The Bulls are back on the practice floor today, as they prepare for a Monday home contest against Boston.
How did I spend my Saturday night? Watching NBA ball, starting with Memphis and Orlando, then flipping the dial to catch the Celtics-Rockets game. I admit, I am an NBA fanatic. If there is a game on, I’m watching it. When the Bulls are in LA and we have an off night and there’s a game involving the Clippers or Lakers at Staples, I’m in attendance. On the road, I seldom, if at all, go out. I stay in my hotel room, sandwich in hand, watching NBA League Pass. Some may say I have no life, but I beg to differ. This isn’t a job. It’s a passion. As a kid I grew up wanting to be an NBA play-by-play announcer. I was a horrible athlete. I was cut from every tryout on day one. I was very discouraged. I so badly wanted to wear a uniform, but I refused to allow others from dictating my dreams and goals.
At the age of five I started listening to the radio, picking up sporting events, and being mesmerized by the elocution and knowledge of gifted broadcasters. I memorized stats and trivia. I took the NBA directory to bed with me as reading material. If I couldn’t be a basketball player, then the next best thing, I decided, was to be a broadcaster. Don’t believe me? Ask my sisters. A basketball became my best friend. My father died when I was in the sixth grade, and it was my mom who encouraged me to never give up and chase your dreams. In whatever anyone wants to pursue, I recommend to simply bring passion 24/7, 365.
I truly believe the NBA is going to take over the sports viewing landscape in the years ahead. The players are getting better, as is the coaching. I love how the game is played. The unselfishness is contagious. The game is a beautiful sport. The entertainment package and game operations are second to none.
Even though the Bulls have a 21-41 record, this has been an enjoyable year from the standpoint of developing a culture in the locker room with a young group growing together. The Bulls’ players are respectful, considerate of others, and extremely professional. Trust me, no one likes, tolerates, or accepts losing. It wears on you, regardless if you’re a rookie or a ten-year vet. Players are measured not only on results, but how they deal with adversity and success. This group gets it.
NBA NEWS AND NOTES
Primetime ball in Houston. 15 straight wins for the Rockets and this was dandy. Houston 123 Boston 120. This one had the vibe of a playoff game. All out intensity. Every possession mattered. Great ballgame. The Celtics are in Chicago Monday.
The Lakers winning streak stands at five games, after taking care of business on the road, winning 116-112 in San Antonio. The Spurs played without Leonard and Aldridge and the Lakers without Ingram. Lonzo Ball has discovered his shooting stroke of late, becoming the first Laker in franchise history to hit at least 6 three-point field goals with 11 assists. His line: 18-7-11 and 2 blocks.
Denver crushed the Cavs in Cleveland, 126-117, connecting on 19 - that’s right - 19 three-point field goals. Gary Harris is having a major break out year. He led all scorers with 32 points. Will Barton off the bench with 23. LeBron with another triple double of 25-10-15. The Cavs have lost two straight. The Nuggets play 11 of their next 15 on the road.
Another game and another loss for Detroit. In a game the Pistons had to win for a chance at the eighth and final playoff spot, the Heat prevailed, 105-96.
Portland 108 OKC 100. No Melo for the Thunder. Portland won its sixth straight and improved to 11 over .500.
After losing seven straight, Orlando has now won two in a row in a hard-fought 107-100 win over visiting Memphis. The Grizzlies have lost 13 straight. They missed six free throws in the fourth quarter.
Utah 98 Kings 91. Mitchell 27-5-5.
Always a pleasure!