as Kansas beat Rose's Tigers in overtime in that national championship game.
"We didn't win," Rose said, "so I think I played horrible. But tomorrow's a new day."
Kasib Powell had 15 points and Chalmers added 11 points and six assists for Miami. Demetris Nichols and Keith Langford both had 13 points for Chicago.
Each team plays five games in the six-team, weeklong summer league, which also features entries from Indiana, Orlando, New Jersey and Oklahoma City. Summer league games are really glorified scrimmages, each team dressed in practice gear, with no fans in the bleachers.
But Beasley vs. Rose garnered plenty of attention, which Beasley tried to ignore.
"You can put the Jolly Green Giant out there," Beasley said. "I'm going to still play, man."
Many players from the first game, Indiana-Oklahoma City, stuck around to watch the top two draft picks. A slew of NBA coaches and executives made sure to get good seats around the court before tipoff. Heat forward Dorell Wright, who had just flown home from California, decided to make the 3 1/2-hour drive north to watch the former Kansas State forward he hopes to be teammates with next season.
"I like to see the young guys," Wright said. "And he's going to be good."
He didn't disappoint.
Beasley's first shot was blocked by Thomas - "I caught a flat, man," Beasley said - but that was a rare lowlight. He split defenders off the dribble for layups. He rebounded his own missed 3-pointer, turned toward the basket and laid it back in. He switched at the perfect time on some pick-and-rolls, denying Rose the chance to penetrate.
"He's a great player," Rose said. "He's a force."
Beasley wasn't perfect. He forced some shots, especially early. He picked up three fouls in the opening minutes, and even though players can't foul out in summer league, Heat coach Keith Askins decided to teach the rookie a lesson and sat him for the second quarter.
"I'm going to let him play as long as he wants," Askins said, "as long as he stays out of trouble."
This much is already clear: With Beasley alongside Dwyane Wade, the Heat expect to be far removed from the 15-win wreck of a season they endured last year. The Bulls couldn't stop him from scoring, and couldn't even stop him from singing during stoppages of player, either. (Yes, they did ask.)
"I didn't want to," Beasley said. "I was happy, singing a happy song."
After his first pro outing, so were the Heat.
"Well, he's a hell of a basketball player," Askins said. "But we already knew that."
|Rose, Thomas And Noah Headline Bulls Summer League Roster||7/3/08|
|July 3, 2008 ? The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team will participate in the Orlando Pro Summer League from July 7-11 at the RDV Sportsplex in Orlando, Florida.|
Bulls rookie Derrick Rose (No. 1 overall in NBA Draft 200 will be joined by fellow Bulls Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah, Aaron Gray, JamesOn Curry, Cedric Simmons, and Demetris Nichols on this summer?s roster.
The Bulls will finalize their summer league roster during a four-day mini-camp July 3-6 at the Berto Center. Practice will get under way on Thursday, July 3 from 6:00 P.M. ? 8:00 P.M. and on Friday, July 4 from 9:00 A.M ? 11:30 A.M.
The team will then conduct a two-a-day practice on Saturday, July 5 (9:30 A.M. ? 11:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. ? 6:30 P.M.) and a final morning practice on Sunday, July 6 (9:00 A.M. ? 11:00 A.M.) before departing to Orlando.
The Bulls will play five games in five days in Orlando. Complete schedule and results from each Orlando Pro Summer League contest will be available on Bulls.com. All 15 summer league games will be webcast live at OrlandoMagic.com. In addition, radio play-by-play man Chuck Swirsky will be in Orlando most of the week to file regular reports on the games and interviews with various players and coaches.
Go to this website for all the details of the Chicago Bulls Summer League Team Roster: http://www.nba.com/media/bulls/summe...
|Bulls Pick Derrick Rose With The Number 1 Pick In The First Round Of The 2008 Draft||7/1/08|
|Rose posted averages of 14.9 points, 4.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game as a freshman and led Memphis to the NCAA National Championship game. He appeared in all 40 games for the Tigers, who went 38-2 and set an NCAA men?s basketball record for wins in a season.|
?In this league, point guards are really hard to find," Bulls EVP of Basketball Operations John Paxson said after making the pick. "He?s got a strength about him that most guards don?t have in this league at that position.
