Chuck's Check In - 8.31.20
Chuck Swirsky looks back at another week of the NBA Playoffs and pays his respect to two late, great college basketball legends.
Remind Me Later •
Thank you for the fantastic feedback on last week's CCI's Question of the Week: What has been your favorite Bulls memory while attending a game at the United Center? Responses below.
This week's CCI Question: We all love Chicago's "MVB" Benny the Bull, what is your favorite Benny moment? We will post your remarks in next week's column.
CCI random musings....
I'm at my desk working on CCI with many thoughts racing through my mind... I'm excited following the Bulls 20-21 journey, but patience is the key as the Bulls front office will have plenty of time to navigate their future. I have the utmost faith in the Bulls new management team based on their influence and decision making in previous stops. There is no doubt Bulls players are preparing for next season. The Bulls haven't played a game since the second week of March and I can't wait for the day it all comes together at the Advocate Center.
CCI NEWS AND NOTES:
As I've been telling everyone for a long, long time, Denver's Jamal Murray is a flat out baller. He plays with heart and passion. His 50 point game on Sunday forced a seventh game between the Nuggets and Jazz. Murray and Donovan Mitchell are getting after it. I love it!
An impressive game one win for Boston over the Raps but remember, it's just one game. The Raps lost the first two games of the EC Finals a year ago and prevailed over Milwaukee.
The Lakers advanced behind their two superstars as they shredded an injury depleted Portland ball club. A significant bright spot for Portland was the play of Carmelo Anthony who proved to doubters that he can still be an effective rotation player in the NBA. It was a good fit for Melo and the Blazers.
The Clippers advanced to the second round closing out the Mavs who played without Kristaps Porzingis. The future is bright for the Mavs and a lot of their future success hinges on the health of Porzingis. Luka Doncic is THE face of the franchise. Period. But if the Mavs are to make inroads on claiming the Western Conference they must have a 75-82 game player in Porzingis. They simply need him on the floor to establish any continuity.
Nate McMillian who did a solid job directing the Pacers, will take a season off before deciding his next move. McMillan previously coached Seattle and Portland.
RIP Cliff Robinson. "Uncle Cliffy" played nearly twenty years in the NBA. He was an All Star and recipient of the Sixth Man Award. The Blazers honored Robinson by wearing headbands Saturday. Robinson wasn't the first NBA player to wear one but he certainly made a fashion statement by donning it during his career. Every time I see that NBA Entertainment clip of Michael Jordan's shrug after nailing yet another three ball against the Blazers in the ‘92 Finals, I see Robinson, side by side, mesmerized like the rest of us.
RIP: Lute Olson and John Thompson. These two bigger than life Hall of Fame college basketball coaches left an indelible mark on the lives of young men and the sport itself. I first met Olson when he had just taken over the Iowa program in the late 70s. His vision for Hawkeyes' basketball was filled with excitement. He did a tremendous job before leaving to take over a downtrodden Arizona program, ultimately winning an NCAA title in 1997. Meanwhile, Thompson was THE face of Georgetown basketball. His competitive fire guided the infancy of the upstart Big East Conference to national prominence as his Hoyas program not only won an NCAA crown led by Patrick Ewing, but in the process, made teams pay along the way with physical, tough, hard-nosed play. The last time I saw Coach Thompson came during the 2019-20 season. The Bulls and other NBA teams held game day shoot around on the Georgetown campus. Thompson entered the athletic facility named in his honor and we exchanged greetings for a moment. As announcer for DePaul University in the 80s and 90s, I saw first hand the battles between Thompson and Ray and Joey Meyer. Fans in Chicago and D.C. were treated to some spectacular games during that era.
CCI Mailbag: Last week's CCI Question of the Week: What has been your favorite Bulls memory while attending a game at the United Center? Bulls fans responded:
My favorite memory came in the second game against Detroit during the first championship run. Late in the game as the Bulls were pulling away, the crowd was in a frenzy. Everyone in the standing room only section were stomping and hitting whatever they could in unison to the beat on the sound system and guys picked up several garbage cans and were banging them against the walls. Been to many concerts in my life but nothing compared to the noise in the stadium that night. Never forget it. -Greg
Hi Chuck. My favorite Bull's memory goes back to their very first year of existence. I attended a game and management was attempting to build a fan base. They had a promotion that if you guessed the high scorer of the game, you would get free tickets to a future game. Well, the usher gave me a whole handful of entry tickets and I filled out one for every member of the team. Obviously, I received two tickets and on attending the future game, I only got one ticket, but guessed right and again received two free tickets. I have been a Bulls fan for life and I have always remembered the three games I saw for the price of one. -Ron Hooker, Three Rivers, MI
I definitely got to go the 2020 NBA All-Star Game!! So many fabulous Bulls games and memories I could post here but wow was this weekend including the Skills Contest a dream come-true! GO BULLS! -Coach T.
I was there when Scottie Pippen was ejected for throwing the chair, Jud Beuchler (U of A!) came in and almost saved the day, but David Robinson (I think) would not be denied. -Darren
Zach LaVine making the game winning layup with the foul shot to win against the Clippers this year. -Sal
I've been at some great games. D-Rose buzzer beater against the Cavs, Joakim Noah's steal against the Celtics, Nate Rob's huge 4th quarter and also Jimmy Butler's 50 point game. So many more. I will say the game Klay Thompson broke the 3 point record I was there for and that was insane too. -Jason
Taking my future wife (Knicks fan) to the UC for Jalen Rose's 1st game as a Bull. He had 36 in a 113-109 win. One of us left happy. -Mr 68
Our CCI Question: We all love Chicago's "MVB" Benny the Bull, what is your favorite Benny moment? We will post your remarks in next week's column.
Always a pleasure. All In. All Bulls. 365. 24-7.