BULLS MAKE BLOCKBUSTER TRADE WITH PELICANS
CCI 24 SECONDS COMMENTARY: This is the tough part of the job. Developing professional friendships with players is a perk that comes along with the position as play-by-play announcer of an NBA team. Being around a team, you embrace the ups and downs of a marathon season, while remaining focused on the job at hand. One of the more frequently asked questions I receive from fans is, "Do you socialize with players?" The answer is no. Not that I am not friendly or don’t engage in off-court conversation, but I stay in my lane and treat everyone with respect.
Niko Mirotic and Quincy Pondexter have been professional, respectful, and courteous to me from day one; that’s all I ask of anyone, regardless of status or position. The same holds true of my personal standards and conduct. I treat everyone with respect, dignity, and encouragement. Niko is off to New Orleans, and there is no doubt he will succeed with the Pelicans. Under the new offensive system implemented this year, Mirotic has thrived under Coach Hoiberg and a different cast of players around him. The altercation in training camp with Bobby Portis, I'm sure, influenced his mindset about his long term plans here, but only Mirotic can speak on that. Not me, nor anyone, only Niko. Mirotic was playing with confidence and was having a good year, but he wanted out and the Bulls obliged. The Bulls secured a number one draft pick from the Pelicans, and I’m a big believer in first round draft picks. They’re gold in the NBA; you collect as many as you can. They’re huge assets and options to use during the in/off season. I wish Niko and his family all the best.
In a short period of time, Pondexter became a leader in the locker-room with an engaging, bubbly personality. I wish him the best as well.
Coach Hoiberg and his players are back on the practice floor today in Los Angeles, as they get ready for the Clippers tomorrow afternoon (2:30 CT tip).
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Blake Griffin made his Pistons debut with a 24-10-5 game, as Detroit edged Memphis 104-102.
KAT with his league-leading 46th double-double, as Minnesota beat Milwaukee 108-89. Patriots coach Bill Belichick took in the game; he and Coach Thibs are close friends. The Bucks lost Malcom Brogdon in first half with a quad injury. Giannis suffered an ankle injury.
Washington 122 Toronto 119. Bradley Beal scored 27 points, with 25 in the second half, as the Wizards prevailed. Kyle Lowry missed crucial free throws near the end.
Houston held San Antonio to 14 first quarter points, and won on the road 102-91.
MUST SEE: Got to love the NBA! Denver 127-124, on a 3 ball by Gary Harris at the buzzer. George with 43, Jokic with 29-13-14 triple-double. Jamal Murray’s crossover on Steven Adams was wicked. I’ve seen it at least ten times. I was afraid for a moment that Adams would be in a walking boot leaving the Pepsi Center in Denver. Murray is from Toronto and played one year at Kentucky. He’s just a kid; he won’t turn 21 until next month.
A reminder beginning tomorrow: our new radio home is 670 The Score. Bulls vs. Clippers 2:15 CT pre.