He?s got a great burst and he?s very fast with the ball. I think he?s going to make other players better, and I think he?ll give us some leadership abilities as he goes on that we really need. For us, it was the right pick.?
Rose visited the Bulls for a private workout on June 19?two days after Michael Beasley was in town?and wasn?t shy about his desire to play for his hometown team.
?I think back to all the times people have told me I was good enough to play for the Bulls, and now it could come true,? Rose told Bulls.com last week. ?I?d love to play here. I know the whole city would be behind me and it?s such a great sports city. The Bulls have a lot of talent and they?re young, too. I think if I?m lucky enough to come to this team, we?ll do some damage.?
Rose attended Simeon Career Academy High School in Chicago, where he helped the school become the first Chicago Public League team to win back-to-back state titles in Illinois prep history. His teams went 120-12 (.909) during his four years at Simeon.
A rare combination of speed, elite athleticism and poise at the point guard position, Rose emerged as a candidate to be the NBA Draft?s top pick during a remarkable postseason run, in which he averaged 20.8 points, 6.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds per game.
?I?m just an extremely competitive person,? said Rose, a member of the 2008 NCAA Tournament All-Final Four Team. ?Everyone was saying I was too young or that another player was going to get the best of me because they were older, but age doesn?t always matter. It?s about being the better player. I just wanted to prove people wrong and show that I was the best player on the court.?
Rose is the second No. 1 overall pick in franchise history (Elton Brand, 1999) and he is just the third guard to be selected No. 1 overall in the NBA in the last 30 drafts (Magic Johnson, 1979; Allen Iverson, 1996).
The Bulls also acquired the draft rights to center Omer Asik, the 36th selection in NBA Draft 2008, in a three-team deal with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets.
The 7-0, 255-pound Asik is a 20-year-old native of Bursa, Turkey. A two-time Turkish League All-Star (2007, 200 , Asik split 30 games last year with Alpella and Fenerbahce, where he averaged 10.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, a league-high 1.90 bpg and 1.90 spg. In 2007-08 Euroleague action, he set a league record for blocked shots in a game with 19 rejections.
Chicago will hold an 11:00 a.m. press conference at the United Center on Monday to introduce Rose.
|Bulls Should Draft Rose, But Beasley Is Fine||6/25/08|
|Rick Morrissey | In the wake of the news|
June 25, 2008
I went back to look at what I wrote when the Bulls stunningly won the right to the first pick in the NBA draft.
In the astonishment of that night, I declared my complete devotion to Derrick Rose, the incredible point guard from the University of Memphis.
You know how sometimes you have the thought that, given a few twists of fate and one more shot of tequila, you could have ended up marrying someone other than the person you're with and perhaps even been content? This is sort of like that, but without the physical relationship and the household chores.
So I read what I wrote a month ago?oh, the strident pro-Rose prose!?and thought to myself: You know what, Rick? It's not as if Michael Beasley is saut�ed salmonella. This isn't a choice between Derrick Rose and Mini-Me from the "Austin Powers" movies. This is Michael Beasley, who dominated the intense Big 12 competition he faced as a freshman at Kansas State.
The Bulls will do just fine either way at Thursday night's draft. They'll be a better team with Rose or Beasley. Rose would be the better fit, but it's not as if Beasley is the guy who shows up at a Blue Man Group tryout with a microphone and his face painted plaid.
There are no guarantees here, obviously. Beasley's background is a concern. No matter what he says about each person's "normal" being different, there is nothing normal about attending five high schools and one prep school in five states. And one year of relative stability in college does not ease the worries about him. General manager John Paxson talks about players' character a lot, but unless he can find a way to convince people Beasley was an Army brat and thus had to move around a lot, this is going to be an issue until the 19-year-old Beasley proves it isn't.
"On the basketball side of things, I'm 30 years old," he said last month. "Off the court, I don't know. How mature do you want me to be? I don't know if you want me to act 25 or 30 or 40. I'm a kid. I'm going to mess up.
