2019 Media Day is in the books and the Bulls as is the case with every NBA team are full of optimism as they approach the pre season opener Monday at the United Center against the Bucks.
VP John Paxson told reporters that Denzel Valentine and Wendell Carter Jr. are ready to go. Chandler Hutchison remains sidelined with a hamstring injury. Luke Kornet is nursing a toe injury. Paxson also said the playoffs is the goal this season. Paxson said the Bulls roster is versatile, deep and has leadership.
Jim Boylen: "Our goals this season is to make the playoffs. every day we will prepare like we're a playoff team, every day we'll work like we're a playoff-bound team."
Boylen feels "teaching is a lost art at this level (NBA)." Boylen is excited about the addition of assistant coaches Chris Fleming and Roy Rogers. "They can teach, lead and be independent thinkers" Boylen said.
Zach LaVine told me he'd love to be an All Star in a Bulls uniform in February at the United Center. LaVine's grueling off season workouts led by his father is well documented on social media. He's in great shape and I expect him to have a big time season.
Lauri Markkanen is healthy after spending time at the United Center and his home country of Finland. Markkanen has been in the weight room and without question looks stronger than a season ago.
Chuck chats with Otto Porter during Media Day
NBA NEWS & NOTES:
The Warriors' Klay Thompson is out until at least the All Star break.
Golden State's Omari Spellman says he's lost 40 pounds in 3 months and is down to 275.
Philadelphia's Joel Embiid lost 20 pounds in the off season.
Golden State's Willie Cauley-Stein will miss training camp with a left foot strain.
Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo is two years away from free agency but the stories continue to percolate about his future which he spoke of yesterday: "I'm not going talk about it a lot this season and I'm not going to try to address it," said Giannis. (ESPN)
Always a pleasure, Chuck Swirsky