"I hear a lot about character issues, [that] I have character issues. But I've yet to hear what those character issues are. Until somebody tells me what my character issues are, I don't feel the need to change."
That Beasley often felt the need to change high schools to find the right basketball system for him is the very definition of a character issue. Character issues don't always have to manifest themselves in a criminal record.
But, again, if the Bulls decide he's the better player and that whatever compelled him to be a vagabond in high school has nothing to do with his future success as an NBA player, then go for it. He's that talented. If the Bulls draft him, we'll know they're confident he won't self-destruct.
There's a new calculus in pro sports. It's not whether a player will get into trouble. It's whether his on-court performance can mitigate his off-court problems. Cedric Benson's true sins were not the charges of driving while intoxicated and boating while intoxicated. It wasn't that he was the Bears' Paul Revere?one bottle of booze if by land, two if by sea. It was that he was a major disappointment on the field.
What Paxson and all general managers ask themselves about players is: How much can I live with in terms of bad behavior?
Rose doesn't appear to have any issues away from the game, aside from a Gummi Bear habit. But one day it's Gummi Bears, the next it's Snickers bars and before you know it, he's passed out in a flophouse surrounded by empty boxes of Junior Mints.
What I like about Rose?his toughness and leadership?doesn't always translate into NBA stardom. Can he score in the NBA? Is he the next Deron Williams? I think he is. But he's not a particularly good outside shooter.
It's fun to debate this topic, and it's more than OK to be emotional about the Bulls' potential decision, but as I sit back with the benefit of a month of perspective since they won the lottery, I can see that both players are going to be stars.
The preference here remains Rose, who is incredibly explosive with the basketball. He has something that's hard to quantify. He leads, and people follow. Toward the end of the season, a freshman was in charge at Memphis. Enough said.
As Paxson prepared to introduce Vinny Del Negro as the new Bulls coach (and after everyone stopped saying, "Vinny who?"), he talked about the team's lack of confidence last season. If I'm looking for a confidence boost, I bring in Rose. This is a kid who regularly tests positive for self-assurance.
Rose is the better pick, but getting Beasley wouldn't be the end of the world. It's a win-win. Winning?that's the whole idea, isn't it?
From Chicago Sports
|Rose eager for a Chicago homecoming||6/21/08|
|Becoming the potential face of the franchise for your hometown team would be a lot of added pressure for a 19-year old to handle.|
Just don?t tell that to Derrick Rose?it?s a dream of his and it could very well come true on June 26.
"I thought LeBron James was the luckiest guy in the world to get to play in his home city," Rose said after visiting the Bulls for a private workout at the Berto Center on Thursday. "Now I have that chance. I'm just hoping that they pick me."
Rose won back-to-back state titles while attending Simeon Career Academy High School on Chicago?s South Side and nearly added a national championship to his resume when he led his Memphis Tigers to the NCAA Final Four as a freshman.
The self-described unselfish point guard went one-on-one with Bulls.com following his workout to talk about his days in the Public League, his impressions of John Paxson and Vinny Del Negro, and what it would mean to begin his pro career at home.
Bulls.com: How do you feel your workout went?
Derrick Rose: ?I thought it went well. I wasn?t hitting my threes as consistently as I would have liked, but I was happy with my mid-range game and that?s something I?ve been working on. I know I?m not an outstanding three-point shooter right now, but at the same time I?m capable of knocking some shots down. I?m comfortable hitting shots off of picks and that?s a big part of the pro game.?
Bulls.com: Was there anything in particular that you tried to showcase?
Rose: ?I just wanted to show them that I can shoot. Everyone says I can?t, but I think part of that is because I was more focused on getting my teammates the ball in college. I know shooting is something that I can improve on and if the Bulls pick me, I?ll do everything I can to do that. I?m getting as many shots up as I can every day and I?m focused.?
Bulls.com: Where have you be working out in preparation for the draft?
Rose: ?I?ve been in L.A. all summer, working out with guys like [Russell] Westbrook, Brook and Robin Lopez, Martell Webster, Josh Shipp and a few others.?
Bulls.com: Some fans may not realize this, but you?ve already played in a game at the United Center, a televised contest in which Simeon dominated Washington in the 2007 Chicago Public League championship. What was that experience like for you?
Rose: ?There was a lot of love in the United Center that night. It was pretty packed for a high school game and I guess I put on a little show with a few of my dunks. It felt so great playing there and that?s just another reason why I?d like to play there as a member of the Bulls. The crowd was amazing and they really got into it and people were excited to see us play. It was a great feeling.?
Bulls.com: How did playing in the Public League and winning back-to-back state titles prepare you for your freshman year at Memphis?
Rose: ?It kind of got me used to playing on a big stage, which I love to do. Winning the championships gave us all a lot of great exposure with all the people who were at those games or read about us in the papers. We played a lot of big games, but the pressure never really got to me because I always felt I was in control of the game.
?At Memphis, the biggest game prior to the tournament was when we played Tennessee and that was one of the most hyped games I?ve ever played in. It felt like we were playing at an NBA-level, because so much was on the line and I learned a lot from that game. I stopped watching TV as much because the critics can get to you. I also realized that you have to be relaxed when you?re on the floor. Games like that helped prepare me for my future.?
Bulls.com: Talk about your decision to attend Memphis and what it was like playing for John Calipari.
Rose: ?There were a lot of things. First, (Memphis Director of Student-Athlete Development) Rod Strickland played in the NBA and was a point guard who I think is among the top ten assist leaders of all time. Coach Calipari had coached in the NBA and the team had a lot of veterans there who I knew would ease the pressure on me coming in.
?My role was to prove to them that I was willing to do whatever it took to win. We worked hard to get where we did. Memphis was a great place for me though?they ran a system that suited my style of play and coach really liked to put the ball in my hands.?
Bulls.com: You recently said that you were glad that you couldn?t go pro right out of high school. How important was your one season of college ball?
Rose: ?It was crucial. I thank God for it because I was nowhere near ready to go from high school to the league. I just wasn?t ready. But as last season went on, I knew I kept getting better. My IQ kept getting higher, we started to gel as a team, and I became more of a leader.?
Bulls.com: You really turned it on during your remarkable run in the NCAA Tournament. To what do you attribute your season-ending success?
Rose: ?I?m just an extremely competitive person. Everyone was saying I was too young or that an older player was going to get the best of me because they were older, but age doesn?t always matter. It?s about being the better player. I just wanted to prove people wrong and show that I was the best player on the court.?
Bulls.com: Coach Calipari was quoted as saying, ?He could have scored 30 a game for us if he wanted to, but he understood by scoring 14, we had a chance to win every game.? What?s your reaction to that statement?
Rose: ?I was willing to do whatever the team needed me to do, whether it was rebounding or taking shots. Last year, they asked me to run the team and make plays when they needed me. We had a couple scorers on the team, so it was my job to get them the ball when they were open and create opportunities for them.?
Bulls.com: What are some of your top priorities over the next week or so?
Rose: ?Of course I?m going to keep working on my shot, but I?ll also work on my all-around game and pick-and-rolls.?
Bulls.com: What are your thoughts on John Paxson and Vinny Del Negro now that you?ve spent some time with them?
Rose: ?They?re very likeable people. Sometimes it takes me awhile to warm up to someone when I first meet them, but with them, you can tell they?re caring, very intelligent, and they know the game. They both played in the NBA, so they know what it takes. Defense is important to both of them, and from what I can tell, they?ve got some good offensive things that will be in place, too. They?ll be prepared for the season.?
Bulls.com: How do you feel about being compared to the likes of Jason Kidd, Chris Paul and Deron Williams?
Rose: ?I hope I can be as good as any of those guys, but I?m Derrick Rose. I?m nowhere near where those guys are right now, but I?m going to work as hard as I can to live up to those comparisons. Those guys have done so much for their teams and I hope I can do that too for mine.?
Bulls.com: Have you thought about how you might fit in with the current Bulls roster?
Rose: ?Some of the guys like Ben Gordon and Joakim Noah were in the gym watching my workout and I loved that. I hope I worked hard enough so they think I can play with them and that I deserve to be in this position. It?s not my first time around the block, so I think I?ll be ready. I?ve met a few of them before and there?s never been any attitude from them at all; they?re low-key guys.?
Bulls.com: What was your reaction when you saw the Bulls beat the odds and won the NBA Draft Lottery?
Rose: ?I still can?t believe it. I remember my brother, Alan, used to always tell me I?d play for the Bulls someday. I told him I hoped he was right, but now that I might have that chance, it?s amazing. I think back to all the times people have told me I was good enough to play for the Bulls, and now it could come true. I?d love to play here. I know the whole city would be behind me and it?s such a great sports city. The Bulls have a lot of talent and they?re young, too. I think if I?m lucky enough to come to this team, we?ll do some damage.?
|Beasley ready to rock in the NBA||6/21/08|
|It is said that history tends to repeat itself, and basketball is no exception to that rule.|
It was just one year ago when everyone was raving about a phenomenal freshman out of the Big 12 conference who dominated in his lone collegiate season, recording more double-doubles than anyone could have predicted and establishing himself as a virtual lock to be a top-2 NBA Draft pick. In more than one way, the story of Kevin Durant is very familiar to Michael Beasley, who visited the Bulls for a private workout at the Berto Center on Tuesday.
It was Beasley who put the unlikely Kansas State Wildcats on the map and carried them to their first NCAA tournament birth in over a decade, shining the national spotlight on tiny Manhattan, population 50,737. Given that he was named National Freshman of the Year by The Sporting News and earned unanimous First Team All-American honors before deciding to turn pro, Beasley?s time on campus may have been brief, but he certainly made his mark.
Bulls.com sat down with Beasley following his workout to discuss preparing for the draft, his ?rock star? freshman season, and his long-time friendship with the aforementioned Kevin Durant.
Bulls.com: How did you feel your workout went?
Michael Beasley: ?I thought it went well. I didn?t make quite as many shots as I hoped I?d make, but oh well. I had fun, and they didn?t tell me how tough some of these drills would be. Overall, I definitely enjoyed it. You?re pretty much in the dark in terms of what to expect, so you just hope to come in here and play well.?
Bulls.com: Do you have any plans to workout for the Miami Heat or any other NBA teams?
Beasley: ?I actually leave tonight for Miami so I?ll be there tomorrow morning. I?m not sure exactly when they?ll have me workout, but I?ll be there Wednesday and Thursday. Right now it?s just the Bulls and Heat for me.?
Bulls.com: You took a long look at some of the championship banners at the beginning of your workout. What?s it like to be here in the position that you?re in?
Beasley: ?It?s a special feeling. Everyone knows about the history here?two three-peats and the greatest player ever and another one in the top 50. Everyone knows about this team, and now to be here and see it in person only adds to the excitement.?
Bulls.com: What kind of workout schedule have you been on since declaring for the draft?
Beasley: ?I?ve been working out three times a day, every day during the week. I?ve made weekends a little more optional and usually I take Sunday off. But Monday through Friday, I?ve been lifting once and working out on the court twice every day.?
Bulls.com: Is it more of a challenge to workout without any competition on the floor?
Beasley: ?I think it?s fun to have somebody to go up against, and you can pace yourself a little more if the other guy is doing a drill or something like that. But I like working out on my own. It?s cool with me and it will work out better in the long run, I think.?
Bulls.com: As the draft approaches, you?re fielding more questions than ever about your character. What have you learned throughout high school and one year at Kansas State, and how far have you come as an individual?
Beasley: ?I?ve learned to just be me. I?ve made a few mistakes in my lifetime and I?m not perfect. I live and learn. But I?m going to continue to be me. I?m not going to change who I am. I know when to be serious and I know when to have fun. I like to see smiles; you can?t take things too seriously all the time. I like to see people have fun and I like to smile and that?s just my personality.?
Bulls.com: How would you describe your acclimation to college life at Kansas State?
Beasley: ?Manhattan was great. When I first got there, I had my doubts. The city wasn?t as big as I was used to and it took some time to adjust. But everyone in the town and on campus treated me like family. I loved it. I can honestly say that I found a new home in Manhattan and it will always be a part of me.?
Bulls.com: You truly became a star in Manhattan. Was that tough to get used to, being a guy who seems to prefer to keep a low profile?
Beasley: ?I felt like a rock star at times, but it was cool. It was crazy because I?d just be walking to class or something and a random person would throw my name out. At first, I was like, ?Who are you?? But I got used to it and enjoyed it.?
Bulls.com: How did Frank Martin help your progress as a player and what was your relationship with him like?
Beasley: ?I consider Frank to be one of my best friends. He?s just that type of coach. He wants to help you in life, not just in basketball. He taught me to bring it every single day and he also encouraged me not to change for anybody. He told me every day to just be myself and work hard every day.?
Bulls.com: What did it mean to you to lead the Wildcats to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1996?
Beasley: ?It means a lot, especially now when I look back on the season. To know the history, to know we hadn?t beaten Kansas at home in 25 years, to know we hadn?t made it to the tournament in 12 years and we hadn?t won there in 24 years, it just made the whole season that much more special for us all. We didn?t go as far as we wanted to in the tournament, but overall we accomplished a lot and we did better than a lot of people expected.?
Bulls.com: Was there one particular game or moment that sticks out?
Beasley: ?Beating KU at home. It was a great win for us and one that I?ll always remember. They came in 20-0 and expected to win, but we had nothing to lose. We played our hearts out and got the victory.?
Bulls.com: You go way back with Kevin Durant. What?s your relationship with him?
Beasley: ?Kevin is another one of my best friends. We played on the same AAU team together, the PG Jaguars, and then we kind of parted ways. But I talk to him a lot, every couple days. We?re from the same area so we workout together from time to time. We?ve taken a similar path?both from the D.C. area, went to the Big 12, and played one year of college ball?and he gives me a lot of advice. Stay humble; that?s his main thing. Kevin is the most humble, grounded guy that I know. He tells me to stay humble because everything can all be taken away. So work hard and treat everyone with respect.?
Bulls.com: Do you think your style of play is similar to his, or is there another NBA player you have tried to resemble?
Beasley: ?It can be, but I tend to play with a little more power. I like to knock a guy over when I go to the basket, whereas Kevin can shoot it from about 85-feet. I like to think I can shoot the ball too, but I also like to bang a little bit down in the post. Carmelo [Anthony] is a guy I?ve watched for a few years, but it?s tough playing like him. He?s got one smooth game and he plays a lot more fluid than I do. I?d rather just play like me.?
Bulls.com: What do you feel your position will be at the NBA level? Do you feel you will be more of a small forward or power forward?
Beasley: ?I think I?ll be able to play both depending on where a team needs me to play. I?m just ready to get out there and compete, no matter what position and whether it?s starting or coming off the bench. I can?t wait.?
Bulls.com: Does being left-handed give you any kind of advantage?
Beasley: ?I think it does. I dribble a lot with my right, and guys sometimes forget I shoot with my left. They stop paying attention and think I?m going to go to my right, so they play me that way and then I can take them going to my left. It?s one of those things that sometimes makes it a little easier to get by my man.?
Bulls.com: What elements of your game do you feel you need to address the most in order to be a success at the pro level?
Beasley: ?When you?re my age, you?ve got to work on everything. For me, it?s probably the mental adjustments more than the physical ones. From my shot to my ballhandling to my free throws, I need to get better in all those areas.?
Bulls.com: What?s your impression of John Paxson and Vinny Del Negro now that you?ve had the chance to meet them?
Beasley: ?They?re real cool. I didn?t think they?d be as down to earth as they are. We had dinner [Monday night] and we?ve talked quite a bit. We talked some basketball, but it was more of a get to know you kind of thing. They had questions and I had questions. It?s been fun, and I?m taking away a lot more than I expected.?
Bulls.com: How do you think you would fit in with the current Bulls team?
Beasley: ?I think I could be a good low post presence, but I can also bring that inside-outside balance. I think I?d take some pressure off the guards and grab my share of rebounds too. I?d love to come here. Chicago?s a great city with an amazing history and tradition and hopefully they?ll have a great team again soon.?